Just keep taking the tablets
Tablets or Slates – all the big names have announced, or been associated with the launch of these devices at CES. Microsoft, Dell, HP etc have already launched and Apple are due to launch their own device later this month. The large screen, key-less device is set to be a big seller in 2010. One of the other ‘new’ technologies which have been around for some time, but which has finally started to come in to its own is the e-Book reader. Some are going so far as to say that 2010 will mark the beginning of the end of the book.
I have used Sony’s e-Book reader for some time, and whilst electronic ink is remarkable, I still prefer to read a paper book, given the choice. My work means I have to read a great deal of material, which has been submitted for marking in electronic form only. I must admit to having often print it out first as I find marking on screen to be tiring and difficult – but, that may just be my age.
One tablet device which caught the eye is from T-mobile, the reason being is its target audience. Putting all political correctness to one side, the company is aiming it at mothers who have to organise the family’s various schedules, and it is also designed for use in the kitchen. Some have called it an electronic fridge door, to replace the traditional family notice board – to which various reminders of dental appointments etc are placed with fridge magnets.
The device is called the Vega, for the moment – as it is still very much in the prototype stage. It has a resistive (allowing the use of the handle of a wooden spoon when fingers are sticky) 15.6 inch screen with excellent resolution and very acceptable video performance. It’s Android operating system connects to Google Calendar, allowing each member of the family to colour-code their own calendars, and to allow them to be displayed simultaneously on the screen. The version of Android used is for wide-screen devices, rather than mobile phones. The device includes a small webcam for taking profile shots which could be used for video calls, Wi-Fi, 2G GSM and Bluetooth links. The hub has 32GB of internal memory and a microSD slot for 32GB more. There’s also a USB port for plugging in pendrives with movies, photos and music. Pundits are suggesting a £300 price tag when it comes to the UK.