Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
3/21/2012
01:30 PM
Jeff Bertolucci
Jeff Bertolucci
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do

Have we really entered a post-PC world? The new Apple iPad and its tablet rivals still come up short on a few important measures.
Previous
1 of 9
Next


Apple CEO Tim Cook, at the March launch of the new iPad, opened his keynote by proclaiming that the "post-PC revolution" is upon us:

"When we're talking about the post-PC world, we're talking about a world where the PC is no longer the center of your digital world, but rather just a device. We're talking about a world where your new devices, the devices you use the most, need to be more portable, more personal, and dramatically easier to use than any PC has ever been."

CEO blather? Hardly. Considering the success of smartphones and tablets, Cook has a point. In 2011, Apple sold 172 million mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, and iPods, which made up 76% of the company's revenues.

Indeed, the iPad's stunning success has helped the tablet infiltrate the workplace--another chapter in the ongoing consumerization of IT saga--as people use their mobile devices for tasks previously reserved for desktop and laptop PCs.

So is it time to junk your PC for a post-PC device? Of course not--particularly if your daily chores require the type of heavy-lifting capabilities that PCs excel at, such as professional video editing or spreadsheet number-crunching.

The Observer's John Naughton, in a March 10 article entitled "Reports of the death of the PC are greatly exaggerated," put the tablet in its proper place:

"One could, I suppose, try to write a book, edit a movie, or build a big spreadsheet model with it--just as one could, in principle, dig the garden with a teaspoon. But you'd be mad to try," Naughton wrote.

Apple's post-PC mantra has placed some PC vendors on the defensive--particularly the ones who are getting their hands handed to them in the mobile arena. In a recent email interview with Forbes, James Mouton, general manager of HP's personal computer global business unit, defended the PC's viability in today's gadget-crazed world:

"While the way people interact with information has changed, when the task at hand is content creation, business productivity or immersive gaming, to name a few, a PC is fundamental," Mouton wrote. "Fortune 1,000 companies and governments rely on PCs for their infrastructure backbone and security."

As our slideshow illustrates, security is just one area where tablets are lacking. If you need mega-storage on your primary computing device, enjoy first-person shooter games, want an easy way to read stacks of archived DVDs, or run power-hungry desktop programs, a slate simply won't cut it.

Previous
1 of 9
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 3   >   >>
Sam Iam
50%
50%
Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:53:51 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
You can plug it into a docking station at your desk with a monitor and an external keyboard.
Sam Iam
50%
50%
Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:50:36 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yes, or just don't use Hotmail... forward all e-mail to Gmail. This probably isn't a Flash issue. Microsoft probably uses their Silverlight competitor to Flash for Hotmail. It is more likely Microsoft just deciding not to support iPad because they don't like iPad.
Sam Iam
50%
50%
Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:48:10 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Agree, the DVD item just points out the lengths they had to go to find problems for the iPad. New products commonly don't support antiquated storage methods.... The PC doesn't support tape cartridges, the tablet doesn't support DVDs.
Sam Iam
50%
50%
Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:45:53 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yes, or don't manage the external storage at all, just store it on a file server in a data center somewhere.
Sam Iam
50%
50%
Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:44:04 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yes, as with PCs, any application which requires serious processing power, memory or storage will reside on the server. The application will be processed on the server and the data will be stored on the server. If the internet doesn't exist, iPad is going to be worthless. If the internet continues to exist, it won't be a problem.
Sam Iam
50%
50%
Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:40:52 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
All of these "problems", apart from those that are ridiculous on the surface (e.g. tablets will hurt your neck), are only problems if you are not aware that servers/internet exist. PCs do not run software that requires serious hardware spec, they all run on a server and the client device (PC, tablet, smartphone, whatever) only exists to present data. That is why you can sort petabytes upon petabytes of data through Google from your tablet. The tablet isn't doing any of the processing, nor is the PC, it is just connecting to a server that does the processing. You are able to have boat loads of video and mp3 files, or any other file you like, on your tablet because nothing is stored on the local device, it is stored behind a server on a SAN at Apple or Google or your corporate data center.
EVVJSK
50%
50%
EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 7:06:45 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Bigger problem for me on tablets is keyboard (which CAN be augmented). I can touch type on a keyboard. Tablet for anything fairly serious, even email if you have to type more that about 15 words, starts to get laborious.
EVVJSK
50%
50%
EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 7:05:16 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
One that still supports Flash ? ;-)
FritzNelson
50%
50%
FritzNelson,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 7:04:37 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
One thing I'd still love -- and really need -- is to split the screen between 2 apps (no more than that, though; space won't allow) so I can see things side by side or move data between two apps. I *THINK* that there's a tablet that does this -- maybe it's the new Tabs from Samsung.
stevew928
50%
50%
stevew928,
User Rank: Strategist
3/22/2012 | 6:46:23 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yep, the big problems on a tablet are screen realestate (which, as you noted is also a problem for laptops). It's basically a tradeoff that there is no way around unless you have incredibly good eyes (the iPad3 has more rez than your desktop most likely).

The other problem, similar to the lack of workspace, is working between two applications with data. For example, write a document where you have to do a bunch of calculation with a calculator. On a tablet, it's rough, on a desktop, no problem. There are a few solutions, but this is overall, an efficiency killer in the tablet world. But again, there are some fairly substantial efficiency/convenience gains that many (including myself) are willing to trade for that when mobile (such as battery life, portability, easy of getting to a task much more quickly, etc.).
<<   <   Page 2 / 3   >   >>
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.