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3/21/2012
01:30 PM
Jeff Bertolucci
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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.
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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.

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stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
3/22/2012 | 6:41:55 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
#1 - or, as I pointed out above, the 'cloud.'
#2 - Agreed. There are a number of very secure apps for the iPad which specifically address the types of attacks the hackers used. Just make sure you pick a good app.
#3 - No kidding! I haven't used a DVD on my computer for probably a year or two. I'm even using them way less for archival (for which I have a burner/reader available on my desktop). That's why Apple has started leaving them off of their laptops as well. They are, essentially, like a floppy anymore (outside of home entertainment).
RAINFIRE
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RAINFIRE,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 6:40:39 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Heaven Forbid you try to create (not consume) business documents like spreadsheets. I can't imagine even trying to use a tablet for ANY kind of serious computer work like most businesses create on a daily basis. Even doing Excel on a Mac Laptop is twice as much work as a PC.
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
3/22/2012 | 6:37:58 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
There are several solutions to this available on the iPad, for example, virtual browser apps like CloudBrowse or VM type sessions. But, the most simple solution to this particular problem would to be avoiding M$ stuff. What kind of idiot developers would use a Flash interface to something that is core functionality?
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
3/22/2012 | 6:34:42 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Agreed... is IW unaware of the 'cloud'? Nearly all tablet users are using them as extensions or for mobile purposes, while still having a desktop for more 'power' tasks, or to be a local cloud. For the people who use a tablet exclusively (non-power-user), they probably also don'd need the several things mentioned anyway.
KenXo
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KenXo,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 6:24:41 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Something I never thought about when using the iPad: My sister in-law was visiting and brought her iPhone and iPad, but not her PC, with her. Inexplicably she lost access to her Hotmail account when it was locked out due to suspicious activity.

Because the MSN Live ID site is incompatible with the iPad and iPhone (Flash based?), she could not unlock her Hotmail account without a PC. Luckily I was able to access it from mine and reactivate but if she didn't have one available she would have been completely cutoff from her hotel, car and flight information.

Long story short, the iPad is a wonderful and wondrous tablet device for cloud computing, until the cloud stops playing by Apple's rules...
hlubinv8l
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hlubinv8l,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 4:37:17 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Corrections:

1) Yes you can expand the storage space on the iPad! Using an external hard drive, like the Seagate GoFlex Satellite Wireless, you can add another 500 GB of storage to your iPad. The drive works wirelessly and fits in your pocket.

2) Security is measurable in real-world data. There have been zero viruses for iOS (even though there are currently a half Billion iOS devices in use.

3) Burning DVDs is as antiquated as writing floppy disks. Nobody wants to burn DVDs from an iPad, or even from laptops, when using USB to transfer files is much more efficient, faster, uses less power, and less costly.

All of the other "points" given are just as questionable, and seem contrived and subjective in nature.

iPads are replacing notebook PCs for good reason. People buying the iPad consider it the optimal choice for themselves.
AvityConnect
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AvityConnect,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 3:44:54 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Or you can own a Real Tablet PC and by Motion Computing's solutions- use as slate and desktop.... as I have and love it
jzbak
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jzbak,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 3:38:00 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Tablets, in my opinion, are an extension of a PC, making these points moot. People will always have some type of laptop or PC. Odds are that most people who have a tablet also have invested in a PC/laptop.
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