I am not a born geek, however, over the period of time that I have used technology, I have easily adapted to newer one’s and shunned a few too. I am a Software Engineer by profession, but I have handled tons of devices which are fancy but are hard for me to really go ahead and buy. However, I have built more than 100 PCs by assembling them with my bare hands with devices that I really believe in.
One thing I do before buying any device, no matter what the hype is, is to actually use it with my own hands and then decide whether I should buy it or not. To prove a fact, I have always been a Nokia fan, but when I went and used the Nokia N97, I discarded it, because it was not really what I wanted and found it to be inadequate for my needs. Another example is that I bought the iPod Touch 3GS, which again was a big feat, but I really liked it better than the iPhone, and bought it years after it was launched.
Rest aside, I did predict that 2010 was going to be the year of Internet Tablets, however, for me to go ahead and shun my laptop, netbook and smartphone for a Tablet would be something foolish, because they do the job I require them to do and work perfectly fine. So why would I not want to buy an Internet Tablet?
First of all, tablets are something which are just coming out, though I am an early adopter, I do not adopt anything blindly. Of course, who would not fancy carrying a 1.5 pound device around as compared to the 2.5 pound netbook or the half a pound smartphone? However, when you drop the 1 pound in weight or gain 1 pound around it, you also drop 60-75% of functionalities or gain 10-20% (maybe more) respectively.
Agreed that netbooks and smartphones were supposed to do nothing but Internet, chat and social networking, however, over a period of time they have grown to become devices which everyone clings on to. Let’s put this into perspective; Can you imagine yourself going around without your smartphone or phone for that matter? Can you imagine making trips without your netbook? If I were you, both these answers would be no. However, it did not happen overnight, it happened with time. Why? Because both these devices have matured enough to allow me to work with them and have been an ample alternative to a real "full fledged" laptop or desktop computer.
Secondly, hype supersedes requirements. There have been times when I have gone and bought things based on hype. After using the new thing for sometime, I got bored and hardly used it. What tablets are doing now is something similar, it is a hype that it is better than your netbook and smartphone, however, once you start using it you will realize that you still need both your netbook and your smartphone to do things. It is not a replacement, it is just something that will be sandwiched between both of them. It won’t allow you to function without any one of them for sure.
Let me give you some examples. If you want to make a phone call, you need your phone (Don’t give me that Skype thing, how many of you actually use it to make "real" phone calls?). If you want to convert videos, you need your netbook, nevertheless you can use your tablet to view videos. But now, would you carry your netbook around to convert videos just so that you can watch it on your brand new tablet? This is just one part of it, there are so many things a tablet can’t do which your netbook or smartphone will be able to do.
The problem right now is that tablets are just "Internet tablets", you can chat on them, visit sites, watch videos, listen to music and do anything on the web. Of course, you will be able to run apps on them, but will you be able to program on it? Will you be able to video conference? Will you be able to type with ease?
One more thing I won’t buy it for is the larger video experience than my current smartphone. If I add $200 more to the price I will pay for the cheapest tablet, I can buy a 42" or higher resolution HDTV. If I add more to it I can buy the Sony Bravia and get the best TV and video experience I can ever get.
The problem I have here is not adaptability, there are 10-12" netbooks which will totally out perform tablets, and yes I prefer to read my newspapers and books through a hard copy. Of course, it does make my bag a few pounds heaver, but so does it make my wallet too, and yes I a can lug around a bag with 15 pounds in it, don’t we have trolleys and broad shoulders?
I really don’t care if my iPod Touch or iPad does not have Flash, as I would rather watch a movie or a video on HDTV if I want to. If you start shrinking your video experience to a small screen, why do you buy or yearn to buy a big TV?
Closing on this, I don’t think I will buy a tablet just because it is there. I definitely don’t think that it will add to my current experience or enhance the way I am productive. Of course, if does give me the benefit of lugging around a smaller device that can perform better than a smartphone, but it will definitely not fit in my pocket, require additional screen protection and I will still need a bag. And if I do have to carry a bag, I would prefer to put a smarter and more useful device in it.
However, I am not saying that I will never buy one, I will, however, not over hype, but when the device matures to become really useful and an alternative to both my netbook and my smartphone.