Tablets: Are They for You?

Benoy Jacob
TechScan24 July 2012

Tablets are taking over the role of laptops and netbooks as the most flexible mobile computing device till date.

Microsoft came out with the idea of Tablet computers and introduced the Windows Tablet PC in 2000. Though Microsoft failed to carry forward the hype into a commercial success, many companies came up with different variants of Tablet Computers. The most notable among them was Microsoft's born rival Apple. Apple came up with its iPad in 2010, followed by a jam-packed queue outside its istores for prebooking iPad, thus depressing all its rivals. Apple's iPad reversed the concept of Microsoft Tablet PC as a business-purpose mobile computing device to an entertainment-and-media-oriented consumer product. Even though iPad became the bagpiper that attracted a majority of elite class, the gadget hardly attracted the middle class and laymen due to the high price tag. Sensing this trend in the market a hand full of companies gathered to manufacture tablets with reasonable price, so as to attract the more thrifty segment of customers.

Meanwhile, Microsoft plans for a stiff resistance through its first hardware product 'Surface', a Tablet loaded with the upcoming Windows 8 RT operating system.

The tablet wave took some time to reach India. This is expected of a country that lags behind technology as a result of the digital divide. The diffusion of tablet innovation filliped after the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry launched the economical Aakash project in collaboration with Datawind, a British company. This triggered a spark that propelled the leading mobile manufacturers in India to come up with economically priced tablets, with features circumventing some high brand names in tablet industry. MicroMax, Karbonn, HCL, Beetel and Reliance are some familiar Indian brands along with government's Aakash, competing in Tablet industry.

Appearances can be deceptive

Rather than taking for granted the propositions put forward by companies and putting your hands on the Tablet, test-use it to make sure that what you saw was not just a mirage.

In the race against time, tablet manufactures are giving emphasis to design. This is for attracting the not-so-techie section, especially the youth, before they are enlightened. In the recent times, Apple's iPad has become the touchstone for the reviewers who assess the performance of latest tablets. This doesn't mean that iPad is fee of glitches (The recent iPad 4 has come under the scanner for its poor battery performance).

Apps vs Specifications

Tablets are now shifting their focus to built-in apps rather than their technical specifications. With the arrival of Aakash, tablets have moved a step further by spreading its wings to the edutainment sector.

For tablets that run on Android and iOS, apps can be installed over-the-air from their dedicated app stores. Other than this facility the hardware developers are now setting goals to make their products a stand out by pre-loading apps that are exclusive to their brand name.

A hand full of connectivity options, both wireless and wired is inducted into tablets. Bluetooth and WiFi are two common connectivity options available in tablets. In addition to this USB, HDMI and 3G are now becoming popular. The tablet industry is showing a downward trend in price and an upward surge in incorporating maximum available features.

Tablets seem to have a prospective future in India. Multi brand competition is expected to further slash the cost of this gadget. Though tablets are yet to live up to the hype, companies hope that more Smartphone users will shift to Tablets as their media manager.