While Tablet PCs—which includes the Apple iPad, Acer Iconia, Samsung Galaxy Tab, HP TouchPad, Velocity Micro, Blackberry PlayBook, Lenovo ThinkPad X, ViewSonic ViewPad, etc, etc.,—have undoubtedly been a huge success something has happened that was almost totally unexpected. e-Book readers—which includes devices such as the Amazon Kindle Reader and the Barnes & Noble Nook—are outselling Tablet PCs by almost 3:2 and the gap is widening.
According to the Pew Research Centre (‘Center’ for my American readers) 12 percent of U.S. adults own one of the various e-Book readers compared to 8 percent who own a Tablet PC. The Pew Research article can be found here.
Why is it so? By and large you can do so much more with a Tablet PC, including use it to read e-Books.
It seems there are five threads to the answer:
- e-Book readers are cheaper, much cheaper, than Tablet PCs. The Amazon Kindle is $139 with Wi-Fi only or $189 with Wi-Fi and 3G.
- Most (possibly all) e-Book readers incorporate the ability to browse the Web and browsing the Web is about all that 90 percent of Tablet PCs are used for.
- Due to the screen technology used in most (possibly all) e-Book readers the battery life is weeks rather than days or hours.
- Again, due to the screen technology, when it comes to reading text the screens used in e-Book readers are far superior in contrast and resolution than any current generation Tablet PCs.
- e-Book readers are light. Seriously light. The Amazon Kindle 7” is 8.5 ounces. It weighs less than your average paperback novel. No problems holding this up in bed for hours reading a book.
So why would you pay out three to four time the money for a Tablet PC with a battery life of about a tenth of the average e-Book reader? Well you can play non-Web games on a Tablet PC; oh … e-Readers do that too. Well you can make notes and calendar appointments on a Tablet PC; hmm … seems e-Readers can do that too.
Seriously but, try using an e-Reader as a Remote Desktop client so you can work on your main office computer using the Tablet PC while laying in bed. But then I could just use my normal notebook for that I suppose.
Anyone want to buy a hardly used Acer Iconia A500 Tablet PC?