Buying a Tablet PC Now? Maybe You Should Wait a Bit . . .

Recently a few friends and associates have asked me about what tablet PC they should buy.

I am probably not a good person to ask about what tablet PC to buy. There is such a massive range in the use and capabilities of the various tablet PCs available, and I really don’t keep track of tablet PCs that much.

I have an Acer Iconia Android-based tablet PC I bought well over 12 months ago now and I use that for just browsing the Web when sitting in front of the TV; and for this purpose the Iconia works just fine. But there is no way I could key up a blog post on the Iconia and even though I tried out Splashtop to RD (remote desktop) to my main computer the reality is that RDing from a tablet does not really work out that well. If you set it to full screen then, because I have a 24” display on my main computer, Splashtop’s remote view on  the 10” Iconia is too small to read and work with. And if you set it to work with a panning screen that just works out much too annoying to use.

Also steaming video from my home server via the Iconia works but it is fiddly and not straight forward.

I know that the Amazon Fire tablet seems to be a runaway success. According to Amazon they have taken a whopping 22 percent of the market in the USA with the Fire. But then there is the Samsung Galaxy TAB, and you cannot rule out the Apple iPad even thought the technology of the iPad is lagging behind the market leaders a little. But then there are those that swear the Apple iOS interface is still the most user friendly.

But my bottom line advice to anyone thinking about buying a tablet PC at this time would be to wait. Wait about two months. Microsoft and their partners will soon be releasing Windows 8-based tablet PCs and, depending on the price, a Windows 8 tablet PC might be the best all-round useful tablet PC you have ever seen—if they get it right. For the price of a good tablet PC you sort of end up getting an ultra-light notebook and a tablet PC.

Following is Dell’s Windows 8 table PC.

DellWin8TabletPC

This is kind of interesting. The screen can flip around and close down on the keyboard and it becomes a tablet with a touch screen. Or the screen can be flipped up and locked vertical and it becomes an ultra-light notebook.

Samsung have announced two Windows 8 tablets. The ‘basic’ 10.1 Windows 8 tablet PC.

Samsung101Win8

Or their dock-able tablet which does three things. First, with the screen docked, it can close down and work like an ultra-light notebook with the screen opening up normally. Secondly the screen can swivel around and then close down over the keyboard and it is a sort-of tablet. Finally the screen can be de-docked from the keyboard base and just used, very similar to the above, as a normal tablet.

SamsungDockWin8

Or there is Microsoft’s own ‘Surface’ Windows 8 tablet.

MicrosoftWin8Surface

With the Microsoft Windows 8 Surface tablet the keyboard undocks and then the screen becomes the tablet. Dock it back into the keyboard and you have an ultra-light notebook again and as the keyboard contains a second battery you get additional battery life for the tablet.

The beauty of all the Windows 8 devices is that you really could use them as useful computers to key up blogs, easily and simply connect to your network to watch videos, etc., because it is just another Windows computer. And if you get the Intel version of the tablet you can even use all your favourite regular Windows applications such as Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Corel Draw, etc.

On top of all this, because they are Windows, then using Windows remote desktop to access my main computer while sitting in the lounge watching TV or lying in bed becomes very easy. You just fire up Remote Desktop and connect through. Simple. Nothing to buy. Nothing to install. Just works.

Me . . . I am not going to update either my Toshiba A10 notebook or my Acer Iconia tablet until the Windows 8 tablets start to become available and I can compare the prices.

BarryMark