By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 10:12 am
But what you can do with a screen-only computer gets really limited when you expand the device beyond pocket size. There are two big limitations. First, you need a keyboard for doing real work. At least most people do. Perhaps a generation of kids will grow up that are as speedy on a virtual keyboard as they are on a real one, but until then anyone who does more than write quick e-mails and Twitter messages on a computer will want to take a keyboard with them. And typing on the screen, even if you can do it, is an ergo disaster. Either you have to keep your hands up in the air (if the computer is mounted vertically in front of you) or you have to hunch over your screen to see it. Maybe it’s the national chiropractors association that’s pushing this form factor.
Well said–except that I think it’s possible that the Apple tablet, if it exists, will skirt the issue by focusing on stuff that requires minimal typing. You don’t need a a keyboard to watch movies, listen to music, or play games; you barely need one to read e-books; you can do a lot of stuff on the Web that involves typing only a few words here and there.
One of the reasons I hope Apple does indeed launch a tablet in September is simply so the world can start critiquing the real thing rather than a theoretical Apple tablet–whether the world turns out to love it or hate it…