In just a few years, smartphones have evolved into miniature computers, laptops are now as thin as a manila envelopes, and we are able to stay connected to the Internet in more and more places. Instead of carrying a notepad of paper and a pen, it’s becoming more common to see professionals sitting with tablet PCs in meetings. Students in university are taking them to class. Grandparents are using them to Skype or FaceTime their grandchildren. And by taking advantage of the built-in, Bluetooth technology on many of these devices, individuals with little technical knowledge can easily use tools like keyboard, headsets and microphones.
The market for tablets is growing at an astounding rate and researchers have estimated the market to grow to almost 400 million units by 2016. While there are many different manufacturers of tablets, the main differentiation seems to be between the decision of Apple or Android. Apple dominates the market, but with the increase in different manufacturers producing Android devices and with their significantly lower price tag, many consumers are giving tablets like the Samsung Galaxy or Google Nexus 7 a try.
Being its first week on the market, Google’s Nexus 7 tablet with their latest operating system dubbed “Jelly-Bean” has been quickly gaining support in tech-circles, but there are still some improvements to be made. It boasts a quad-core processor and a high-resolution 7-inch display. Critics loved its portability, value and battery life, but they had qualms with its bland design, lack of extendable storage beyond the packaged 8 or 16GB, and no way to view content on a larger screen, according to Forbes.
Also this week, Indian company Karbonn Mobiles announced to ship its new Smart Tab 1 with Google’s new operating system for $125. With seven hours of battery life to surf the net, and eight hours exclusively watching video, it’s apparent that these devices have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time.
Windows is yet to enter the tablet market, but has released the date of October 26 for their Surface, and Surface pro models that will be running Windows 8.
Many manufacturers are producing models with detachable or flip-screens, so expect to see much more of this in the next year. With consumers adopting tablet PCs at an enormous rate, and as the line between smartphones, laptops and tablets becomes increasingly blurred, we can be sure that there’ll only be more of these devices in the near future.
Prices for tablet devices continue to fall, and debates roar on about whether the industry’s race to the bottom will negatively impact the overall quality of tablet computers. Regardless, the growth and affordability of technology allow people across the country to harness the power of the Internet in more places, classrooms, homes and businesses.