Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Alternative Tablets: The Next Big Thing Or Dead On Arrival?
It's hard out there for a tablet. Not just because consumers aren't quite sure they want to buy in just yet, but because the shelves are so crowded that it's difficult to stand out. At CES this year, having an Android tablet seemed to be a prerequisite to reserving booth space; few major companies didn't announce some sort of plans. I suppose they all thought they were all getting in on a gold rush of sorts. But the sameness of the various offerings has caused many a consumer's eyes to glaze over in the aisles of Best Buy. It's no wonder they end up going with an iPad when the other options try so pathetically to get consumers to care about trivial differences in hardware, and make vague promises of improvements coming down the line, over which they have no real control. At the same time, a few companies have been bold enough to depart from the pattern enough that you can distinguish their product without squinting. But are these non-traditional designs going to galvanize an indifferent market or are they too much, too early?