Tablets have always sort of fallen down the wrong end of the slide when it came to consumers mostly due to an unwieldy surface and the fact that it doesn't just work as it should. While the medical industry may have some use for the tablet form factor, the consumer space hasn't been too encouraging. So when Apple finally announced their version of what a tablet should be, you could hear the geeks and nerds rolling their eyes in disappointment.
They didn't just want a larger iPhone - no, they wanted something better. Frankly, I felt much of the same way too. Was this the best that Apple could come out with? Then I looked at the competition. Fusion Garage, having acrimoniously parted ways with TechCrunch, launched the JooJoo (which would have been known as the CrunchPad). With crappy pre-order sales of just 75 units (despite Fusion Garage's statements of "exceeding their expectations" of probably one...), the JooJoo doesn't look to be doing too well either.
Reviews have mentioned the interface as messy despite looking good from afar and we aren't quite surprised given how the whole development process so far has been quite a ride for the company. While the unit does support Flash unlike Apple's iPad, but it's been noted in the same review that playback wasn't anywhere near optimal. It isn't looking good for the JooJoo, but we aren't quite surprised anyhow given how the news about the device has been playing out since the news broke about its troubles.
Now if you want a full fledged computer in a tablet, then HP's Slate may be of interest, but I can see a problem right from the bat. Windows 7, despite its multi-touch capabilities, isn't an OS designed for fingers. If you have had any experience with a Windows 7 tablet machines, you'll soon see what I mean. We'll see how it goes, but I'm expecting to see HP adding a TouchSmart layer for its Slate tablet, but until it's actually released, it's probably not a good idea to prejudge.
Besides the three most in the news tablets, there are other tablets to consider. Notion Ink has something called the Adam that runs on NVIDIA's Tegra 2, a Pixel Qi display (which can function like an E Ink display or a LCD panel) and a custom OS. The tablet looks really good so far, so they may have something worth looking at when it's finally ready. Lastly, there have been hints of a Google OS based tablet, which seems like a pretty viable option, given how finger friendly the Chrome OS looks.
So if you're in the market for a tablet, now's a good time as any to wait and not rush in. Or you could just be impatient and grab both iPad or JooJoo. Now don't mind me while I cut my credit card in two to avoid any impetuous tablet shopping.
Aloysius Low / Former Tech Writer
Tech writer, gadget nerd, cat owner and social media junkie, Aloysius loves exploring the wacky side of tech, while tackling his notebook reviews.