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Netbooks, iPads and Slate Thingies, sheesh

Is it me, or is anybody else slightly annoyed at the current round of "innovation" for ultraportable computers ?

There was this big hype about iPad, and when it finally came out, it lacked the absolutely critical things I need as a technology professional: 1) Flash support (duh!), 2) A camera for video conferencing, and 3) any way to use external storage, be it USB or SD, or micro SD.

I myself was intrigued by the hype of tablet computing, and tried out the Lenovo S10-3t convertible tablet PC. I found it a little flimsy and clumsy, and my hope was that I could run Mac OSX on it, which failed (note: technically it does run, but none of the good hardware is supported). I was quite disappointed when I found out that Lenovo decided to install Windows 7 Starter edition on their already expensive netbook. Windows 7 has great support for tablet computers, but not in the Starter edition. So, somebody there thought "lets release a cool netbook, but lets distribute a crippled version of the OS, just to annoy people." I can't figure it out.

Now we have the HP slate coming out later this year. At first glance it looks pretty decent, until you realize that it is just a plain netbook with a touchscreen and a resolution less than full 6:9 video. This is HP's chance to make it all right, but they need to take advantage of ALL the technology that is out there. Why aren't manufacturers using nVidia's ION chips ??? why wouldn't you choose to use a standard resolution screen? If HP charged a little more money but got it all right, they would have a lot of happy customers. I wonder if the slate can run OSX... hmmm

Technology has advanced to a point where there are certain things people need. If manufacturers simply ignore the customers need, then once the "hype" is gone, you only have loyalty to fall back on. If you aren't careful with taking care of your people, then you will ultimately lose them. A great example is Palm Computing. I LOVED their treo phones -- the first smartphone I used, and it did everything I needed. Palm got sloppy and stopped fixing bugs, and never innovated enough on the Palm OS, until it was too late. They should have been doing the WebOS and apps thing when Apple was doing it. They waited years, and now there is no market share for them.

Lots of innovation happens in the bits and pieces. I don't understand why somebody can't say, Ok, I'm going to make an ultraportable computer, and actually put in the things people want: video camera, a proper HD screen, and a video chip that will handle HD video, good battery life, and external storage? Seems like HP's slate is closest, but still not there yet.

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