I am getting every closer to buying a tablet. It is an intersting form factor to me and would work well with such things as travel and media view. For all intensive purposes it would be a less powerful laptop and would only need to exist for certain opportunities. It would be more space saving for traavel but still seems to have a good number of setbacks. Overall the iPad is the most complete device and closest to really be worth buying. Its biggest drawback to me is its lack support for any dependent file-system its use of strictly proprietary plugs. Android tablets seem mostly incomplete for one way or another, most don't feature any true design to them and many of them have the same drawbacks of iOS without any real benefit to me other than it was not an Apple product. So where does this leave me?
I consider most of these tablets simply as media viewers and there lack of being able to plug into am external hard drive is rather obnoxious. The higher end versions all have webcams which enable them to be fancy video chat devices, again though my laptop can do that well if necessary. So what is my driving factor of getting these, the small portability and ease to media. This really makes me interested in the Amazon Fire. Here we have a device that has an access to a great media library which is where the profit for Amazon would come in. As I have digitized most of my media this isn't too interesting to me, instead what is the driving factor is the 199$ price. It can work as a quick and dirty larger screen phone functions when I tether them to the internet through my phone. It has limited space which is annoying, but the cost alone makes it tempting.
It will take a while to see how this market develops. For once in a longtime I am looking forward to the software that Redmond is putting out. Windows 8 if done well could answer most of my complaints about the tablet market. There is also the hope of a non-Android Linux OS entering the fold. Gnome3 as a desktop environment and Ubuntu Unity seem like the most likely candidates at this stage. Both Windows 8 and a full Linux OS should have the power to access external hard drives as well as hopefully have full size usb ports or the like to use as a charging port and data port. Hopefully Google decides to do the same with the AndroidOS as well at some point as apple with iOS. Here is one of the great difficulties between moving from an OS designed strictly for a phone to one meant for a tablet.
Perhaps the holida season will see me coming into the tablet space for the first time. Though it is rapidly expanding similarly to the phone market, it seems like most computing options there will always be newer and better options just around the corner. While the Kindle Fire at such a price would be my first choice, the lack of front facing camera destroys one of the only purposes I would store a tablet for. Until the market develops a little further, I will just need to embrace that I am going to continue to carry a laptop as my mobile device of choice rather than hope for a slimmer more portable option. Also OEMs please consider making a dual screen tablet each with worth while resolutions. Think two 7 inch screens with 1280x800 displays, thin bezels, a way to have the tablet completely fold over to use a single screen device or a dual screen device if folded like a laptop. Over all it is an exciting product space and will be interesting to see what people do as the market continues to grow. Lenovo please do this as a thinkpad tablet line or it would be nice to see Sony do something like that, as they actually have some product design past typical thin slate. I don't know if Lenovo or Sony would consider another OS that was not so established, so I am imagining that the continued growth of Android or that of Windows 8 will be the most likely solution.