back to article America, China go ape for tablets

Count tablets as personal computers and already fondleslabs account for almost a fifth of the world PC market. North Americans have embraced tablet technology to their collective bosom, notes market watcher Canalys. In the US and Canada, tablets accounted for 36 per cent of PC shipments during the first three months of 2012. …


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  1. Richard Jones 1

    Over Priced Under Featured For Europe?

    I am sure that the economic situation of many punters will hold them back from early purchase. That and the paucity of functions for which a tablet is the ideal or sole solution. There may well be a further issues with a constant stream of new products being scheduled and existing ones being subject to the litigation. Perhaps many marginal purchasers are sitting on their hands to see what happens? After all who wants to scrape together just enough to buy what will be an old hat product as early as next month or quarter?

  2. Frosty840

    More like we've all been burned before...

    I don't even get excited over the "next big thing" anymore, because I know it'll depend on a service which doesn't exist outside of the US, or is in copyright limbo outside of the US, or which the pan-European language -splosion makes uneconomical to develop.

    Whatever the next big thing is, I already know we're not getting a copy.

  3. Thecowking

    I still don't know

    Exactly what it is that tablets are good for. I've had to use a few at work, because we support them, but they're just a bad compromise between phones and laptops as far as I can tell.

    I personally find them uncomfortable to use, badly limited and generally just an annoyance.

    I actually really want to want them. They're shiny and cool, but... when I have one in my hands, all I want to do is get back to my keyboard and mouse.

    I assume I'm holding them all wrong because it either hurts my neck or my shoulders to use them. I also can't work out what I could do on one.

    This is an honest question, because I would LOVE to have a reason to pick up that 13" Toshiba tablet, which looks all types of awesome. What is a tablet good for and how do you use it so it doesn't hurt?

    That wandered off the point somewhat, but that's essentially why I've not got a tablet yet.

    1. Captain Hogwash

      Re: I still don't know

      I didn't know either until my Sonos controller started developing dead spots. Now I see an android tablet as a serviceable replacement which can also RDP into a media centre PC to cue up ad-supported Spotify (or other services not available directly via Sonos) from whichever room I am in without the need to switch on the TV. The problem now is choosing one good enough for the job without going over the top.

      1. Thecowking

        Re: I still don't know

        Hmm, I'd probably just use my phone for that, (well I have Spotify premium).

        At work so far the results have been "as a remote control" and "to read comics on."

        Honestly, the comic book argument is the one I've found most compelling so far. I just need to work out how to hold one for more than 30 minutes without it hurting.

        1. Captain Hogwash

          Re: I'd probably just use my phone

          The PC is plugged into the line-in on one of the Sonos players. This means that I can distribute it to any or all players in the house. The tablet would allow cueing/control from wherever I am. Using a phone as a Sonos controller works well enough and would be OK if you have Spotify premium. But it wouldn't allow you to get at other things on the net and distribute them across the whole system so easily. Sure, a phone could also be used as an RDP client but really it's too small to be comfortably usable. A tablet, say about 7 inches, would make quite a good dedicated multi device controller.

    2. Frumious Bandersnatch

      Re: I still don't know

      > what [...] tablets are good for

      I dunno. You could tape it to the underside of a glass table, attach a couple of joysticks and buttons and use it as a retro gaming station. Provided it's got USB connections and whatnot.

      TBH, I don't really have a clue either.

    3. asdf

      Re: I still don't know

      Euros do tend to not like tablets probably because couch computing is less important than pub computing across the pond. I personally love using my tablet in bathroom (tub, etc) and on couch as I get instant on, no fuss, no fan blowing hot air computing for looking up random crap on the internet and to browse the news feeds. You can set the thing down for days instead of hours and not worry about the battery being dead unlike most netbooks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Re: I still don't know" - I know

        I take it that "asdf" is US based, ignorant about prices in Europe, and UK IPTV.

        The main initial reason that tablet sales are lower in the UK, compared to the USA, is because of the rip-off prices that the big brand names charge - currently of the order of 60% more than the US price. There is no justification. The tablets are manufactured in the Far East, and key components such as the ARM CPU and MALI GPU are actually UK IP.

        Subsidiary to that, there are good reasons to have waited for Android-4 to be released, that would make the multi-core Android tablets significantly better. A $100 tablet with Android-4 and an ARM Cortex A8 1.2GHz CPU, plus dual-MALI GPU, overall performs better than all iPads except the latest one, and is also a match for the Samsung and Motorola Tegra-2 tablets.

        Sold under various names, these are not over-priced by all retailers. For example, the Kindle Fire is even a very poor buy for the US customer, compared to the $100 tablet above.

        I get instant-on, no fan blowing, on my netbook - it's a Dell 910 with SSD. It does everything an iOS or Android tablet can do, and very much more as well, except I use a mouse with my arm resting on the arm of the chair instead of having to move over the touch screen. No strain at all. Where others complain about using a larger tablet by saying there is strain over long use.

        What makes a netbook better than a tablet for the UK user is the fact that it has its own keyboard and stands without additional equipment or holding. So it can sit on the arm of my chair without having to hold it., often using it as if a portable TV, that can easily moved around the house.

        In the UK the BBC iPlayer is excellent for on demand TV, archived and live streams. Other IPTV is available, not quite as good as the BBC.

        Almost all netbooks probably use intelligent Li-ION battery management, exactly the same as tablets. So the following is a fatuous generalisation: "You can set the thing down for days instead of hours and not worry about the battery being dead unlike most netbooks." When a Li-ION battery goes dead it usually cannot be recharged, the battery management system prevents it, and it doesn't matter if it is in a tablet or netbook.

        Uses for a tablet - they seem to be useful for media presenters - quick access to lots of notes.

        Younger kids love them of course, as a new kind of games device for TempeRun etc ,probably until they grow bored.

        Teenagers prefer their laptops, proper keyboards for the IM/social networks, games music and school course work that you simply cannot directly do on a tablet.

        The only tablet usage reason I can identify is as a third-screen device - left on monitoring Twitter when I'm using a netbook/laptop/desktop. I don't Tweet, but follow many people who use Twitter to send URLs to articles and video of interest. I used to do this with an additional screen set-up on the netbook - not entirely satisfactory given the crippling of netbook specifications to satisfy Microsoft.

        1. asdf

          Re: "I still don't know" - I know

          And again Euros whine how much better net books are. Everyone doesn't agree or the net book market wouldn't be collapsing while the tablet market is exploding or I guess you think everyone else are idiots. Still I take your point on the currency conversion scam.

  4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Getting the numbers right

    Europe has more than double the population of the US

    I think that comes as quite a shock to statisticians around the globe. 150 %, if you use EFTA + the Balkans as a base, maybe but certainly not at purchasing power parity.

  5. sandman

    Post, Post Industrial

    Perhaps the European population in general is the first society (barring certain demographics) to just go "meh" to new stuff. Perhaps they're cynical enough to run a cost benefit analysis on items like tablets. Obviously being broke really helps this process, but even among a lot of prosperous people I've started noticing a distinct reluctance to buy stuff just because it's "new". There's a lot of folk out there who won't replace a perfectly good CRT TV until it finally dies, who's iPhones are out of contract and who's cars are many years old. Of course, if we all did that the Capitalist system would collapse, but hey, whatever...

  6. the J to the C

    it's a toy silly

    Having regrettably purchased a ipad that got handed to my 3 year old in swift order, I am somewhat surprised on the rise of tables as a whole. The lack of flash for one just makes the internet, well dull and inaccessible. I can't book flights on it, play facebook games or watch all the content on the BBC. I cant use it to write without an internet connection nor can I use one of my banks website. in fact I can only do what Apple says I can. what was described as a magical device for the internet can only be considered a joke. HTML5 will fix it all, well thats nice, one day, but HTML 5 is not every where yet. hey i can use it to play angry birds on, which i can also do on many other devices. My netbook came back out or retirement and it is a lot better than a ipad.

    my son however does love it, he even uses it to write his name

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: it's a toy silly

      Not putting Flash into iOS on an iPad is an Apple commercial decision, that they may come to regret. It makes it an Apple toy, with limited uses. The same does not apply to an Android tablet.

      Flash works on Android devices (at required specifications) and is the core of BBC IPTV, and Flash along with many other things work without problem on a netbook.

  7. Silverburn

    Note to self:

    Must use the word "Impecunious" more in conversation.

    That'll make me sound more interesting...right?


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