Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tablet Computers: An Over-the-shoulder Look

AT&T Eo 440 Personal Communicator (1993)

Link to January 27 Technologizer post, "A Brief History of Unsuccessful Tablet Computers".

Excerpt: “Insanity,” novelist Rita Mae Brown wrote, “is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” By that standard, the long history of tablet computers doesn’t quite count as insanity–manufacturers have tried a variety of form factors and features over the years. But the results are the same, over and over again: failure. It’s the classic example of a gadget that the industry keeps coming back to and reintroducing with all the hype it can muster–and which consumers keep rejecting.

Today, Apple is announcing its first true tablet. It took the company thirty-four years to get around to it, and it’s just about the only outfit in the business that abstained until now. Whether the device looks brilliant or misbegotten, all evidence suggests that there won’t be much that’s repetitious about it. Even so, it’s worth looking back at more than two decades of attempts to get tablets right–none of which really succeeded, and some of which failed on a monumental scale.

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