It’s easy to dismiss tablets. This isn’t our first rodeo. We’ve seen companies try this concept before, and it inevitably fades away.
Of course, that was before the Apple iPad. I’m not sure what officially qualifies something as a “fad”, but the iPad is in it’s fourth–going on fifth–iteration, and Apple has sold about 100 million of them so far. And, just in case that alone does not place the tablet outside of the realm of “fad”, just about every other vendor has introduced its own variation on the theme, so there are now hundreds of millions of devices out there being used every day.
To this day, though, there are still those who stubbornly insist that tablets are “toys” designed strictly for “media consumption”, and that they can’t be used for any real work. Well, first I would say that Windows 8 Pro tablets break that mold and redefine what it means to be a PC and/or a tablet. It’s one thing to argue that an iPad isn’t a PC, or that a Linux laptop doesn’t offer the same mobile versatility as an Amazon Kindle Fire, but a Windows 8 Pro tablet is literally a Windows PC that happens to be in tablet form. When docked at your desk it works and acts just like any other Windows desktop or laptop PC, but you can also just grab the tablet and take it to a meeting, or read a book on the Kindle app.
Even without Windows 8 Pro tablets, though, the assertion that tablets can’t be productivity tools still lacks merit. This ZDNet article by Steve Ranger lists out seven reasons that tablets matter for businesses. I predict that by 2015 we will realize that a tablet is just a different form of “personal computer” and stop talking about the PC market and tablet market as separate entities.