The Rapid Rate of Tablet Obsolescence

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Promising New Tablets

New tablets that are looking to compete with the iPad.

As much as most people are enamored with tablet PCs these days, it doesn't take more than a few minutes of using one to realize how big that gap between a tablet PC and conventional PC really is.

Obviously, millions of people are willing to make this compromise in the name of convenience. After all, the tablet does provide a much more facile way of consuming content.

However, most of the applications that run on most of these devices were initially designed for smartphones, which gives them a certain two-dimensional feel that is roughly equivalent to playing "Pac-Man" in the 1980s. In addition, creating content using these applications on a tablet is a less-than-ideal experience, which generally means that road warriors frequently wind up carrying a tablet and some form of a notebook PC alongside their smartphone. When you think about those kinds of mobile computing usage scenarios, it's kind of ridiculous.

The good news is that a new generation of processors from companies such as Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) should go a long way to reducing this silliness. AMD, for example, updated this week its C- and E-Series of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) for ultra-thin and value notebooks, netbooks, all-in-ones and desktop PCs.

According to Raymond Dumbeck, senior product marketing manager at AMD, the use of these processors in next-generation tablets will not only create a more fluid application experience that makes it possible to deliver rich graphics to the tablet, these devices will be able to easily support standard Windows applications such as Microsoft Office.

What all this means is that as far as tablet computing goes, we're still in the early days of the technology. Within the year we'll see a much more robust set of tablets, not to mention ultra-thin PCs, which will put to shame the class of devices that are all the rage today. That doesn't mean that your organization shouldn't invest in tablets today, but you might want to keep a close eye on how quickly the technology in this category is evolving, because more than likely that tablet PC that you bought in 2011 is going to seem pretty lame by this time next year.

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