Tablet PC and Children
This last weekend I was in California and spent some time with my family. My sister brought up the question about buying a laptop for teens ... my nephew has the opportunity next year to get one as a part of a school program. She asked, and then also mentioned that she has the freedom to choose ... as long as it's an Apple iBook!
I do have to say that I don't have that much issue with an iBook ... it is funny that Apple is the company that finally creates a UNIX laptop with real adoption! The issue that I do have is that I now see some real amazing value with the Tablet PC. This isn't to say that Apple will never create a Tablet PC, however they do not have one yet ...
To show my sister what a Tablet PC is like, I brought out my new HP tc4200 and showed her some of the Tablet PC enabled applications. Of course I showed her GoBinder, and then Ink Art, and the Physics Illustrator. When we called my nieces and nephews into the room to show them the Tablet they immediately thought it was cool ... and of all things they began to play the most with the Physics Illustrator. It was amazing!
The kids jumped up on the stools and started playing on the kitchen counter ... and didn't want to leave! They began to draw and experiment with physics ... and my sister was amazed.
The next day I went to visit my sister at her house, and I figured that I would throw the Tablet PC in the car ... just in case. When we arrived the kids all grabbed my son and went to play. Not too much later by nephew came over and asked "Did you bring your cool computer?" I gave him the computer again and it immediately became the center of attention. Which application? Physics Illustrator. What was amazing to me was that the group of boys *and* girls were creating shapes and objects that I would have never though of. They were using the pins, rods, ropes, and springs in all sorts of combinations.
I think that eventually Apple might understand and embrace the Tablet PC concept - primarily the digitizer and recognizer technologies - and incorporate them into a future iBook. Until then, I have to say that it is a major limitation of the Apple product line ... and is still not well understood even in the PC world.