Apple iPad: Savior of the Tablet PC?

tablets-ipad-u1-archos

Now that Apple had laid bare its plans for the ultimate tablet PC, competing offerings from HP, Lenovo, Archos and a host of other PC manufacturers look a little, well, drab. That’s par for the course for an Apple announcement, but one standout product doesn’t have to spell disaster for the rest of the bunch. The iPad could be the best news out there for tablet PCs , putting them collectively in the spotlight that has eluded them for so long.

Apple iPadSpecifically, we could witness the same kind of phenomenon we saw with the iPhone: Apple’s flagship product will inject interest into a whole class of product people previously struggled to understand or had no interest in.

“The iPhone is a real point of reference for people understanding that range of tasks, and abilities you can have with a smartphone,” says Playboy’s Scott Alexander. “The iPad will do the same thing.”

It had better. As Laptop Magazine’s Mark Spoonauer pointed out in the wake of CES 2010, not even the manufacturers of some other tablets are completely sure what they should be used for.

Even in the hands of Apple’s crack marketing team, tablets could be a tough sell. “I don’t necessarily know if the tablet category is going to be a blockbuster category,” says Alexander. “I don’t think it’s as compelling of a product [as the iPhone].”

Of course, the effect works both ways. If Apple’s iPad fails to take off as anticipated, the copycat tablets planted to collect the spillover of attention from it might find themselves starving for sales in a market that failed to materialize.

apple-tvApple TV, after all, didn’t manage to light a fire under anyone to run out and buy a streaming media box. You’ve probably never heard of MovieBeam’s MB2160, RCA’s Akimbo Video On Demand Player, or Buffalo’s LinkTheater PC-P4LWAG – all 2007-era devices that went nowhere just as fast as Apple did.

Will the Apple iPad spark a fury of interest in tablets like the Archos 9 and Lenovo U1 Hybrid? Or will it fizzle on the launchpad? As the wave of post-announcement enthusiasm subsides, we’ll find out for sure in 60 days.

Computing

Nose cam no more. How Dell avoided a notch and fixed the XPS 13’s biggest flaw

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for January 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Mobile

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Computing

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.
Mobile

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.
Mobile

How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

The latest jailbreaking tools for iOS 12 make freeing your iOS device easier than ever. This guide will teach you how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, and explain what jailbreaking will do for you.
Mobile

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Deals

Need a new tablet? The best iPad deals for January 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.