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shadowcat80
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

It really depends on what the individual wants.  I don't want a glorified large iphone which in effect ipads are.  i wanted an e-reader with more my first nook gave me so i upgraded to a nook color and couldn't be more happy

Help me down the crooked road. Lead me to the light. I'm not sure I know the way but with you beside me, I'm certain we'll make it through.
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yocalif
Posts: 817
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

Source: When it comes to the tablet market, Barnes & Noble ranked fifth behind Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and Lenovo, according to IDC. Still looming on the horizon is Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet, widely expected to ship in the fourth quarter.  May 2012

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Whatever reason that drives sales for Nook Tablet, when I go to the BN app store and I can't find an app to watch or stream NBC olympics, or comcast, which I can do with my Android phone, that is a problem.  So even though I only have a Nook Color, and now that NT 16g is only $199, I have to make a decision do I buy an NT or Nexus 7?  BTW the 1st released version of Nexus 7 has plenty of problems don't believe all the glowing reviews.

 

Go ahead defend B&N's proprietary android OS, there are definitely good reasons for it, but in the end B&N has to maintain product sales, price is starting to make any kind of differentiation a non issue.  Thus where does B&N go?

flyingtoastr
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

[ Edited ]

The actual sales numbers released by Samsung as part of their ongoing patent trial with Apple revealed that their tablet sales were actually terrible and (surprise surprise) IDC has no idea what they are talking about.

 

Incidentally, I streamed the Olympics perfectly adequately on my NOOK by simply using the web browser. Its amazing how the introduction of the iphone made everyone forget that the internet existed and that you NEED an app for everything.

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patgolfneb
Posts: 1,762
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

I have to second toaster on one point. It amazes me how many apps, especially the free ones, are little more than bookmarks. If they are such a big deal how come we don't see a demand for them on our pc's and laptops?
Mark_OB1
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

 

5ivedom commented:

 

> The main stream tech media has a lot of preconceived notions about what companies are cool etc.

 

In their minds B&N shouldn't really be making a tablet. They constantly forget that Nook Color was the FIRST low-priced tablet to do well. They keep attributing it to Kindle Fire and some recent ones to Galaxy Nexus 7. <

 

Yes!  I've been noticing that, and it's really pi... (ahem) been annoying me.  :smileyhappy:  The writers (or more accurately, bloggers) are a bunch of lame-brain knuckle-heads with no memory past last week.  If they mention the Nooks at all, it's well after they pay homage to the Kindle Fire.  Sheesh.

 

I initially corrected a couple of them, but keeping up with their shortsightedness would be a full-time job (that no one is paying me to do).

 

- Mark

 

flyingtoastr
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

I always laugh when people get bent out of shape over the lack of the "official" Facebook app, given that the "official" Facebook app is almost entirely just the same HTML5 code as touch.facebook.com with a pretty icon to put on your homescreen.

 

Apps for websites, while nice when you're using a 3.5 inch iPhone, aren't quite that necessary on a screen more than double the size.

Mark_OB1
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

[ Edited ]

 

flyingtoastr wrote:

 

> I think you're waymisunderstanding the market that BN is going for.

 

Media tablets are generally used overwhelmingly for only three things. Reading, playing mobile games, and light web browsing. The reason I always /rolleyes whenever people start going on their "don't call it a tablet" spheals is that a NOOK does all three of those functions. The stock browser is no worse than any stock Android experience at 2.3 (which is to say it is a piece of crap, but there are other options so it isn't as big of an issue), and there are plenty of apps available, even if >random app with 3 downloads on the Play Store< isn't available. And reading BN has had covered for a while.

 

More importantly, the type of people who buy NOOKs (in my experience) tend to be ok with it. They are, after all, going to a bookstore to buy a tablet. As long as BN keeps pushing for that demographic (yes, the "Julie" thing, after all, middle aged women do consume the vast plurality of literature in the US) they will do fine.

 

So, my real point is: these forums don't represent the 99% of NOOK owners out there. <

 

 

Thanks!  I suspect your analysis is correct.  You certainly see enough buyers (and shoppers) on a regular basis that you should have a pretty good idea.  :smileyhappy:

 

However, that begs the question of whether or not that is the only market that B&N could, or should be going for?  If they didn't have such tunnel-vision, might they not be selling 2x or even 3x as many tablets, and in the process, significantly more content?

 

And again:

 

> So, my real point is: these forums don't represent the 99% of NOOK owners out there. <

 

Ouch!  If that is actually true, that implies these B&N Forums only represent 1% of their real users.  :smileysurprised:  Which means either that they could:  a) shut them down entirely, since it would have such a small impact on their "Nook owners"; or b) listen to them, and make changes that would be well-received, thus expanding their customer base substantially.

 

- Mark


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bobstro
Posts: 3,940
Registered: ‎01-01-2012

Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

[ Edited ]

flyingtoastr wrote:

But there are plenty of people using "real" Android tablets out there who also root them and install alternate firmware (look at the whole fiasco with the Transformer Prime's locked bootloader early this year).


Do you mean the one Asus released an unlock for -- unlike B&N? So when people write here about rooting, they represent less than 1% of the NOOK user community, but the same doesn't apply for other devices? How are you measuring user populations?


And the "pure" Android devices tend not to sell particularly well to boot - Samsung only sold about half a million Nexus S phones over the entire life of the device.


71,000 per quarter (The Nexus S was released in December 2010) is hardly nothing? What do you see as "hard" sales numbers for the B&N NOOK Tablet? Add to it that the Nexus S is hardly Samsung's only Android device, and their "pure" device sales multiply. They also sell tablets in the 7.7, 8 and 10 inch form factors, not to mention the smaller media players. How are you measuring "success"?


The simple fact it, outside of the techy community, "stock" Android just isn't a huge draw at this point. Likewise, hacking devices that you pay hundreds of dollars for isn't something that most people will bother with.


If the device is open enough, there's little need to root. I've yet to root my Galaxy Tab 7.0. Rooting or loading alternate firmware is mostly a reaction to locked-up, bloated "customizations" imposed by carriers that result in lousy performance, or locked-in app selection trying to force us into paying for features that Android provides for free (e.g. navigation, caller ID).


I own both a "stock" Android device (HTC One X) and a "crippled" NOOK Tablet, and, because I use them for drastically different purposes, I don't mind that one has a more limited app ecosystem than the other.


Since you've got access to more apps on the HTC, that makes sense for you. It doesn't help those that don't want to carry two devices to do what one can do just as well. It's nice that you can carry a $630 phone to run the apps that you can't run on your $250 (now $200) tablet, but would that make sense if you didn't want a smartphone, or a 2 year data plan? Not everybody does. What apps do you run on that HTC? What if HTC were to decide you shouldn't?

 

The simple fact is that the 7 inch form factor makes a lot more sense than a 4 inch phone screen for many tasks. Many of us would like to be able to do those tasks without carrying two devices, especially when the cheaper one is fully capable of doing them, but only artificially limited by the manufacturer.


I suspect a lot of people (at the very least a lot of the people I sell/fix NOOKs to/for) are in the same boat - it's a device that does what it is advertised to do. The only people who ever seem up-in-arms about bootloaders are the people who want warranty coverage on devices they're mucking around with.


If you're going to take the position that the number of users concerned about rooting here in these forums represent a small minority of the NOOK user population, you need to quit trying to make the point that the even smaller number of people who break their devices and whine represent the entire rooting community. 

 

Again, I stress that wider access to app selection diminishes the need to root. The only reason I rooted my NOOK Tablet was to run a few additional apps B&N didn't provide, and never will. I would have been happy enough to pay a few bucks for the B&N apps alternatives where they existed, since I'm one of those customers that buys the ad-free versions of anything I use. B&N insisted that I do without those other apps, and I'm not willing to do that.

 

My point in the post that you gave your /rollseyes response to is that most of the product reviews for the category of "media tablet" that B&N is saying the NOOK Tablet fits put a lot of emphasis on app selection. 

 

B&N's selection is improving, slowly. Many of my "must have" apps are available now. It is just frustrating not having access to those that remain without having to bypass B&N's controls.

flyingtoastr
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

Hm. It's a tough question to answer, especially given how continually strapped for personel BN's PA office seems to be.  

 

There's a point where you have to cut it off. It simply wouldn't make business sense for BN to develop a "stock" Android tablet - the margins are lower, the competition is higher, and they're going to be getting much less in the way of content sales. It is simply a bad idea, but there are still people on here every day complaining that a NOOK is "worthless without stock Android!". That community is lost, and BN really shouldn't give them any heed.

 

The customers who want a NOOK but want more (perhaps they just like the physical device itself, or are fanboys of BN, or actually like the NOOK skin but want access to more apps) are potentially decent sources of revenue, though I would still hesitate to call them a priority in strict business decisions. If the devices are net margin positive then they can provide some revenue, though not as much as a "stock" NOOKer.

 

I really think BN management mishandled the bootloader incident last year. I understand completely and somewhat emphesize with their position (nothing annoyed me more than someone bringing in a "broken" NOOK Color that they had rooted and then getting angry at me because I refused to replace it). However, had I been in a decision making position, I would have also launched a bootloader unlocking program (in the same vein as HTC or Asus) that gave users the option to unlock their device and reenable access to developer options, in exchange for official voiding of the warranty for the device. The best part is, BN has a ready-built system for this with their store network: give the booksellers a tool to unlock the bootloader, just like repartitioning and manual updating. That way, so long as they invest the five minutes to properly train employees (lol...), the customer knows they're losing any support coverage, but has the option to safely and easily "gain control" over their devices. If I had been William Lynch last November, I would have made a nice blog post (I'd also have a development blog) explaining that the bootloader on the NT was locked for security purposes and at the request of some third parties, announce the upcoming "NOOK unlock" program at all 691 Barnes & Noble retail stores beginning early the next year, and encouraging any further feedback.

 

But I'm just a peon. :smileyhappy:

 

And more importantly, BN doesn't have many resources at their disposal.

 

The thing that so many posters forget is that the NOOK divison of BN is small. REALLY small. According to my last stockholder packet, the entire NOOK divison is barely than 500 people total. Once you remove the directors, artists, HR people, and accessory team, I'd be surprised if BN employed more than 150 actual programmers. And not even all of those programmers would be working on NOOK devices - I'm willing to bet they have different teams for the LCD and eInk devices (which are programmed in roughly the same language), as well as iOS, HTML, PHP, etc.

 

Contrast that to Google, who employs more than 30000 programmers (again, not all focued on Android, but a much larger number) and you can see why BN has to be more selective with the tasks it can accomplish. Should they try to make people on the fence, who are legitimately a minority, happy with their development time? Or should they use it to bring more features to the customers who already buy into the system? It's a tough one to answer.

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bobstro
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

[ Edited ]

flyingtoastr wrote:

[...] had I been in a decision making position, I would have also launched a bootloader unlocking program (in the same vein as HTC or Asus) that gave users the option to unlock their device and reenable access to developer options, in exchange for official voiding of the warranty for the device. The best part is, BN has a ready-built system for this with their store network: give the booksellers a tool to unlock the bootloader, just like repartitioning and manual updating. That way, so long as they invest the five minutes to properly train employees (lol...), the customer knows they're losing any support coverage, but has the option to safely and easily "gain control" over their devices. 


I hadn't even considered B&N's brick-and-mortar advantage. "We'll unlock your device for you, but will register you as out of warranty." I would be good with that. It's a very fair solution.

 

I am actually a B&N fanboy, though a much muted one. If the new NOOK family comes out and I can run the apps on it that I want, I'll still consider it. I'll still buy a NSTG if the screen issues settle down, even though they seem to have locked me out of my Discover and Popular Science subscriptions on it!

 

B&N's hardware is phenomenal. Assuming that their hardware teams are as constrained as their software teams compared to the "big boys", they're amazing. I'm very interested in their next generation of devices. I do wish B&N would be as innovative and solid on the software side, and quit doing things to annoy their fans (customers).

 

So far as discerning what sales numbers mean versus real-world users, I think Chitika's comparisons using web traffic analysis are interesting. True, they won't catch alternate browsers and a host of other variations, but at least you can compare numbers of people using the stock browser on each platform. Notice the note at the bottom indicating B&N is ranked 3rd amongst non-iPad devices in terms of Internet usage now. Not a bad ranking for the little guy.

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NookGardener
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?


flyingtoastr wrote:

TnTexas wrote:

 

Don't misunderstand; I'm not saying that the Color and the Tablet aren't decent products. They are. But I do believe their appeal is limited when compared to that of the competition (the Fire, the Nexus 7, and Samsung's 7" model which is now priced competitively) and, barring any major changes on B&N's part, will only continue to shrink as the competition heats up.



I think you're way misunderstanding the market that BN is going for.

 

Media tablets are generally used overwhelmingly for only three things. Reading, playing mobile games, and light web browsing. The reason I always /rolleyes whenever people start going on their "don't call it a tablet" spheals is that a NOOK does all three of those functions. The stock browser is no worse than any stock Android experience at 2.3 (which is to say it is a piece of crap, but there are other options so it isn't as big of an issue), and there are plenty of apps available, even if >random app with 3 downloads on the Play Store< isn't available. And reading BN has had covered for a while.

 

More importantly, the type of people who buy NOOKs (in my experience) tend to be ok with it. They are, after all, going to a bookstore to buy a tablet. As long as BN keeps pushing for that demographic (yes, the "Julie" thing, after all, middle aged women do consume the vast plurality of literature in the US) they will do fine.

 

So, my real point is: these forums don't represent the 99% of NOOK owners out there.


FT, reading features on the NC were very good when it first came out.  But there are other reading apps on the Android market that are doing a better job right now.  B&N isn't keeping up in this area.  (That's not to say that they are the worst, just no longer the best.) 

 

Even JULIE might want to mark up a book now and then, and be able to find her comments.  I know she's only supposed to read best sellers but maybe she buys a cookbook.  And marks a recipe with the comment "Kid's liked. Quick and easy." Something like that.  But low and behold, you can't find your comments unless you actually flip through EVERY SINGLE PAGE!!!  It's been driving me nuts for 9 months now.  Don't get me wrong, I actually like the devices (so much so, I even went out and bought and NST just to read fiction on two months ago.)  But they need to focus on some of the "reading functions" for the "reader's tablet."  And maybe acknowledge that non-fiction readers have some reading needs too.

flyingtoastr
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?


NookGardener wrote:

Even JULIE might want to mark up a book now and then, and be able to find her comments.  I know she's only supposed to read best sellers but maybe she buys a cookbook.  And marks a recipe with the comment "Kid's liked. Quick and easy." Something like that.  But low and behold, you can't find your comments unless you actually flip through EVERY SINGLE PAGE!!!  It's been driving me nuts for 9 months now.  Don't get me wrong, I actually like the devices (so much so, I even went out and bought and NST just to read fiction on two months ago.)  But they need to focus on some of the "reading functions" for the "reader's tablet."  And maybe acknowledge that non-fiction readers have some reading needs too.


Huh? Just open the "Content" pannel and click "Notes and Highlights". Brings them all up in a big list.

 

Unless you're talking about the app, which I frankly have no experience using.

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NookGardener
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Registered: ‎05-21-2011

Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

Talking about the NT.  Yes, it brings up your HIGHLIGHTS in a list.  But it doesn't identify where you have put a NOTE.  To find a NOTE, you actually have to scroll through the pages and find your little "post it note" .  Prior to 1.3 or 1.4 (I get confused on when the change occurred) you could go to NOTES & HIGHLIGHTS and see your note right under the highlight.  It was pretty nice.  Functional.  Good reading centric ability.  I'm running 1.4.3.

 

If I'm missing some other way to find them, I would really like to be corrected!  Any help is appreciated on matter. Thanks,

flyingtoastr
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

Ah, understood. Just looked at that. I remember seeing notes before as well (shows how long it's been since I used that feature).

 

I'll pass it up the food chain.

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NookGardener
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

Bummer. Was actually hoping I was wrong.  But anything you can do would help. (Just really nice for non-fiction material.) Thanks

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Omnigeek
Posts: 900
Registered: ‎01-25-2011

Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

I still get a huge chuckle looking at the same names trying to continue saying the Nook isn't a tablet, it's a POS compared to _____________, etc.  The same names that want to continue to ding the NT for subpar apps which were really just quick adaptations of the very same subpar apps from stock Android 2.3 (I'm comparing directly to the Google-provided apps on Google's own Nexus 1 -- absolutely straight pure Google Android 2.3).

 

I bought the Nook Tablet because I hate the design of the Kindle.  I wanted something I could read on, check quick e-mails, do simple browsing, show vacation pics on, etc.  Anything I need more convenience with (e.g., GPS location, Wifi analysis, Urbanspoon, etc.), I use my Android phone for.  I use my MacBook Pro when I want more capabilities/applications, want to view videos, do complex browsing or do full scale e-mails.  GPS is a huge battery drain -- I don't want it on my tablet -- and I'm pramateur photographer so I'd much rather use my DSLR or Canon/Nikon point-and-shoots than a subpar camera on my cellphone, iPod or tablet.

 

The NT gives me nearly the same convenience I got from my Handspring Visor 10 years ago or my Palm TX2 6 years ago but I've got a much much better display, greater battery life and vastly improved storage.  Evernotes gives me much tighter information integration with my desktops and laptops than PalmSync did and I can use DropBox if I need to sync files.

 

As FT says, I think a lot of the more vocal people on this forum -- as well as tech writers -- overestimate what a majority of people want from their devices.  I'll go further to say a lot of people underestimate the value of specialization (which is why Samsung's "phablet" did so spectacularly ::rolleyes::smileyhappy:.

 

I think FT is spot-on WRT the bootloader and B&N's brick-and-mortar advantage.  BTW, that brick-and-mortar advantage is one thing that Apple has learned from (and M$ is trying to learn from).  Being able to stop by any Apple store to quickly get a diagnosis and fix (often for free) for my MacBook Pro, iPod or other device is a huge benefit over Windoze boxes and one of the reasons I pushed my mother back over to Macs when M$ rolled Vista out (she didn't need much pushing either, she hated the Vista PC we bought her).  She loves the fact that she can just drop by the Apple store to ask any question she wants about her Mac or iPad.  I can sometimes do the same with the local B&N when having an issue with one of my Nooks but they don't have quite the same level of staffing.

Currently reading: Destiny of the Republic, Angel Fire East, Batman Year One, Appleseed
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BruceMcF
Posts: 802
Registered: ‎11-24-2011

Re: Why Buy a Tablet?


Omnigeek wrote:

... As FT says, I think a lot of the more vocal people on this forum -- as well as tech writers -- overestimate what a majority of people want from their devices.  I'll go further to say a lot of people underestimate the value of specialization (which is why Samsung's "phablet" did so "spectacularly".


The Tablet just got a Crackle app, which AFAICT doesn't work on the Color, and still doesn't have a Crunchyroll app or a Funimation app ... and it ought to do, because the main streaming anime sites make a good complement to B&N's substantial advantage over Amazon in terms of the readability of their digital manga.

 

However, its not a massive deal breaker, since while the 16:9 7" form factor is nice for watching streaming anime, a TV is even nicer, so a number of the people in that target market would have a Roku or other internet streaming TV setup and Crackle and Crunchyroll available on their TV.

 

Doing digital manga better than Amazon and the standard ePub readers plus supporting Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Crunchyroll and Funimation would be the best spot to be in for that market niche. However, in terms of priorities, doing digital manga better than Amazon and the standard ePub readers is a bigger advantage in that market niche than doing digital manga as well and also having all five of the biggest sources of streaming anime.

 

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BruceMcF
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?


patgolfneb wrote:

BruceMcF wrote:

Despite B&N's protestations, they haven't yet delivered on an ecosystem for a "media tablet". That is the other part of the CNET rumor from July, over and above the purported 'slick new propritary display technology': "the Nook Store would also be expanded with additional media options, including some not seen before on a tablet".

 


I am mystified by individuals willingness to assume that their priority, often apps, but other features are often cited as well define what is a tablet or even a viable product.


I'm a bit mystified what this collection of words actually says. If I am making an assumption, its that B&N's marketing activity reflects their view of what market segments they are targeting. In other words, I am assuming that they are not just marketing at random. They targeted the streaming media via Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora as part of their Tablet marketing roll-out. That indicates to me that they see that kind of media streaming as a part of the market segment they are targeting. And they flagged in their press releases that they would be working on some form of media download options ~ which would make sense of their initial flash partitioning, but which was something that never actually appeared.

 

Now, admittedly, the notion that they are going to finally be rolling that out in some form is a single rumor (all the additional reporting I have seen of it is sourced back to the single CNet article), but its also entirely consistent with B&N's original marketing of the Tablet.


Choice means that hopefully different makers deliver products for their niche. Based on sales so far BN appears to have a decent start.

My point is that part of their original marketing vision was never delivered. Its possible that in response to whatever obstacles they encountered, they have trimmed their sail to fit their cloth and have downgraded that part of the vision. However, its also possible that in response to whatever obstacles they encountered, they explored different ways of delivering it, and the result of that exploration is what the rumor from CNet refers to.

I am looking forward to future enhancements.  After all both google and apple are moving to purge significant numbers of low quality, pirated, or even malicious apps. BN has steadily added apps. They are not a leader in apps but the selection is not as poor as the trolls would have everyone think.

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patgolfneb
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?

I was responding in general to posters who instead of stating which features the prefer in a tablet, state over and over that BN NC, NT, and sometimes the Fire are not real tablets. The crucial feature is not constant, sometimes it is a camera or access to Google play, occasionally bluetooth or gps pop up. Since a demi god in charge of tablet definition has yet to be acclaimed I feel these type of pronouncements are self important posturing by those eager to display their status as tech mavens. Is this clear enough for you.
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deesy58
Posts: 2,486
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Re: Why Buy a Tablet?


patgolfneb wrote:
I was responding in general to posters who instead of stating which features the prefer in a tablet, state over and over that BN NC, NT, and sometimes the Fire are not real tablets. The crucial feature is not constant, sometimes it is a camera or access to Google play, occasionally bluetooth or gps pop up. Since a demi god in charge of tablet definition has yet to be acclaimed I feel these type of pronouncements are self important posturing by those eager to display their status as tech mavens. Is this clear enough for you.

I always thought a "Tablet" computer was characterized by a small, flat form factor and a touch screen, and not by anything having to do with applications.  Wikipedia seems to agree: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablet_computer

 

Just because some tablets have more applications available for them does not mean that other, similar devices are not tablets. As far as I am concerned, my NOOK Tablet is a tablet.  A camera does not, IMO, make a tablet.  Nor does Bluetooth or GPS.  Aren't those features more indicative of a smart phone?