11 September 2014

A Simpler Tablet?

AARP is touting a simple-to-use tablet:

AARP_TABLET_FRONT_SCREEN copy… the nation’s largest advocate for 76 million baby boomers, today announced RealPad, a first of its kind tablet device built to address the specific needs of 70 million Americans 50+ who are yet to fully embrace tablet technology to help them stay connected.

I’m not sure there are 70 million people over fifty who are tech-shy – but there are a lot.

A moldy post:

23 October 2012
The Future Of Consumer Doodad Technology
… You should stop thinking about the next big thingamabob and whose will be best.  In five or ten years there will be all sorts of thingamabobs for just about everything.  You’ll have two or three or ten thingamabobs.  Tablets/Smartphones will be big, small, thin, simple, complex, active, passive, out the door in your purse or pocket, lost in your couch cushions.

So there may be a bit of room for AARP’s offering. 

The problem for me is the idea of a simplified tablet.  Tablets are already simple compared to smartphones, laptops, desktops.  

I use Windows, have a Windows phone. I’ve fiddled with Android and iPhones.  It took me awhile to grasp the software, hierarchies. 

But I’ve also fiddled with iPads and Android-based tablets. They’re a cinch to use.  Just pick one up and start poking and swiping.  No real learning curve.

We have an Android tablet. I can’t imagine anything simpler. I have a tougher time figuring out the garage door opener.

Check out the accessories page. All simple procedures for implementing extras/apps are pretty much the same as on standard tablets. Nothing special here. And if you know what memory, microUSB 2.0 ports, microSD drives and Bluetooth are – then you can’t be a complete tech idiot.  If you were a complete tech idiot, then this page would be gobbledygook, and probably scare the hell out of you.

No doubt RealPad is a good product. The specs look fine. The price is fine. I worry about what it doesn’t have that apparently makes it a simpler tablet.  I honestly can’t figure it out. If there are things missing, they’d better tell me.

Tablets are getting cheaper.  One major manufacturer will soon be offering a full-fledged Windows tablet for $120.00 – with almost the same specs as RealPad. 

Which would you buy?  Which would you recommend to someone who is tech-shy?

Perhaps RealPad should reposition as a very good inexpensive tablet with an easy-on-the-eyes interface (implied: for older eyes).  Not as a dumbed-down product for grizzled tech neophytes.

Dick Stroud’s musings on the subject (not much different than mine, in fact he may have a solid case for plagiarism):

Tablets for oldies - Breezie and now RealPad - all doomed to failure?

huffington_post_logo1Just for fun:
An Idle Mind Is the Devil's Playground
Here's a novel concept: Doing nothing is as productive, maybe more productive, as doing something.