I own a Blackberry Playbook because I am RIM’s bitch. But after 10 months of use, despite RIM’s market position, it has taught me that tablets are the future of computers. I will miss my desktop in a personal way. I love building desktops and customizing their operation. It is so satisfying. I’ve built 2 cars and I get the same feeling. Having a vision and making it real is so visceral. If you’ve done it, you know. If you haven’t, try it sometime. Even if it’s just a scale model (a hobby I also enjoy). I won’t miss my laptops as much. I tend to treat those as disposable anyway, using them as you would a girl you pickup at last call in a bar just before the lights come up – it’s what I need, at a bare minimum, for that very moment.
A friend of mine wants to get, if he already hasn’t, a Google Nexus 7. I told him it wasn’t a very good idea. Good power in the processor but poor execution on the concept. Google is taking the stance, much like other information peddlers like Apple and Amazon, that we should use there services and need no local storage for their tablets. The iTunes store and the Android Market have awesome, cool apps (I HATE that word but it’s there ; isn’t it? Are we all that fucking busy that we can’t afford the extra breath required for those syllables?) and those apps (grrrrr) do the job of squeezing out every ounce of available performance from a tablet. My Playbook suffers from that, like a kid you see growing up that excels at baseball, whose arm has been touched by the gods, turning every pitch into a lightning strike, and they rely on that to get by and subsequently stop trying. Putting aside for now that eBooks are excellent to read but executed with 20 year old mentality (if I buy the book, it’s my book, damnit, and if I want to loan it to a friend, that’s my right – and if I buy it in Canada and try to read it in the States because I’m travelling on business, don’t tell me it’s not possible because I crossed a border), there are better tablets than the Google Nexus 7 for my friend to consider. I think he’s purchasing it for the same reason I listed above – it’s the chick he’s been checking out in low light after a half dozen beer and she doesn’t look too bad, not too bad at all. He’ll buy it, the lights will come on, and he’ll do what he has to do.
I won’t touch the iPad. I like the tech, the apps are prodigious, but I hate the philosophy of completely controlling my end to end experience. I don’t like BDSM for the same reason. I mean, I liked the Lady Heather character on CSI as much as the next guy (and, for the record, Gil Grissom is the bomb. I don’t like the idea of Sam Malone running the show.) but that’s a TV show. I’d think it would be a fun thing to check to see the sexual demographic of iPad users. Nothing might come of it, but you never know. Christian Grey got an iPad for Anastasia. Just saying…
The Sony tablet, I think, is an underdog to be considered. Comes with a built in app that can control all of your infra red controlled media devices. That’s cool if you have a lot of Sony products and want to round out your tech with one master controller. But that’s not me. But don’t rule it out.
But, for my money, I think I’ll be spending my cash on the Asus EEPad Transformer Prime. The newest one has a quadcore Tecra 3 processor and a backup 5th core that low priority and low requirement jobs are routed to seamlessly in the background. Its got a 10.1″ screen with a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels – as good as the famed ‘retina display’. There is a micro SD card slot which let’s you expand it beyond the 32GB capacity. I also like the idea of making my pad ‘mission specific’ – so I can kit it up with movies or books or tv shows or music – so I could have a handful of microSD cards for that purpose. It also has a GPS, a function I’ve come to love on my Playbook – with the right app, it does a decent job of getting me from A to B. This is not to mention the fact you can get a detachable keyboard that adds 5 hours to its already 10 hour battery life. I like this especially. If I am able to tote around this 0.3 inch thick, 1.3 lb device and be able to fun with it like a tablet and then be able to type out a short story or work on my novel like I would use and abuse a laptop, then I’m sold. This is no old mare that’s been ridden hard and put away yet that depends on the kindness of strangers that see her only under the forgiving glow of a light veiled with a soft red gauze after a few drinks to soften your resolve. This is a machine I want to get to know. My Playbook’s been good to me, and I’ll likely give it to my daughter to use (the kid’s tablets they have are garbage and speak down to them). I might even Dingleberry my Playbook so I can get some real apps on it for her to use. RIM hasn’t seen fit to get their heads out of their asses about that, either.
So, I’ve made up my mind. And, to continue my analogy of technology and relationships, it looks like I’m in the bar with my buddy, and we’ve lost track of time because we’ve been gabbing on and on about the old days and the way it used to be. He turns, all bleary eyed, at a girl at the other end of the bar that only recently has started to return his slack jawed leers. I grab my cell phone and call a girl that’s been on my mind the past little while, just to talk, mind you. Just to see how she is, because for some reason, that’s all that’s important to me right now. No, I tell her, this is not a booty call. I’m taking a cab home and I promise to call her tomorrow and we can go for lunch and see where it goes from there. I turn to my buddy, burping softly, to tell him it’s time to go, and he’s gone. I look to the door and I see him lurching out, arm in arm with the girl from the end of the bar. For some reason, I can’t get my eyes off the of the claddagh tattoo on her right thigh, beneath the hem of her miniskirt, the point of the heart pointing to her hips.