Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The digital lifestyle is now upon us and there is no way to avoid anything that is not connected to the internet. Computers come in many colours, sizes and shapes just like the old fashion print pocket organizers that you can still buy at your local Staples store.

 

The latest generation of smartphones are getting bigger and can now be considered mini-computers or pocket computers. Just like the pocket organizers, you can get the next size up and get a tablet computer for watching video, reading and games or a laptop to do some emailing, writing or number crunching with. And lastly you can get a monster 70” TV computer for online video. Next on the list coming sooner than we think are wearable computers (too geek for me!) and connected cars to the mainstream.

This is the new norm and the numbers show it, Canada’s digital literacy rates show that Canadians now enjoy a modern digital lifestyle through many devices. The Media Directors Council (2013-2014 report) reports that there are 5.9 million tablets and 20 million smartphones in Canada in 13.3 million HHs. This makes household penetration in Canada with tablets at 45% and smartphones at 150% and growing.

Maybe this is the reason that HP’s tablet plans have changed since their ill fated launch of the HP TouchPad, their first tablet in 2011. HP still remains a tech titan and is ranked second in industry market share for global PC shipments according to IDC at 18.8% in the 3rd Quarter of 2014, Lenovo was 1st (20%), Dell 3rd (13.3%), Acer 4th (8.4%) and Apple in 5th (6.3%) out of total shipments of 78.5M worldwide (1.7% decline from Q3 2013). 

IDC reported that global tablet shipments totalled 53.8M in Q3 (11.5% growth) with Apple 1st (22.8%), 2nd Samsung (18.3%), 3rd. ASUS (6.5%), 4th Lenovo (5.7%), 5th RCA (4.9%). Apple saw it market share shrink from 29.2% in 2013 and saw a 12.8% drop in sales. The numbers shows that in the PC corporate world Window’s machines still dominate and are starting to climb up in the tablet sector,

HP Elite Tablet and Laptop

You don’t see a lot of consumer advertising about HP products as they tend to concentrate in corporate markets for their servers, PCs, tablets and printers. HP did not disappoint when I reviewed their Elite tablet and laptop line for the business user. These are Windows 8 machines and they all came packed with features that you expect on any device on the market. The first thing I did was download Google Chrome that acts as my virtual desktop through my gmail account  to set-up both devices. This virtual desktop includes my email, calendar, bookmarks and cloud storage and it installed fine and can work in desktop mode on both devices.  My daily routine includes using my tablet for my daily news and video entertainment fix and the Elite tablet was a fast device with HD quality video and sound (with my headphones). I used it at the cottage, home and office and the wifi connection was reliable and fast and the screen worked fine in natural sunlight.

I prefer writing on a keyboard, sorry the touch screen keyboard just doesn’t cut it for me, or the tablet accessories. The smaller screen size of a tablet at 10” makes it too small to work with so it is not practical as a everyday work device. I need at least a 13” screen and the Elite laptop I used was 14”. It was nice to use both devices together when I was reading and typing at the same time as it made me more productive. I am a big fan of the two screen workstation and a tablet and laptop combo can still fit in my briefcase when I am on the go. Stacked together, both devices are 1 inch thick.

 
Rating 4.5 out of 5

HP also has a line of Android tablets available for sale starting at $215 for the 7” model under the Slate product line that is available at Staples and other stores. I fear that tablets in the future might suffer the “Novelty” effect, where the latest toy is discarded with the latest consumer mood swing and this will affect the replacement market. Plus, pocket computer (ie:smartphones) screen sizes are getting bigger and this will impact the adoption of the larger tablets. Since I got my 4” Nokia smartphone I found that I used the tablet less for reading the news.

About Me
Martin Seto

 
Martin Seto is the principal of Reflex Media, a media consultancy practice offering media owners digital publishing, event management and ad sales help. His media expertise also include working with ad agencies as a media buyer/planner for tv, radio, print, outdoor, magazine and online. He has been in the advertising and media industry for 25+ years and he has been an instructor/speaker with Centennial College and at magazine conferences across Canada. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at)
reflexmediasales.com or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

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