My first touchscreen device was the Apple Newton. So, I’ve been around this space for a while. My most recent attempt to find a good mobile touch screen solution was a Asus Eee PC T91MT netbook running Windows 7. Asus’ hardware is fine. But, Windows 7 is simply not up to the task of providing a touch-only experience. I had a difficult time configuring the onscreen keyboard, scroll bars, etc. The biggest problem is that even after configuring Windows 7’s graphical interface to something half-way usable, various applications were not touch ready or even adaptable to the netbook’s 600 vertical pixel screen.
I’ve found Apple’s iPad to be a truly useable mobile touchscreen solution. It is what I call the “90% solution”. It provides 90% of people the 90% of computing tasks they perform on a daily basis. The iPad may be the first slate type device to meet my 90% solution level. But, it certainly will not be the last.
The New York Times mentions a couple of competitors expected to emerge soon:
I was surprised to learn that Google’s slate device would run Android instead of Chrome OS. Personally, I prefer Android. But, Google’s Chrome OS focus on netbook type devices seemed to make it the early front runner for a larger slate device. When will this Google slate emerge? No clues so far. But, as a happy Droid and Nexus One user, I’m looking forward to it. Competition is good. Hurry up, Google!