They’re going to be fat. One of the ways they’re going to distinguish themselves from the invading armada of cheaper, tinier Android tablets, is that they’re to be bigger. Here’s a great idea: Take a portable thing and make it less portable. Also, the beefier chips required to push Windows—at least, unless we see some new ARM-based Windows 7 tablets—means these things need bigger batteries. More weight, more space, more junk.
But! Battery life is still gonna suck. Sure, they’ll have bigger batteries than Android tablets, but don’t realistically expect the kind of endurance runs you can pull out of the tablets running more effiecient mobile OSes. Windows + Intel chips = power gobbler, even with SSDs.
And oh yeah, they’re running Windows 7. Shoving a desktop OS on a tablet fundamentally doesn’t work. It hasn’t. It won’t. Ever. The smooshy, half-assed efforts to paint over them with a “touch-friendly” interface—necessary, because hey, a desktop interface doesn’t work for a tablet—are typically designed by imprisoned malnourished children given boxes of broken crayons. And they only glom over half the OS, at best. The third-party software for these kinds of tablets is limited, to say the least.
The thing is, we’ve seen these things before. Just a year ago, HP announced one held by Steve Ballmer himself, and then was so ashamed of it they effectively shitcanned it, burying them under the “enterprise” label. In fact, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a lot—if not most—of the Windows 7 tablets being pushed for “enterprise.” Which in this case, is code-name for “suck.” And ‘spensive.
Which brings us to the last point: All that suck is going to be pricey too. Android tablets, iPads—probably even PalmPads—are going to be around or under $US500. These radioactive product spambits? Most closer to $US1000.
If we find one that miraculously doesn’t suck, we will totally let you know. We hope we’re wrong! Honest. Otherwise, don’t expect to see ’em on Gizmodo. We’ll be busy getting nerd boners over tablets that could be actually great, like the PalmPad.