To be perfectly honest, I have a personal bias that tablets are the future, given how we can be touching to point where we want something to go to or do within the program. (and it will contain personally positive bias for Lenovo/IBM tablets)
Yet, looking at the pre-Windows 8 market a year ago, there was too much fragmentation. Companies jumping around to please potential customers in their respective little bubble in either Android or iOS with almost no concern of the users that are using wacoms on their Windows or Macs; and given how Apple is willing to put everything to their iOS eco-system, I feel depressed on the desktop oriented people who needs the high-power machines to run proper design software.
Why? The tablets aren’t good enough for rendering or any other processor demanding tasks. In a fun little twist, Autodesk also see that and worked to create a remote server farm for doing renders and technical analysis (for a fee, as if they would do that kind of charity). However, I don’t think that’s the final solution as majority of the companies require non-disclosure agreements on their bigger projects, and who would want to drop off their secrets off to a remote server for analysis or rendering?
Power issues aside, both iOS and Android were in use for several years, long enough that they gain the influence of the general public to force Microsoft to create its own tablet operating system, only with the ability to maintain legacy software. And to do that, they would either:
- get the software companies to comply to a touch friendly interface (doubt it)
- select a physically bigger screen for the flagship (doubt that too)
- use a Wacom pen
At least Microsoft chose the latter route with their surface pro, but then Microsoft also implemented some weird scale up of the display that attempts to improve user accuracy with touch displays on a smaller screen, making the company’s position with customers worse in regards to the Surface Pro (and really, Surface RT’s no better for now).
Still, the Wacom pen idea right on the laptop/tablet display wasn’t new, with the most recent pre-tablet example from Thinkpad X series from IBM and Lenovo have tablet variants that uses wacom pens and touchscreens, which allows hand written notes or drawings with more accuracy without any use of a automatic magnifier in a regular Windows Environment. It wasn’t lost on me when I used it, even now I tried to utilize the wacom part of the laptop whenever I can.
So when Lenovo pushed out the Thinkpad Tablet 2, I got quite excited because Lenovo isn’t giving up on the wacom integration. Then as I read on in the review, it seemed to me that Lenovo gave up on integrating a proper keyboard dock to gain more battery space for a bluetooth keyboard; my excitement went away quietly. Then there’s the fact that it’s running on the netbook internals.
When they can properly stuff a laptop spec internals into a more portable package with a battery integrated dock and a wacom integration that runs windows 8, I’ll upgrade. Until then, I think I’ll skip this generation of machines if I can…
Tablets themselves aside, The usability of a stylus needs to be more pronounced, as there are not many examples on the internet showcasing people using technical design software with a wacom product. The wonders of a Cintiq display with AutoCAD…