This last weekend I was in California and spent some time with my
family. My sister brought up the question about buying a laptop
for teens … my nephew has the opportunity next year to get one as a
part of a school program. She asked, and then also mentioned that
she has the freedom to choose … as long as it’s an Apple iBook!
I do have to say that I don’t have that much issue with an iBook … it is
funny that Apple is the company that finally creates a UNIX laptop with
real adoption! The issue that I do have is that I now see some
real amazing value with the Tablet PC. This isn’t to say that
Apple will never create a Tablet PC, however they do not have one yet
To show my sister what a Tablet PC is like, I brought out my new HP
tc4200 and showed her some of the Tablet PC enabled applications.
Of course I showed her GoBinder, and then Ink Art, and the Physics Illustrator.
When we called my nieces and nephews into the room to show them the
Tablet they immediately thought it was cool … and of all things they
began to play the most with the Physics Illustrator. It was
The kids jumped up on the stools and started playing on the kitchen
counter … and didn’t want to leave! They began to draw and
experiment with physics … and my sister was amazed.
The next day I went to visit my sister at her house, and I figured that
I would throw the Tablet PC in the car … just in case. When we
arrived the kids all grabbed my son and went to play. Not too
much later by nephew came over and asked “Did you bring your cool
computer?” I gave him the computer again and it immediately
became the center of attention. Which application? Physics Illustrator.
What was amazing to me was that the group of boys *and* girls were
creating shapes and objects that I would have never though of.
They were using the pins, rods, ropes, and springs in all sorts of
I think that eventually Apple might understand and embrace the Tablet
PC concept – primarily the digitizer and recognizer technologies – and
incorporate them into a future iBook. Until then, I have to say
that it is a major limitation of the Apple product line … and is
still not well understood even in the PC world.