Before the fall

The Verge today has a whole slew of announcements from Samsung and Sony about the Windows 8-based…

What to call these things? Toaster-fridges is a pejorative so we shouldn’t use that, but if I may be so bold as to coin a term in keeping with the dumb-ass monickers the technology press likes to use such as “phablets” (it’s a phone… and a tablet!), I suggest these are kablets, seeing as these are tablets with dedicated keyboards.


Good, because that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever written.

Whatever they’re to be called, I’m pretty confused about this whole “category”. What we have here are tablets, tablets with detachable keyboards, tablets with undetachable keyboards that “disappear” and lightweight laptops, all to be made by a myriad of OEMs and Microsoft itself. When they ship this fall, how are consumers supposed to digest all this?

It’s nice to have choices, but it’s not nice to have confusion. This, I’m sure, will sound like Apple apologist bullshit but while Apple’s derided for not providing choice, it’s very clear what they sell. You want a phone, you get an iPhone (3 models in varying capacities). You want a tablet, you get an iPad (two models in varying capacities). Etc.

I’m sure many people will roll their eyes at this and say “I’m pretty sure the market will figure this one out, yacht boy.” But part of what makes Apple successful is that having a limited product line of solid devices makes each of them something of a fait accompli (with a few historical failures). This is the device. Don’t wait another month to see what some other OEM is going to make (or what the same OEM is going to make), get this thing or decide you’re not in this market.

Looking at some of the hardware that will make up the Windows 8 touchscreen device market right now, I don’t even know what I’m looking at.