For the past 20 years, I have owned various types of personal computers — from desktops to laptops. For the most part, my experience with these PCs has been positive as they’ve served my basic need for performing some type of business function or another. Since its introduction into my household as a useful appliance, the PC has been primarily used as a tool for me that has lightened my work load. Though I have done some game playing on my computers, the majority of my time on them has been spent working — which makes my traditional association with computers one of labor more than enjoyment.
But all of this started to change back in December of 2010 when I received the beta model, Cr-48, of the Chromebook computer compliments of Google. This was a lightweight machine that I could actually place on my lap without burning a hole in my trousers. With Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities, I could take this little notebook anywhere I wanted and stay connected to the Internet, receive and send email, and yes, play a few games. The Cr-48 has actually been fun to use and, even with its unpolished, quirky behavior, it’s still a great device.
In May of 2011, I bought my wife an Apple iPad, and it was love at first sight. She latched onto the tablet and I had to pry it from her hands just to get to play with it myself. The reason she loved it was because it was easy to use and fun to hold. No matter where she went, curious people would flock around the Apple iPad to see the new device. These folks were amazed at the ease with which they could use the device and were only reluctant to make a purchase because of the price.
A few weeks ago I bought an Amazon Kindle Fire, powered by a rendition of Android that Amazon modified to meet its needs. I really like the Fire and have thus far enjoyed using it. It is easy to use and I actually find it fun. I also did not — nor do I — expect the Fire to even come close to being an Apple iPad. It just isn’t going to happen. But I am sure of one thing. If you don’t currently own a tablet, the odds are that you may just be buying one in 2012 now that the pricing has fallen under $200. I believe that sales of the tablet computer will explode next year and some of you who are reading this may even be in for a surprise this holiday season.