The technology world is changing.

Sure, technology itself changes on a daily basis, but what I’m talking about here is REAL change… change that modifies the actual technology landscape we’re all walking around in.

The change I’m referring to is the one being brought on by the widespread adoption of tablet devices.

But let me digress for a moment.

For the past 5 years, mobile technology, spearheaded by “smartphones” that let us access our email and the web, has exploded in popularity. Having a phone that gives you access to almost anything Web, is a great convenience to a lot of folks.

Personally, I can’t imagine leaving the house without my Apple iPhone. Not only can I make calls with it, but I can text, read my emails, browse the Web, post blog articles, read ebooks, listen to music, catch local radio stations, watch movies, and play games.

As one of the many smartphones out there, my iPhone is  a true mobile, communication/information/entertainment device. And to make things even better, it easy to use because it’s a touch-screen device.

But it’s still NOT my personal computer.

What I can’t do (very well) with it is “createthings like I can with a PC. With a PC, I can edit pictures, write stories, create slide presentations, and so on. Sure, to a small extent I can do that with my phone, but the size and speed make it pretty cumbersome to do.

But now back to the present.

Tablets are becoming all the rage. In reality, a tablet does all the stuff a smartphone will do, just faster and with a bigger screen. And because it does have a bigger screen, one that really is more conducive to “creating” things, a lot of folks are now wondering if tablets will soon overtake the PC, and in fact replace it completely.

I personally don’t think so.

As with my iPhone, I LOVE my iPad (Apple’s tablet). I can sit anywhere in my house, and very comfortably read my email, browse the Web, watch movies…. all the same stuff I mentioned earlier with the phone. But unlike the phone, I’m doing it on a bigger screen.

But what I still can’t really do, is CREATE things… at least not as quickly and easily as I’d like. The touch-screen keyboard is OK, but the minute I go past typing in a few sentences for something, I start dearly missing my regular PC keyboard.

Even when I connect an external keyboard to the iPad, I still can’t type like I can on the PC.

And when it comes to editing pictures, or creating PowerPoint slide shows… again, I can get my work done 5 times as fast on the PC.

So here’s the deal…

A few days ago I had a student in one of my Lincoln classes approach me about purchasing a new computer. Her question was…  should I get a Windows 7 PC? Or, should I get one of those new Kindle Fire tablets for $199?

And this is where the changing landscape of technology is making things tough.

We are now in that transition time where tablets, that can ALMOST do everything a PC can, are making big enough waves that folks are even questioning the purchase of a new PC. And it really IS a tough call.

But here was my answer to her question…

It depends.

Tablets are great for all those things I mentioned above, including email and Web browsing, and are especially great because touch-screen technology makes them easier to use. But they are not the greatest for creating things.

PC’s still make you use a mouse (at least for now), and are much less portable, but they are great for “creating”.

So there’s your choice. The one you choose depends upon what you plan to do, which has always been a common theme when deciding on technology.

Now, as for the new Amazon Kindle Fire versus the Apple iPad.

Below I’ve embedded a couple good video programs from CNet that give you the scoop on the Kindle. My take is, the smaller Kindle Fire with the lower price ($199 versus $499 for the cheapest iPad) is going to be great for folks on a budget or for those looking at devices for their kids. The iPad still is the shining star of tablets, especially with the 140,000 some apps for it and the larger screen.

But with the power of Amazon behind the Kindle, there will be no lack of content or apps for the device. In fact, a lot of folks feel that Amazon is probably taking a loss on the Kindle in order to make its money on the apps and content that Kindle users will purchase.

Time will tell… but there’s no doubt that Apple and Amazon are going to be doing a lot of head bumping in the coming months, and frankly, will probably be pushing a lot of the other tablet guys out of the picture.

So here are those videos I mentioned. The first is a short summary of the Kindle Fire that also includes some news reports, and the second is a longer round-table discussion that goes a lot more in-depth.

As always, if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below in the comment field.



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