Originally Posted by Firefly7475
I think this is an interesting enough concept to warrant exploration.
What feature-set do you believe justifies classification as a "full tablet"
Do we start drawing the lines between "content creation" and "content consumption" again?
There are a number of basic "content consumption" tasks that both the iPad and the Kindle Fire will perform well. For example reading email, news or a book, checking Facebook, watching a TV show or movie or playing a game.
Then there are more complex "content creation" tasks like researching a paper, writing a report, designing a presentation or creating a spreadsheet. These are things that an iPad can do, but only poorly. A Kindle Fire will perform them even worse.
Then there are more advanced "content consumption" tasks such as phone to tablet gaming, connecting a remote desktop to a PC, or AirPlay gaming that the iPad can do very well but the Kindle Fire cannot.
It would seem to me that handling the basic "content consumption" tasks would justify classification as a "basic tablet".
Classification as a "full tablet" appears to be far more difficult.
Focusing on the ability to perform advanced "content consumption" tasks, however poorly, seems like an odd thing to do. This area will become increasingly messy as more tablets are released that are designed specifically toward advanced "content consumption" tasks. For example, it will be hard to classify an iPad and an x86 Windows 8 tablet as the same thing.
However this leaves us with the features that exist on the iPad that don't exist on the Kindle Fire as being the definition of a "full tablet", which seems kind of arbitrary.
I think that the distinction between content consumption and content creation is specious. Take email for example: you both read them and write them, so which category does that fall into? How about when you sit and listen to music, and use the time to correct/enhance/update/diddle with the music's tag info? Certainly you are creating information, but mainly, you are consuming information.
I think that the "full tablet" designation is useful, but that the line may be fuzzy, and will get increasingly fuzzy.
The iPad has lots of stuff that the Fire does not. A big screen. Lots of antennas and sensors, including very advanced stuff like gyros and GPS. A couple of cameras. A gigantic ecosystem. All add capabilities that do not exist on the Fire.
So the SOTA tablet is "full", most certainly.
The Fire can be distinguished due to its lack of capabilities. In that sense, it is less than a "full tablet"; it performs only a subset of the functions that one might use a "full tablet" to perform.
But the features and capabilities of tablets will be (might get?) sliced and diced as more enter the market. Some, like Samsung, will vie for SOTA. S ome will try for the lowest possible price (like Coby), and most will be in the middle. Archos is likely to keep on releasing weird combinations of features on unusual hardware. Amazon might broaden the appeal of the Fire, or it may keep it as their dedicated shopping appliance, and continue to sell them near cost. Me, I'd love a 15 inch "browser only" 1080p tablet for a cheap price.
Distinctions are useful only to the extent that they help clarify reality. Some distinctions are fuzzy, but useful, at least in certain instances. I think that as of today, using "full tablet" as a category makes sense, but that the usefulness of the term will diminish over time.