Originally Posted by addabox
I think we're still in the "learning period" for what a tablet should
be, for most people.
If you've never owned a tablet, you may be in the market for a big smart phone with better media performance. Email, browser, photos, movies and music, books, games (one or two of the currently most popular). Done. If that's all you'd ever want then a Fire would probably be a great choice, certainly an economical choice.
Apple, of course, is pushing the iPad towards laptop replacement territory. If you're trying to get by without a laptop on your next trip, the Fire would probably be frustrating.
As tablets become more ubiquitous, and the pool of potential buyers become more sophisticated about what a tablet can potentially do, I think somewhat limited devices will be a harder sell, even at low price points. No one buys a media laptop thinking that they might need to get a fully featured laptop to go along with it at some point, but that's because years of use have educated the buyer about what a laptop "ought" to do.
I see the tablet market divided into 3 separate sections:
-The e-book readers. These are your kindle and nooks. Specific use and designed for reading books (duh).
-The media tablets. This is the market that Apple pretty much created. Designed for general usage, they excel in 'media consumption' roles with a light bit of productivity.
-The tablet PCs. these are your convertible, stylus based tablets running windows. Designed for very general use, they excel in productivity tasks while mobile.
For the most part, I don't see these 3 segments competing with each other. You pretty much know which of the 3 types of tablets you want from the get-go. We are, however, starting to see tablets that blur the lines between these distinctions.
The Kindle Fire and the Nook Color occupy a space somewhere between e-readers and media tablets, whether it works or not remains to be seen.