The Asus Transformer range, with its ability to transform into a laptop using a keyboard has got us all thinking about what the future holds for the tablet computer. However, such convergence is not for everyone. Apple CEO Tim Cook rubbished the idea that Apple will ever follow suit with an iPad/MacBook hybrid, saying: “those things are not going to be pleasing to the user.”
Speaking at Apple’s earnings call, Cook compared blending the two forms together to pairing two incompatible kitchen appliances and expecting them to work.
“You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but you know those things are not going to be probably be pleasing to the user,” Cook said. “Anything can be forced to converge,” he said. “But the problem is that the products are about tradeoffs, you begin to make tradeoffs to the point that what you have left at the end of the day doesn’t please anyone.
That pretty much rules out any dual-function tablets in future, despite more and more such devices appearing at technology shows. Examples being the Asus Padfone and the Asus Transformer Prime and the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T.
The Padfone can be purchased separately or with a dock that transforms the device into a 10-inch tablet, blowing up the display to deliver more tablet-like functionality. The Transformer Pad TF300T meanwhile transforms the tablet into a laptop with more storage and battery life.
While the Apple iPad does benefit from a compatible keyboard dock currently stocked by Apple, the Apple keyboard dock is seen more as an accessory to the iPad than a device that adds extra functions previously not available to iPad owners. As a result there isn’t the “tradeoff’ that Cook speaks of.
What do you think? Should tablets remain tablets instead of trying to be laptops as well? Let us know what you think below.