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January 12, 2010

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Until I see the actual product, I'm having a difficult time seeing where the market is for the tablet (beyond niche areas such as shipping and receiving, hospitals, etc.)... seems like a tweener product to me. There will be a lot of "oohs and awes", but most will be happy with an iPhone, and those that aren't will want at least a netbook.

Tablets won't be powerful to effectively run something like Revit or other AEC software that would make it truly effective in the field.

I think it will be a neat product, and I can't wait to see what they came up with, but not one worth spending $500-$1000 for. They'll sell a bunch of them, but I don't think it will achieve anything like the success of the iPod or iPhone (i.e. tens of millions).

Not sure I agree with the 'itll be revolutionary just because its Apple' theme of the post. Will wait till its out to see if its going to actually achieve anything above the capabilities of the newer tablets with the touch screen optimized windows 7. (http://gizmodo.com/5227522/windows-7-tablet-capabilities-make-tablet-pcs-and-you-smarter http://windows.microsoft.com/en-AU/windows7/products/features/tablet-pc)

The HP Slate was just announced if you want a tablet without a keyboard, otherwise HP and Toshiba have been making laptop style tablets for years. what are you thinking the apple one is going to be able to do that you can't already do with a windows based one?

It may be better hardware/design, but its still going to be up to the application to utilize the multi-touch interface and other user interaction - stuff that can be done right now on windows 7 anyway, so whats stopping us?

Rod, Do not get me wrong, I am not a big Apple fanatic! I am just observing the craziness around this rumor and speculating on how it will affect our industry. I think you are right, an Apple tablet will be too expensive and fragile for real AEC on-site work. But, like the HP Slate (which I have yet to look at closely), I am hoping this tide raises the rest of the ships and creates a more energetic market for tablets on other platforms and other industries (such as AEC.)

It has tremendous potential for the AEC users, and im looking forward to it. Im not an Apple fan by any means, but i picked up a Toshiba TabletPC (TecraM7) back when they were offering them with a somewhat human nvidia graphics card, and it was fantastic for taking in the field.

It ran Revit just fine, with a 240 MB model, and that was back in the Core2 and 2 gigs of ram days. I mean, it was slow, but... The potential? We would open up models in meetings, grab a screen capture of a perspective, and draw right over the top of it with clients and consultants alike.

And all that is before we even get in to REALLY using AEC programs in the field. I carried mine around to open up drawings while walking around on site, but the potential to use Revit or other AEC tools (navis, model markup of your choice) for things like punch lists, CA modifications, whatever else is limited only by ease of use, portability, and sufficient hardware and battery survival enough to make it more feasible. Sadly, apple has been pretty respectable compared to everyone else... Except that hadnt ventured in to the Tablet world until now.

Ive been waiting to purchase another laptop... Waiting for someone to come out with a respectable tablet that doesnt sacrifice too much in the grunt dept, just to make the screen drawable. I wouldnt have considered an Apple normally, but...

Don't forget the fact that if the dreams are for contractors to be running around with these, that will include MEP contractors, Revit MEP is a bigger resource hog than Revit Arch.

Also, at the risk of sounding completely ignorant, contractors i've encountered (email & personally) aren't exactly the most computer literate bunch. I know there are exceptions, and I know Archs & Engineers were the same way not too long ago and some still are, just sayin.

Tom,

I think you are spot on....yes we have had tablet pc's before, but they looked crap and did not work that well. Although I managed to run revit 5 successfully on such a device!!! As far as contractors using such a device, here in the UK the mindset is changing...we are working with a contractor who is using Navisworks on a tablet for snagging, linking the rooms in the Navisworks model with Roomdata sheets....now I am a big Mac fan...although my day to say machine is a Windows 7 laptop.....I think the point to consider is people laughed at Apple when they introduced the IPOD, now they rule this market with some 200 million ipods out there.....watch this space. :-)

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