Lee: When I read your opening question, I had to do two things: 1) check the actual date of your post, because it read as something written two years ago, and 2) I had to make sure that no one was spoofing you. (and this is said with utmost respect). Like everything else Tech, I was literally the first in my circle to own any of it. I was laughed at for owning a cell phone, a laptop, an MP3 player, a e-reader and finally a tablet. It took years and years for any of my friends to catch up, because they called each and every one of these devices, "a toy" or "gadget". I knew differently; these devices were "speaking my language."
This is the only way that I can describe to you how tablets make me feel: Have you ever personally experienced or seen a movie where a person comes in contact with computers when they first were available? And that person's eyes shine brighter and they exclaim, "I finally have something that thinks like me!!!!" (I imagine that this is how hackers and developer's feel: they literally are in sync with a computer's language: imagine Root or Finch in Person of Interest). Or, that scene when Helen Keller finally makes the connection that what Ann Sullivan is signing in her hand is identical to the water she's feeling?
Well, that's how dramatic tablets have been for me: I feel that I've lived long enough that FINALLY something has been made/developed that taps into the exact way that my brain processes material and I'm finally set free!
I never owned a computer until laptops became available, when they cost a solid gold brick. Why? I couldn't stand the feeling and thought of being "chained in place" to a single spot and I hated with a drooling passion, the blank-green-blinky screen. Everything about a computer, back then, felt hostile and non-organic; it felt like sensory deprivation, to me. And don't get me started on that crazy arse thing called a "mouse".
Then, along came the laptop, with a touch keypad. I was MOBILE, like I live my life every single day! And, the touch pad, for an artist, was responding to my fingers, just like the art materials I work with every day! There was still no Wi-Fi, but with a long enough ethernet cord, I could go "anywhere and everywhere", stringing the darn cable out my living room window to sit in my garden, which is my inspiration for projects and my blog.
Then, Wi-Fi came along! The world was coming closer and closer to integration into how I think and move! I do NOT work in an office! I do NOT sit at a desk for a living! I do NOT sleep in the same bed each night, but often a different bed each night for a week when I am lecturing! This is MY lifestyle and it suits me to a "t", but for others, they'd shrivel and die. Now, I could take 100% of my life's information, stored ON the computer instead of stupid "floppy disks" (which were NOT floppy nor a disk!) and if I needed exta space, I had a flash drive. Instead of hauling a projector and slides around, I could use my laptop for Powerpoint demonstrations. I could sit in ANY restaurant in ANY city in the World, and my office was WITH me, not stuck in some dreary, dusty corner of the house!!!
And then, Dream Upon Dream, came the tablet. How blessed I am to live long enough to experience it! Here was a device that got into my DNA: it understood me and how I think. I could TOUCH the screen and make it work...I no longer needed a dumb keyboard to lug around, as I took to SWYPE like a duck to water. Rather than tilting a laptop screen back and forth and back and forth for the right angle, I simply moved the tablet just like a book or magazine. And then there was the weight of the unit on your lap or your arms growing stiff on the table...ugh! It simplified my life, beyond measure!!! This is what I had to haul around with me when I traveled: laptop, laptop case, alarm clock, stop watch, digital camera and cord, address book, tons of books and magazines to read, at least 3 photo books showing my work, C.D's to listen to, DVD's to play on the optical drive, maps of towns I was in and going to, and some family photos to remind me of where to return back to. Now...100% of ALL OF THAT CRAP was on a 7" x 5" device...ALL OF IT!!! I could stream Pandora or switch to my downloaded CD's or better yet, stream my music from the Cloud. I could look at 100's of photos of my family, take photos with my tablet (Samsung Gal-Tab 7") and immediately mail them to clients, friends and family. I could find out exactly where I was going by looking at Google Maps and have it talk me there. I could hit "Places" and find the best Thai place in Boston or the best Pizza joint in Chicago. I could sit in a restaurant, save $2.00 each time by NOT buying the local paper and catch up on all the news around the globe. At night, rather than renting pricey hotel movies, I can stream from amazon...for free! And at night's end, read some more pages of my favourite book, set the alarm app, turn on the Pandora app, and fall asleep to music. All. On. One. Single. Device!
I've heard tablets called "The God Device" because it "knows all and does all." For someone in my position, who travels extensively, has their own business, is an artist and wants to stay connected, my time has finally come, with the advent of the tablet.
And Lee, if you still don't "get" why the tablet is so popular after reading my post, then Bless You for our differences.