Saturday, February 05, 2005

What Does Your Tablet Say About You?

Tablet PCs at Yahoo!: "First it was Powerbooks. I was seeing them more and more around campus. But today I was in a meeting where two of our execs appeared, both sporting Tablet PCs. The near one was using it as a mini-laptop while the far one had sworn off the keyboard. After the meeting I got a really brief look at them and later received an 'Ink' e-mail...."—Jeremy Zawodny (Yahoo)

I've been talking to a friend of mine who is a die-hard Mac user about the social implications of the choice of one's laptop in a business setting. You see, he works in a creative field where Macs are de rigueur. But I work in a more buttoned-down industry where toting a PowerBook into a meeting is akin to wearing rainbow suspenders. It just marks you as a willful goofball. That being said, I use a PowerMac at home. On the Internet, no one knows you're a goofball. In the office and on the road, I use a Tablet PC.

So what does a Tablet PC say about its owner? I've gotten reactions across the spectrum. Most people I run into are vaguely interested, and ask how I like it. Some people are indifferent, and a handful look at me like I brought an Etch-a-Sketch to the meeting.

Ultimately, I think people's reactions to your machine of choice says more about those people than anything else. I myself harbor some prejudice against anyone with a Newton MessagePad, but that's probably just my way of dealing with my hidden shame of being a one-time NewtonScript developer.

For now, I'm sticking with my tablet. It runs the Windows apps I need for work, it's very light, and it's usable in a cramped coach seat. I just wish it ran OS X too.