Friday, October 13, 2006

Friends, Tableteers, mobile champions, lend me your eyes.

For too long our beloved form factor the Tablet PC has languished under the indignity of being labeled a subcategory of notebook PC, when in truth it is more accurate to the name than the inkless machines that currently bear it. 'Tis a condition in need of correction and the time has come to rectify this injustice.

By definition, a notebook should be a medium in which one can write notes. Yet standard "notebook" computers offer nothing more than transcription, efficient mimicry far removed from true note-taking. As "notebooks", these laptop computers are nothing of the sort.

A true notebook should offer three-dimensional writing space and open movement, not a two-dimensional, line-by-line trudge. A true notebook should allow a user to build thoughts and ideas upon a meeting or class outline, not insert them at the end. Nor should notes be limited to words. Rather they should be open to visualizations, directionals, mathematic symbols, and languages beyond what a given keyboard can provide. A true notebook should allow rich, layered, multi-discipline note-taking, not deny it.

Consider the notes left behind by one of the great thinkers of the western world, Leonardo Da Vinci. Could he have recorded his brilliant musings on a laptop computer? I daresay he would laugh at the folly of calling such a device a "notebook''. And what of the great minds of the eastern world? Well, their thoughts are recorded in ink using characters more complex and numerous than keyboard alone could supply.

Please do not mistake this call to action as an assault on the keyboard for the board is an integral component or vital extension of the true notebook that is the Tablet PC. For rapid input of text, the keyboard is an unparalleled tool. But swift verbiage does not a notebook make. Traditional note-taking requires an efficiency of words with a focus on comprehension. Rich note-taking requires expression beyond the verbal. Neither would call speed of transcription a friend.

To the end that the misnomer of the laptop as a "notebook" computer should be remedied and the misrepresentation of the Tablet PC as a subcategory of notebook computer should be corrected, I call upon my fellow champions of ink and mobility to join me in effecting that change by henceforth referring to the Tablet PC, not as a subset of notebook, be it convertible, ink-enabled, or tablet, but simply as a notebook or, until the shift is complete, as a True Notebook.

Let the stigma of subcategorization fall instead to the laptop, that folding, inkless, semi-mobile notebook computer. And let the True Notebook's younger, smaller brother, the Ultra-Mobile PC, shed its cumbersome name and claim the title of Notepad. Let us dispel the illusion of notebook computing that deceives the masses, remind them that a True Notebook should allow one to truly write notes, and teach them that a Tablet PC is such a device.

Proclaimed with vigor by
October 13, 2006

CateGoogles: Tablet_PC
Mood = serious


Time to Redefine the term "Notebook"


  1. Oho! Excellent post! I had never considered the meaning of the word notebook before your exposition :O I believe my mind has just been thoroughly blown. Well met. You have my full allegience and support in your cause!

    Semper Fie!


    By Anonymous Timbo, at 10/14/2006 01:29:00 AM

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