Mobile Computing, Electronic Reading Devices, Tablet PCs

Dear Commons Community,

I am sure that many of you are aware that every January there is a National Consumer Electronics Show where the latest technology gadgets are introduced by the major hardware/software developers.  At this year’s show which is just ending, it seems that the products that have created quite a stir are mobile devices for electronic reading and tablet computing.  It appears we are moving quickly beyond the Kindle and the Nook for e-reading.  I also found most interesting the products being  introduced with an emphasis on tablet computers.  Tablets have been around for quite a while.  Our colleague, Bill Berhardt at CSI, has been using these for years especially in his Writing/Composition courses.  However, what might make the new tablet devices more popular is their size (about the lenght and width of a netbook) and their cost.  While Apple will make its tablet computer available in a few months at a cost of $700 – $1,000, other companies will be pricing tablets in the $150-$300 price range.  I think we might be turning the corner in the availability and popularity of reading and tablet devices so much so that they will become more a part of our considerations as we design and develop online course materials.  The URL for a NY Times article that covers many of the issues in this post is below.



  1. Hi Tony,
    I think that digital readers will revolutionize the way we read nearly everything. They are convenient, very portable and allow you to basically carry your entire library along with you. Eco-friendliness is another factor. I think that considering the strong interest lately that the prices will drop considerably, making them a viable alternative for many people.
    I have always wanted to go to the CES in looks and sounds incredible!
    Keep up the great work here!

    • Cindy,

      Thanks for posting to my blog. I agree that electronic readers have turned the corner in terms of their acceptance. It will be interesting to see how we integrate them with other teaching/learning materials and facilities.


  2. Sarah,

    You raise several excellent questions(cost, content availability) about these devices.  Keeping up with all of the new technology requires that we become very intelligent consumers.  Just as important is trying to figure out what our students will be using to access our course materials.

    Thanks for responding to this blog post.



  3. Not to be an Apple hater, but what are tablet users getting for the additional $500+? I’m excited about 3D Television, but I guess you can’t believe it until you see it…

    As for the eReaders, I’m interested in the Skiff Reader but wonder what content will be available for download. “Skiff plans to launch a Palm webOS and a BlackBerry application at the same time as the reader” ( As long as users wouldn’t have to pay for this integration sounds great.

    Here is Mashable’s CES tag page:

    One product I will definately NOT be rocking is The Phubby…