I wrote a whole series of blog posts on Tablets Computers and the much anticipated Android Honeycomb system around the New Year. (You can find them in the Previous Links below) The linked PC Magazine article asks the question; are Android tablets real or are they just a fad (vapor)?
One point the author makes, that I agree with, is that Tablets seem very cool and flexible but so far there is no established “best” use for them. That is to say tablets are the best way to…? Watch TV? Cruise the Internet? Catch up on Facebook? Read a book? Or View an x-ray, show a patient-ed animation, fill out a patient questionnaire, add notes to a patient chart?
The advantages of a truly portable slate type tablet in the dental office seem to be obvious; but what are they really? The question of battery life is still a problem as are secure and fast wireless networks as well as connecting to specialized peripherals like cameras and radiography sensors. For the most part cameras and sensors now all use USB connections which makes them easier to connect to most devices, but not all, like the iPad which famously does not have a USB port.
I have yet to encounter a dental office using tablets for anything except patient forms with any concistency or effectiveness. Yet I remain an optimistic fan of the idea.
Everyone seems to have proclaimed that this was the “year of the tablet” at the Consumer Electronics Show…Partly, there were so many tablets because it seems like every vendor thinks they fit into their existing market.