Logo

Forums | Reviews | Search | Full Version

Welcome to Round Table, which is in fact not a table at all. Round Table is a continuing series on PreCentral where we pose a question to the staff and they provide their thoughts and insights. The question could be something simple like “do you prefer a physical or virtual keyboard?” or something a bit more complicated, like “what is the biggest problem facing Palm as a brand?” Or maybe we’ll just end up chatting about our favorite ice cream flavor. Today, however, we’re launching into the first of a three-part Round Table series: Think Big. Think Small. Think Beyond.


Adam: I think the “Think Big. Think Small. Think Beyond” tagline is meant to have a double meaning. It is meant to represent a physical size of devices, but also a level of usage and connectivity that HP and Palm want to focus on. From a device perspective, “Think Big” is meant to obviously refer to larger devices such as tablets. But in a bigger picture, I think it’s referring to the larger ecosystem that a user will connect into. This larger ecosystem can refer to something as simple as apps, but I think it’s more than that. It’s how a user interacts with the device (keyboards, pen input?), other users (social media, messaging, etc), their businesses (VPN, quick office, enhanced synergy), the cloud, and with the larger world as a whole. HP’s scale  is going to allow them to push webOS as a platform to allow integration with so many more aspects of society and technology. “Think big” will be much more of a strategic vision that will propel them into the future.


Derek: It’s a tablet. Will it be called the PalmPad? I hope not, though that name’s been teased so many times I don’t know anymore. I imagine HP is going to leverage their buying power to make this a competitively-price 10-inch tablet to take on the iPad like no Android tablet has managed thus far. Of course, the big deal to me won’t be the tablet itself, but how Palm manages to make webOS work well on a large screen. Enyo clearly will play an important roll in this, but there’s scaling the operating system to content with as well. I highly doubt the tablet will be available in February - I’m guess middle of March at the earliest, but I’d love to be surprised.


Dieter: The PalmPad cometh, and about time. Will it be released right away? Doubtful, but it will come by the end of March. I expect we’ll get a couple surprises in store beyond the standard “has a virtual keyboard’ and “prints” stuff - I’m hoping some new and serious software partnerships. Netflix, Hulu Plus: let’s get on board.


Jonathan: Think big: a new family of tablets available immediately, which will include both cellular and Wi-Fi (w/automatic connection to/via webOS devices) models, focused on productivity rather than consumption. Full Office document editing included, optional pressure-sensitive stylus for drawing, multiple input methods (virtual keyboard, Bluetooth keyboard, and perhaps even Graffiti) and industry-standard apps like Kindle and ePocrates (revived). They will be marketed as professional devices, although consumers will find much to like as well.


Mark: The day of “scaling” webOS on “multiple form factors” looks like it’s here. Finally. Big must certainly be referring to webOS tablets. While the safe money is on as many as three different tablets for 2011 (business, student, consumer), at least one if not all three will be available immediately. “Big” may also be referring to the much buzzed about and often joked about webOS printers. I’m very excited to finally see, and better yet own, a webOS tablet. I’m very curious to see webOS on a printer and how it might look and function.


Nathan: The most obvious thing that has Palm thinking big is that holy grail of the current gadget market, the tablet, only made possible by HP swooping in to save them. We all dreamed of webOS on an iPad killer and soon it will be a reality. It will raise the bar for tablets, though the next generation iPad will mimic it and the next tablet after that will mimic the iPad that mimics the Palmpad and so on and so forth until we have a holographic tablet powerful enough to run the Department of Defense and reads your thoughts in lieu of a keyboard.  But more than that, I think Palm wants us to dream big because it truly believes great things are coming that will reward us who have stuck by them. Things did not go according to plan with webOS’ launch and we have had to wait longer than anticipated for the next great thing. This will be the year we stop crying for what we want and start saying 'I told you so' to our detractors on other platforms. Palm wants us to think big because now all things are possible and those big dreams are no longer pipe dreams.


Rizwan: I have a couple of different theories on this one. The most obvious would be that “Think Big” represents PalmPad. My hopes are for 10”, dual cam, Tegra 2-grade, and running a version of webOS (2.5?) that is significantly different from anything we’ve seen before. With the advent of Honeycomb, I don’t think it’s enough to just port webOS over. Even if the UI is amazing, it’s got stiff competition that’s fresh in the media’s eye.

The more interesting possibility is that this represents a larger form-factor touchscreen only slab/phone. I’d imagine this product wouldn’t stray very far from the dimensions of the iPhone: say ~3.7”, higher resolution, with Gorilla Glass. The more I think about it, the more I suspect that this latter theory is the correct one; and here’s why: Smartphones are the exploding category right now, so if Palm hits only one thing out of the park it better be a phone. That said, it makes the most sense to take more than one shot at the phone: “Big” being the flagship, and “Small” being something for the younger hipsters out there. Their casting calls seem to be looking at 2 different demographics, so I bet this is the case.


So, that's what the PreCentral crew thinks of "think big." Wholeheartedly agree? Vehemently disagree? The comments await.