Friday, October 21, 2011
Tablet: What I want From Quad-Core Tablets - Split Screens
Transformer 2 from Asus, when it comes out in November, will be the world's first quad-core device - by that, I mean a tablet that has double the core of the current crop of tablets including the iPad 2, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Xoom, and others. So, I ask you this. What exactly do you do with all that processing power that you cannot already do on the tablets today?
On the PC side, when chips become faster and gained more cores from single to two-cores to quad-cores, it made sense. We do a lot of work that require those kinds of horse power. Rending video and 3D art quickly comes to mind.
On the tablet side, not quite so. So, this is what I would like to be able to do with tomorrow's generations of quad-core tablets. I want to be able to use two apps simultaneously.
If I'm writing and I want a little distraction, I like the top half of my tablet to be display video or if I want to do some research on the web while I'm working, I like to be able to see the Webpage or another doc without leaving my writing app.
There are all kinds of uses if we do get such an ability to split the screen.
Now, you might ask, would that kill the battery life? No. I argue that these quad-core chips are smaller and more efficient than the current dual-core chips in our the majority of our tablets. For instance, the chip powering the Transformer 2 is Nvidia's Kal-el. Not only will it have 4-cores, it'll have a fifth "companion" core that kicks into place when the other cores are not needed. And even when running two apps simultaneously, it does not necessarily mean that more power is being drawn.
If I'm writing and the second app is simply display a static document, there isn't a lot of extra power being used up.
Apple is expected to follow and keep up with the Jones with its own quad-core offering. In Apple's case, there is talk that Apple could use that extra power to rend their tablet equivalent of the Retina Display. So, we probably won't see anything radical as a split-screen mode from Apple.
But it is a great opportunity for other platforms looking to differentiate themselves from Apple's offerings.
So, quad-core tablets with 10' displays, who's with me?