Well, the truth is yes! They are.
At the heart, Tablet PCs are like any Ultra Portable notebook. But the price difference can be hundreds of dollars. So why such a difference?
There are a couple of points to consider:
Many Tablet PC screens are uniquely designed for outdoor use. Most notebooks will not cope well in direct sunlight, however you can work effectively outdoors with most Tablet PCs.
Tablet PC screens incorporate a specialised glass surface for writing on. It needs to be strong and durable since it is in contact with your hand and a stylus constantly. The glass is also designed to be non-reflective so that better viewing is achieved.
Of course they also include Wacom digitiser or some form of touch screen input system (or both).
Tablet PCs are also specially designed for mobility. That means, low weight and small size. It has to be designed to be carried for long periods and it has to be practical to use in places where you often wouldn’t go with a notebook.
Most Tablet PCs are sold with a 3 year warranty, and that in itself usually adds hundreds of dollars to the price.
So of course those things all add up. As more people adopt Tablet PCs economies of scale will be reached and prices will come down. However, for all of the reasons above Tablet PCs will never be as cheap as laptops.
However, the extra investment is long forgotten for people who:
- Travel a lot
- Carry documents around
- Read lots of eBooks, Blogs and online articles
- Work on the move or standing up
- Attend meetings regularly
- Write lots of notes
- Prefer writing by hand to typing.
For those people, the benefits far outweigh the expense. I for one could never go back!