About five years ago I gave a presentation to a boys group about the rate of change in computer hardware. I compared my first computer (a Commodore 64) and a laptop which I had just bought (a decent Asus laptop). The comparison was humorous. The almost thirty year old computer was several orders of magnitude inferior in almost every criterion. The price of the laptop (about $500) was similar to what the C64 cost when it was first released.
A few months ago, I got a new Fire tablet from Amazon. It is not a top-of-the-line device in terms of specs, but it does have a decent CPU, a reasonable amount of memory, expandable storage (sd card!), 2 cameras, and WIFI. I’ve heard several people complain about the device because the dpi rating isn’t as good as the latest Samsung/Apple gizmo, and there are faster tablets around. That’s fine, people complain.
But here’s the thing. That tablet cost me $50. When I picked up one for my wife on Black Friday, it was $35. At those prices the devices are nearly disposable. I’m kind of kidding, because I don’t throw away $50, but in terms of computer devices, $50 is just about the same as zero.
The specs aren’t as good as the best things around, but think about it this way. A few years ago those specs would look pretty good, and the price is hard to beat. Thirty years from now the specs of the iPhone 5 won’t look so great.
The new Fire works great for me as an intro tablet, and the specs don’t bother me because I’m evaluating it on its own merits rather than comparing. I’m finding all kinds of ways that it’s useful and adds value for me and at $50, it is a steal.
Just a quick rant. I’m old and get off my lawn.
Let me know what you think in the comments.