The tech world is buzzing these days with rumors about Apple’s “iPad” and supposed upcoming release of Michael Arrington’s CrunchPad. These both sound pretty cool but I’m not really that interested in them as I just don’t find them to be must-have products. In contrast, Microsoft’s new tablet-like device known as Courier appears to be innovative, practical, and has the potential to become a huge success for multiple reasons.
It’s What The Kindle Should Be
The most appealing aspect of Courier is its design. It’s essentially a digital book that resembles the look and feel that everyone wants. People are still hesitant to buy a Kindle not only because of the price but because we all still desire the comfort that a book provides. When was the last time you heard someone say, “I’m going to go home and curl up with my Kindle”?
Another appealing aspect of a book is the tactile nature it requires to open, close, and turn its pages. By incorporating a hinge attached to dual screens and adding touch technology, Courier has covered all these bases. While it may seem trivial at first, the simple act of flipping a page on a touchscreen device with the stroke of your finger is huge. People love the feel of real paper and the turning pages is second nature to them. Compare this with something like the Kindle which doesn’t have touch technology and requires scrolling in order to see the next page. Moreover, the Kindle doesn’t have color so you’re not getting the full experience of a book that contains great imagery that’s designed to complement its textual content. This will not be an issue for Courier as the video below clearly displays two full color screens.
The video describes the Courier as an electronic planner and notebook running on a version of Windows 7 that allows you to take hand written notes with a stylus pen, create and edit journal entries, search, set reminders, browse the web, take and import images, annotate and edit images, share content with friends, comment on your friends’ Courier based projects, and a bunch more cool stuff. One thing I didn’t see in the video was a virtual keyboard. I’m intrigued to know if the dual screens would permit such ability. This would allow the user to turn essentially turn this electronic moleskine in to a working laptop PC.
It Appeals To Multiple Markets
As I previously alluded to, I view the Apple tablet and the CrunchPad as non-mainstream products. I’m sure each of them will produce some decent sales numbers but I expect the Courier to outperform them as it appeals to a broader range of users. I can see students and business professionals incorporating this device into their busy daily lives to fill the gaps between their laptop and smartphone. Its compact design, portability, and attractiveness as a muti-purpose tool designed to improve productivity will justify the purchase in the eye of the consumer in these challenging economic times.
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