With all the talk about the Apple tablet I thought I’d recount an interesting scenario that I’m working through at the moment. A couple months ago my keyboard stopped working on my MacBook Pro. It was a bit of a pain but I could get around the issue because I had a Bluetooth keyboard. Then a couple weeks ago my screen started to act up. It would go black for a couple minutes and come back to life. That was a bigger pain but it wasn’t an emergency as I had a second monitor hooked up. Imagine this briefly—there was a time when both my MBP keyboard and monitor didn’t work, yet I could still get work done.
This week my screen died completely so it’s currently getting repaired. With a bit of luck I should have it back in working order by Friday (fingers crossed). It’s kind of crazy to think that even when things broke down with my MBP there was still a way of getting around the problem. It was a temporary fix but I was still able to continue working. Contrast that with an iPhone or the Apple tablet if the thing exists. If my iPhone breaks, the only way around the problem is to get a new one. The chances of repair is pretty slim. I suspect that will be the same case with a tablet. If I had to rely on a tablet for work like I do for my MBP, I doubt there would have been a chance to work away while the tablet was broken. It’s all theoretical at this point, but it is still impressive that even while things were breaking down I could still finish work. Will product design keep that in mind when the whole product is a screen to begin with—will I be able to complete a task while the thing is broken?