In my youth I travelled for a year, and one of the things I mastered on that trip was juggling three balls.
So, yes, I really can juggle, and for a while now I have been juggling devices because no one device did it all. I had the laptop, a nice little one with an Intel Core I7 processor and Solid State hard drive that was the fastest PC I had ever had.
I also had the iPad because it was the best tablet device around in terms of functionality; and then I started needing other things to show of Flash-based solutions, so I tried the Elite Pad but found it did not quite hit the mark. Then there was the Envy docking tablet, which was better but still lacked the power I was looking for.
Now out of the darkness of the deep halls of HP has emerged the one to bind them. (Am I showing my Tolkien nerd background yet?) The HP Revolve has landed on my desk and it is the sweetest little PC and Tablet I could have asked for.
I will go out on a limb here and say I have not been at all excited by a new computer in over 10 years. I have had a succession of PCs and laptops each just a faster more powerful version of its predecessor, none of them offering a significant advance in form factor or functionality. Each changeover was a hassle to get my settings to come across and wasted hours in the process.
Today I can say I have been thrilled and excited by new technology. Yes, it still took time, but not too much thanks to the skills of the tech doing the porting. (Not me anymore)
So what has changed?
The HP Revolve is a real PC in an ultra-skinny form factor that happily converts to a tablet on demand. It has a Core I7 processor which is seriously fast; it runs Windows 8 with a touch screen, so it works as a tablet; it has great graphics.
In the office I drop it into my docking station with dual screens, a wireless keyboard and mouse attached, and I can still use swipe inputs on the screen on the side. So in the office I feel like I am using a full-on PC. The storage on the solid state superfast hard drive (SSSFHD, my expression) is as much as I need, especially as my files are either on the company server or in the cloud.
This device is just under double the weight of an iPad but with its 3G or 4G SIM installed, behind the battery, it gives me access to my entire IT world absolutely anywhere. That is in part thanks to the remote desktop protocol offering me published apps from my terminal server too. This means I literally have access to every application used in the office.
Yes, I still look forward to the next version that offers a weight reduction and a slimmer profile with longer battery life, as the several hours I get is fine for one day, but better batteries will mean I can carry less and leave the charger at home most trips.
If you are still stuck in the office, or lugging enough to cause back strain, it really is time to contemplate going shopping again. There is a new generation of productivity tools out that will rapidly make you look out of date and feel slow. Your preference may be a different flavour but there is no doubt, in my mind, there are now compelling reasons to update our laptops. I know the vendors are banking on it to lift their declining PC sales.
Now we need our IT departments to catch up and support Windows 8 so we can take advantage of the progress. Of course, the alternative is we do nothing to update our devices or our backend platforms and remain chained to our old systems.
David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that ensures IT is never an impediment to growth.