When will mobile pen computing really catch on?

I wrote this in a post today and thought I'd bring it into the blog. Since I'm doing a lot of art on the computer this new batch of slates and IPad competitors is very interesting to me. Unfortunately, I don't find them really functional yet. Here's my thoughts on the subject:

It took the IPad to get tablets to catch on. Now everyone is producing them, but there's still not much you can really run on them. I imagine Win8 might change that, but then we'll still have to wait for programs to become Win8 ARM compatible. So if 8 comes out next year, I imagine tech will follow shortly after or in conjunction with it, and then we'll have to wait another year or two for software to follow. As it is, there's not much need for a pen on these new slates because you can't do much with it yet. Just look at the Samsung Note- its got a Wacom digitizer on what is essentially an Android phone, but pressure sensitive apps aren't available. That sure makes it less functional. We have a platform but nothing to run on it.

Look at how long it took software to catch up to dual core processors! The truth is that, for many programs, an older core2duo is far more useful and powerful now than it was 3 or 4 years ago because so many more programs are becoming multicore and 64- bit compatible. I can only say that, as an example, Artrage is much faster now with its recent multicore update just because of that. Same computer as before, just software thats better able to take advantage of its specs.

Perhaps the new 32 nm cpus will help battery life enough that we wont have to wait for ARM-versions of Windows programs to be developed, because new "mobile" Intel tech will catch up to the older windows 7 software. That would be nice. Otherwise, I think seeing real, productive, business focused slate computing more commonly used is another 3 years out or more, IMO, if its running on an ARM computer. Tech first, OS second, software third. Then we have a need for a pen on these newer slates. Of course, the IPad has tech and OS, but it doesn't seem to want to produce pen-focused programs as an option, so that sort of nips it in the bud.

The reason I think ARM computers are so important is that they're clearly reducing the price point for new slate purchases for everyone, even current tablet pc users. Until your average Joe can get a real ultravertible or functional slate for under $500 I just don't think we're really going to see them around all that much. Once the tech is there (even relatively underpowered tech), at the right price point, I think the floodgates will open. Until then, I think tablet pcs are still going to be a very niche product. Current tablet pcs do just about everything I want them to do, but they're too expensive, too buggy and non-user friendly (hello Wacom drivers and Win7 desktop setup!), and too heavy for your average user.