Whenever I want to buy something, I usually start by figuring out how much money I want to spend on this purchase. I already know what I want, but I need to know how much I'm willing to fork out. The key thing here is, how much do I value a particular purchase?
For example, if I want a burger, there're plenty of pricing points available in the market. There're the Ramly's (low-cost), the McDonald's (medium-cost), the Carl's Junior's (high-cost) and maybe whatever juicy concoctions fancy restaurants (premium-cost) are serving up these days. I know I want a burger, but how good does it have to be, and how much am I willing to pay for it? The decision will usually end with me having to answer the question, 'How much do I really want this burger?' Do I really want that huge beef patty, bacon and onion ring sandiwch or would I be just fine with a double cheeseburger?
With food its actually not that difficult, because most people including myself would usually decide based on price-points and whatever I feel I can afford for the day. Things like food and stationary are consumables, things that are used up quickly and need to be replaced almost right away. That's why people typically decide the purchases of these things based on price points. Usually we slant to the cheapest option available, especially with the ever increasing cost of living.
On the other hand, things like cars, houses, even shoes and clothes are typically more difficult purchases. Even if the price of an item was cheap, I would still wonder if what I'm looking at is something I'd want to keep, wear or use for a long time.
It doesn't help that the prices of these type of items are usually about the same, with differences in prices ranging probably just between five to twenty percent. That's a problem I'm actually faced with right now. What's funny is that the product type I want isn't even released to market yet and I'm already having trouble deciding which to get. Allow me to share my dillemma with you.
It's about Windows 8. More specifically, a Windows 8 tablet.
Ever since Apple brought out the iPad, I have always thought, why can't Microsoft do something like that? It's been a long wait, many many years (yes, I have been waiting for years) in fact for Microsoft to create something useful for Windows users in the tablet space.
After months of touting its new operating system, i.e. Windows 8, this years Computex and the more recent IFA in Berlin have finally shed some light on the hardware that will host this new OS. Samsung, Acer, Asus, Sony, HP and even Microsoft themselves have revealed offerings that will likely be available as soon as Windows 8 launches on October 26th.
With two different tablet types to choose from (RT and Windows 8 Pro), consumers already have to make a 'split' decision. Then, when I saw the various form factors (now we have tablet vs tablet hybrid) that the different OEMs are coming out with, I thought, "Man, which to choose?"
HP Envy X2
Surface, being produced by Microsoft themselves seems almost ideal, but its likely to be priced rather high and nobody knows how good its cover-cum-keyboard is. Then you have the Asus, Samsung and HP options which actually seem very decent, but how convenient can it be to carry both a keyboard and a tablet? I can already imagine myself leaving the keyboard behind someplace because I forgot to re-attach it to my tablet. Then, there're tablet hybrids like Sony's Vaio Duo (which I quite like really) and Dell’s XPS Duo 12, but having a keyboard attached to a slide out screen makes the device very thick and forgoes the enjoyable thin tablet experience, not to mention the back looks very mechanical and ugly when it slides out to use the keyboard.
Dell XPS Duo 12
Sony VAIO Duo 11 w/ stylus
The question now is, "Do I choose form over function, or the other way around?"
It's a very practical question that applies to a lot of situations. Here're a few scenarios:
"Do I get these heels because they're kinda sleek, black and sexy (form) or do I get those super high heels so that they'll probably break as I'm walking and I can force my boyfriend to carry me and I get to hold on and hug him all the way home (function)."
"Do I marry this girl because she's super sweet (form) and super sexy (form) or this other girl who cooks (function) better than my mother and speaks Chinese so we can order all the good stuff (function) at Chinese restaurants?"
"Do I get my mother those Belgian chocs for her birthday since she loves sweet and choclatey stuff (form) or do I get her a new iron so she'll stop burning my clothes (function)?"
All these are jokes, but you get the idea right?
Sometimes, both form and function do come together (although there are probably no irons made of chocolate).
Lol, well it’s still form over function here.
When form does meet function, its usually priced way over our heads and with technology, sometimes the sad thing is that it doesn't even happen. The scenarios I described seem biased towards 'function' because of the ‘practicality’ argument. However, in buying a tablet PC, its more complicated because thinness (form) is the whole point of a tablet to begin with. What I’m getting at here is that in terms of tablets, thinness as a form is actually part of its function to begin with.
I’ve realised that I really need to make clear distinctions in my choice of a Windows 8 tablet, do I choose a thinner and less functional tablet or a thicker hybrid with all the multiple USB ports, extra battery, and VGA (available on the Vaio Duo) and so on?
The thing is, that greedy boy in me, still wants a thin form that can do and connect everything.
Still, I think it’s time for people to take a bite off an apple. Just how big remains to be seen.