Ben Brooks decided a car (van) metaphor was most appropriate to explain the limitations he felt with the Google Nexus 7 tablet, so of course this gets a linkup on Daily Exhaust:
Let me use a car metaphor for you (because you love it when I do that). Imagine you own three vans: a “normal” 7-8 seat minivan, a 10 passenger van, and a 15 passenger van. Odds are that the two most used vans are the smallest and the largest. The 10 passenger isn’t that much larger than the minivan and isn’t that much smaller than the 15 passenger van. And so the 10 passenger van only has a 1,000 miles on it after 10 years.
I prefer to keep with Jobs’ metaphor of (desktop) PCs becoming the ‘trucks’ of computing as society becomes more mobile and urban and now needs tablet ‘cars’ to get around. Not only because I hate the idea of comparing tablets to vans, but because I have no point of reference for van usefulness.
[Digression: You know how bad a decade the 80’s was for cars? It was so bad, I thought the A-Team’s black van—with it’s diagonal stripe up the side ending in a spoiler on the roof (???)—was badass. I (and many other of my generation) thought a van was a cool ride. Let that marinate in your head for a minute.]
Back to the Nexus 7. It sounds like the Nexus 7 is more like a Smart Car in my world where the iPhone is a Ducati motorcycle and my iPad is a Volkswagen GTI. Sure the Smart Car is smaller than my GTI, but my GTI still gets good mileage and I have no problem parking it on the street in the city. Plus, I don’t have nearly as much fun with the Smart Car as I do with with my manual shift, turbo-charged GTI.
[Sidenote: my father bought himself a 2008 GTI a few years ago. Something fun to drive on the weekends. One weekend the two of us took a ride together and he let me drive. We reached a stop sign before one of the main roads in my home town and before we I pulled out my father said, “Drop it into 2nd gear and floor it” I did what he said and the car yanked me back on my seat. My dad laughed. What a fun ride.)]