I packed up my awesome custom-configured Sony Vaio laptop with turbo boost processor and sent it back to the manufacturer Monday so the company could replace the LCD screen. Rather than purchase another laptop, I bought a Surface Pro Saturday, and decided for the next two weeks I would work from the tablet.
The FedEx guy came right on time to pick up the Vaio and ship it to Sony in Texas. So here I am. Just me and the Surface Pro, hard keyboard, and VGA connector that allows me to view everything on a big screen. I absolutely love the ability to touch the screen similar to a smartphone, and thought I would lose the capability when connecting the tablet to the monitor, but I didn't.
I have wanted a touchscreen monitor ever since I saw Ray Ozzie, former Microsoft CTO and chief scientist, demonstrate the ability to move tiles on a touch monitor screen in the early 2000s.
Believe me, I stress about whether I could survive two weeks on a mere tablet, and wonder whether organic search results will become more or less satisfying than on a laptop. Another positive feature about the Surface Pro: it accepts most third-party apps. The worst: it doesn't have a CD or DVD drive to download older software that likely won't run on Windows 8 anyway, and it requires you to answer a bucket full of questions before downloading the Office suite.
I'm also beginning to understand the reasons behind Google’s move to combine tablet with desktop and laptop paid-search ad bidding, although marketers can still get separate reports per device type. For me, it's not so much the size of the machine as much as the performance and the screen resolution. I’ve owned four laptops in nearly 20 years.
Google makes a strong argument for blurring the lines between laptops and tablets, but clients have expressed concerns, according to Roger Barnette, president at IgnitionOne. He said users are finding laptops and tablets interchangeable. We will see. So far, not quite -- but it's only day one for me.
Google likely combined tablet with desktop and laptop AdWords bidding in anticipation of performance levels on mobile devices eventually reaching the same levels as desktops, according to Matt Lawson, SVP at Marin Software. He points to Marin's 2013 Mobile Report and suggests that tablets are already headed that way. Given the current growth rates, we predict tablet conversion rates and cost-per-click would have equaled those of desktops by year end," he said. "Google's move may accelerate the convergence of tablet and desktop pricing, but it would likely have happened either way."
The Marin report found that cost-per-click prices for tablet search ad rose 25% in 2012. Experts believe CPCs will continue to rise. Marin suggests that tablet search could drive upwards of $5 billion in revenue for Google this year. The average CPC for paid-search ads on tablets was 17% lower than desktops, but that will change.
I expect it will be a challenge getting used to the tablet. I'll let you know how it all turns out when I get my laptop back.