The Unacknowledged Compromise

Matt Gemmell:

[T]here’s a peculiar disconnect between our acknowledged multi-device world, and how the technology industry seems to view (and review) products. Each new device is stacked up against its forebears, even across different categories and platforms, as if the substitution of one for the other reflects reality. We read about alternatives, whereas what we’re often looking for are companions.

What a great article from Gemmell. I agree nearly in its entirety, with one minor quibble (or, really, clarification): we only require multiple devices should our requirements necessitate them. Gemmell again, then I’ll explain:

I think there are six categories of consumer computing device that are interesting to most people: primary work machine, portable (or travel) machine, tablet, phone, gaming device, and reading device. You can group them (and potentially collapse them together) in various different ways, but for the moment, that’s what we have.

My work machine and my travel machine are the same. For me, a notebook is an alternative to a desktop because I simply don’t do anything which requires the power of a desktop. I make no noticeable compromise by choosing a notebook in combination with an external display, and gain the significant advantage of portability.