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Loren Heiny had an experience recently that got him thinking about the social implications of a slate over a convertible tablet.
A couple friends came over for a bit this weekend and we got into a discussion about breeds of dogs. It didn't take long before I realized I needed some pictures to go along with the discussion. So I grabbed my Samsung Q1, booted it up, and Googled for each of the breeds we were talking about. Each search took only one query and in no time I had pictures of the dogs being talked about that I could pass around. No doubt a UMPC is quite "passable." Then it struck me: A slate (such as a UMPC) is more "social" than a convertible Tablet PC. I'm much more likely to pass around a UMPC or slate than a convertible.
This is an interesting new take on some thinking that has been around for a while. Notebooks, and convertible tablets in laptop mode, form a barrier between you and the person you are working with in a meeting scenario. For all sorts of psychological reasons, this is sometimes considered a sod thing in a business scenario.
As Loren points out a state is also more social in non-business scenarios because they are more passable as well as not being a barrier.
The smaller and more portable a device is the more personal it becomes. For this reason small slates and UMPCs are very much putting the personal back in the PC.