Deskability versus Palmability
Consumer-facing computing and telecommunication devices have been undergoing unprecedented changes at periodic intervals. This is equally applicable to a desktop, a notebook, or a mobile phone. While the underlying processing powers of these devices have increased manifold, major evolutions and innovations have happened in terms of the form factor as well.
Among the computing devices, the most significant change has perhaps happened in the desktop genre, particularly through all-in-ones, which have lately started appearing on store shelves in a more noticeable way. The key proposition that would drive the adoption of these devices in the long run is their ‘deskability’, or the ability to sit on smaller desks.
Needless to say, the growth in notebooks has majorly been driven by the aspects of portability and ultra-portability. Understandably, these devices haven’t seen very extraordinary changes in their form factors over the years.
On the telecommunication front, mobility has been the key driver across devices ranging from basic to rich feature phones to smartphones. No other client device genre other than the mobile phones would have such variety, be in terms of form factors, design, or input technology. So we have phones with candy bar, clamshell, and slider form factors and with qwerty, touch, and touch-and-type input methods.
Yes, form factor also relates to the size and the 3-dimensional aspect of the device. And in this context, ‘palmability’ for the mobile phones becomes as important as the portability for a notebook. It also alludes to the touch and feel of the device when held in the hand.
Sure, the palmability of a device would vary from person to person. So a smaller and sleeker device would better slip in the palm of a person with relatively smaller hands, while the larger devices would expectedly rest more comfortably in larger hands. Palmability can help users to become more comfortable with the device. No wonder, device makers are paying greater attention to ‘palmability’ with the newer breeds of handsets.