Your tablet made me sick.

What does tablet computing and the flu have in common? I’ve learned over the past week and a half that if you play with the tablet display at your local electronics store, there is a good chance you are going to catch the flu.

Besides getting horribly sick, I was able to view a family of three check out the iPad, Nexus 7, Galaxy Tab and the Windows Surface tablets.

Tablet Computing and the Flu - Tablets on Display

Computer display area, check out new electronics and catch the flu

The first stop for the family of three was the  Galaxy Tab. I heard the daughter say to her mother, “This is like our phone.” The mother’s response was, “We don’t want that then do we.” I don’t think they spent more than 30 seconds with it before moving over to the Nexus 7. I had just moved from its display spot to try out the Windows Surface. I will say it was more responsive then what I thought it would be. I was asked what tablet I would buy and I explained to the mom that I like the Apple iPads and then I said, “Here try this one out. It’s the new Windows Surface tablet.”

I moved over to the iPads and watched as the family played around with the Surface. They immediately had the same navigation problems I had with it. Trying to jump from the metro interface to the desktop was a so-so experience. Then once I was away from the metro interface, I had noticed that the person before me had left open Microsoft Office and the Documents folder I hate admitting that it took me a while to close both and get back to the desktop. Was the device easy to navigate? No, not in my opinion. It was a mess of menus just like Windows was. Before I had offered my spot to the lady and her two children, I opened both Microsoft Office and the documents folder then put the metro interface back up. I know it was a bit mean, but I wanted to see how they moved about the tablet.

First, the mother gave up quickly and the daughter took a swipe at the tablet. Then the youngest one of the three  started to play with it. The metro interface is the only thing he moved around on. I spoke with the family for a minute and explained that I wanted to use their reactions to the tablet computers in my blog and they were completely fine with that.

To save the best for last, they started to swipe around on the iPad taking turns. All three seemed to be able to navigate the iPad pretty well. In less time then they played around with the other tablets, they had gotten an employee to get an iPad 4 out of lockup for them and they were off to checkout.

Later on the next night, I started to feel poorly. I realized quickly that I caught the flu. I can’t be entirely sure where I picked it up, but I’m guessing that it was the dirty fingerprint covered tablet displays. I spent the next week in bed vomiting off and on, so note to self, if you plan on visiting a display rack during the flu season, make sure you have some sort of hand cleaner or you might get bit by the same tablet bug that got me.

What have your experiences been with tablets on display stands? Which one do you own and have you thought about switching?