It seems like everyone’s got a tablet these days, doesn’t it? Well, if they don’t have one yet, they will soon.
Tablets are lightweight, portable, and great for simple tasks – browsing the Net, messaging, email, note-taking, music, watching videos, and so on – but they’re not necessarily the best solution to everything.
The main problem with tablets is that you can’t have several windows open at once. Most of us are used to multi-tasking these days, and we find ourselves flipping between windows regularly. You could argue that multi-tasking is often counter-productive, and so it’s positively beneficial to focus on one thing at a time. There is some truth in that, but some tasks really need us to use multiple applications or windows – for example, going through a Web site and making notes of things that need to be done. It’s far quicker to do this by having the Web site open in one window, and a text editor or spreadsheet open in a second window next to it, rather than having to switch between them. For that, your tablet will be far more cumbersome.
Touch-screens are also far less efficient for typing large amounts of text. You can get an external wired or Bluetooth keyboard, but this negates much of the benefit of having a tablet. You have to carry it around with you, and then it’s not nearly as portable. It’s also a pain having to find somewhere to put the tablet and the keyboard, especially when you’re not working at a desk. You end up trying to balance the screen on its edge, and then the keyboard on your knees, and everything is dangerously wobbly. A laptop is much easier to type on.
And finally, tablets just don’t have the power of desktops or laptops. For heavy-duty tasks like complex graphics, audio, video, or gaming, you really need a computer with enough memory, storage space, processing power, and speed. You can do some of these things on a tablet, but on to a basic level. That may be enough for you, but it won’t work for everyone.
Tablets are, unquestionably, incredibly useful devices, and they can replace your current computer for many of the things you do, both at home and at work. But it’s still too early to write off the notebook, laptop, or desktop. They’ll be around for a while.