What Exactly Is The Point of a Tablet?

by @edent | , , , , , | 4 comments | Read ~418 times.

This was going to be a Sponsored Post from ebuzzing - but they rejected it. Can't think why...

I think I'm turning into a Luddite. I see all these shiny tablets and... I just don't want one!

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Don't get me wrong, I drove myself crazy trying to get an HP TouchPad because a) Massive discount and b) under a hundred quid.

You see, everyone I know with a tablet has one of two accessories.

  1. A bluetooth keyboard. Because it's really hard to do any sustained typing on a touch-screen.
  2. A dock. Because it's really hard to do any sustained typing on a touch-screen.

You see, I like to use my computer. Tablets are perfect for a consumer who wants to see pretty lights and occasionally prod at a large target with their fat, sweaty thumb. But that's not me. I want to type, to blog, to code, to comment, to design. I want a laptop. And, indeed, that's what I have.

If I want to do something passive, I'll watch TV. Or my laptop screen. Or my phone. If I want to read, I'll use an e-ink screen. My Kindle is lighter and has better readability than any tablet.

Why do I need another expensive device? Especially one I can't create on?

Oh, and don't tell me about the camera on these devices - does this look anything other than ridiculous?

So, Samsung have released the Galaxy Tab 10.1 - see Samsung's YouTube Channel to see it in action - and once again I have gadget lust. It's big, shiny, runs Android (and will run even better when Cyanogen is ported to it).

But once more, I shall have to turn it down. It's lovely, I'm sure, but just not for me.

To help me justify my descision to forgoe this beautiful fondleslab, here are the top three worst things about the Galaxy Tab.

  1. Non-standard charger. It uses some awful "media port" rather than micro-USB. (Note: it's not even PDMI
  2. No USB OTG - so I can't use a keyboard, mouse, or external drive with it. Well, I can, but I have to shell out for a dongle that I'll invariably lose.
  3. No external storage - so if I want to take a bunch of movies and music with me on a trip, I'm limited to internal storage.

You can gaze at Samsung's FaceBook page but it won't improve things.

Am I crazy? Is there any reason to own a tab if I've already got a (great) Samsung Android phone and an (awesome) ThinkPad running Ubuntu?

What on Earth do you people do with a tablet that I'm missing out on?

4 thoughts on “What Exactly Is The Point of a Tablet?

  1. I have the iPad2, love it, but when people ask "how do you justify it?" all I can say: it's a fucking cool toy.

    And that's good enough for me, but I love my other toy (MacBook Air 11") a lot more as it allows me to do shit that matters.

    Some people buy a motor cycle, others buy expensive cloths or furniture. I bought an iPad2.

    1. Santa Claus loves you 🙂

  2. I like to use my TouchPad. Reading RSS feeds over breakfast. Responding to mail when I'm away from my computer but want a decent sized screen and to be able to switch easily back and forth between mail and a browser. Reading books (and being able to swap back out to mail or web between chapters, or when looking for reference material). Noodling about on the interwebs when I'm doing the continuous partial attention thing in front of the TV. Looking at hotels and sharing the tablet around when trying to look at and book holidays, in a way that's not so convenient with a laptop.

    It's different to a laptop. If the kindle is the pinacle of single-purpose computing, and the laptop is the pinacle of mobile multitasking, then the tablet is something in between. But most of all, touch adds a new dimension to user interfaces, something that is not yet available on laptops but that is an infinitely more human way of interacting. And for that alone, you can have my tablet when you pry it from my cold dead hands 😉

  3. max says:

    3 years later, this post is still relevant. If you type a lot, a tablet isn't for you. And if you have a laptop, you have no use for a tablet.

    What has changed since 2011, is that phones are much bigger now. My Nexus 5 is 5 inches. So I have little use for the 7 and 8 inch tablets, which are the flavor of the day.

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