The “Tablet” is Dead.

Ever since I picked up my first tablet (Acer A500), I knew the platform was doomed for productivity. While I really wanted to love my tablet, there was one glaringly obvious ergonomic issue: I had to hold the thing with one hand…

Workarounds to Actually Work

As time went on (15 minutes) I came to the realization that I had succumbed to the hype, man did I feel dumb. There was absolutely no way I was getting any “real work” done on this bad boy. Sure, I tried kickstands, USB keyboards, Bluetooth keyboards, mice, etc., however none of these options left me without the nagging feeling that I ought to be using a laptop.

Why the Hell Did I Buy this Thing?

Looking long and hard at why I even bought a tablet led me back to the same conclusion: “Shit, I dunno.” While I always wanted to pick up the tablet (that beautiful, shiny, sleek and black thing) I knew in the back of my mind that I needed a big boys device, a proper monitor AND keyboard equipped tablet, a.k.a. my laptop.

The Reality

When you boil it down, tablets will always be limited by their ability to conform to the human body for data input. Certainly voice recognition has become significantly better, however, imagine trying to create a complicated business spreadsheet using only your voice? “A2, bold, format to simple date, align center. A3, formula vlookup A4 …, round to nearest integer…” It would be about as efficient as the government currently is.

Half-assed Solutions

Today’s “solutions” such as the Microsoft Surface essentially take a laptop and make it LESS useful. Hell, it’s even hard to argue these days that tablets are more portable than laptops, especially ultrabooks. I was able to find 4 ultrabooks within a similar price range of the Surface 2, within a half pound of weight, and all with better battery life. With the ultrabook I know I can get the job done, with the Surface 2 I believe I can get the job done but there’s some doubt… What’s the point at this point?

“Holy shit, we’ve taken tablets that sucked as laptops and tried to make them kinda like laptops again. Fuck me.”

As if the line between tablet and laptop wasn’t blurred enough, today Microsoft announced the Surface 3: the 12″ tablet laptop thingy. “What the hell just happened?” Microsoft even trumpeted their horns about the merits of the Surface 3’s “lapability”. I don’t know about you, but I can’t figure out if this is a laptop with a detachable monitor, or a monitor with a keyboard dock. Does anyone really want this?

 

What do you think, is it time to realize that tablets are lame, or do you think Netflix will keep tablets alive forever?

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Ryan Park
Ryan is a self-taught Java and Android developer who's passionate about creating software that's simple yet powerful. When Ryan's not on the computer he's working out, kickboxing or petting his tiny dogs...
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2 thoughts on “The “Tablet” is Dead.

    • Tablets are for sure great. If productivity was just to acknowledge appointsments, show pictures, give a short reply on mails, check some figures – it would be amazing. But when it comes to programming or writing long essays, there’s no way around a laptop (and second screen >>20″).
      I enjoy using my tablets (first one was also an A500) for research in the web – bookmarking with Pocket or Delicious. Using it as third screen for reading documentations or watching soccer world championchip while programming. It’s just no Laptop but very portable 😉

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