If you pay even the slightest bit of attention to technology you are aware of the market blitz currently happening around tablets. It is only going to become more intense. With all the hype, you may be wondering if you should go out and get one. Most people don’t “really” need a tablet, but there are a number of great things you can do with them. I’ll cover some of those things. Hopefully by the end of this article you will have a better idea on if you should buy one.
I’ve had a few over the past year and tried both the iPad, iPad 2, and Galaxy Tab. Currently I do not own a tablet, mainly because I do not have a need that the tablet fulfills. My phone gives me mobile internet any where, my kindle gives me a great e-reader with superior battery life, and my laptop functions as a better personal computer. The areas where the tablet excels are not personally important to me. That being said, I am one type of user, you should make the decision based on the type of user you are.
So you are probably wondering where tablets do excel. There are a number of areas where they are superior to other types of technology.
- Hyper mobile people who are rarely at a desk. The tablet can function as a computer you can hold in your hand for jotting notes, sending emails, and sharing presentations. A laptop is superior for these use cases if you are at a desk for much of your day, but for those of us that have the luxury of being on the move, a laptop is just not as convenient as a tablet.
- Hand held movie player. I loved watching television shows and movies on these devices while on long trips. Especially if the case doubled as a stand. Just think about it, this is pretty much the same function as a in car television system that is more versatile and cheaper.
- They can function as an eReader if you don’t already have one. I personally think the Kindle and Nook are superior devices for reading books. Tablets are not too shabby.
- People who are not heavy computer users and primarily do email, Facebook, and web browsing. Tablets are easy to use and learn, plus they are relatively cheap at under a $1000.
As they stand right now, I think tablets are still a bit of a novelty. They are fun to have and can be useful in a few different scenarios, but they are still not ready to completely replace computers. We gave a partner at our company an iPad and he spent two weeks using it as his primary machine before switching back to a laptop. It was just too difficult to send large numbers of emails and review all of the Microsoft documents he needed. I also handed my mother in law an iPad to play with for two days, she was a pro at it within 30 minutes and absolutely loving the experience. These are two different users with different needs.
For me, I don’t need a tablet. I would be completely open to getting one for my daughter in a year or two. I would also get one for a number of other people in my life. Granted, if I have an extra $600 sitting around with nothing else to spend it on, I would buy a tablet in a second.