A year ago I wrote an article titled Tablet vs Netbook where I compared the advantages and disadvantages of each product category. Since that post was (and to my surprise is still) frequently visited (Mr Google Analytics told me so), I’d like to revisit the topic.
The Rise of the Tablets
Although netbooks were already in decline when I wrote the previous article in November 2011, they have now completely disappeared from the market. It doesn’t come as a surprise; their components were old and cheap, resulting in sluggish machines that could not deliver performance. I actually stopped using my own netbook a few months after publishing the article because it had become an embarrassment to use it in front of a client; I had to apologize on several occasions for its extremely slow performance. Technology should enhance one’s life, not make it painful.
One look at any electronics store is enough to realize that tablets have completely taken over the market; we now have not only the iPad but also the iPad Mini, Google Nexus 7 & 10, Samsung Galaxy Note, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and more. With every new release they keep becoming better and better, and affordable as well. Apple is no longer the only good option on the market; during 2012, competitors caught up.
With their user-friendly interface (applicable for both iOS or Android) and speed, tablets offer a light-weight option that netbooks could never match. They are easier to use and great to complete simple to intermediary tasks. It’s no wonder they beat netbooks into oblivion.
Can a tablet replace my laptop or computer?
This is a question that keeps coming back on many blogs. If you’d ask me, I’d say; it depends.
Indeed, it depends of your usage. If you use your computer to run specific software (we could be talking about Adobe Photoshop, accounting software, anything that is a bit heavy and that does not have an app equivalent) for your work, tablets may serve as a great companion outside the house or in bed, but you will definitely want to keep your main computer close as well. I, for instance, could not make a living without my desktop, it’s that simple. However, if you use your computer mainly for checking emails, chatting, some writing, reading, watching movies, play games and surfing the web, a tablet might very well be the best option for you. It does all that and more.
If you are still unsure, take a pen and note down the all ways you use your computer for a day or two, then find out if all the things you regularly do can be accomplished on a tablet. If most or all the tasks you perform on a desktop/laptop can be reproduced comfortably on a tablet, then you will know you can make the switch.