1. Easy-G's Avatar
    Whenever I find myself exploring full-size, 10" tablets, even the iPad mini for that matter, I find myself reaching the same question... is this device worth $400+ dollars? Am I stepping beyond 'value' and 'utility' into the realm of an unnecessary price premium for a luxury product with limited use? I'm not saying we should be 'all work and no play'. I'm not trying to cast judgement or be a prude. I just want to explore what we use tablets for and ask whether or not we are getting the best bang for our buck.

    The PROS

    The best, most undeniable function of the tablet is that of a consumption device. For digital magazine subscribers, e-comic people, and to a lesser but still hugely relevant extent, ebook people, having your entire library in a thin and light device that you hold in your hand and has the dimensions of a traditional magazine is PERFECT! For those that invest heavily in this medium, an iPad or Kindle HD are very, very good platforms.

    You can argue that a 10" device may be too large to take around outside without a handbag. However, there's a lot to be said about having a tablet lying around the house. For example, I'll be at the parents house where up to 3 iPads can be found at any given time. I can't count the number of times I've been called on to "look something up"... anything, a recipe, a webpage, a video, things that aren't necessarily best viewed or shared on a tiny smartphone screen. It's a great always-on device to have around in case curiosity strikes, as it often does.

    Frequent flyer? If you spend any amount of time traveling in cramped quarters and your hands are free, tablets are simply better than phones IMO. It comes back to consumption. Load up your device with movies, books, magazines, games and, even without cellular, you're good for the most lengthy of journeys.

    The CONS

    Disagree if you must, but productivity on a tablet simply does not compare to an Ultrabook/Macbook Air. They may cost twice as much, but in regard to actually carrying your work with you, editing presentations or documents, the ultraportable laptop is far more than twice as capable. Even on the best of touch screens, typing is an arduous chore compared to physical keys, and a miniaturized physical keyboard/cover (looking at you, Surface RT) is simply too cramped for regular use. And while software offering are sure to keep improving (MS Office on Win RT, coming to Android and iOS), keyboard size is something that cannot change in the 10" form factor. As super-ultraportable as tablets are, the productivity compromises are too great. Ultimately, you find yourself connecting to a TV or monitor with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse while thinking "Why didn't I just get a laptop?".

    Tablets are still a relatively new phenomena, as is the modern mobile OS. This means that obsolescence - real or perceived - happens FAST. It pains me to see the iPad - inarguably the best tablet in terms of ergonomics, hardware and software - make small, but significant leaps with every generation. We're seeing this growth slow down for certain. The addition of cameras in the iPad 2 was huge, but an obvious next step. I think early adopters really felt the pain if they didn't see this coming. The retina display in the iPad 3 was huge, even if we argued it wasn't a big deal at the time - high pixel density is an absolute must nowadays. The addition of the lightning connector in the iPad 4 was a painful, but necessary step in breaking away from an old, proprietary port to a new... proprietary port. The point is, I don't think we've hit that threshold of a "future-proof" tablet. My desktop is 2 years old. Quite frankly, it will probably keep up with my needs for another 2 years without an upgrade. When the new iPad comes out, there will be simply no comparison with the original iPad.

    In the end

    It comes down to what you want, what you need, what you can afford, your choice, so perhaps this entire rant is moot. I love my desktop, I love my old Macbook, I love my new Ultrabook, I love my smartphone. I've gotten and continue to get a lot of use out of them and they have been substantial cash investments. Frankly, I'd like to phase some of them out, get a retina MBP or an equally powerful Lenovo Yoga if such a device should arise. However, I'm still waiting for the day when a tablet comes along that says to me "Easy-G, I'm worth your $519/$329 + tax + accessories + yadda yadda"... but that day isn't today.
    04-19-13 09:14 AM
  2. SteveBB10's Avatar
    Totally agree I consider my tablet an "entertainment" sure I bring it to school to go on and look up information but writing notes on it would be a pain. But at home I tend to use it a lot the watch movies and play games and do some light browsing. Everything else is done on my PC which come to think of it is almost 5 years but still has relatively up to date specs.

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9900
    Support your local paramedics...Run with scissors.
    04-19-13 01:17 PM

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