The tablet PC ranges back all the way to 2002 when Microsoft first stepped into the world to display a new type of technology. It wasn’t until 2010 that the tablet trend really took off with Apple’s first generation of the iPad that really sent shivers down the spine of PC and laptop manufacturers.
It was common to hear that laptops would be a thing of the past, but they could not have been farther from reality.
Seven years later, the tablet is dying a slow, but certain death. How did it come to this point, when just a few years ago it seemed as if a tablet was becoming a necessity for each and every household? Everyone from children to the senior citizens found a certain attachment with either an Apple iPad or an Android tablet. Bigger than a smartphone, yet more compact than a PC or laptop, a tablet was the answer to all of humanity’s problems.
Not a Laptop and Not a Smartphone
The thing which made the iPad and other tablets unique, is ultimately becoming the reason for its extinction. It was fun to have a bigger version of your smartphone, but when it came to real productivity, a laptop has always been ranked much higher. Even today most, if not all tablet users, choose a laptop or even desktop to get work done.
Doing anything related to word processing, using graphics software or even thoroughly browsing the internet is not as efficient and probably never will be as it is on a laptop computer. A recent report by Deloitte Global really shows how smartphone use ranks the highest with usage up to 80 to 90 hours a month and PCs or laptops getting 40.
Tablets are nowhere near the consumption rate of a smartphone or laptop and the answer to why this is, isn’t that complicated.
Smartphones Still Easiest to Use
If you talk about doing the basic things throughout your day, like checking emails, social media and web browsing, a smartphone is still the easiest and most efficient way to do it. When it comes to really working, researching, compiling a report or anything else which requires multiple tabs open and higher processing power, a PC or laptop is without a doubt the only way to go.
The biggest problem with tablets, is their size and difficulty with the typing. For one, it is impossible to use tablets with one hand and second, the keyboard integration still really is not that great. Good quality tablet accessories and add-ons are, even today quite expensive, putting a lot of people off on any such potential purchases.
It is logical to see why people would spend more money on getting a good smartphone and second that with a laptop, instead of paying nearly the same amount for a high performance tablet. Keep in mind that the Apple iPad is nowhere near the category of being inexpensive, so why pay so much for a larger iPhone when a laptop can still outperform in any benchmark you put to it?
PCs Still Own Multimedia
Tablets were also considered great for watching videos, movies and the latest sports action on. This turns out that people, especially teenagers, still prefer their laptops. It is just much easier having access to USB ports, better quality screens and accessing websites instead of apps. The biggest failure of any tablet out there was the lack of integrating any easy method of external storage. Not having any USB input/output method just destroyed the interest of most people as sharing data is much more challenging on a tablet than it is on a laptop or PC.
Amazingly, laptops can still outrun most tablets in regards to longevity and endurance. Most tablets wear out after a year’s usage, while laptops go on for multiple years at a time. Manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have also toned down their contributions to the tablet market quite significantly.
It has been over two years since Samsung introduced its flagship, the Tab S2 and reports are just appearing now of a Tab S3 maybe some time in 2017.
What is the Next Big Thing?
Well there are a few options which could get big in the coming months and years. One would be the Microsoft Surface getting better and wider recognition if the prices come down. Having a good tablet, with Windows integration and a solid keyboard could maybe push the scope up a bit.
The next is having PCs powered by your own smartphone and being able to travel screen-to-screen. The idea is still pretty new and not yet understood by the public at large. But if Microsoft can play their cards right this time, it may be a way to get back some of the lost market space and have a resurgence in the Mobile Windows category of business. Check out Continuum for more information on this and honestly, it does look pretty interesting.
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The Only Thing Tablets Are Good For
Let’s stop with the endless bashing of tablets. I still love my Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and I think it’s is the perfect tablet in regards to size and display quality. I am even thinking about getting a quality keyboard addition, but am yet to see how they perform.
By far and wide, the only good reason to own a tablet is the ability to read eBooks, PDFs and documents with ease. This is seriously the only thing which tablets are perfect for and not something neither smartphones nor laptops can match. Hence, the success of the Amazon Kindle and others. The Tab S2 that I have is 8.0 inches and ideal for one-handed reading. Anything bigger than that really is pointless. So make your decision based on your needs. If you are planning to get a tablet for anything other than reading, it may be a better choice to go for a higher quality smartphone or laptop.
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