Do you really need a Tablet?

Somebody noted that it is raining tablets nowadays. How true! Now, before you get your lines crossed, note that I am referring to Tablet Pcs!.

All the major computer manufacturers are falling over themselves to bring one to the market .  The rush, I suppose is attributable to the runaway success of the iPad, followed by that of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. They both sold millions in record time.  There were attempts to popularize this form factor years ago – but it did not catch on.

Most tablets coming to the market have a screen dimension of at least 7”.  The supposed major advantages of these tablets is their size. They are bigger than your smartphone and smaller than the netbook.  Now, it is debatable whether we need a form factor of handheld computer sporting a 7”-sized display, personally, i don’t.  Your regular tablet computer is too big to fit into your pockets. Thus, a smartphone, say the 4-inch  display variety, is better in terms of portability.

A tablet can not really take the place of your regular netbook in terms of the applications and processing power. It is mostly suitable for browsing, emailing and playing media files. And it is too big to be used as a phone.  It was noted somewhere that the Tablet is less power-thirsty than your netbook. While this may be true in some instances, the battery life of a lot of netbooks manufactured in the past one year are much better than that of the Tablet Computers.

My submission is that current crop of tablets being pushed out are too big to be truly portable in the sense of a smartphone being portable. But the key thing is that they are too under-powered to take the place of a netbook or laptop.

Only the future will tell whether the initial adoption speed of the Galaxy Table, iPad or the tablet form factor in general, will persist over the years.

What do you think?


  • Dayo Olutunfese

    @Eyebeekay, nice points you have raised here, still I think that the Tablet device is here to stay. Also, I have had a Samsung Galaxy Tab for a while now as my primary device and I must say that it works well as a phone, though I have to carry an earpiece with me every time.

  • Really, all these devices are meant to complement each other. The smartphone can’t replace a tablet and of course a tablet can’t take the place of a netbook.

    Of all these devices, the netbook is the least attractive to me. For an everyday laptop, anything less than 13.3 inches can’t work for me. Screen size is way too small, and the keyboard will not have enough real estate.

    And if you shout the portability advantage of the netbook, I will argue than the 13.3 inch laptop is as portable as portable can be.

    In summary, for me, a smartphone & laptop is a must. Tablets are nice to have BUT a netbook is a no-go for me…

  • Lekan Kalejaye

    For me it is either a smartphone or a netbook/laptop. Tablet is not in the option. You’ve mention all the reasons already.

  • Pathfinder

    I wish to call your attention to a Gartner publication stated below:
    "If you have not already done so:

    * Purchase iPads for yourself and a few close associates, and become familiar with this device and what it can (and cannot) do.
    * Request that your marketing and product development teams present a creative briefing within two months detailing how iPads could be used by your company and competitors in your industry.
    * Unless there is a self-evident case to the contrary, require your CIO to provide (at a minimum) "concierge"-level iPad support for a limited number of key users, and prepare a budgeted plan for widespread support by mid-2011.
    * Act sooner rather than later. The cost of early action is low, while the price of delay may well be extremely high."

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