Five years ago, when you told people you were buying a tablet, they would probably look at you in a funny way. As strange as it may seem, there was a time when the word ‘tablet’ simply referred to a square piece of stone.
Today, stone tablets are gone and electronic tablets are here in full force. If you don’t already have a tablet, then you might be wondering why anyone would ever buy one. After all, aren’t tablets just smaller versions of a computer? Why would I use a tablet instead of a laptop?
Today, we’re going to answer those questions for you. Here are some of the best reasons to buy a tablet (as well as a few reasons not to buy one).
Tablets are great e-readers: Remember when the iPad transformed the way we listened to music? Tablets are doing the same for books. Today, many tablets are designed solely as e-readers, like the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. Other tablets feature e-reading functionality as well as the ability to do other useful things. You can download books on your iPad, for example, while the Kindle Fire allows you to watch movies, play games, and read your favorite book on a single device. If you’re sick of going to the bookstore every time you want to buy a physical book, then an e-reader tablet can help.
They’re great for in front of the TV: When you’re sitting on your couch in front of the TV, a traditional laptop is usually uncomfortable. If you’re typing, then your hands are at an awkward angle, and if you’re switching between the screen of your laptop and the TV, then you might strain your neck. A tablet, on the other hand, is the perfect device to use while you’re watching TV. Browse your favorite TV show’s IMDB page while you’re watching, for example, or follow along with the discussion on Twitter. When you’re using a tablet, it doesn’t take long to realize just how useful the single-screen interface can be when in front of the TV.
Tablets are surprisingly powerful: Some people dislike tablets because they think they’re less powerful than laptops and desktops. This is generally true, but tablet technology is catching up at a surprisingly fast pace. Today, it’s easy to find tablets that are more powerful than laptops or desktops released 2 to 3 years ago, and switching between programs on a tablet is a surprisingly smooth and fast experience. If you’re looking for lower-end performance, buy a tablet like the Kindle Fire. If you’re interested in a top-of-the-line experience, then a tablet like the Samsung Series 7 Slate can help, although it will set you back more than $1,000.
Tablets are great for the office: You might think of the tablet as a new toy. Sure, tablets can be used for music, movies, and games, but they can also help out in an office environment. Tablets can easily be passed around during meetings and they are ideal for one-on-one presentations. Many tablets can even be connected to traditional projectors and displays, which could make your next meeting go as smoothly as possible. Of course, if you ever get bored at the meeting, you can just start playing Angry Birds.
Smoother performance, fewer errors: Tablets often experience fewer errors than desktop and laptop PCs. Since tablets are based on common hardware and architecture, it’s easier for tech companies to limit bugs and glitches. In the rare case that tablets do crash, restarting is fast and easy. And, since glitches will the tablet manufacturer knows exactly what kind of hardware you’re running on your tablet, it’s easy for them to fix glitches with a simple patch.
Sure, tablets are cool for a number of different reasons. But they do have some limitations. Here are a few reasons why you might not want to buy a tablet:
Limited typing ability: Unless you buy a third-party peripheral keyboard, then you will be sorely disappointed by the typing ability on most tablets. Virtual keyboards just don’t cut it when it comes to typing up Word documents or chatting with friends. If you’re used to typing 60 to 100 words per minute on a traditional keyboard, then your virtual keyboard speed might not be able to keep up. Of course, some tablets are better at this than others, so do your research before you buy.
Tablets tend to go obsolete much faster: The desktop or laptop PC you buy today will serve you well for 3 to 5 years. But tablets might not have that long of a lifespan. Tablet technology is growing at a very fast pace, and that means your tablet will start to look old not long after you buy it. You might grow sick of the design after just 12 months, and after 18 months, the hardware components inside your tablet will be half as fast as the ones in new tablets. In other words, tablets tend to become obsolete much more quickly than other types of software.
Limited gaming capabilities: Sure, you can play games like Angry Birds on your tablet, but you won’t be playing 64-player Battlefield 3 matches any time soon. If you love gaming on your PC, then you’ll quickly find that your tablet is unable to keep up.
You might already have a powerful smartphone or laptop: If you just bought a new smartphone or laptop, then you might not want to spend another several hundred dollars on a tablet. You can easily browse your smartphone in front of the TV, or open up your laptop at work if you’re looking for a portable workstation. You might find yourself using your tablet less than you expected.
Tablets are extremely cool. They’re a perfect solution to many different tech problems, like figuring out how to use a PC in front of the TV, and tablets are becoming more powerful every day. With tablets priced anywhere from $150 to $1,500, there are a wide range of options available to consumers.
If you decide that the pros balance out the cons, then buy a tablet today! And remember: if you buy a Windows tablet, be sure to install PC Cleaner Pro to make it run as fast as possible.