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The Tablet is an "And" Device

March 25, 2011 15:26:24.000

PC World's Katherine Noyes has a fundamental misunderstanding of how tablets are being used outside of a business context. Claiming they are a "passing fad", she says:

Unlike smartphones, the tablet form factor is too large to fit in a pocket or purse, yet it doesn't offer anywhere near the functionality of only slightly larger devices like notebooks and laptop computers. I just don't see why you'd be willing to carry one of these things around--in addition to a phone, most likely--when you could have something convenient (a single good smartphone) or powerful (a laptop).

The funny thing is, most of the usage I've seen doesn't involve travel anywhere outside the home. My wife uses her iPad to read, and to browse or play games while the TV is on. This is the sort of usage I see most people talking about, and for "couch potato" usage, a tablet is far, far simpler than a laptop. It's easier to pick up and put down, takes up less space, and, for things like interacting with Netflix (especially if you have an AppleTV device), it's vastly simpler than connecting a laptop or desktop to the TV.

My usage is actually the outlier, I think. I travel with mine, and use it at the gym (while using an exercise bike). Basically, the tablet isn't a laptop replacement; it's a classic "I didn't know I needed that before I had it" device. You don't replace your laptop or phone with it; you use it in addition to those things.

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posted by James Robertson

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