|image via flickr user Gadgetmac|
I was skeptical about tablets long after they became mainstream. What could a tablet possibly offer that my laptop didn't already?
But last winter, as Christmas approached and with no other possible gifts I needed or wanted, I caved in to some gadget envy as everyone and even my own mother seemed to be buying a tablet. So I asked for and Santa delivered an ipad mini. And I found the answer to what tablets offer over laptops: the ultimate in portability.
I admit it: I love this thing. I don't think a day has gone by since last Christmas that I haven't used it for something, from taking a picture, to reading an e-book, to surfing the web. I rarely pull out my laptop anymore, unless I need to type large amounts of text or use a site that isn't mobile friendly.
Tablets are perfect for traveling. I recently returned from a quick trip out of state and packing the ipad is so much easier. It fills the role of books, a laptop (for low-key things like web surfing and checking email), a game device, a video device, and a camera (not an ideal one for distance or high-quality shots, but for being able to snap a photo in a pinch it's fine) all in one compact little package.
But the question still remains, is a tablet clutter or a cure-all? Is it a distraction or a productivity booster?
Since my ipad is something I use often, and even find beautiful, I wouldn't classify it as clutter. But for me it's all about entertainment. And sometimes it's just another time waster (Candy Crush, anyone?)
It's also an addition to my gadget collection. It doesn't replace my laptop, which I'm typing on right now and still need for blogging, photo editing, updating documents and typing anything of length (sure I could get an add-on keyboard for the ipad, but I think that too would be uncomfortable). It doesn't replace my camera, even though I use it far more often. It does replace the need to buy an ebook reader, as the Kindle app works just fine for that purpose.
Even at work, where were given a full-size ipad to use for business, I don't find it overly useful. It's great for checking email, taking simple notes and using the web on the go> But even when you spring for paid apps I still find it cumbersome to update Word or Excel files with it, not to mention working on something more complex. Maybe given time that will change.
Fellow tablet owners, do you find them useful or just fun?