Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tablets: Clutter or Cure-All?

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?


  1. I think Candy Crush should be re-named to "Sugar Coma"! That thing is DANGEROUS!!

    CatMan got me a tablet for my birthday this year. I do enjoy it, but I do consider it more of a toy than a useful device. But I do like being able to take it to bed to watch Netflix movies when I'm having an insomniac moment.

    1. Same here, it's another fun toy.....they do come in handy for watching videos. We use our for Netflix on trips too.

  2. It's sad that my 3 + 5 year olds can use a tablet better than I can. I haven't ventured to touch screen anything (although I may be getting an iPod for the gym) because it drives me crazy. We have a Garmin, and I'm always cursing the touchscreen for recognizing the wrong letter or taking forever to respond. I can't imagine how angry I would be with a tablet! However, practically everyone we know with children has one, and mainly for their kids to play on. I already feel like my kids are behind when it comes to technology. Just something they can blame me for later ;)

    1. My two-year-old nephew is an iPad whiz. It is amazing how fast they catch on.

      I hate touch screen technology too and really can't stand it with phones, but I don't have a problem with my iPad. It respons really well...except for autocorrect...

  3. GPS touch screens aren't extremely responsive unless they are the integrated factory navigation type. Many standalone GPS devices use resistive touch screens because they are cheap, but they are also very flaky. Capacitive touch screens in higher end products are pretty decent for the most part, if you buy a name brand tablet or phone it will probably be an entirely different experience than what you are having with your Garmin.

  4. We only got one because of peer pressure at work. We ended up getting a galaxy tab because at that point in time there was no ipad mini available. We rarely end up using the tab because it's an annoying size! It's too big to stick in my purse but not big enough to feel comfortable replacing the laptop with it. I think it would've made more sense for me to get the full-size ipad instead of the laptop. We also have two kindles, so it ended up being most a waste of money for us. Glad it's working for you though!

  5. Good point, Zoe. If you want to do something more than viewing, listening or reading then I agree, a bigger tablet is more functional. Although even my full size work iPad wouldn't replace a laptop for everything. As it is now though, I use my mini much more than my laptop. My mini does fit in my purse, which is fairly small, which makes it much more handy for on the go use.

  6. I agree with everything you said. I have an iPad Mini too, which I chose because it is a perfect e-book reader size, and also has a browser and good apps. (The Kindle Fire is not fully functional in Canada). I love it and bring it everywhere, but I still use my laptop every day for documents, spreadsheets and photo editing.

  7. I agree, the ipad mini is the perfect e-reader size, and it's light enough to be comfortable to hold in one hand.


Comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Note: Comments are moderated in order to keep this a spam/ad-free forum.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin