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Tablets Are What Laptops Promised to Be

TabletsTablet computers like the iPad have fulfilled the promise that laptops made a quarter century ago: truly mobile computing.

That statement might seem a bit odd. After all, laptops have always been marketed as portable computers. You can pack them up and take them anywhere, isn’t that the point? Well, there were always some very severe upper limits on laptop portability. They’re heavy, they’re difficult to protect on the go, and they’re expensive to replace. There is a reason many laptops are now so heavy and large that they’re being called “desktop replacements.”

Tablets have addressed these problems and presented a creative, effective solution for consumers. Tablets weigh around a pound, and take up a fraction of the space a laptop does. They perform all the core functions of a computer for most users: browsing, email, media viewing, and word processing. The touch screen eliminates the need for a secondary mouse, and most can be recharged with the same micro-USB cords as cell phones, so the need for accessories beyond a Bluetooth keyboard is eliminated.

Tablets are easier to protect, as well. Their lighter weight means less mass is hitting the floor if they’re dropped or jostled, so truly effective protective cases are now readily available at big box computer stores and online. You can buy starter-end tablets for a few hundred dollars, far less than you’d spend on a full laptop. The more expensive tablets can be insured against damage if necessary, as well.

The value of the tablet as a true portable computing option has not escaped the notice of the market. There are now multiple tablet designs available for people to choose from:

  • HP tablet
  • Apple’s iPad
  • Asus
  • Google Nexus
  • Samsung Tab

These are just the start of the list. More limited tablets have been introduced that still provide excellent service in their niche. The Nook, a tablet reader from Barnes and Noble, uses a simplified Android operating system, and serves web browsing and email needs in addition to displaying books. These are available for as little as 120 dollars at times.

No computer will ever be truly disposable, but with an ever-lowering price point, tablets are coming closer to that ideal. When traveling, a low-end tablet with the basic files you need is less of a loss if it gets damaged than even the cheapest laptop. Tablets have taken the promise that laptops made two decades ago and brought it fully into reality.