Samsung Galaxy Tab

Why Get A Tablet?

Although tablets first came in to the market back in the 1990’s, it’s the new range of these portable computers that has taken the world by storm. Sales of tablet devices are booming with nearly 69 million units sold in 2011, which was an increase of 155% on 2010. Devices such as the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab have hit the headlines and everyone wants a piece of the action.

So the question beckons: Why get a tablet?


  • Lightweight – The physical strain of carrying a lightweight tablet is far less than that of carrying a full size laptop computer.
  • Portable – The typical screen size on a tablet device is around 7 – 10 inches which means they easily fit in to most backpacks, carry bags, or briefcases.
  • Presentations – A rising trend amongst students and business people is the use of tablet devices to run presentations. Loading a presentation on to a tablet device is relatively simple and unit can then be easily transported between meetings or classes.
  • Fast start up – Most laptop computers generally take around 10 – 30 seconds to start up, however the initial start up on a tablet device is generally around 2 – 10 seconds.
  • Easy web browsing – Portability and fast start up combine to make the tablet a first choice for quick web browsing, especially whilst on the move. A good example would be looking up a recipe for a meal. The tablet can be transported easily to the kitchen, the recipe found online, and the cooking process followed. This type of simple activity is where tablets excel.
  • Education – Tablet devices are now widely used and accepted by education institutes across the world. The key reason for this success has been the ability to offer a more interactive learning experience which is warmly received by school aged children in particular. As a result there are now an increasing number of educational applications being made which will only further cement the tablets position within the classroom.
  • Fun - There is just something fun about a tablet. It may just be the hype surrounding a new technological device, but most tablet owners swear by them. There has to be something to it!

Apple iPad


  • No Keyboard – One of the major drawbacks of a tablet PC is the lack of a physical keyboard, meaning that you must use the touch screen keyboard to type. This has little impact on activities such as web browsing or using apps, but does making it quite painful to type emails or text documents.
  • Low processor speeds for work – Although tablet devices can be very helpful for making presentations, they do have processor speed limitations when compared to laptop computers. Processor intense activities such as rendering video, complex spreadsheets, or image editing are not suited to tablets.
  • Less portable than a mobile phone – Although portability is often highlighted as a positive feature of tablets when compared to laptop computers, the opposite can also be said: Tablet computers are far bulkier units than everyday smart phones which can fit easily in to your pocket.
  • Lack of ports – Many tablet computers do not contain basic ports such as USB or VGA which means you cannot use a cable to connect your tablet to another PC or TV. Flash memory ports have become commonplace in laptop computers but are generally not included on tablets, meaning you cannot place the memory card from your digital camera directly in to the tablet computer.
  • No DVD/Blu-Ray drive – Although most software applications can now be downloaded via the Internet, the lack of a DVD/Blu-Ray drive is still important to consider. This limits your ability to use physical disks for storage or to watch DVD/Blu-Ray movies.
  • Fragility – The thin glass screens on tablet devices are not made for absorbing heavy impacts. Tablets are moved around a lot due to their lightweight and portable nature, which means there is the likelihood of the odd bump or even a dreaded drop. Tablet owners often seek to add some padding to the device by using a protective cover or tablet case.
  • Ergonomic discomfort – An often overlooked disadvantage of tablet devices is the strain they place on your body if used for extended periods. The dangers of repetitive strain injuries to hands, wrists, back and neck are commonly accepted for desktop computers, and these strains are substantially increased when using a tablet.
  • Adobe Flash incompatibility – The Apple iPad in particular has received criticism for its incompatibility with Adobe Flash, which limits a user’s ability to open certain websites and apps. Some other tablet brands have incorporated Flash compatibility in to their products.


A commonly used phrase is: “A laptop is a tool, a tablet is a toy”. It’s probably over-simplistic to think of a tablet as a toy considering the range of functions they can perform, however it highlights that the current range of tablets are best used for recreational or basic educational activities. They are fun, easy to use devices best suited to web browsing and using apps.

The key question to keep in mind when considering a tablet purchase is: What do I want to do on this device? If you just want to browse online, use social networks, read books, view images, or use apps, then a tablet may be well suited to your needs. If you require the ability to type a lot of text or perform more complex computer functions then you will need to consider the benefits of a laptop computer.

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