tablet vs laptop
Not that I have a MacBook Pro, which I’ve been fancying for a long time, but still..

The generation of tablet devices started as soon as the iPad came out. Steve Jobs said that the idea of iPad came to his mind even before the iPhones had hit the market. He released iPhone just to see how people react to it. After its wild success came iPad.

Like many people, I too was very interested in tablet devices. Specially the idea of reading ebooks. browsing the web, chatting with friends etc made me want to get a tab for myself. Then came all those Android tablets. At first, they were pricey. Like, really pricey. I’m talking about devices like Acer Iconia tab and Motorola Xoom tab. A tablet was more like a dream to me.

Then came 2012 when the prices of tablet devices began to fall as many people started using it. Thanks to many Chinese brands such as Ainol and Google’s very own Nexus brand who literally made it possible for people to own tablet devices with little money. However, I still couldn’t afford a tablet.

Then I founded Android Kothon, the first ever Bangla web magazine dedicated to all things Android. Android is a booming sector in technology and many local brands started to import tablet devices running Android device. Not just that, local brands also started to manufacture and sell Android devices at many different price points with all the latest technologies. So yeah, Android Kothon was born at a time when it was most needed. There were many web magazines dedicated to Android already, but there wasn’t any in Bangla. So far, it’s the most popular and most trusted source for all things Android in Bangla.

Thanks to Android Kothon, I was able to get my hands on many Android devices — both phone and tablet. I used only two phones, but I had the opportunity to use many tablets including Nexus 7 and many more popular Chinese brands such as Ainol and Onda. I know that look on your face right now after you read “Chinese branded tablets.” But hey, these Chinese brands are not really “Chinese” in a “cheap and low-quality” sense. Though they are Chinese, they manufacture really high quality device. I also used a Nexus 7.

But months after using tablets of various brands, I can say that tablets just don’t cut it. I haven’t read a single book in tablet for which I actually thought of buying it in the first place. So, why do I think that? Let’s explain.

It isn’t about build quality or performance

Though the tab looks smarter, in terms of serving the purpose, the laptop does a better job despite being heavy, old and not so sexy-looking!
Though the tab looks smarter, in terms of serving the purpose, the laptop does a better job despite being heavy, old and not so sexy-looking!

The reason I think tablets just don’t cut it is not because of build quality or performance. I wouldn’t change my comment if I was given a Galaxy Tab or Nexus 10 or iPad. I think it just doesn’t suit for me and people like me.

So what exactly does make people like me?

I’m more like a content creator. I read a lot, and I write a lot. Though I fancy writing fiction, I end up writing a lot of non-fiction, specially news articles related to the technology. I also leave comments on blog posts, write many posts related to life, everyday ranting and stuff, and not to mention a lot of chatting on Facebook.

After using tablet for some months, I realized I just can’t work with my tablet. It ends up lying on my table completely discharged. With all the cables lying down my bed, I feels lazy to connect the tab to a charger port. I’m not that lazy that I won’t use tablet just because it needs to be charged. But the fact that I don’t find much usefulness of tablet keeps me away from doing that.

What tablet really is for

One thing I can tell for sure is that reading materials online as well as surfing the web is as pleasant as it can be on a tablet device. You can hold the tablet comfortably and check out your email, your RSS feed, your favorite news site or maybe some entertainment magazines to stay updated with your favorite celebrity.

Tablets are also great for making [very] small changes in office document files. For example, if you need to make small changes to your business presentation or office document that you just received from your assistant via email, you can do so on your tablet with compatible apps such as Kingsoft Office or Office Suite Pro.

Another great use of tablet device is entertainment. Of course, you wouldn’t tuck it into your pocket to listen to music via earphone, but you can definitely enjoy watching high definition movies at your comfort if your tablet supports it. Also there are endless games that you can buy and play for unlimited fun. Granted, if you’re a gamer, a decent tablet with enough powers to run HD games will be a perfect companion for you.

What tablets isn’t always good for

Most people say that they will read ebooks/PDF on a tablet device. But I’ve hardly come across folks who have actually read as many ebooks as they thought they’d read before buying the tab. To read, the best thing is an ebook reader. Something like Amazon Kindle is really the best option available for reading books. Even better is the black and white e-ink Kindle. Distraction-free reading at its best.

Tablets are definitely not for blogging or any sort of writing. I’m a writer. Not in a “famous” sense, but in a sense of “he who writes.” Before buying the tablet, I was thinking that pairing up a bluetooth or wired keyboard (via OTG cable) would do the trick. I could carry a small keyboard and pair it up with my tab and start writing anywhere. Tablets would be better than laptops for writing because they offer extra battery life, ultra portability and convenience of writing from anywhere.

Duh, I was so wrong.

Writing on a tablet with a paired keyboard does not offer the convenience I thought it would. Yes, there are people who write this way regularly. But for me, it just didn’t work. After months, I ended up with the conclusion that for what I do, I really need a full-blown laptop. An ultrabook, for its less weight and extra battery life.

Hunting for the perfect companion

I never live anywhere without my laptop. All my works are on the Internet and I need my laptop. I have a desktop computer at home but I rarely use that. I’ve become a big fan of laptop with chiclet style keyboard. I enjoy writing on these keyboards. But there are still a few drawbacks to my Asus A42F keyboard that I bought over 2 years ago.

First of all, it’s heavy. Carrying a heavy thing is always tiring. But it doesn’t end there. I have to carry an extra charger/adapter for wherever I go. Because I know it will need recharging as its battery life isn’t really good. My laptop’s battery is not working to its full capacity. But its full capacity will give it only a 2.5 hours of backup. Hey, that’s too low.

Ultrabooks are sexy and expensive. But I’m not attracted to ultrabooks because of their ultra thinness or sexy design. What makes me want to get an ultrabook is they offer super battery life. With the release of Intel’s new Haswell chips, new ultrabooks offer even more battery life than ever before. The MacBook Air gives way over 12 hours of battery backup in a single charge. Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus equips with Haswell processor and promises 12 hours of battery life as well. Though we will have to wait for that to come out from reviewers.

In all senses, ultrabooks, specially the convertible ones, are the future. A tablet with a detachable keyboard is really the future. Imagine the convenience of working on a laptop and being able to just snap the screen out of the whole thing and move around your office building or home space. Windows 8.1 has a big role to play here. And despite being a not-so-big-fan of Windows, I think Microsoft will get things right with 8.1. And then people will really go for the convertible ultrabooks.

As for me, I’m still hunting for a laptop with lightweight, long battery life and chiclet style keyboard. I decided that I’d go for Samsung Chromebook (series 3) because it’s cheap and it’s great for wriiting. It’s not evey always-on required. But the fact that it updates automatically and turning that off requires a little bit of work just turned me off.

There are many in the market today. But I want one with Haswell chip as they will undoubtedly give more battery life. Let’s just hope the manufacturers will think of the mid-to-low range consumers and release a few laptops equipped with Haswell chips to ensure more battery life.

Bottom line, I’ve figured out that although tablets are still a thing of the present, I already feel like I don’t really enjoy the company of a tablet without having a laptop with me as well. Even I don’t know when I’ll be needing to sit down and start writing a post. And I really need a tablet-like laptop with me all the time. Ultrabooks do just that. That’s why ultrabooks with detachable keyboard are the things of the future.

What about you?

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19 thoughts

    1. Replace that with Laptop PC and soon to own an e-ink Kindle, and you replicate my life. πŸ˜› I would buy a kindle right now, but I need a new laptop first. It’s been 2 years. Now is the time for it to stop working any time. πŸ˜›

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    1. Well, don’t get turned off because I said so. Every user has different expectations from every gadget. First you have to figure out if tablet can serve what you want it to do. I do a lot of writing and researching (and researching requires a lot of typing as well), and I figured a tablet just doesn’t cut it. Today’s convertible/tablets with detachable keyboards are great choice but they are far from affordable.

      If you would tell me what it is you want done with your tablet, maybe I can give my suggestion. πŸ™‚

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            1. Well then a tablet is definitely not your thing. You might want it to reply to comments and stuff, but writing full posts from tablet is as uncomfortable as it gets. If budget is not an issue, I’d suggest to get a Windows-running convertible ultraportables for a tab+laptop hybrid. But I’m hunting for a low-priced Haswell-powered ultrabook that I can carry with me just like a tablet despite being a laptop actually.

              Perhaps that’s what you are looking for too. Right now there are Asus Zenbook, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, MacBook Air and Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus. But all of them cost over a thousand dollars. 😦

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  1. I don’t know…when I go on vacation I hate to take my laptop with me. I frequently check in on work emails, send responses, and stuff so iPad is excellent for that. It’s also excellent for keeping my kids entertained during travel, waiting in airports, long drives etc. The battery life is excellent so it’s great for on the go. I even blog, respond to comments, etc. on iPad/iPhone.

    iPad/iPhone apps are also great for image editing – not professional looking images but just some touch ups and stuff. I also read quite a lot on iPad and so do my kids.

    I use my laptop mostly for office-related work only. Almost everything else is on iPad/iPhone. I guess I just got used to it.

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    1. For the things you do you said, tablets are just perfect. But talk about me, I want to write even when I’m vacation. Give me a chair, table, laptop and Internet connection and put in the most beautiful place in the world, I’ll start writing something in a moment. And that is when I realize tablet just isn’t for me. I don’t do heavy computing, but I do a lot of writing. Ultrabooks (not just regular laptops, because ultras aren’t heavy and provide almost same battery life as iPads and other tablets) are just what I need right now.

      Different people, different lifestyle, different habit, I guess. πŸ™‚

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  2. For anyone who asks my advice on what to buy, and that’s anyone buying any kind of electronics not just computers, I ask two key questions. What are you going to do with it? What’s your budget? And I really ask for honest answers. If your into games, what kind of games? Be honest. I sometime need a game fix of my own. Does that budget have any kind of stretch in it? With those two answers, I can tell them if whatever they are interested in actually even exists in a usable form. And who/where they can get it. And yes, I include mainland China firms on that list too.

    I’ve taught that procedure and most of the answers, and where to find the answers if they don’t know, to a awful lot of sales personnel over the years and they all got advanced pretty quick. And where did I learn those questions? From my Mom: an anthropologist. Seems those are questions they ask all the time about why people do the things that they do and not another way.

    Just my $.02. -josh1960 (KAT)
    Nice ‘blog!

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    1. I’m pretty sure that answers to these questions will lead a consumer to the right electronics they are looking for, which, in my case, would be an ultrabook. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your comment. πŸ™‚ Hope you’ll come back for more posts and leave your valuable comments. πŸ™‚

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  3. I just bought a Samsung 3 series Chromebook and I really like it. My first gen iPad started to crash all the time so it was time to move on. A laptop just feels more comfortable and versatile when you need to type anything.

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