We may think they’re cool in a quaint and retro way today, but there was a time when the typewriter was considered the height of technology. A lot has changed since then, and nowadays the PC is a basic necessity for everyday life. More recently it was updated into the smaller and more portable laptop. But now it has evolved even further.
Since its initial launch just years ago, the Tablet has taken the developed world by storm. Smaller and lighter than a laptop yet bigger and smarter than a smartphone, the cooler little brother of the laptop is clearly here to stay.
As the tablet is still in the early stages of its life it is still seen as a fairly novel device. Most people use it primarily for leisure, watching films and using social media for example rather than important work documents or assignments. For now at least it is still a status symbol, much like the smartphone was at first. But we all know how intrinsic they have become to most people’s daily lives. So does this mean that the Tablet will come to overshadow the PC and Laptop? Will it eventually replace them altogether as technology advances even further?
The tablet already has several benefits over the laptop:
- Tablets, like smartphones, can connect to 3G mobile broadband. Most laptops require Wi-Fi in order to connect to the internet, and those select few that can connect via 3G are expensive.
- Tablets are touch screen. Although a lot of laptops do now include this feature, most are not as sensitive and responsive as the touch screen of the tablet, which is becoming the accepted norm as smartphones are now touch screen as standard.
- Tablets are smaller and lighter, and therefore more portable, than the laptop.
- A lot of tablets have longer battery life than laptops.
There are some benefits to the laptop however that the Tablet has yet to compete with:
- Laptops have much more storage space. Work documents, films and large amounts of music can be accessed directly from a laptop without requiring an external hard drive.
- Laptops also include a keyboard. The touch screen keyboard on Tablets, whilst convenient for travelling, compromises the screen size to view documents. There is of course the option to purchase a keyboard for Tablets, but this is an added cost and seems silly considering the laptop comes with one attached.
- Laptop screens are not the glossy and reflective surface that often makes tablets difficult to use in bright light. Nor do they get covered in smudged finger marks, or crack easily.
- Laptops include numerous ports for USBs, CD drives and other useful and important additions. These additions make uploading, downloading, remotely storing and sharing data easy. The tablet is limited in this respect.
- Laptops are the more suitable choice for a shared device. Tablets often configure email accounts, social media profiles and other information automatically much like smartphones. This makes sharing a device difficult and less secure. With a laptop you can easily create numerous accounts which is an added benefit for shared devices.
- Tablets are limited when it comes to office packages, which makes the laptop the obvious choice for any user who wants the device primarily for work purposes.
Whilst these benefits are limited to the Laptop at the moment, Tablets will undoubtedly develop to include many of these features over time. However, for now at least, the laptop has the edge when it comes to storage space and work based tasks. It is also worth bearing in mind that any device in its early years has much room for improvement, and will undoubtedly be released in ever-changing and expanding varieties.
In this way the tablet is very similar to the smartphone, which is still undergoing constant updates and changes. The laptop is different in that it has a level of longevity, and most people will use a laptop for between 3 and 5 years before updating it. For now, at least, the laptop is still considered an up to date and invaluable piece of technology. No doubt one day it will be seen as superfluous and outdated, just as the Tablet inevitably will too. The ever changing and improving nature of technology is both its blessing and its curse.
Andy King is a technology blogger. He has both a tablet and a laptop, and bought his laptop accessories from http://www.taylorhe.co.uk/.