Can Tablets Ever Replace Laptops?
There are so many fascinating developments taking place in the market for both tablets and laptops. We are seeing thinner, lighter and more powerful laptops every year. We have the high end market with Apple and elite gaming laptops. We have the mid-range market with most Windows computers and then we have the budget market with Chromebooks.
If you flip it to the tablet side, there is still some intense competition. Apple does seem to have a leg up on everyone with their iPad and iPad Pro, but there are some very good Android tablets on the market too. The issue for the tablet market is that when you add new features and better specs, you need to charge more. But will people pay more than a few hundred dollars for a device that is not a laptop?
Tablets Becoming Laptops
We have already seen how Apple advertise their iPad and iPad Pro as laptop replacements. The iPad Pro is certainly in the price range of many Windows ultrabooks or Chromebooks that you could buy.
But can these tablets ever be laptops? It all depends on the use case. If you are using a laptop for web browsing and consuming media, then you can use a tablet for those purposes. And sending the occasional email is not an issue either.
But if you have to do real work on a laptop, such as long typing, Excel spreadsheets, photo editing or some other work, you are not going to be comfortable on a tablet. Why? Because it is not intuitive to be sitting on a desk and constantly reaching out your hand to tap on a screen.
Tablets Need Mouse Capability
If a tablet is ever going to replace a laptop, it needs to offer mouse use. Yes, the tablet will have an interface that is touch first. It is made for touch use. But you should have an option to use a mouse, which lets you eliminate the need to touch the screen at all.
We do have some two-in-one devices, which are laptops that you can also use as a touch screen. But those are bulky and not very good in their tablet form.
What we need are more devices like the Microsoft Surface, where you have a detachable keyboard. The issue with the Surface is that it runs a full version of Windows, which is not the best for a tablet format.
Tablet OS With Laptop-Friendly Functionality
What we need for tablets to completely replace low end and mid-range laptops is to have a tablet operating system that is mouse friendly.
Say you have an operating system such as iOS and the specs of an iPad Pro. Now you add the ability to use a Bluetooth keyboard AND mouse. That is your laptop killer.
If you just need to use the tablet for the day, you will take the tablet in your bag and leave the mouse + keyboard combo at home. Or you can take everything, taking them out when you need to use them.
Tablets that can be used as laptops will be lighter and more versatile than fully-fledged laptops, as you can get rid of the keyboard area when you are not using it. But if the tablet does not support mouse usage, it will always be a hampered experience compared to a laptop.