Can you explain what a tablet computer is, and broadly what its uses are?

Joan R July 10, 2013
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Can you tell me what a tablet computer is, how are they used and what their advantages are.

Just the basics – why would I want one? What can I do with it that I can’t do with a laptop or desktop?

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  1. Susendeep D
    July 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    A tablet computer is a touch screen device starting from 7 inch and goes upto 11+inch.

    It can have any OS like Windows,Android,iOS.

    They are used for emails,chats,video viewing,lite - image,video editing,portable gaming,video calling etc.These tasks done on tablet provides faster way to do it.

    You would require a tablet if you want a low cost alternative to basic tasks as mentioned above.It would not be better to use a laptop or laptop/desktop with touch screen if you do such basic tasks.

    Things which you can't do in laptop which can be done in tablet is not much.A laptop is very much superior to tablet.If windows 8 is perfected,then you can definitely get a perfect laptop which will support desktop apps as well as touch optimized modern apps.

  2. Oron J
    July 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Tablets are essentially oversized smartphones, without the phone! They vary in size, form, function and price. Most have an on-screen keyboard, a few have a built-in keyboard or a detachable one, and a separate keyboard (usually Bluetooth) can be purchased for most.
    I mention the keyboard because they are essentially designed for the _consumption_ of media rather than for producing material, but this is not a complete restriction.
    The vast majority of tablets use iOS (like the iPhone), or Android (again, like Android phones), and can run the same apps.
    Why you would want one depends a lot on your personal circumstances, but most people would have a tablet (if at all) _in addition_ to a dekstop/laptop computer, rather than as a replacement. What is appealiing about it _very_ portable. With one hand, you can hold it and use it to read/watch; it packs nicely into a bag, etc. Most tablets have long battery life, which also aids portability.
    The other nice thing about tablets is their immediacy. When I noticed that a friend of mine had an iPad in the kitchen, I expressed my amazement that a person who was so averse to modern technolgy in general had such a device, she explained that although they have a laptop, it is kept in a cupboard, and if they want to find out anything (such as a recipe, hence the kitchen!), they just switch it on and search. Since tablets "hybernate" very effectively, this takes a couple of seconds. If they had tried to do the same with the laptop, they would have had to take it out, put it on a surface, switch it on and wait for it to boot up, then log on and wait again, then run the browser and do the search, which would probably only take 2-3 minutes, but is a real faff.

    So, having said all that, here are some things you can do with tablets: browse the net (note that they tend to be sluggish, but that's not an issue for pages that are mostly with text, and decent tablets have good video performance), read e-books, facebook, twitter etc, Skype, email (if you don't need to write an awful lot), and specialised apps (I use mine for news, games and music mostly). Depending on the model, they may also make very good satnavs and cameras/video cameras. Beyond that, they can be customised for specific uses such as an ordering system at a restaurant (each table gets on), stock-taking in shop, factory or library etc. With a keyboard, they also become usable for general wordprocessing and email, although I would prefer to limit that use to portable use, and have a "proper" computer for larger jobs.
    One other useful aspect of tablets is that they are generally very simple to use (at least for day-to-day tasks), so very accessible to young children and for those terrified of the technology, like some elderly friends of mine.
    Having said all that, tablets are not _required_ for many people. If you are happy with your computer setup and have no concerns about it's portability, ease of use etc, you probably don't need a tablet. Also, their computing power and software design make them unsuitable for larger tasks. I would not want to have more than a few dozen documents on a tablet, for example, filing would be a nightmare! Although there are some very nice image editing packages for tablets, they are not the full Photoshop, and if you are writing a complex report which involves word processed text, embedded with spreadsheet tables and graphics, this is not the way to go!

  3. Hovsep A
    July 10, 2013 at 10:45 am

    kind a small laptop/computer with less connectivity ports and use screen as input drvice, tablets connect to the Internet using either Wi-Fi or 3G technologies

    why you would one well if you travel a lot you dont want to carry a laptop because it is heavier, besides there are several cloud based applications so your work can be saved and synced to all your devices. You have less malware attacks on tablets so you do not need protection...unless against stolen tablet issues...

  4. Dalsan M
    July 10, 2013 at 4:20 am

    There are many forms of tablet computers. At the basic, they are small, typically 7-12 inches for screen size, and have efficient mobile processors that produces less heat and consumes less power than laptops and desktop computers. Most tablet computers today have touchscreens for mouse and keyboard input. External keyboards can be attached and used on many tablets. There are many different kinds of tablets that run on different operating systems, but most common are Apple iOS, Google Android OS, and Microsoft Windows OS. Battery running time for these tablets usually are much longer than typical laptop batteries. This along with low weight and ultraportable size makes it a good companion for travel. Many of the basic computer uses can be accomplished on tablets, including browsing the web, playing games, reading e-books, creating word processing documents and other office application content, watching videos, listening to music, etc. If more intense work or gaming is to be accomplished, a laptop or desktop computer would be better suited for such things. If the basics are all that is required, then tablet computers would offer the best in portability while accomplishing most tasks, even in a coffee shop, book store, airport, hotel, restaurant, or other place that offers Wi-Fi (unless a separate wireless data package is purchased from a wireless provider).

    Tablet computers are great for a couch companion in case one wants to quickly look something up without going to a larger laptop or desktop computer. They can be used in the kitchen for displaying recipes and directions without taking up much counter space, especially if a mount or stand is placed out of the way where it can still be easily seen. Taking notes can be quick and easy if it were to be on hand, making it nice for creating a grocery or shopping list. Most tablets come with a camera, making it a great portable device to video call or conference with friends and family. Tablets can make it easier to read e-books, especially in bed, rather than using a bulky laptop or a stationary desktop computer. Some of the applications for iPad or Android tablets are not available on laptops or desktops, which can be another reason some people prefer to have and use tablets in place of the former. GPS enabled tablets can provide GPS navigation when traveling, which can be used in place of a GPS navigation system. Depending on the tablet, one can connect the tablet to a television in order to share the screen and content with others, such as pictures and videos. There are plenty of other benefits of having a tablet as a companion to a laptop or desktop computer, but it really depends on how and where one would want to use a tablet computer.

  5. Indronil M
    July 10, 2013 at 3:53 am

    You can do almost everything with your tablet except playing games or running programmes that require high cpu and gpu .
    the only advantage of tablet over a laptop is portability and energy efficiency.
    but there is no reason for you to have one if you don't need it at this moment.

  6. Dave Parrack
    July 10, 2013 at 3:10 am

    A tablet is essentially a cross between a laptop and an oversized smartphone. They have on-screen virtual keyboards rather than physical ones, are small, lightweight, and portable.

    Tablets come in a broad range of flavors, with iOS, Android, and Windows 8 as operating systems, screen sizes between 5-inches and 15-inches, and all sorts of other differentiating factors.

    They're a different beast than desktops and laptops, and are often cited as being devices for consuming rather than creating content.

    Further reading:

    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/are-tablets-here-to-stay-you-told-us/
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/makeuseof-experiments-going-tablet-only-for-a-week-and-staying-productive/
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/can-a-windows-rt-tablet-replace-my-laptop/

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