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don't care about ipadTablets are all the rage right now. Whether it is Apple’s iPad 3 or whatever the latest Android model being launched is, it seems like everyone is ready to run out and buy one. Every year, Apple has the media eating out of the palm of their hand when it comes time for them to announce the next incarnation of the iPad, and the iPad 3 was no exception.

Apple does a great job of marketing their products and getting everyone excited, and maybe this has to do with why they are expecting to sell over one million iPads the first week the product launches.

Personally, I do not care about the iPad or other tablets. Whether it is an iPad or an Android Galaxy, I could not care less, and I have no desire to use one. I own an original iPad, and I never use it. It is the most expensive paperweight I have ever owned. I just cannot figure out what it is that people see in them. For me, they just fit into a niche that I have no need to fill.

It Is Just A Big Phone

I already have an iPhone. I use it constantly. In fact, I have had my data throttled every month since AT&T instituted their policy of slowing users down who use large amounts of data. The only difference between my iPhone and my iPad is that the screen is bigger on the iPad. Do I really want to carry around a device that is the same, only bigger? Absolutely not even a tiny little bit.

don't care about ipad

My iPhone fits in my pocket; my iPad needs a bag in order to carry it around. I can bring my iPhone skiing and have it fit comfortably in my jacket; I would look ridiculous with an iPad in my jacket pocket while tearing up the slopes. In the end, the iPad, and all tablets, are just less convenient versions of their phone counterparts.

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Not As Powerful As A Laptop

You have to compare tablets on both sides of the spectrum. They are a big phone with the same limitations as a phone, and against a laptop, they are a small laptop with more limitations. They beat the laptop in terms of convenience (with the possible exception of the MacBook Air – that thing is tiny). However, they lose in terms of power. The iPad 3 is pushing some pretty incredible specs, but it still cannot compete with the power of a fully fledged desktop or laptop.

why tablets are useless

Not only do tablets lose in terms of power, but they also lose in terms of apps. So many desktop programs out there cannot run on a tablet. What if I want to use Magic: The Gathering Workstation to test a new deck or play some World of Warcraft? Well I cannot do that unless I also own a laptop, and if I already own a laptop and a phone, than why should I own and use a tablet?

why tablets are useless

There are no SD card slots on many tablets and no USB ports. As much as the companies who make tablets want it to replace your regular computer, with no outside ports other than whatever proprietary thing comes on the device, it will just never happen.

Overpriced

This is not true of all tablets, as some of the Android ones are reasonably priced, but the main thing that prompted this rant is the announcement of the iPad 3, and that machine costs at least double what it should. So it has a retina screen, my iPhone has had that for 2 years! There is no way you can convince me that the iPad is priced fairly when I could get a decent PC for the same price as the base iPad.

why tablets are useless

Thankfully, I did not have to buy my iPad, but if I did, it would have been the biggest waste of money of my life. It has a pathetic 16 GB of memory and cost over $500! Even though I did not spend my money on it, I still feel ripped off just thinking how little I received for the price that was paid. In all honesty, the iPad might be the most overpriced piece of mainstream tech on the market.

Bad For Gaming

I will admit that video games look beautiful on an iPad screen, but who wants to hold a device that big as a video game controller? Playing Real Racing on the iPad gave me more wrist pain than any other video game I have ever played.

don't care about ipad

The iPad 2, iPad 3 and many Android models have made this a little better by making their devices lighter, but in my opinion, it is still way too big to be used comfortably as a gaming device, no matter how many times Apple tells me that gaming on the iPad is amazing.

Conclusion

To sum this whole thing up, I think tablets are a waste. They fit right in between a full computer and a phone, and I do not see why we need another expensive piece of technology to bridge that gap. For some people, who do not need all the features that a laptop offers, I suppose it makes sense to buy a tablet. However, if you cannot live without your laptop, and you own a smartphone, I just do not see the reason to waste money buying an iPad or some other tablet.

How do you feel about the tablet revolution? Do you own and love your tablet? Do you think they are a waste of money? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Two vintage cell phone via Shutterstock, 3d rendering of a laptop and a tablet via Shutterstock, Injured Hand and Arm via Shutterstock

  1. Atheist
    August 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    m

  2. Atheist
    August 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Totally agree! Tablets are a waste of money. I think the best combination is the smartphone/ netbook combination. With those 2 you can do everything that you'll need to do.

  3. Peter
    June 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I agree with this. I never understood the hype around tablets because for me they are just big smartphones - they run the same OS, so they are just as limited.
    They're fun for multimedia but why not just get a powerful smartphone that can do that too.

    However, the release of Windows 8 tablets gets me excited. Because they combine both mobility, intuitiveness and touch screen capability of regular tablets (with metro UI) but you still have the opportunity to hook it up to a mouse/keyboard/monitor and have a full blown PC with all the advantages of a real computer. It's the best of both worlds.

  4. Jerm
    June 17, 2012 at 1:11 am

    A

  5. Jerm
    June 17, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Haha are they still paying you to write for this site? Quite suprised at the fact you proclaim to be tech savvy but you dont like tablets. Strange you were even hired. Tsk

  6. Carlos
    May 17, 2012 at 1:30 am

    I've been and IPad 2 user for almost a year now, here are the main reasons in which my laptop is full of dust ever since I bought my tablet.

    All my work files, sheets, documents, receipts, photos are available to me without having to carry my overweight laptop or tiny screen smartphone, I'm always modifying my old documents into new updated ones, way much practical to do it on a bigger screen than that of your mobile.

    Studying:2 years ago I decided to go back to college, ever since I bought my iPad there is no need for my to write down anything on paper any more. And the amount of information you can carry all the time On this extremely light weight device.

    Way better to watch a movie on the go on and iPad that on your cel or laptop. On the iPad you can watch 3 movies before draining down the battery.

    Way better to listen to music on and iPad than using the very limited battery life of all the new cellphones on the market.

    Web browsing. I got to admit that I miss being able to use flash, but web browsing is excellent on the tablet, not practical at all using and cellphone, nor tHe extra weight of the laptop.

    Scan documents when ever, where ever,there is and app that I use all the time to scan receipts and documents while on the go.

    I prefer 10 times more using my more practical tablet screen to read my email, than to do it thru my cel

    The tablets are lighter that a book
    Is more convenient to read a book on a tablet
    No need to buy a physical magazine anymore, just buy it thru the iPad
    Printing : no need for cables or configuration to print from and iPad if you have and printer available in your home, if not Use Air print.

    Bottom down I bought my tablet because apart of the amazing battery life ( 9 hrs ) much more if your not viewing videos, and way much portable than cartying a laptop and way much convenient to do the things listed above from your smartphone.

    I read somewhere that in the next 20 years the modern world is going to become paperless, the tablets are a glimpse of what's coming.

  7. Claire C.
    May 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I have a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone. I use them all, in different situations. While the laptop is most capable, the tablet is far more convenient and it is what goes with me to business meetings. I *do* touchtype on the keyboard. I can look things up on the fly and I can email information to my colleagues. And yes, I can use it as an all-in-one bookreader: Nook, Kindle, Stanza, iReaderStudy (for foreign language books) and more. I keep a business database on it, and use it as a cash register with the help of Square's Register app.

    My phone is always with me, but it is far less convenient to use. I am in my 50's, and even with Retina, the screen is hard to read. The keyboard is essentially unusable for any serious note-taking. I prefer to use the calender, address book, camera, radio, and mp3 player on the phone.

    The laptop is the big gun. If I am going to be doing heavy editing, or anything other than minor image manipulation, I use the laptop. But it takes time to boot, it has limited battery life compared to the tablet, and it is physically intrusive in a way the tablet is not. It is more than I need most of the time.

    Sure, if all you use the devices for is communication and games, and if you do not need reading glasses to read a phone screen, a phone and a computer are all you need. But the tablet fills an extremely valuable niche for me, and I think for anyone who is using it for business.

  8. DCL
    April 1, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I neither own a tablet nor a smart phone, but am now considering purchasing one, or both, with the smart phone having the higher priority. None of these two can really be considered "needs"; they are just "wants". You can call them toys or conveniences, I guess. For a few people, you could say they really increase productivity. For the majority however, the most probable reason they own one or both is because of marketing and they want to join the bandwagon.

    I moved to the suburbs about 4 years ago, and now I deal with a total of 90 minute commute to my work. It involves walking to the train station, a 30 minute ride from suburb to the city, then walking to another station for a smaller train that serves the city, then a short trip of 7-8 minutes maybe.

    Initially, I read newspapers or books to pass the boredom. And then for convenience, I got the Kindle, which I ended up using even when I'm on the bed. One day I told myself I wanted to be able to watch TV shows or movies so I bought an 11" laptop. By the way, I have a wife and 2 young kids. We both work, and between our jobs, chores, and parental responsibilites we don't have that much free time. I think that was one of the big reason I wanted to watch on the train -- I can't leisurely do it at home anymore.

    Recently my wife mentioned that having a smart phone will be of great use to her for her work. Something about getting patient's reports immediately -- I didn't quiz her on it. It made me ponder and do research on the potential benefits. It would be nice to be able to go online during my commute. I can read some news, the weather forecast, check out deals, etc. I can also do comparison shopping when we're outside, instead of having to always do it while at home. And etc.

    Doing research on smart phones also led me to tablets, and to me they have different functions. If I can start from scratch (meaning I have none of these devices), I would probably buy the following:

    1) a big powerful laptop (desktop replacement)
    - i need a decent machine for software development when i work remotely. i rarely do upgrades but instead follow the use-it-until-i-have-to-get-a-new-one rule. i don't need to carry it with me often, but being able to move it within the house is a big plus, not to mention the rare occasions that i will work remotely but not from my own house
    2) a smart phone
    - again, more of a want/convenience thing. i don't really need it, but it does simplify a lot of things since it allows me to do stuff i normally cannot do when i'm not in the house
    3) a wifi-only tablet
    - like the smart phone, this is not really a need, but i can certainly use this in my commute. for youtube videos, the small screen of a smart phone might be fine, but for reading novels and watching movies, i don't think so. assuming i won't have issues with codecs, it is far superior to a laptop as far as my usage is concerned. faster boot up saves me time and allows operation in short intervals (like waiting for the train to arrive). i can also use it when i don't immediately get a seat on the train and have to stand. it also doubles as an e-reader, as long as it doesn't involve reading for hours. at home it would also be easier to hold and operate than a small laptop or netbook.

    this is where i stand right now, but i am still on the research phase, so who knows. maybe once i've used a smart phone i won't feel the need for a tablet. i have some of the same gripes that you have. i hate that a lot of tablets are overpriced and that they lack basic functionalities that should be there like expandable storage, replaceable battery, etc. apple is the biggest offender, which is why i've never owned any apple product and probably never will. but if i got the ipad for free, i don't think it will be a paperweight for me.

    one good analogy, albeit not perfect, would be the desktop and laptop. given the same budget, you could always get a desktop that trumps the laptop in computing tasks. so why get a laptop? for portability of course. it can easily go where a desktop can't. i think it's the same as with the laptop and tablet, with the tablet being much more portable, and more convenient. it doesn't have the same power, yes, but it's not a replacement. at least not now. in the future, it's conceivable that we won't have to deal with these different machines and we'll have one device to rule them all. :)

    • DCL
      April 1, 2012 at 8:10 am

      edit: my train ride to the city is actually 45 minutes, not 30.

  9. Jimi
    March 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Hit enter too early..... but basically a Tablet is an old desktop from the late 80s early 90s, Everything soldered to the board can't upgrade and forced to buy a whole new unit, @ apples rate which is around tri-yearly or bi yearly....

    • Dave LeClair
      March 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Good points, couldn't agree more.

  10. Jimi
    March 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I've said these same things, People get so frustrated when you tell them "HEY youre wasting your money" but oh well...lets not talk about reliability or the fact your STUCK with ALL of apples Rules either... Really READ over the apple agreement about APPS...just saying

  11. Mark
    March 26, 2012 at 5:34 am

    I would say Ipad is like having less featurs while comparing to Android and I would agree that its a hipe.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      there certainly is a lot of hype, but personally I don't want an Android or an iPad!

  12. Vega2034
    March 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Hi every body, I belive that a pieace of tech at that price with : Non swapable battery, a Non upgradable HDD, a Non upgradable RAM, a Limited Time Life, a Limited CPU and GPU, ... is certainly a BIG WASTE OF MONEY and I also belive that the only reason to bey it is to be "...in the zeitgeist..."

    • Dave LeClair
      March 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      It certainly could be considered a waste of money.

  13. Jason
    March 24, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I believe I fall into your group as well and agree. As an IT Engineer a tablet (non-physical keyboard) is not useful to me for my personal or professional life use. I have used an iPad, but felt a convertible tablet (like Fujitsu T5010) is much more useful for MY use. You can check out my view points on my blog why i see the iPad 3 as a Super Dud instead of Super iPad. http://techcentral.northwoodswebdesigns.com/2012/03/10/apple-http://is.gd/puWYjp
    If people use iPad 2, they should just stick with it. At least Steve Jobs was around for that build.

  14. Marco
    March 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I think you belong to the group of people that definitely should not buy tablets.
    Not everyone should have a tablet, just like not everyone should have a laptop.
    My dad shouldn't have a laptop, he wouldn't know what to do with it. It would be an expensive paper weight. He wouldn't know what to do with it. He would basically use it to keep his emails, and browse the internet, and he already has a phone to do that. His phone can also keep photos we send him thru the email, and he would certainly look ridiculous carrying a laptop around in his pants pocket. He could use it to work with, but he already has a desktop computer in his office with which to work with, and he doesn't need to be taking his work home. Not at his age.
    However that doesn't mean laptops aren't useful.
    You know, your arguments are exactly the same ones i used as an excuse NOT to get an iPad. I really believed them, but then what happened was someone gave me an iPad as a gift, so i started trying it out.
    It has easily been the most useful gift i have received. I no longer have a need to carry my laptop around everywhere i go, i no longer lose my notes, i'm no longer having to carry around 20kg of textbooks around, i get to have all my subscription magazines come to me instantly and interactively, and i can literally watch all my favorite programs, on a whim, anywhere in the house. Regardless of who's using the TV.
    I can say that i agree with you when you say this little piece of glass and metal isn't as powerful as a laptop, but i certainly disagree on it being inconvenient. I was wondering if i can have your expensive paper weight? I'm sure my brother who's studying medicine could really give it a proper use.

  15. Dan
    March 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Dave, you have the same problem so many tablet haters and iPad haters do... you don't fall in to the category of people that could make good use of one, yet you feel as though you must comment on it because you are a "tech" person. I'm going to break down your categories for you:

    It's just a big phone:

    False. Phones make phone calls, iPads do not make calls therefore it literally is not a big phone. But the main thing you aren't considering is resolution... there is more to it than just a big screen. Here's a project for you, wipe the dust off that old iPad of yours and try something out for me. Open/install one of the iPad versions of an app that you have on your iPhone as well. Now compare these, what do you see? A lot more on the iPad. The iPad doesn't just enlarge what you see on the phone, it allows you to see much more at a time. Now from a business perspective, that makes a huge difference when I go into a daily or weekly meeting and pull up site analytics or sales reports.

    I don't have to scroll or pan/zoom so much to see the information that I need to see. It also makes it easier to show this information to others. I use my iPad on a daily basis to take/organize notes that sync directly to my computer (and my phone in case I don't have my iPad with me). I also use it to input information into our data systems and update information on the go. Most of these things I can do on my phone, yes, but it's much more convenient on my iPad.

    And what's so wrong about having a bigger screen? I don't know about you but I'm an avid subscriber to digital TV content. Netflix, Hulu+, etc. I prefer watching these on my iPad tenfold to watching them on my iPhone. I'll watch them on my phone if it's all I've got, but if I'm on a trip (on a plane, waiting around), in a waiting room at the Doctor's office, or even riding in a car pool in my commute to work... I'd much rather use the larger screen.

    Oh and 10" of retina is much different than less than 4", you probably shouldn't touch on that until you've actually put your hands on the new iPad (I've got one myself). It's actually higher definition than 1080p, and it's like seeing HD for the first time all over again. That's something to get excited about for me, but then again I do a lot of reading with my iPad as well (that text on newspapers, magazines, and my kindle books is insanely sharp). I don't even use my kindle anymore, the retina screen doesn't hurt my eyes even with prolonged reading.

    Not As Powerful As A Laptop

    You do realize Apple sells laptops right? They aren't trying to replace laptops. That's not what a tablet is meant for, and it's pretty bold to assume so... Tablets are an "in between" device that's neither a phone or a laptop, but very useful and convenient to those who can make such use of it. If that's not you, so be it. It's not as powerful as a laptop because it's not supposed to be. It's a mobile device. But it has better battery life than a laptop, it's lighter and easier to carry around, and it doesn't make as much noise or take up space or require a table/desk like a laptop.

    And I think you'd be surprised how many desktop programs (especially anything for productivity such as Evernote) have mobile app versions for iPad that sync with their desktop counter parts. Apps are coming to PC's as well, heard of Windows 8? Google Windows 8 Consumer preview and you can install and run it for free before it's even been released legally from Microsoft's website. You can't truly compare desktop software with apps anyways, it's not apples to apples. And again, that's not what tablets are meant for.

    Overpriced

    Well now, that's relative. If I had no use for it, I'd probably say it's overpriced as well. But being that it increases my productivity and picks up the slack between my computer and my iPhone, I'm more than willing to pay for it. It's convenient, and it's high quality hardware. You get what you pay for. Is a BMW overpriced? Well that depends... if it had the same features as an Impala, then yes. But being that's much nicer, and more convenient, it's not overpriced to someone who prefers to pay for those added features. Again, price is relative. I for one have the 64GB 4G 3rd generation iPad. It was just under $1,000 and you may think that's "overpriced" but I'll make enough money from the increased productivity and efficiency I get out of using my iPad on a daily basis to buy iPads for my entire neighborhood.

    Bad for gaming? It's not a game console. Does it play games, sure. But that's not necessarily it's purpose, so comparing it to console or PC gaming is completely ridiculous. "Bad for gaming is an opinion" anyways, I have an entire page of games and when I need to kill some time and my iPad is handy they are quite enjoyable. But I still fire up Modern Warfare 3 on my Xbox when I get the itch for some real gaming.

    To sum things up, tablets may be a waste for you, but that doesn't mean they are a waste to everybody.

    Maybe you don't have a use for them, and that's fine. But don't dis the device just because it's not something YOU don't have any use for.

    I don't rant about how much of a waste a John Deere riding lawn mower is just because I live in an apartment and have no use for it...

    See where I'm going with this?

    At the end of the day, nobody is making you buy a tablet. It's simple, if you don't have a use for it, DON'T BUY ONE!

    • Dave LeClair
      March 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      First, the title of the article is why I don't care. I being the key word. I never said you shouldn't care, or that anyone else shouldn't care, simply that they don't interest me. I am paid to state my opinion, and that is what I did.

      Now, in regards to your argument, you basically prove what I am saying. In your first section, everything you said you can't do on an iPhone because it's too small you can do on your laptop. Want watch Hulu? It's free on a laptop. Want to give presentations? Well my laptop has a pretty screen that does that too. As you said it's a crossover device, but the question is why do we need a crossover device, when there is another device that costs about the same, can do all the things it does better, plus things it can't.

      Like I said, if the iPad works for you, fantastic, I just don't see a reason to have a device that fits right in the middle of two devices nearly everyone already has.

      • Tom
        March 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm

        Soon enough we'll have laptops like the transformer that you can take the screen off and use as a tablet and dock it in and use as a computer with Windows 8. Then you'd be mad to buy an ipad.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      I should also add, great comment, I really appreciate how much thought you put into it, and I enjoyed reading it and seeing things from the other side. Thank you very much!

    • Pete
      March 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Awesome comment, and you totally pwned Dave there, even though he's trying to put a brave face on it.

      I own a PC, laptop, tab and phone, and they are all at least 95% overlap in functionality, yet they all fit a certain slot really well.

      Personally I don't actually love the iPad. Gone for a high end Droid instead

  16. Gordon Tyler
    March 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I don't agree that tablets are just big phones ..
    I actually found it as a pretty great productivity booster - specially when you use the syncing (cloud) for your document. With laptop you can not walk and type ..
    And with tablet you can walk and type your emails much easier then with your phone.

    Phones (iphone / android) are good for quick checkup of email or some stats you're following ..

    • Dave LeClair
      March 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      I use my iPhone for all those things, and personally i think the iPad is a little big to walk around with comfortably, but to each their own!

  17. Jack
    March 23, 2012 at 6:58 am

    In more words, I think it's clear that tablets are the future.
    I think the argument about how difficult it is to use some websites etc on a tablet miss the point.
    The exact same thing was said about touch for Windows.
    The simple fact is that large parts of the web, and most content creation apps are designed for the current desktop/laptop, WIMP interface, and of course don't work so well with a different hardware interface.
    There are clear cases where a multitouch interface is far superior, and not only for consumption, when the software is designed for such an interface.
    The glaring deficiency with tablets is of course the keyboard.
    Although some people talk about speech and so on, I agree with the naysayers; the keyboard isn't going anywhere soon.
    But why should it be stuck to the tablet, in the form of a laptop.
    I think in the future, you will get a tablet.
    And if you need a keyboard, you will carry it with the tablet in a folding case, to mimic the laptop.
    Why? Sheer production volume for one.
    Flexibility for two - you can just lift your tablet out of its cradle to read a book or long post, then pop it back in to sit down and write that blog post.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      I hope your version of the future does not come true. I would hate to live in a world of all tablets, personally.

      • Anomaly
        March 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm

        I would hate to live in that moron world to.

  18. Jack
    March 23, 2012 at 6:50 am

    In a word, Kids.

  19. Stoyan Deckoff
    March 23, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Thinkpad x40 + CF card + ide to CF adapter + Ubuntu 11.10 = 1.3 kg internet machine for about 100 E or less.

  20. ajay
    March 23, 2012 at 5:12 am

    I don't own any tab right now, I m agree with you in most of your points.....
    1. Of course it's "Not As Powerful As A Laptop"... so not a replacement of regular PC
    2. Overpriced: specially iPad( iPad, iPad, new iPad, Galaxy tabs...etc )
    3. Bad for gaming....
    4. Limited space......
    5. Connectivity issue.....

    If I buy any tab in near future for portability purpose then I'll go for cheap android tab which may serve the purpose n for rest of work I have my Nokia Smart Phone and Sony Vaio with full HD screen(1 GB Graphic card )

    Most of us don't know the use and limitation of iPad/other tab and buy one of them by spending our hard earned money..... :-)

  21. jake
    March 22, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    i agree that a tablet is a commodity. they are "neat". but try and compare an ipad to an android tablet (they need a name for those). i have an acer a500. it has a respectable resolution of 1280x800 and the dual core tegra 2. is it the best? no. but it does have a full size usb port and micro sd slot. combined with my generic wireless mouse, Bluetooth keyboard, and splashtop, it is my laptop! my home computer actually. combine this with the pentaband toting samsung note with tethering and i have mobility down pat. not to mention the most competitive battery life for speed vs a laptop. my tablet lasts for about 7-9 hours and my phone lasts for over 12, screen off and tethering. but i go back to it all being a commodity. because no matter how cool it is to tote new age tech, it is still just "neat".

  22. Matt Smith
    March 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    You don't have to care about tablets, Dave. All the major companies in the computer business are doing it for you.

    It's sure popular to hate on them, and make no mistake - the traditional computer is not going away. But it's also clear that tablets are better than computers are passive content consumption. And let's face it - that's what most people do.

    I'm not surprised there is limited love for tablets at MakeUseOf. We are fundamentally a site that focuses on people getting the most out of their devices. Even the name implies a certain level of activity and interest. But let's not kid ourselves. We are not the majority.

    Right now the only limiting factor on tablets is the fact that Apple is the only company making one that's worth a damn. This is due to Android's failure as an effective tablet OS. If Windows 8 is a good tablet OS - woah! Watch out. The market is going to explode.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      You make some good points, but that doesn't mean I can't continue to hate them and pray that Windows 8 fails miserably so I can keep my regular old laptop!

      • Matt Smith
        March 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm

        Oh, don't worry. Laptops aren't going anywhere.

  23. Anomaly
    March 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    The big problem with tablets is the douche bag OS they run. They are made for phones and compared to a desktop OS they are crippled. They are also very restrictive. The Mac app store is just evil and Windows wants to go that way as Metro proves. Unfortunately there are millions of idiots who don't mind being ass rammed by Apple and Microscum. If these tablets and their crap OS stick around the kids will be brought up on them and be ignorant about the desktop. Apple and MS would love that. Then they can lock down everything and monetize every aspect of the computer experience. This is their plan and they have millions of jerktards willing to be screwed and allow it to happen. Linux is one way out for those that have at least one brain cell working.

    • Gary
      March 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      @Anomaly - Your comments are consistent with the name you're using for this post. Linux is truly an anomaly in the mainstream consumer computing business. Don't get me wrong-I'm an experienced IT guy and fully appreciate the power and potential cost-effectiveness of using Linux in many applications. And I like how it's evolved to having more visual interfaces to make the system easier to use.

      But if Linux was going to take over the mainstream computing market, it would have already done so. In spite of how long it's been available for desktops and laptops, people keep buying Windows- and MacOS-based systems. And it's not because they are stupid. Many are actually smart enough to know and use Linux. It's because they make a choice about where to spend their brain cells. Linux is fun and interesting to some and not others. So people who care more about getting things done and collaborating with the mainstream choose to use Windows or MacOS.

      As for the tablet era, let the games begin all over again. That's what's great about capitalism--The free markets will ultimately decide what's worth time and money and what's not.

      So I see where you are coming from, and since this is an opinion piece, you're entitled. But your flagrant use of derogatory slurs about the mental health of those who aren't like you seems over the top.

    • Matt Smith
      March 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      Man, I bet life is rough for you. It's difficult to always be the smartest guy in the room. Because, well. Linux.

      • Anomaly
        March 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm

        Open your eyes and see what the clowns at Apple and MS are attempting here. They want to lock down and control every aspect of the computing experience. They want to nickel and dime you to death. If you people are OK with that they are stupid and it has nothing to do with Linux.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      I agree with the restricting OS, and it is a big thing that keeps from using one. However, I don't think Linux is the be all end all.

      • Anomaly
        March 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm

        I don't think Linux is the be all end all either. I just think it's the best choice right now considering were Apple and MS are going. Two years ago I would have said differently. Windows 7 is very nice and I loved Leopard. Since then Linux has improved in usability hugely and Apple has iOS ified OS X and now MS with Metro and it's app store and other BS they are pulling with Windows 8 has changed things big time for me. I Use all 3 platforms and have no loyalty to any of them. I'm not politically motivated here. I just call it like I see it.

  24. Suzette
    March 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I'm the type of person that doesn't jump on the bandwagon. So for me to go out and buy and a big tablet just because it's cool is a waste of money. I need to wait and see how the market treats a new product and assess what it could do for me. One year my mom bought me a nook for christmas, which was great. I tried it out, I downloaded documents and books etc. I have to say it was really nice to have around college when I didn't want to lug around my working laptop at the time. But this last year I found myself not using the nook because I'd rather have a book in my hands to read. Classes were only an hour long usually and there was no need to be on the internet. So i returned the nook to my mom.

    I have an itouch (its battery is amazing for listening to music all day), an android smartphone and a decked out desktop, it's all I need. I have to agree with the others that it's a need thing. For simplicity reasons a tablet is great for people. Small gaming, check email, use for tasks etc. I liked the argument I found earlier how artists will use the tablet with their hands for sketching rather than a mouse because it's more effective. That's a real reason to me. I can do small gaming, check my email, update my fb status with my itouch and phone. But If I have these three things whats the point to a tablet.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      I agree with you 100%, to me it's just an extra device that can't do anything my other devices already do just fine.

  25. Mich
    March 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I LOVE my Android tablet (Acer Iconia A500). Although I wouldn't buy an Apple product, I use my tablet for everything. Even updating the Joomla website that I run. I read, watch TV/Movies (both on the tablet and connected via HMDI to my TV, I keep my checkbook balance on my tablet and my grocery/shopping list. I read the news, and have a journaling app, so my journal is always with me. I have access to all my Google docs and offline access to my Springpad. I can draw, sketch, take and edit photos and play games. And unlike a laptop or even a netbook, my tablet fits in my purse. Anyone who says tablets are useless hasn't owned one. And before anyone says "you can do all that on a phone" I completely disagree. They're too darn small!

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Hey, if it works for you that's great! I own an iPad, but the thing just sits around and collects dust. I could just never find a use for it.

      • Jesse Wallace
        March 22, 2012 at 9:00 pm

        You can give it to me and I will put it to good use.

    • jake
      March 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      i have the a500 as well, read my view of it above.

  26. Qwertinsky
    March 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Tablets are great toys, but in the end they are just that, toys. Rather expensive toys if you have to have the status symbol brands too. But I can see their draw because the vast majority of users are content consumers. Passively surfing the net, watching video, or playing Angry Birds.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      So true, and there's nothing wrong with toys, I just don't like all the talk of the new iPad being the be all end all!

  27. Gary
    March 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    The readership for MakeUseOf seems to be unified on the worthlessness of tablet computers in general. Do you guys really think that millions of people who have already bought them are all falling victim to a marketing conspiracy? Do you really think the "post-PC era" is just an Apple tagline?

    I remember reading reviews of the iPad 1 when it first came out and all the predictions were that it would flop. My conclusion then was that everyone was comparing the iPad to what they could do with their existing devices and how a tablet does none of those things better. I excused such narrow mindedness at the time because the tablet was so new and that we all needed time to see what this new category of device was all about.

    But that was two years ago. By now, one can see that the iPad is another example of Apple coming out with a computer "for the rest of them." That means it's for people who don't already have a smart phone or a laptop. And it's designed to work differently than those devices, or at least, work in different settings. Otherwise, those people would have already bought one of the other devices.

    The success of the iPad has proven that there is a market for a new category of computing: One that is not a substitute for either the portability of the smart phone, or the creative power of the laptop. You may not identify with that segment of need, and that's OK. Tablets are not designed to appeal to you. They're designed to appeal to "the rest of them." And clearly, there are a lot of "them" still out there.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Valid point, can't really disagree, I own an iPad, and it isn't for me. I never said it wasn't for other people though. If they love their tablet, more power to them!

    • Heri Muhero
      March 23, 2012 at 1:10 am

      Couldn't agree more, Gary. You hit the proverbial nail-on-the-head. I think there has always been a ton of people out there who never make full use of their desktop/laptops because they spend most of their time browsing the web, checking/reading/writing email, updating their social-media posts, watching videos/movies, casually flirting with gaming, etc.

      I think tablets will continue to occupy a niche segment of the computing market -- which is perfectly fine because in the end, choice and innovation are inherently good things.

      To me, the jist of this article also speaks to the way so many things in this digital/internet-connected universe are way overhyped. Do people honestly believe FB is worth $100 billion or so? Does it really make sense to produce a gazillion mega-pixel camera?!! Are we not making life easier for potential stalkers with geo-location apps like Foursquare?

      Anyways...I digress. My main point is this: there's something for everyone out there. The beauty is in letting people choose, use, and find whatever works for them without feeling the need to join the latest techno-digital bandwagon.

  28. Colin
    March 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I wrote a comment in a similar March 17 posting from Justin Pot. If someone has the bucks to spend on a very expensive toy just to impress their friends or to look cool, then fine. They obviously have alot more money or a much higher credit limit on their CC's.

    I bought a Dell Mini 1012 for my daughter a couple of years ago, along with a 1545 for myself. She is able to do pretty well everything I can do, on the 1012. I installed Ubuntu Lucid on both computers, the 1012 dual-boots XP as well.

    My personal opinion of Apple, not withstanding, I can’t imagine why someone would pay $600 for an iPad (that becomes last years “junk” when the new iPad comes out) that has very limited use, that requires buying “accessories” that make it easier to use, while a netbook costs less than $200, that will run Windows, Android, OSX* as well as a myriad flavours of Linux and is roughly the same footprint as an iPad, and will do a pile of alot more apps than an iPad will ever do.

    However, that may be the reason why netbooks are getting harder to find. If the computer manufacturers get in on the tablet craze, they can make a heck of a lot more money. Not from me, however.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      It's sad to see the netbook marker taking such a beating from tablets, but manufactures have to make money, and for some reason, people want tablets.

    • Jesse Wallace
      March 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Its the hyper-focused simplicity that these users are craving. Its less effort, maintenance and frustration for the common user to check their mail, browse the web or play a game in a tablet ecosystem.

  29. LC
    March 22, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I still think that the only way a tablet can replace a netbook or a laptop is to have 2 things:
    1. A larger storage
    2. A real operating system (same ones as on the PC or Mac) not the OS that are made for phone devices.

    • Ibrahim Ali
      March 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      I kind of agree when you add one thing - that it becomes (physical screen, etc) becomes resizable.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      A real OS would make me consider a tablet, but until it happens we are stuck with giant phones.

      • lajos
        May 14, 2012 at 2:11 am

        I have an hp slate2. Runs windows 7. It has a pressure sensitive stylus. It runs photoshop and a real browser with flash. 10 hours of battery life. That's what a tablet should be. The other day a kid at my daughter's gymnastics class walked up and said "wow. that looks like an ipad but you can actually draw on it." However none of the moms noticed.

  30. Nigel
    March 22, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I'lll have that iPad back then Dave ;)

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      Keep dreaming Nigel. How could possibly want to take my paper weight away from me?!

  31. Marc
    March 22, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I work in IT & it is also sort of my hobby. @ home I have a desktop & a laptop & @ work I have same. And to be honest, I couldn't replace the machines with IOS - too slow, no full-sized keyboard (yes, I know the dying ancient art of touch typing), no slots etc etc ad nauseam infinitum. Actually, on the rare occasion that I manage to win a little time off from computer chips I actually kind of enjoy it. I had a droid phone at one point - it alleviated boredom on the phone & I could take almost decent quality pictures without having to lug my DSLR about, but now I drive to work again even that's gone really. So wtf would I do with an iPad. I think Apple is a fashion accessory - a way to be cool. Let's see if Apple can keep it up over the long run now Jobs is dead; I give them 5 to 10 years tops.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      I think Apple will be fine, the iPhone and iPod touch don't seem to be going anywhere, but I really hope the iPad thing is a fad, and Apple moves on to something else.

  32. mittfh
    March 22, 2012 at 8:03 am

    So reading the comments here, it appears as though tablets do have a use...

    ...as very expensive eBook readers!

    I suppose they're also fairly good at general web surfing (particularly the Android ones which presumably have Flash and a decent set of multimedia codecs for the likes of video streaming sites), and may be OK for general picture doodling (although since a fingertip is considerably less precise than a well-controlled mouse or graphics tablet + stylus, I can't imagine detailed pixel-level editing would be easy unless you operated at a high zoom level).

    I've also heard of a few schools dishing tablets out to teachers and iPod Touch devices to students to aid electronic collaboration, but it wouldn't surprise me if they're a fad that lasts a decade or so then fades away - previous attempts at tablet computing (albeit based on the notebook format) generally haven't been successful - even the devices which were considerably lighter than conventional notebooks.

    They do appear to have a fanbase - probably among people who favour usability or bragging rights over VFM - but particularly with the Apple products, they appear to have the lifetime of a Smartphone - i.e. ditch it every year and replace with the upgraded model which'll cost you the same for about 10% extra features. Also like Smartphones, they're generally an output device - if you're lucky they'll have an SD card slot or a USB hub, but generally speaking they're designed to be self-contained units with no external I/O - which means to add functionality or do almost anything you need an active Wi-Fi connection.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      I think they follow the smartphone model because they are a giant smartphone.

  33. Piyush
    March 22, 2012 at 6:50 am

    One addition...

    reading an ebook cant give me feeling of reading a book which I am holding in my hands...

    We are not the people tablets are made for...

    they are good for

    one the go journey movie +ebook +gaming(basic)

    thats all PERIOD

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      agreed

  34. Lamees
    March 22, 2012 at 6:31 am

    totally agree. if u have a laptop and a smart phone then u dont need a tablet.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      That sums it up pretty well!

  35. Dave Hilling
    March 22, 2012 at 6:20 am

    I end up using my tablets more often than my desktop or laptop, partly for portability, but more so for specific types of apps that they offer.

    Music apps, especially synthesizer emulators, are wonderful by merit of not having to shell out for a midi-controller keyboard. I will grant that most keyboard apps feel kinda toyish with their small on-screen keys, but Alchemy is a real treat for electronica fans. Also, iRig/Amplitube for guitar is almost as convenient as having an array of effects boxes on the floor. It's proved to be a space-saver. I like the sounds that Rakarrack for Linux produces, but toggling effects with a mouse, or worse yet, a touchpad are just too much pain.

    As for gaming, I wouldn't recommend it unless Bejeweled is your primary game, which touchscreens excel at playing. I found FPS's unplayable on touch screen, mainly because you have to have at least 2 if not 3 or more fingers on the screen at any time to control them.

    Tablets also win for drawing and photo editing. Drawing with a mouse feels like trying to draw with a bar of soap, and touchpads are even more awkward than that. Tablets give you a feel that is closest to putting a pen to paper. Pair the tablet with a stylus and you have a nice natural feeling setup.

    My conclusion, Dave, is not that tablets suck simply that you are not the kind of user that they are made for.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      I can agree with some of what you said, but there is no tablet photo editor with power of Photoshop. Maybe drawing is better, but editing photos, if you are looking for a professional job, cannot compare on a tablet.

  36. Andrew Jordan
    March 22, 2012 at 5:53 am

    I realized that they are a big conspiracy to fatten At&T's bottom line. They are content eaters with minimal storage. We have to get everything out of the cloud which we are now being throttled and charged exorbitantly to do. New bigger display? Means more megappoopels to fill those jars of pixels, you will have to get them from the cloud..The Wi Fi and wireless bills are going to be beeg for what ? You can do most everthing with a laptop. Let's not fall for the ads where all our kids are going to be geniuses. They are going to be sticky fingered Oops I dropped it usual kids.
    A light lap top you can fill up on your own and it will store it. You can create content as well.Buy a used one for the kids.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      well said!

  37. Jon
    March 22, 2012 at 5:50 am

    I have an Andi 7+ Android tablet that I bought from MyTabWorld7 on eBay, and I use it a LOT. More as a consumer item, though, than as an actual computer. It works well for netflix, and for general surfing around the net. It does have Documents to Go on it, which is handy for creating word documents, but I don't like typing on a touch screen. The Andi tablets DO have a micro USB input on them, though, and they include an adapter cable, so you can plug a USB keyboard or mouse into them and they will function exactly as they would on your computer, which is very handy. I agree with your assessment that the iPad is overpriced. It's a cool little device, but there's NO way I'd pay that much for one.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      If more tablets started working with USB, I might just be more receptive to owning one!

  38. Bruce Epper
    March 22, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Regarding your comment on the price, anything Apple is overpriced. How else are they going to be reaping those record profits? But there are a lot of people willing to pay exorbitant prices for Apple devices.

    But tablets in general do have their uses. Have you ever tried to read an eBook on a smartphone? I glanced at one once and that was enough. I have a TouchPad for that (no I didn't buy that one). I also use it for watching TED conferences while on the go. Pulling out a laptop for those purposes is inconvenient at best and a smartphone is next to useless for it. For any kind of consumption, a tablet is generally the way to go.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      I've actually read many books using the Kindle app on the iPhone before the iPad came out. I've also read books on my iPad. I prefer the iPhone because I can pull it out whenever and read a couple pages. The size of the screen was no bother for me.

  39. Anomaly
    March 22, 2012 at 2:55 am

    I couldn't agree more with this article. I can't believe all the monkeys jumping on the tablet band wagon. I hate tablets for all the reasons already mentioned but also they absolutely blow for web browsing. The browsers on these tablets are just useless. Compare them to a desktop browser and it's like going from a Ferrari to a tricycle. Add in the fact you can't use Flash in the iPad and it becomes useless. Well useless might not be accurate. Tablets do have some uses. If you run out of toilet paper you can use the tablet to wipe your ass.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      The Flash is really the killer for me.

  40. Pankaj Singh
    March 22, 2012 at 2:50 am

    I use an old outdated phone, because i prefer my phone for only calls and texts.
    My ipad2 is a brilliant device for reading medical books on the go. One can't just switch on a laptop in 2 seconds while on the train and start reading a med book. Also, I write a lot, and again, the ipad just gives me quicker access to start typing than my laptop...not to mention it is so much easier to carry around than my cheap and heavy laptop.
    The ipad is also perfect for my other passion, comic books. They are not easy to read either on iphones or on laptops.
    I do need my phone and my laptop, but I also cannot do without an ipad. Simple.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      I hate typing on a touch screen, so I guess that is where will just have to agree to disagree!

  41. DefaultGuy
    March 22, 2012 at 2:46 am

    I agree.

    Tablets are an output device - good for looking at books, videos and games. But really that's not enough for many people. A decent laptop or netbook can do so so so much more than a tablet. So what if it doesn't have the latest touchscreen input fashion.

    Also have you ever tried to do something as simple as surfing a travel booking website on a tablet? So tedious.

    Not to mention how poor tablets are at multi-tasking.

    The wealth and availability of free software for every purpose on the WIndows platform is also mind boggling, from server management tools to MMORPG games.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks for voicing your opinion! I agree with you 100 percent!

  42. someonecool
    March 22, 2012 at 2:28 am

    We don't like spam, go away

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      Looks like he's gone! yay

  43. Slackmaster
    March 22, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Dave sounds like he's got some pent up frustrations and needs to get laid. Obviously if a tablet doesn't fit with your life they have no use right? Tard.

    The iPad is great for reading books (something I wouldn't want to do on my phone), it's great for people who travel on planes, chilling on the couch and browsing the net or catching up on your RSS feeds. It works perfect for administering my server for quick changes, makes a great catalog and remote for my XBMC setup, and the list goes on.

    Dave, you're a techno hipster. STFU.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      Thanks for the comment? lol

  44. Gautham @Tuxtree
    March 22, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Ha Ha ...Its true but it's good to have such devices in the market . Expecting more in terms of innovation from Apple .

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      That is true, there is nothing wrong with options, but the tablet is certainly not the option for me!

  45. Kevin P.
    March 22, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Another aspect that goes missing from most of these laptop vs. tablet comparisons: You will pay more for content if you use a tablet. Some examples:

    * You can use Hulu's free service on a laptop, but the Hulu iOS app requires a Hulu Plus subscription.

    * Same as above for Spotify.

    * You can watch live streams at Justin.tv for free on a laptop. On an iPad, you'll have to cough up $4.99 for their app.

    * The USA Network allows free streaming of recent episodes of some shows, such as "White Collar." But that's not the case if you're using an iPad.

    • Dave LeClair
      March 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      Very good point, and one that I didn't think of! Thanks for pointing it out!

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