Are Tablets Here To Stay? [We Ask You]

We Ask You   Are Tablets Here To Stay? [We Ask You]In a previous ‘We Ask You‘ column discussing the future of tablets I began the piece by saying, “The tablet is a form factor that we can safely say is here to stay.” At the time I believed it, and I still do to a certain extent. However, technology has a habit of advancing quickly, and things can change on a whim.

Who really thought the iPad would usher in a time when tablets were the thing to buy? Who would have thought that even Microsoft would be forced to jump on board the bandwagon — with both Windows 8 and the Surface — for fear of losing its dominant place in the market? But both of these scenarios have played out.

This week the CEO of BlackBerry, Thorsten Heins, called into question the future of tablets by telling Bloomberg, “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.” Is he correct or should we not pay attention to the guy in charge of the company responsible for the PlayBook?

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, Are Tablets Here To Stay? We’re keeping things very simple this week, with a question that could be answered with as little as a “Yes” or a “No.” Obviously we’re hoping you’ll go above and beyond what’s merely necessary and instead tell us your thoughts on what Heins said about the tablet form factor.

We particularly want to know whether you think tablets are likely to stick with us, and if so, for how long? They’re certainly proving popular right now, but some people are finding the form factor just isn’t for them. Ryan couldn’t find a single productive use for his tablet, and my cheap Android tablet has been usurped by a shiny new Chromebook.

apple ipad tablet   Are Tablets Here To Stay? [We Ask You]

Start with that simple “Yes” or “No” as outlined above, but then tell us why you think tablets will either stand the test of time or disappear as quickly as they invaded the personal computer market. If you disagree with Heins tell us what’s so great about tablets?

If you agree with Heins and think tablets are nothing more than a novelty, a stopgap, a means to a better end, then what will replace them? Is Google Glass going to usher in a new wave of wearable computing devices? Or is the smartphone going to continue to grow in size and stature until it kills the need for the iPad, the Nexus 7, and all of the other tablet wannabes?

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and 150 MakeUseOf points to use for MakeUseOf Rewards. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Cheon Fong Liew

Check out more about:

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

66 Comments -

5 votes

Shane Harris

Sorry, but I kind of stopped reading at “CEO of BlackBerry”

0 votes

Scott M

You should actually tey one of the new phones.They are fast and they work up to 8 multiple applications at once.No other phone does that.It has much fewer apps than any other phone but they quite correctly identified what the business market needed.It is also the phone of choice in the emerging economies for business.Its now become a business phone only.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

The new BlackBerry phones look good, but the company has the stench of death about it, and it’s insanely hard to come back from that.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

I don’t think you’re alone. I am wondering if the PlayBook hadn’t failed so badly whether he’d be saying the same thing.

0 votes

Shane Harris

That’s just it. It smacks of a pr move to me. So they are dedicated to business focused model. And tablets don’t fit into that model. So be it, but don’t generalize. Just seems like a ‘who benefits’ quote to me.

1 votes

flapic

I think Heins has a point. Back in 2010 I thought the 4.3″ of the HTC Desire HD was a huge display to have every day in my pocket, and few months later I welcomed the HTC Flyer to perform those tasks requiring a larger screen. Right now I got so used to larger smartphones, that I see the 4.5″ of my Sony Xperia T too small!

With high-end smartphones going towards the 5″ size (or more), the need of a tablet decreases as you have enough space for most things you need to do.

Personally I found a great compromise with the ASUS Padfone 2: the phone has a 4.7″ display which is good for 90% of my needs. For the other 10% I dock it into the Pad Station to make it 10.1″ and enjoy a movie or work with Google Drive. And all with a unique SSD keeping all my data, no need to tether, and with just one data plan.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

It sounds like a phablet such as the Galaxy Note would be a good compromise for you. I’m not I can see mainstream consumers walking around with quite such a large phone in their pockets though.

0 votes

Flavio

Not really… right now I prefer to stay between the 4.7 and the 5 inches, that’s why I chose the Padfone 2 to use its docking station when I feel the need of a larger screen.

0 votes

Flavio

I think Heins has a point. Back in 2010 I thought the 4.3″ of the HTC Desire HD was a huge display to have every day in my pocket, and few months later I welcomed the HTC Flyer to perform those tasks requiring a larger screen. Right now I got so used to larger smartphones, that I see the 4.5″ of my Sony Xperia T too small!

With high-end smartphones going towards the 5″ size (or more), the need of a tablet decreases as you have enough space for most things you need to do.

Personally I found a great compromise with the ASUS Padfone 2: the phone has a 4.7″ display which is good for 90% of my needs. For the other 10% I dock it into the Pad Station to make it 10.1″ and enjoy a movie or work with Google Drive. And all with a unique SSD keeping all my data, no need to tether, and with just one data plan.

5 votes

Scott M

I just sold my Ipad and purchased a chromebook.I may consider a small pad for managing my entertainment centre but other than that they aren’t much use for myself.I can see them being used in Court Rooms and by Architects and in many other situations where a large light screen with specific apps would be useful.From a non working perspective I find them to be high tech toys and if they are only toys,a better model will come along.I think the large screen phone is a good example.Even a mini is 7 inches and a 4,5 or 5 inch screen is more than enough screen to play with and is more easily transported.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

In other words, and please correct me if I’m paraphrasing you incorrectly, you don’t think there’s room for the tablet in between smartphones and laptops. Apple in particular are betting on the new form factor pretty much destroying the PC market. Do you think they’re mad for doing so?

0 votes

Scott M

I think they will be able to make money while people remain excited about tablets but I think a Kindle or any other 7 inch device and the advent of larger screen smart phones will make a large tablet less desirable

0 votes

Jim Gibson

The idea that the humble tablet could replace my PC is silly. I do use a tablet and a mobile device but sometimes you just need a state of the art Dell that is connected by wire to all your favorite attachments like printers or external hard drives how could we replace all those with a 7″ tablet?

0 votes

Darryl Gittins

It depends on what you do. A tablet certainly can replace a PC for many people. A tablet is a great complement to a PC but for plenty of people that only surf the web and look at email, a tablet is enough.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

Even for surfing the Web and emailing I personally found my tablet quite limiting. Hence the switch to a Chromebook.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

I’d say the tablet can replace a PC in terms of pure consumption, but for creating? I remain, like you, unconvinced.

0 votes

Dave Bakker

Yes, I believe they are here to stay. As a entertainment device for games, video, music. When working in the Kitchen its great to access my own library of recipies, listen to You tube videos, or music. IN meetings, its small enough to easily carry and type notes and access information. For School, to have books, notes and Internet all handy. Sure the phone can do alot of this, but the large size is worth it.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

Consumption not creation though, which is an important distinction to make. Re: the difference between a phone and a tablet, sure, those 5 inches or so can make a hell of a difference.

0 votes

likefunbutnot

I think the devices absolutely have a place. The biggest issue is that we need to work on the ergonomics a bit. 5″ isn’t enough, even at 1920×1080, for a legitimately comfortable information appliance. It’s great for reading and it might have enough pixels to be OK for the web, but video is going to be too damned small. On the other hand I think “ipad size” and 10″ tablets are a little too big and too heavy to use comfortably for long periods of time, especially for reading, and ALSO too small for any kind of productive, non-passive work.

My favorite tablet is a Galaxy 8.9, which weighs only a few grams more than an original Kindle Fire but has same screen resolution as most 10″ Android tablets. I think that’s a killer combination.

At the end of the day I’d rather have a 7″ device than a bigger guy, but most smaller tablets also have lower screen resolutions and might be less than ideal for viewing video content. Displays are only going to get better, but I still hope we don’t wind up saddled with a 10″ standard tablet because some executive decided that the only important application for tablets is viewing video content.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

I much prefer the 7″ tablets. The full-sized iPads are just too hefty for my liking.

0 votes

Guy McDowell

To give a definitive answer, we need to define tablet and we need to define ‘here to stay’.

In essence, my smartphone is a tablet. Yes, a small one, however there will come a day when what we call tablets will get smaller and what we call smartphones will get bigger and we’ll have a tablet and smartphone that are the same size. Then what do you call it?

Everything is temporary, as well.How long must it be around to qualify as having been here to stay? I believe they will be around in some way for at least a generation or two.

1 votes

Dave Parrack

A phablet? Unfortunately I didn’t pen that term, though I wish I had as it’s pretty much perfect.

0 votes

Daniel Vandusen

In the past two years of healthcare IT, tablet use has exploded. Physicians are using iPads to chart patients. In meetings, where there were laptops for note-taking and presentations, there are now tablets. There are patient services personnel that come to rooms and take meal orders, they use tablets. Many pieces of equipment can be and are controlled by apps on a tablet. There are apps that patients can access their own charts, getting test results and viewing x-rays and ultrasounds.

Our particular organization uses about 75% virtual desktops that can be accessed with a client on a tablet. In fact, mobile device management is now a primary concern in privacy and security issues. I do not see another platform taking the place of tablets at least in this field.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

That’s very interesting, because it shows how quickly and how completely tablets have been adopted in certain areas.

You’re right, those people are not going to simply give up their tablets, at least until something better comes along. And right now I can’t imagine what that could be.

10 votes

Rob H

I’d steered clear of tablets until recently. Then a relative showed us her photos on an iPad. My wife seemed impressed and was showing strong signs of wanting one. I’m not a fan of Apple products, in my opinion overpriced and too restrictive but I could see the attraction. I bought an Android 10 inch model instead.

Last week I want for a country walk with a group of friends. When we got back to the pub I popped the SD card out of my camera into the tablet and showed everyone the photos of the walk. There were a couple of Apple fanboys there. They seemed to think that operation was too easy (is that right? no SD slot in an iPad?). When they realised they’d paid 3 times as much as me they started to try to find fault but instead found other features they’d not got like USB, and HDMI. Ahh but no SIM… so I opened a web page via my wireless tethered mobile phone.

You may be thinking this is “off topic”. No. My point is that at Apple’s prices and specifications tablets are only for a niche market but at Android prices we can all afford one. That changes things.

One attraction of tablets is portability. Yes, for most of my computing needs I prefer a powerful large screen desktop PC with a proper keyboard, mouse and external speakers. It can do everything fast and well.
When I’m out and about I use a smart phone, frankly I make very little use of the “smart” aspects, the small screen image and tiny on-screen keyboard are OK when there’s no alternative but otherwise forget it.
The tablet is not a replacement for either but fills a gap. It has its own niche and I believe it’s a valid one. The screen is big enough to show a document at readable size, the on screen keyboard has big keys so I don’t make typos (a big problem on my phone), it’s OK for TV and movies. It goes around the house with me – read an online recipe in the kitchen, check my emails on the sofa, read an eBook in bed, Skype my overseas relatives (front and back cameras so I can show them the garden as well as my handsome face!). It is small/light enough to take round to a friends house to show them my photos. I can even use it in the car for bigger and more versatile mapping than the SatNav (not as a replacement but sometimes “as well as”).

In short my experience of using a tablet is that it has a lot of advantages over mobile phone or desktop and a few disadvantages. On balance that makes it worth having. If anything I wonder if tablets might erode the market for laptop computers, their additional features come at the cost of bulk, weight and price.

In my opinion the tablet could actually make mobile apps worth bothering with. I only ever got under a dozen for my phone and several of those got deleted as just unsuitable in such a small format.

0 votes

GS

Just curious why you needed a camera and tablet? If I’m out and about like that, I take pics using the tablet or phone. As soon as I come in contact with wifi (ie, enter most any pub) they auto upload to the cloud and then my friends can view them immediately on their own devices. Haven’t touched an SD card in a year.

0 votes

Rob H

Sure. It’s not a cheap camera, the ones in tablets and cameras have started to boast of more megapixels (still only half what even a fairly inexpensive camera can offer) but that’s not the only criterion. At its simplest think of larger lens, better optics, powerfull zoom but then there are controls photographers want like aperture or shutter priority. But you’re right, if you’re not too fussy a phone camera is OK though I think a tablet (certainly 10 inch models) is simply too unweildy to use as a general purpose camera – but great for Skype. And last time I used my phone camera on a day out I almost emptied the battery, luckily there was just enough left to call for the taxi home!

0 votes

Rob H

Make use of needs an edit function. A millisecond after I hit send I spotted the error …tablets and cameras have … should of course read …tablets and phones have…

0 votes

Dave Parrack

A very interesting comment. On the one hand you defend tablets as having a place, but on the other you determine that they fill a very definite and defined niche. I guess the question has to be whether that niche will be squeezed by the devices on either side, namely the smartphone and laptop?

0 votes

Rob H

I find your “on the one hand…on the other” phrase confusing. Yes they have a place and yes fill a niche, that’s not a contradiction, I guess we may have a different semantic interpretation of niche – mine’s bigger than yours!

I guess you cound draw a kind of parallel with Radios. When I was a kid the radio was a big expensive mains powered device with valves inside (yes I’m that old!), there was one in a household of 5 people. The cost was about equivalent of the average weekly wage. Technology had brought the price down and I guess there are about a dozen devices in my house capable of receiving radio now ranging from a GBP2 travel alarm radio through CD players with built in radio to a fairly expensive DAB model and the Cable TV.

In the same way 25 years ago there was one PC in the house, now there are 3 desktops, a netbook, an old PC (to play with Linux), a RasPi, a tablet. Then there are devices I don’t really regard as “computers” though others may disagree: 2 smart-phones and 3 eBooks (and we could go on to all kinds of things that probably have at least an ARM chip ranging from the fridge to the security camera DVR).

I guess the tablet is largely “in addition to…” rather than replacing anything. I say largely because the netbook is gathering dust. It did fill a similar role to the tablet and frankly the tablet wins largely because it came preloaded with a good set of apps and downloading more is a doddle, it was a matter of unpack and start using, very little configuration required.

I think the spread of computer usage across devices will migrate some usage “down” from PC/Laptop and “up” from smartphone but there will be a valid place for all 3.

0 votes

Diogo

Yes, I’m sure tablets will aventually replace trtaditional computers for 90% of the population. Traditional PCs will also exist but for pro users.

0 votes

Phil

I agree that information consumers will replace laptops with tablets which I agree is 90% or close to it. However, those who create content or manage the content delivery sites will need something more robust. A laptop/tablet hybrid will probably be our tool going forward.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

I tried to do just that and found my tablet too restrictive for writing online. Hence the switch to a Chromebook. Can I be considered a pro user?

5 votes

dragonmouth

Yes, tablets are here to stay….. for a while.

Going back to the first commercial computer, ENIAC, each iteration of the computer was thought to be the pinnacle of technology. Thomas j. Watson, the legendary CEO of IBM has been alleged to say in 1943 “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers”. We all know how that turned out.

And each time we got comfortable with the status quo, technology moved on, spurred by unforeseen and unexpected inventions. Each iteration of computers was not supplanted but supplemented by the next. Mainframe -> mini -> micro -> desktop -> portable -> laptop -> netbook -> smart phone -> tablet. Let’s not forget, though, that in 1977, shortly before personal computers hit the market, Ken Olsen, founder and CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation, famously said “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

So, yes, tablets will be around for a while, until replaced by the latest “hot” gadget. We can’t predict what that gadget will be because we cannot predict what leaps technology will make. Then MUO will have another We Ask You poll “Is the latest “kewl” gadget here to stay?”

0 votes

Dave Parrack

You guessed next week’s question! Damn you, dragonmouth.

Most of those products you mention didn’t disappear when their usurper arrived though, so I guess the question should be, will the tablet survive alongside its successors?

5 votes

John F

In tech, nothing is here to “stay.” So of course, ultimately any prediction that they won’t last forever will be right, just as prognosticators of doom eventually had their day predicting the “end” of everything from the Model T and transistor radios to the Compact Disc and DVDs. But they spent a long time getting it wrong while they waited for that victory.

Now, I don’t know Bloomberg’s track record at the start of tablet computing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out they were making this prediction back at the start as well… only to find themselves clinging to it, waiting for the clock to come round and eventually vindicate their forecast.

But if there’s anything to make you really feel like tablets are here to stay, at least for a good while, it’s the Microsoft factor. That is, between Ballmer and Gates, we’ve heard that everything from the Internet and Google to the iPhone and the iPod were sure losers. (http://www.itworld.com/hardware/161565/6-premature-predictions-tech-failure?page=0,0)

And wasn’t it Gates who said this, in 2010?

“It’s a nice reader, but there’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, ‘Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.’” http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/10/gates-weighs-in-on-the-ipad-nice-but-not-real-nice/

Given Gates bumbling track record on these kinds of predictions, You couldn’t ask for a better proof of the contrary than that. Witness, this was in 2010 that he said that, the same year that the iPad became the fastest-selling tech device… not just of all tablets or all computers… but in all history.

Since then, the market for these has radically expanded to other makers — including Microsoft, who apparently did start to do some wishing after all. In short, to pretend tablets, at this point, are a passing fad is just silly.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

That’s an interesting take on the whole thing. If your logic is correct then perhaps Heins is just sick that BlackBerry missed the tablet bandwagon. The PlayBook wasn’t good.

0 votes

Darryl Gittins

My Surface RT tablet is the best tech device I’ve ever bought. And I’ve bought a lot of devices.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

Really? Please expand on that. What makes it so good?

0 votes

Jumbybird

He’s HOPING that they go obsolete in 5 years, because that’s how long it will take them to develop a proper one.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

Introducing the new BlackBerry Playbook… and the tablet market is gone.

0 votes

Cillian Donlon

I feel that the tablet will be around for more than 5 years. The software will have to dramatically evolve if it is going to be viable in the future.
As it is, many schools have adopted i-pads and android tablets into their classrooms and as part of the admin (at least here in Ireland) and these institutions are not fond of replacing and integrating new systems more often than about 3-4 years.

As a portable media and game hub, it is more assessable than laptops. That said, I can see devices such as the E-Transform becoming the norm, giving the tablet more useability. I have worked in electronics retail for 5 years, and many customers would be torn between a laptop or tablet (mostly just used for social networks/media as well as small document writing) and when i described the transform, they always went for that design.

My own opinion is that we should see more integration of laptop power and tablet portability, and with Moore’s law we should see that becoming a reality.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

I assume you’re talking about hybrids? That’s definitely a form factor that could gain in popularity, but I suspect it will be at the expense of laptops rather than standalone tablets. Thanks for the comment :)

0 votes

Cillian Donlon

I feel that the tablet will be around for more than 5 years. The software will have to dramatically evolve if it is going to be viable in the future. As it is, many schools have adopted i-pads and android tablets into their classrooms and as part of the admin (at least here in Ireland) and these institutions are not fond of replacing and integrating new systems more often than about 3-4 years. As a portable media and game hub, it is more assessable than laptops. That said, I can see devices such as the E-Transform becoming the norm, giving the tablet more useability. I have worked in electronics retail for 5 years, and many customers would be torn between a laptop or tablet (mostly just used for social networks/media as well as small document writing) and when i described the transform, they always went for that design. My own opinion is that we should see more integration of laptop power and tablet portability, and with Moore’s law we should see that becoming a reality.

0 votes

Arron Walker

Yes – they are here to stay.

The key word is “productive” – he couldn’t find a productive use. As tools of creation and production – tablets are relatively useless. As consumption devices though, they often excel. My relatives laptops have fallen to the way side since they have started using tablets. One’s laptop exists purely to type emails on – even then, she’d rather use her desktop. Once this laptop is obsolete, I can not see her getting another one.

I think laptops will make a comeback once the newness wears off – but that’s when a balance will be achieved. The tablets might declines somewhat in the next few years – but they will have a permanent share. At least till something else comes along

0 votes

Dave Parrack

I agree. As devices purely meant for consumption tablets are magnificent, but that is a horribly limiting factor that will surely stop tablet killing laptops and desktops.

5 votes

null

I think the notebook\tablet combo may be around for a while.

0 votes

Brendan F

Short answer, yes.

Longer answer: I’m always wary of people proclaiming the end of any kind of technology. Many still say the same about physical books, though recent slowdown in ebook growth would seem to suggest otherwise.

Sure, something new (building off of Google Glasses for instance) might come along, but that doesn’t mean older tech will suddenly become obsolete. The marketplace is only getting more diverse, not less. Take the recently reviewed Supaboy on this site, a new piece of hardware that lets you play older console games on the go. Or all of the people here proclaiming their love of PCs, or smaller mobile devices. The key is variety and options that suit individual lifestyles. Ask yourself instead if you can imagine using a tablet in 5 years, especially one with even more access to cloud-based software and data storage, with better battery life or wireless charging options.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

I can imagine owning a tablet purely for consuming video and music, but that alone doesn’t justify the iPad price tag. I’m not even sure it justifies the price of a Nexus 7 right now.

5 votes

Phillip

Yes I think they are here to stay but No not in the place the hold now. Tablets have many uses for many people, but other devices are better in most of those areas. People still see tablets as luxury novelties, they are gaining more in popularity because of this. Tablets have the functions that most people desire but they don’t work as well as the user wants those functions to work because they have other devices that do those tasks better. There are only a few areas that the tablets do best but those are a small niche. For example hospitals are a great place for tablets. I think that in order for the tablet to grow in these areas it needs to develop more, in ways of apps and connectivity. The biggest problem with tablets is that they become outdated much faster than a normal computer would. For example the laptop I am typing on is 4 or 5 years old?(been too long to remember) It has 500gb HDD and 8gb RAM and an i5 processor. It is still a decent laptop and has many more years left in it, and Windows 7(No Haters, I use Linux and Mac as well) is still updating, and I can put 8 on it or Linux very easily. My Asus TF101 however, its dated at only a little over 1 year old. My tablet still works great, still does most of what I bought it for. But can I put Linux on it? No, not without a-lot of trouble and possibly bricking it. Does it still update? No, not unless Asus puts out an update. Can I put Jelly Bean on it? Not without rooting, or Asus puts out an update, which is doubtable but would be great.
My point is that unless these devices have more of a life span than now, they will not be used by anyone but those that are lucky enough to afford a new one every year. I want to be able to use my tablet like my laptop including for as long, but I can’t. You may say that tablets are not laptops or desktops and they are advancing to fast. Well if they are trying to take the place of “traditional” computers then they need to have the same functions and life span as what they are trying to take the place of. I won’t even go into the problems I see with iOS and Android.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

Tablets are definitely luxuries. Can anyone really argue they actively need to own one?

As for the pace of change, sure, we’re still in that phase when the technology is improving every few months, but that will slow down eventually, just like it did with laptops. Will tablets then stick around?

0 votes

moi

Hmm. I have a desktop, a laptop, a netbook, the original netbook (OLPC), and the BB Playbook, the Edsel of tablets. Some of the new tablets, with attachable keyboards, seem to resemble the old fashioned netbook. For productivity, I use my macbook pro. To access the occasional windows things, the netbook. For intellectual stimulation, the linux machines.

Tablets are great as far as they go. Hate typing on them. Love carrying mine for everything else, except for netflix. New tech toys are wonderful, if you want to spend the time learning how to use them, whether they are a laptop, netbook, smart phone, tablet. I do believe in the law of diminishing returns. Yes, even techy savvy types will reach saturation point. Ask anyone over 55 if they want to learn how to use a new smart phone, or how about a new tablet. Most shrink in horror. And try to read something on those microscopic phone screens. Just remember, there are a lot of us older, grouchier, blinder, slightly deafer baby boomers.

Success will depend on the demographics, both looking at age, stage, and financial ability to buy new technology. There will always be something new. Remember the Wang with daisy wheel printers? Commodore 64? Work life is changing. Play life is changing. Of course there will be something new and different, and probably on of those things may be a computer that we might wear, much like a button, where we give it commands to do anything imaginable – read us a book, find us a restaurant, play games with us, dictate emails – if such things would still exist, monitor our emotional health and knit sweaters. Tablets are just another marker on the road to the future.

I learned to use a computer 12 years ago, in my 50s and have embraced technology. Most people my age have no idea how to do much more than check their email and facebook and maybe format a simple document.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

Is there a computing form factor you don’t own? ;)

0 votes

Andrew Rossaak

Yes, here to stay. Laptops are often not allowed in meetings I attend, but tablets are. They are an incredibly useful way of taking a lot of notes around and marking them up. The may evolve into a smaller niche, but will be a form factor going forward….

0 votes

phogey2

yes I think tablets are here to stay. I would rather have a chromebook too. I think the crazy gotta have it will die down. We have to grow up sometimes

0 votes

Tony Gonzaga

Tablets are here to stay. Blackberry is on the bring of demise.

0 votes

Austin H

Personally, I think tablets will be around for a while yet. Maybe not 10 or 20 years, but probably 5. I think that the quotes itself and who generated it sort of signifies the exaggeration and just seems drenched in the bitterness of RIM’s current failure with blackberry and the tablet market.

Anyways, I think that tablets will certainly be around as a consumer product. I think it has the potential to be something more geared toward enterprise, but right now, and in the near future, it’s just not there. But the consumer market for tablets cannot be ignored. I don’t think most people are getting tablets (and iPads in particular) in the hope of replacing their laptop/netbook/etc. I honestly think they just want something to play a few games, watch TV and movies, read a book or magazine, etc. I think that people want one mid-sized light-weight device to consume any media they want.

If they can use it for a bit of work too, then great. But I’d dare to say that the vast majority of consumers of tablets couldn’t care less about advanced features or replacing their laptop with their tablet. They want both. And, in my opinion, that’s why tablets are going to be around for quite a bit longer.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

You make some very good points. Some people clearly thought tablets would replace laptops, but I agree that they are increasingly being used as extra devices rather than straight replacements.

Does this mean laptop/tablet hybrids are the future?

0 votes

Karen Dombek

Tablets are useful, especially when you need to have several reference sources open at a remote site (E-book OR website).

0 votes

Tom Epperson

I one form or another I think that the tablet will remain. In the past there have been some products that have hit a “fad” phase and then die out but they also served to fuel innovation and integration into other products. So even if tablets fade out I think that their presence will be felt.

0 votes

Dave Parrack

So, even if tablets die in their current form they will have had a lasting impact on the market?

0 votes

Eileen C

Well, I was also excited to receive my new iPad 3 and yes it was great for a while, until I wanted to do serious work on it. The drawbacks started to appear when I was taking notes at a meeting – so tedious , so I bought a bluetooth keyboard to make it easier. It was – but not much as the keyboard is too small to really type properly. Yes it is great for lots of things, as long as you don’t take it to heart when you find that you would have been better to have a notebook computer. The iPad does take good pictures, you can facebook and skype, but, I wish that I had kept my little laptop that didn’t frustrate me all of the time. I use my desktop , but like to be mobile too. No I don’t think that iPads are here to stay, They are an in between that doesn’t fit and won’t last in my opinion

0 votes

Dave Parrack

You clearly feel tablets cannot replace laptops, but what about as extra devices that are used for consumption rather than production?

0 votes

Nick Patel

I know tablets are here to stay. Actually I believe that they will develop into changing we conduct business and generate results for any marketplace. they will replace laptops over time and then with flexible displays up and coming they will even go to the extend to be a solution that everyone will be able to afford.

0 votes

spectrumofminds

They are here to stay for a long time, but with continuous improvements as they go along. They are extremely efficient in so many ways – portability, size, price, memory, abilities, and more. The major contenders in manufacturing and brands of tablets (and maybe even a new one or two) will battle over improvements in battery life, readability, charging abilities (this could go A LONG WAY), security, including passwords, multi-abilities (readers, productivity apps, games, etc), their closeness to laptops, hard-drive like memory size, accessories, etc. and so much more. GPS tracking ability based on battery life will be important, as well. The greater the product, the more important it will be to be able to know exactly where it is at all times – even if it isn’t charged!

0 votes

Shinjinee

Tablets, like the latest smart app phones, sound like a great idea. Unfortunately, if you have to pay per GB or MB for internet service or if you are really worried about hacking and/or malware, an appliance that is almost totally Internet/Web dependent sounds like a bad idea.

I’m from India where even the cheapest plans (along with service tax and service tax extras) mean that I could end up spending quite a lot to use the same software that I currently use offline. I like the idea of having my software and documents online, but not the reality of it. What if my account gets hacked, or my stuff erased (accidentally or on purpose)? Of course we should back up our data regularly but….

The phablet phones are quite large too, neither fish nor fowl. I guess my future appliance choice will be a tablet plus a smart phone, but I’m currently getting along with a really old phone plus a Sony Vaio laptop.