Technology Explained

7 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Tablet Anymore

Mihir Patkar 27-06-2016

It’s been over six years since Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPad. Since then, we have seen tablets running all kinds of operating systems, tablets of different sizes, and tablets at various price points. But the big question is, do you really need a tablet anymore?


Research firm IDC’s recent study shows that tablet sales are on the decline worldwide. Early adopters of tablets often talk about how little use they have for these devices any more. For several, their tablets sit on the coffee table in the same position for days.

So before you put down hard-earned cash for a new tablet, ask yourself if you really need it. Here are a few reasons you might want to skip it for something else.

1. Phone Screens Are Getting Bigger

Tablets usually come in 7-inch, 8-inch, or 10-inch screen sizes. But recently, smartphones have also been getting bigger.

From fantastic Android phablets Fabulous Phablets: The 5 Best Big-Screen Smartphones You Can Buy If you're going to buy a big-screen phone now, and by that, we mean something that's larger than a 5.5-inch screen and smaller than a 7-inch tablet, these are your best options. Read More to the Plus series of iPhones, when your smartphone has a 5.5-inch screen, your need for a bigger touchscreen device pretty much becomes non-existent except in the most specific of cases.



Since your phone is with you all the time, you end up using it a lot more than a tablet too. More and more, you get comfortable using it. Your muscle memory builds up, you get used to how apps work, you know the speed at which it will perform certain tasks  — all of this comes together to make the phone “faster” for you than a tablet.

Plus, tablets don’t support all the same apps that phones do. For example, if you use WhatsApp, you can’t use it simultaneously on your tablet and mobile, even with WhatsApp Web mirroring the messages.

A faster device, a big screen, and one-handed operation? If you thought the tablet can be a “bigger and better phone”, you’re wrong. Tablets are starting to lose in the one area where they used to dominate phones.

2. Laptops Are Getting Lighter

The big change in the world of laptops recently is their shrinking in size and weight. Manufacturers are trending towards notebooks with 11- to 13-inch screens that focus on being lightweight.


And that used to be the big advantage of tablets.


For a few years, it made more sense to carry a tablet with you when you’re moving around because a laptop was too big, bulky, and weighed down your bag. But modern, lightweight, small-size laptops make it easy to carry them no matter where you go.

Let’s face it, when you’re on the go, you will always carry your smartphone with you, so the second device is the one you have to decide. Do you want a tablet, which has the same apps and restrictions as your smartphone, or do you want a laptop, which has a keyboard and a full-fledged desktop operating system?


The choice is pretty clear.

3. Battery Life Isn’t an Issue

Even now, tablets have longer battery life than laptops or smartphones, but the question isn’t, “Which of these lasts the longest?” The question is, “Which one do I actually need?”

The MacBook Air, which is the best value-for-money laptop Want A Great Value Laptop? Buy A MacBook Air Unlike many of Apple's other products, the MacBook Air is different. It's actually better value for money than any Windows laptop at that price. Read More  right now, lasts for about 10 hours of work on a single charge. That’s plenty for most users, who will be able to get to a charger before that gets close to running out.



As for smartphones, these days they’re packing upwards of 3,000 mAh batteries, and with technologies like Quick Charging What's a Quick Charger? Here's Why You Need One Now Smartphones take less time to charge up these days and it's all thanks to a new technology called Quick Charge. If you don't have it yet, you'll want it soon. Read More , it makes your battery problems even less of a worry.

So yes, while tablets do last longer, ask yourself if you are likely to actually need that kind of battery life when you can find a place to charge your notebook or phone almost anywhere. When’s the last time you were more than 10 hours away from an outlet?

Worst case scenario, don’t forget that backup battery packs exist too.

4. 2-in-1 Laptops, Best of Both Worlds

Apart from big-screen phones and lightweight laptops, one other recent trend is most indicative of whether you need a tablet or not. As IDC found for two quarters in a row, while tablet sales are shrinking, sales are growing for 2-in-1 tablets that mimic PCs.


From the Microsoft Surface to iPad Pro, people are buying tablets that come with a detachable keyboard because they can be replacements for PCs or laptops Why The iPad Pro Isn't Just A Bigger iPad If you think the new iPad Pro is "just a bigger iPad", you're wrong. It's a new way of iPad-ing. Read More . Tablets have one big problem right now, which is writing and input. As good as virtual keyboards and touch gestures are, they still don’t match up to a physical keyboard and mouse or trackpad for pinpoint accuracy and speed.

More importantly, 2-in-1s give you the best of both worlds. A tablet that can be used as a tablet, and a laptop that can be used as a laptop, both shifting into their own roles as required.

5. E-Readers > Tablets for Ebooks

If the primary use of your tablet is going to be to read ebooks, you need to rethink this. E-readers are better for your eyes due to e-ink What Is E-Ink? How It Works & Why Every Ebook Fan Needs It If you read ebooks and haven't switched to E-Ink yet, then you're seriously missing out. Here's everything you need to know about why E-Ink rocks for ebook lovers. Read More , can store all the ebooks you could ever need at a time, and are much lighter and therefore more comfortable.


In fact, the lightness of e-readers matters a lot. You are going to hold this device in your hand for a long time as you flip through the pages, and even 7-inch tablets are heavy enough that your arm will feel strained after a few minutes. That’s not the case with most e-readers.

In fact, a Kindle will get you to read more How to Use Your Kindle to Read More Books Many of us have a desire to read more books, but it's hard to find the time and inclination to do so. Your Kindle can help you achieve this goal. Here's how... Read More , so if you’re a bibliophile, forget about using a tablet. The one exception to this rule is when reading comics, for which tablets are still better than e-readers.

6. Tablet Gaming Is Disappointing

A bigger screen does make it more pleasant to play games like Infinity Blade 3 or Dead Trigger. If you’re a serious gamer, then getting a tablet to play games makes sense.

But if you’re a serious gamer, ask yourself if you are going to enjoy tablet games over a PS4, Xbox, or a better graphics card for your PC 5 Things You Have to Know Before Buying a Graphics Card Here are five key points to keep in mind before you buy your next graphics card, otherwise you may regret your purchase. Read More . Unless you’re already covered with all your other gaming needs, your money will probably be better spent elsewhere.


For casual gamers, buying a tablet for the games alone isn’t the best option. Games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds are no more enjoyable on an iPad than on a smartphone. There are some games so beautiful you’ll forget they’re played on phones 5 Games So Pretty You'll Forget They're Played on a Smartphone If you're tired of playing yet another flappy bird clone and want games that are truly beautiful, you'll love these. Read More .

So if you have a big-screen phone, you don’t need to put down money for a tablet. In fact, several serious gamers I know abhor playing games on a tablet, mainly because the phone is with them at all times and they can squeeze in a game whenever and wherever.

7. “I’ll Find Uses Once I Get It”

Uhh no, you won’t. That’s the flawed thinking of several tablet buyers, for whom the iPad is now a wonderful paper-weight on their coffee tablet. Be clear about what you need it for before you get it.

Also, unless you use it every day, be prepared for the “pending updates” nightmare. Keep your tablet aside for a few days and as soon as you switch it on, you will be bombarded with all the notifications and pending updates you missed.


Did you fire up your iPad to listen to Apple Music Getting Started With Apple Music — What You Need to Know After the purchase of Beats last year, Apple has finally unleashed its streaming music service upon the world. Read More ? Wait, you need to update the Music app before you can do that. Did you want to open that PDF from the email you just checked? Hold on, update the PDF viewer first.

It’s the most annoying part of owning a tablet. If you don’t use it every day, those updates will force their way to grasp your attention first, pestering you to download them before you do anything else. Your dream of “pick it up and start using” is just a dream.

More and more, people are using tablets less and less. We’d like to hear from you if you still use your tablet or if it has become an ornamental gizmo lying around somewhere. And if you still use it, what do you use it for?

Related topics: Android Tablet, Buying Tips, eReader, iPad.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. LenticYT
    April 7, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    This article is false. I use all three of my tablets. One I use everyday, one I use for reading and media consumption, and one I use in the morning before I get out of bed. All are useful, and I'm using the second aforementioned one right now. I only use my phone every so often, and when I'm out of the house.

  2. anonymous
    January 8, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    I am in the process of figuring out how to get rid of my phone by using a combination of a tablet and standalone smartwatch instead.
    I find even the largest phone screens to be too small for pleasurable e-reading, web browsing, tasking...

  3. Helen
    November 22, 2017 at 6:39 am

    I don't use my surface tablet anymore be cause the plug in is always not conecting right purchased it may 2016 sorry I got it .my phone is always with me easier to use and can purchase cords everywhere. Extremely convenient for games apps calling texting even typing notes love the phone.

  4. Robert Rogers
    July 17, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    I use my iPad all the time it's my MacBook that I have been using as a doorstop. I do my taxes and anything else I would have done on my laptop. So for me it's the other way around even thinking of upgrading to iPad Pro. Which right now I have iPad 2

  5. sd
    February 20, 2017 at 10:49 am

    I have used a Nexus 7 for years, now bought a 10" Galaxy Tab A which I use every day mostly for internet browsing, YouTube, e-mails, a bit of IM. I have no laptop and use my PC for a bit of gaming and watching movies, both of which I don't do very often, so the tablet is what gets actual use most of the time when I am at home.
    One the go I use quite old and cheap Android phone just to read news and IM, nothing else.
    There's no reason for me to having bought a big screen expensive phone which would be used both at home and on the go. Too expensive for carrying it around and still offering sub-par experience at home.

  6. Beverlykaytw
    February 19, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    I use a 15" retina MacBook for work and photo processing etc. I have the iPhone 7+ that I love for many things inc. music/photos/web browsing and also take mtg notes on it. But the iPads continue to be popular for use around the house. I especially prefer it for use in bed with reading NY Times or Wash Post, watching TV or Netflix, and reading magazines and books. Mac doesn't really work in bed and phone is still too small. We also use the iPad for banking, yelp, printing etc. Necessary? No. Useful? Yes. I've been mulling over getting an iPad Pro but I'd still call that a tablet. I think it would be great for meetings but not sure I want to carry a 3rd device to/from work.

  7. Matt
    February 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

    I agree. I've bought one tablet.... a motorola xoom, way back when. It's now permanantly sitting next to my PC on a desktop charger stand being a digital picture frame. I have a windows gaming laptop for when I want to do mobile gaming (real games), and a samsung note 5 for everything else. A powerbank would be much more useful than a tablet.

  8. Priswell
    September 25, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I have a desktop, a laptop, phone and a tablet. My desktop is my workhorse, my phone gets a workout with Google Maps and texting, but I love my tablet! I use it a great deal as an ereader, but I can also to other things with it, too. Each of my electronics has a use, and my tablet is definitely part of the team - I'd hate to be without it, and as far as my tech support work that I do, I'm currently buried under tablets! I have seen no slowdown of people buying and wanting to use them, so I'm not sure what you mean about 'You don't need a tablet'. I'd hate to be without mine, bigtime!

  9. Flo
    August 21, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    I use a Blackberry Passport so... I don't need anything :)). Nevertheless, I would replace a laptop with a good 10 inch tablet at home anytime, thus I don't really think they're done being usefull.

  10. Anonymous
    July 10, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Couldn't disagree more, each device has it purpose, my iPad is my reading and writting device. When I'm at home my iPhone 6 is just charging or idle even handing off the phoning part to the iPad that I take around the house with me. iPhone I use more outside while on the go and as my preferred camera, but often I also take the iPad mini with me for reading while using the internet connection from the iPhone. I also find it annoying that Apps on > 5" phone devoces devices are not the tablet versions but the ones designed for smaller phone screens. Since I often spend time in the living room / kitchen I find that my traditional desktop computing usage is declining, that's why I'm planning to get a very light 12" MacBook that I can keep around for when I suddenly need to type a lot, occasionally connecting the laptop to a bigger screen when I need more screen for certain task like picture / video editing..

  11. Anonymous
    July 6, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I have 4.7" LG phone (wish I can find some with decent hardware and 4"), 15" Lenovo Full HD laptop and 8" Lenovo HD tablet. I use them all :)

    Tablet I use to read news, epub/PDF books and magazines, sometimes to watch some series etc. I don't like big screen phones, so this 3 gadgets are perfect for me.

  12. Hendri
    July 4, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    I need macbook air for my work (email, report, browsing, etc) ; need my galaxy note 5 for mobile (work - phonecall and email, social media, music, banking, etc) ; need ipad air every night for my "on bed" leasure reading - feedly, news, movie streaming, music streaming while ebook"ing"

    So, I need all these devices ?

  13. Joshua
    June 30, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    I have a 7" phone and a 10" tablet and I use them every day. I hardly ever go to my actual computer. I csan accomplish most of what I need on my tablets. I use them mainly for internet, search use, consuming digital media like movies, TV, music and audio books. I watch YouTube on my tablet and I use the tablet to surf the web while I listen to audio books. I find the tablet the most convenient format for most of what I do.

  14. Cykka Tron
    June 30, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I disagree, I can't stand large phones.. Even the light chromebook doesn't compare to my galaxy tab. And a tablet can play old games up to a ps2.. Graphics on tablet gaming have increased ten fold over the years. Mind you you wont get those games free. That being said with a bluetooth controller like ipega gaming is awesome. GTA, Arcane Legends, tons of MOBA games.. Oh and shadowgun to name a few.

    And best of both worlds is easily accomplished with a bt keyboard and mouse.

    Each their own though, I just dislike how alot of articles on makeuseof seem to be trying to steer people away from things.

  15. Andrius
    June 30, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    I have 3 years old samsung tablet which I bought for studies (anatomy atlas cost something like tab). I use it still. Yeah there was about a few months when I forgot it, now I use it everyday. Why?
    Reading news, stories, studying, watching youtube and even reading books are more comfortable from tab than phone. Moreover, I know my tab will always handle pdf and doc files (at least at viewing mode), i guess news reading will not change drastically in next years so I know I can use it very long time (phone i must change every 2-3,cause lags become unbearable)

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      Fair enough, Andrius. Would you mind telling me which phone you use currently? People who already have one can stick with it. But a new one? Might not be necessary.

      • Andrius
        June 30, 2016 at 1:19 pm

        Sorry, I mean I have change my phone every 2 or 3 YEARS :D my fault..

        • Mihir Patkar
          June 30, 2016 at 1:31 pm

          Haha that clears it up, no worries :D

  16. Mr. Crispy
    June 29, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    "The MacBook Air, which is the best value-for-money laptop right now..."

    Derp. Stopped reading right there. In what elitist bubble does the author live in where this sentence is even remotely close to the truth?

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Read the article it's linked to, I stated my reasons in it.

  17. Jerry Suppan
    June 29, 2016 at 2:33 am

    I also agree with 'guest's' comment. Android apps are increasingly coming to Chrome and by year's end there will be an increasing number of Chromebooks that will run Android Apps as well. Further if the Chromebook is of the convertible (i.e., ASUS' Flip Chromebook) or detachable, then the device can do double duty as a touch screen tablet and as a Chromebook laptop with support for all the Android apps as well.

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Just to be clear, Jerry, I was specifically talking about tablets here, not 2-in-1 hybrids. I'm with you on hybrids making sense, especially for Chromebook with Android.

  18. guest
    June 29, 2016 at 1:07 am

    i almost bought a tablet this week, but the things mentioned in this article were things that made me think twice about it twice. I had not yet this article though. Another thing is I have a chromebook and its super light weight and fast and cheap. Then I read an article that soon my chromebook is one of the ones to receive the update to get Android apps. Why in the world would I need a tablet for? With Android apps coming to Chromebooks I can see the end of tablets.

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Thank you so much for saying this :)

  19. Paul Laqq
    June 28, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    My iPad mini really became a paper-weight. I spend more time updating apps than using the tablet itself. I used to read Feedly news on in it, until I found out that the iPhone 6 is much better for that.

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Completely agree with you, Paul. My iPad Mini ended up becoming a tablet for a few games and "hey, my laptop's out of battery and I still need to read some stuff."

  20. Jerry Suppan
    June 28, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    All these comments point to a single common issue.... subjectiveness. For each and every individual, there is such a variety of opinions such that, no one shoe fits all. Everyone has a reason (excuse, alibi, whatever) as to what is the perfect solution. For myself as an example, I am not into gaming, so, any heavy duty specs required for gaming is a non-issue for me. For some gamer, it is. Then they must deal with the hardware / software to handle the gaming desire. I am more into video shooting, creation, production. I need something that can support editing and post production of video content. Although video post production can theoretically be done on a smart phone, would I ( or any one else) want to do a full fledged video edit production on a squint-eyed smart phone screen, or even a tablet / pad, versus using FCP-X or DaVinci Resolve on a computer with a 31" 4K monitor attached. Usage is an issue that needs to be defined by the individual for him, her, or it's self. No one shoe fits all.

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      "No one shoe fits all." Completely agree, Jerry. Thank you for putting it succinctly :)

  21. steve
    June 28, 2016 at 11:51 am

    In addition, you wrote "Also, unless you use it every day, be prepared for the “pending updates” nightmare. Keep your tablet aside for a few days and as soon as you switch it on, you will be bombarded with all the notifications and pending updates you missed."

    Come on, that applies equally to phones and even more so to Windows.

    And serious gaming - talk about stacking an argument - serious gamers use serious hardware.

    • zz9
      June 29, 2016 at 11:59 am

      On Windows tablets you can ignore the update notification and use the app anyway. You can't do that on an iPad?
      OS updates usually happen in the middle of the night so you'll never notice them. And Windows tablets have a full desktop OS and a tablet UI. You can instantly switch from one to the other depending on how you are using the machine. Windows tablets also support mouse or trackpad when you are using the keyboard, far easier to use than the iPad which can't.
      Windows tablets can do a lot more than iPads, like run full PC programs as well as apps, and start from around $200.

      • steve
        June 30, 2016 at 1:56 pm

        Interesting pov but as I use an Android based tablet I wouldn't know about iPads.

        Although I have nothing against Windows tablets per se, I think it is a little over egging the argument that a $200 Windows tablet would be capable of running full PC applications that were in anyway demanding of memory or processing power.

        I know the Surface can run the same RAW photo editing ones as i use on my Android based tablet, but a Surface ain't $200 !

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Except you *do* use your phone and computer every day, which is why the millions of pending updates don't stay pending.

      • steve
        June 30, 2016 at 1:35 pm

        Sorry Mihir the point made in the OP's article was

        “Also, unless you use it (a tablet) every day, be prepared for the “pending updates” nightmare."

        So my point was that that it is equally true if you don't use your desktop or phone every day (and not everyone does) especially if you use MSoft O/S, anti-virus, firewall, anti-spam and / or any number of applications (F/Book, Ebay, Adobe, etc) updates or notifications you subscribe to.

        It's just the way it is, no matter what consumption format you use.

  22. steve
    June 28, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I use my tablet every day - reading newspapers, storing and reviewing photos I have taken, checking out a few photo and sales sites and of course for email, f/book etc. I can also use the I/O port to store stuff off to a SSD.

    Why not a laptop - because I travel and there are issues with voltages and charging - 220/240 UK, 110 US, three pin plugs, 2 pin US, 2 pin European etc, with the tablet it's a simple travel wall plug and usb lead. Also there's the issues of weight, especially when I'm toting it around in my camera rucksack, and of course they are more attractive to thieves.

    Before you put down your hard earned cash on a 'premium' phone you consider why and can it REALLY do what you want it to do, or are you just trying to justify it. The screen is too small for effectively reviewing photos, easily reading large pdfs, watching a video with your partner, working on a document etc.

    As with anything else, if you buy something for status rather than purpose, you'll soon get bored with it.

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      Wonderful comment, Steve. The perfect counter for what I said in the article, and I completely understand and respect your position. Thanks for commenting :)

  23. mongoload
    June 28, 2016 at 10:18 am

    ohh come on! nothing is perfect and everyone does things differently and I am pretty sure I won't ditch my tablet anytime soon.

    well, I am not lucky as you guys in the comment that has every device for different purposes. I only have my Dell Vostro 3300 that can be drained within 2-3 hours of use.

    that laptop is my powerhouse that I can do my work at home. but for any entertainment, work or creative purposes, I use my trusty Xiaomi Mi Tab which is sufficient for those task for me. You just really have to be creative and think outside the box when using a tablet.

    You guys seems to have it all, but let see once you have limited resources and ask your self this, WILL I SURVIVE?

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      Fair enough, mongoload. This isn't about having it all, honestly. Budget users are more likely to benefit without a tablet if they get a good smartphone and good laptop, instead of three mediocre devices, imo.

  24. Neoalfa
    June 28, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I think it's slightly more complex than you make it sound. There are more nuances to the user experience than you list. The only thing I agree wholeheartedly with is the 2-in-1 laptop, since you can have 90% of the laptop experience with the processing power of a tablet.

    I would break it down this way:

    - Gaming and high-demands work applications: Desktop/High-spec laptop + external peripherals
    - Work applications with random need for mobility: Notebook/Ultrabook hooked to external peripherals via docking station when in office use.
    - Average to high mobility with long time use of low-level office application: Tablet with detachable keyboard.
    - Very high mobility with access to low-level office applications: Smartphone.

    It is of course reasonable to use several devices if the need requires it. For instance, I have a smartphone (who doesn't) to read mail, ebooks, listen to music and browse the internet out of home, a desktop for gaming and other high-end activities and an 8 years old notebook for old-fashioned LAN-parties with my friends.

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      1 million points to you, Neoalfa. I agree, it's a more nuanced topic, and your breakdown makes sense to me. I think we agree more than we disagree here :)

  25. Jerry Suppan
    June 28, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Mihir, first off, thanks for your article. It was sort of a knock on the head, the way you presented your concepts on tablet usage in the present in comparions to the introduction of the concept (ipad). Technology continues to change with the passage of time.

    The need for a tablet r is a subjective matter for various issues depending on each individual. Prior to reading this article I have already been thinking in this same vein of thought. Now, having read your article, it cements my decision to sell the tablet. I've been through earlier iterations of iPad and lately switched over to Android world with an ASUS' Zenpad 8". It's an excellent device however since the inception of this product concept / category technology has continued to move forward. I am increasingly finding products like convertibles and detachables to be more attractive then a plain vanilla tablet. Convertibles and detachables can function as either a tablet, or a laptop, making them more practical and versatile, with larger screens, touch screen, greater I/O control, etc., depending on the model. And now that Android Apps are coming to Chrome OS, convertibles and detachables become even more of a compelling choice. Now that Android apps are also coming to Chrome OS I am planning to get a Chromebook later in the year as opposed and will eliminate the standalone tablet.

    For my main machine (desktops for some) I use a Macbook Pro 15" connected to an external 31" 4K LG monitor with external peripherals. That is my desktop so to speak. The Macbook Pro is also a laptop by design. When I need laptop portability, I disconnect the peripherals and take the heart and soul component with me. Desktops have become passe for my usage scenario and no longer needed. Laptops have become sufficiently powerful enough over time along with advancements in technology.

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      This is your third comment in this thread, Jerry, and man, you're perfectly summing up and demonstrating points better than I could have hoped for. Thank you for being a part of this discussion :)

  26. rf
    June 28, 2016 at 5:33 am

    I still use my tablet all the time. I like the larger screen, and I don't want a large screen on my phone. I wouldn't be able to use a large phone with one hand, or keep it in my pocket.

    Also, I find that I can use a tablet in more positions than I can with a laptop, and I don't have to worry about the tablet overheating.

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Which tablet do you use?

      • rf
        June 30, 2016 at 10:20 pm

        It's a Sony Xperia Z. A few years old by now, but still running well. I do want to replace it with something that has more storage, so hopefully tablets will still be around by the time that I do!

  27. HildyJ
    June 28, 2016 at 3:46 am

    If you are talking phone OS tablets, I agree with you. But, for me, I'll give up a few inches of screen real estate and an attached keyboard in exchange for increased portability. I have the latest Dell Venue 8 Pro with Windows 10. It's under 14 oz. (400 g.) with an 8" screen and a Wacom stylus (and Windows handwriting recognition is amazing).

    For serious computing and gaming, I have a desktop; an Alienware Area 51, which looks ridiculous, but my son likes it. For always with me, casual computing, I have my Nexus 5x. But if I'm surfing, shopping, or reading RSS, blogs, or books, the tablet is perfect. It's also capable of running full browsers, complete non-cloud Office suites, Acrobat Pro, etc. I've got a handheld and a desktop, my tablet is my couch computer.

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Agreed, Hildy. Going forward, Windows tablets are going to be 2-in-1s, which is a good purchase, imo, and that's why I was mainly talking about mobile OS tablets. 2-in-1s or any sort of tablet with a desktop OS, coupled with a detachable keyboard dock, makes sense.

    • Anonymous
      July 6, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Dell has recently axed the Venue line, and announced that they won't be doing updates for the existing ones.

  28. Anonymous
    June 28, 2016 at 12:34 am

    I never did "need" a tablet. As far as I was/am concerned, a tablet is a franken-device that does not do anything well. It is either a netbook without a keyboard or an overgrown phone that cannot make phone calls. It is not a device to consume content. For that I have a 50" TV or a 23" monitor. Why would I want to squint at a measly 10" screen?! Portability? Fuggedboutit! Unless of course you carry a suitcase-size purse. A tablet might fit in a cargo pants pocket but then you can't sit down and any time you bump into something with your leg, you run the danger of breaking the tablet.

    When the iPad hit the market, all the pundits and "experts" were peeing in their pants because of how tablets were the future and will replace the laptops, desktops, even mainframes. Now the same pundits and "experts" are telling the users to ditch their tablets as useless. Rather than ditching the tablets (even though they may be useless), we should ditch the pundits and "experts".

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      :( Are you breaking up with me, fcd?

      • Anonymous
        June 30, 2016 at 11:07 pm


  29. Anonymous
    June 27, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    I'm very close to the same opinion as likefun. Maybe it's my eyesight as I get older but the last device of choice for any apps, etc would be my phone. It's a lousy user experience compared to a tablet, laptop, or desktop.

    The fact that the screens have become so large really isn't a plus in my opinion. Come summer, I curse the fact that my phone is so big and, as you say, it is the one device you always take everywhere. Unless you carry a purse or bag of some sort all the time, I don't know where a guy who wants to wear shorts and a t-shirt carries the thing.

    And I'm in total agreement that the desktop is going to be the main goto for any real work or productivity. It's still the best user experience overall. If any device has become closer to a paperweight, it's actually my laptop.

    I have a nice light Macbook Air but for the same reasons listed as advantages in this article, I find them to be hindrances in my world. A laptop with an 11" screen is harder to see than an Ipad with great resolution and a nice 4:3 ratio so I'd much rather work on a tablet if I need portability.

    If anything, I'd prefer the phones go smaller again and tablets get lighter. I suppose the 2 in 1 tablet combo might be ok as a compromise product but even though I have a keyboard for my Ipad Pro 12" version, I find I use the pencil much more than the keyboard anyway. I think that's primarily due to the lack of a mouse or trackpad. I find it very disruptive to have to go to touch the screen while typing on a keyboard. Maybe the Surface would be better for that but then I'd have to use Win10 and I'd rather revert back to pen and paper than use that OS.

    I guess I don't fit into patterns shown in this article. Everyone has to find the combo that works for them I suppose. I just hope tablets don't disappear completely or phones don't continue to gigantify.

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Everyone doesn't have to fit into what I'm talking about here, and I love your comment and explanation, Hannibal. Personally, I'm a big fan of the iPad Pro.

      The article was more for lay users, and I think you're a little beyond a lay user. More importantly, I like how you think and your reasons for your decision. Hopefully someone else will also read it, because I think it's a good complement to my article :)

  30. Anonymous
    June 27, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    My phone is the device I least want to use for anything, ever. I use it almost exclusively as a media player and, on rare occasions, to make a phone call. I don't text. I don't want to read anything on it. It's the device of last resort.

    I own expensive desktops, notebooks, convertible devices, tablets and phones. Here's how I break them down:

    The desktop is where work happens. Almost anything that can be categorized as work is going to happen on a desktop unless there's a damned good reason it can't. The sheer surface area of displays I keep connected, plus my preferred input devices are on the desktops mean they will always be first choice.

    My laptop is for portable work. I don't always work someplace where I have a desktop, but the fact that my laptop in particular has reconfigurable drive bays and enough of the I/O ports I need means I can't quite ditch it.

    My Surface Pro is used in meetings and presentations because I can carry it around while I'm talking. That's an incredibly narrow range of utility, but it's an ugly duckling, lacking the I/O ports and RAM to be useful for all that much, but it's incredibly light and I can talk and use it in ways that would be uncomfortable for a laptop. People in my company who have them usually pick the Surface because they don't have any kind of real need for RAM and want something they can just stick in their purses.

    Tablets. Instant-on, tied to all my network storage services and online accounts, screen large enough to be useful and easy support for remote access software in case I need to get on a more powerful device? Plus a 10 hour+ battery. I'm not seeing a down side.

    Phone. Too small. A lot of software will reflow based on the size and not just resolution of your screen, usually not in a way that is helpful or convenient to me. Even if I try to make my phone experience identical to the tablet, some things just aren't going to look or be the same. Phones are dumb.

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Oh man, likefun, this might be your best comment ever (not being sarcastic, out of the many valuable comments you've made at MUO, this is my favourite)