Hang tight just a second — let me preface all of this with a quick reminder that I’m speaking on a personal level, and I’m absolutely certain that slates have a place in this world somewhere. We could go back and forth for hours with use-case scenarios (and the same could be done with cars, time machines or your luxury good of choice), but this isn’t about proving that a tablet can do one or two things; it’s about the limitations and awkwardness of using one that no one seems to talk about.
After years of watching the masses fawn over the iPad (and every other PC maker scramble to come out with something that serves a similar purpose), I still can’t ever imagine myself investing in one, let alone actually using one in place of a smartphone or laptop. I’ve met quite a few folks in my line of work that all ask me the same thing: “Should I buy an iPad?” It’s worth noting that no one actually asks if “they should buy a tablet,” but that’s speaking more about Apple’s absurdly enviable mind (and in turn, market) share than anything else. My response is always the same: “If you can’t think of a reason you’d need it, you don’t need it.”
Tablets, for whatever reason, seem to defy logic when it comes to purchase rationalization in the consumer electronics realm. I’ve yet to meet a bloke who purchased an ultraportable without knowing full-well that they would take advantage of enhanced battery life and a highly mobile chassis. Everyone I’ve know that invested in a high-end gaming rig knew why they were shelling out on that $500 GPU (read: frames-per-second). And all of my movie cuttin’ pals knew precisely why they just had to have a Thunderbolt RAID setup. But tablets? People are just buying these things in a fit of hysteria — does anyone actually know why this “third device” is such a necessity? Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?
Editorial: tablets aren’t the ‘third device’ I’d hoped for… from a productivity standpoint, anyway originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 21 Aug 2011 12:06:00 EST.