There is an enormous hype about tablets these days and many people are impatient to own one of them. Some of the most popular tablets include the Apple iPad and iPad2, Motorola’s Xoom, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the upcoming HP TouchPad and RIM Playbook amongst others. However, it may still be a little early or premature to buy one of these products. Consider the following below:
Tablets made by major computer manufacturers such as the iPad, Xoom and Galaxy Tab cost more than many netbooks and laptops with similar or even better hardware specifications. The cost of the Motorola Xoom (3G version) is about $800 (as of this writing). Its specifications include only 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and a 1 GHz processor. For $800 you can buy a 17-inch laptop with a 320GB HDD or more, 3GB or more of RAM, a dual-core 2GHz processor or better, and of course, a keyboard and larger display.
It is most likely that the prices of tablets will fall in the future and will become commensurate with the features that they offer.
The technology used in tablets is relatively new and certainly, huge improvements will be made to such technology. The following are some examples:
– Almost all currently available tablets are their first-ever versions. It is a given that later versions will have better features and will look and perform better. Consider Apple’s iPad range. The iPad2 was recently released only a year after the original iPad’s release but has features which greatly surpass those of its predecessor. The iPad2’s improvements include amongst others: 2 cameras (front and rear) where the iPad has none, 512MB of RAM compared to the iPad’s 256MB, and a dual-core A5 processor which is twice as fast as the iPad’s single-core A4 processor. Still, the iPad2 sells at the same prices that the iPad did when it was first released.
– The operating systems found on some tablet computers were not created for use on tablets. A good example is the Samsung Galaxy Tab which was released with the Android 2.2 OS. Android 2.2 was made for use on smartphones and many users reported that they did not enjoy using the Galaxy Tab. Several buyers even returned their tablets.
Even operating systems created specifically for tablets like Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) which Motorola’s Xoom runs on will only get better in the future.
– Many available software or apps were not made for use on tablets. They were made for smartphones and are being ported to tablets. As a result many of these apps do not run as well as they should. In addition, many apps being created originally for tablets are still in their infancy and lack many features.
In spite of the craze about tablets they actually offer less usefulness than can be gotten from using laptops or netbooks with similar specifications or prices.
– No Keyboard: Tablets do not have keyboards and typing on a touchscreen is not an experience that many people enjoy. There may be available keyboard accessories which can be used with tablets but then you would have been better off buying a device with a keyboard from the beginning. In addition, such accessories add to the cost of owning a tablet.
– Small Screen Size: Tablets offer smaller displays than an average sized laptop and certainly a lot less than desktop computers.
– Limited Storage Space: The largest hard drive available in any of the currently sold tablets is 64GB.
– Less Powerful Processors and Less RAM: These reduced specifications mean that tablets cannot be put to some types of use e.g. gaming. As an instance, the original iPad was promoted as a gaming device but as game developers found out, it could not handle such a function adequately.
There are several reasons given for buying tablet computers. However, many of the touted functions of tablets are already performed – and even better – by existing computing devices.
Tablets are said to be ideal for reading eBooks but eBook readers exist specifically for that reason and cost a lot less. Tablets are also affected by glare when reading under sunlight while eBook readers utilize technology that prevents glare. Tablets are portable but smartphones are even more so and perform many or all of the functions that tablets can. In many cases they perform even better than tablets because they have been around for longer and their technology has been refined e.g. running apps. Watching a movie on a tablet may be cool but it is not comparable to watching movies on a large-screen TV with a surround sound system. Tablets have great battery lives but netbooks can match and even surpass them.
After looking at the above, you would surely agree that it would be a wise decision to wait a while before buying a tablet.
1. Motorola Xoom Review
2. iPad vs. iPad 2 – What’s changed?
3. Is the iPad2 a Gaming Console?
4. 10 Reasons to Buy a Tablet (And 5 Reasons Not to)