Time to upgrade to a tablet?

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Xperia™ Tablet

So, I took a rather strange step recently for someone who’s actively involved in technology; I got rid of my laptop.

There was nothing wrong with it, in fact it performed pretty well.  It had a high resolution display, loads of connectivity options, a docking station, and ran all of the apps that I need to get by in life.

My reasons were simple; my better half is moving in soon.  Gone are the days where it’s perfectly acceptable to have a soldering station on the kitchen table. No more will PC components be strewn out on the living room rug. And the bottom of the wardrobe will now be used for shoes rather than a stack of HP keyboards that I just can’t seem to part ways with.

Dear reader, I’m growing up, and as such I need to start thinking about what technology I actually need, and what technology I just really want.

So, I shelled out for a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad, and the laptop went to the great auction site in the sky.

Growing up is a common theme on this article.  After all, the tablet market has come on leaps and bounds in quite a short period of time.  I look back to the first tablet I bought back in 2009 (yes, THAT tablet) and compare it to products like the Xperia™ Tablet and it’s amazing to consider just how far things have come.

Back in 2009 tablets were a relatively new invention.  They didn’t have cameras, they had single core processors and modest amounts of RAM at their disposal.  Their screens were comparable to PC’s from ten years prior and they didn’t really have any native applications to speak of.

Fast forward to today and we’re spoiled for choice with multiple HD cameras, better-than-HD displays, huge catalogs of accessories and even bigger catalogs of apps written specifically for tablets.

Software has moved on as well.  Back in 2009 the biggest complaint against tablets was the lack of things like Flash support.  Back to 2013 and most websites are optimised for HTML5, which is quickly making Adobe’s Flash look a bit pointless.

And this is my point:  Tablets are now to the point, in terms of features and performance, that most home and casual users could probably do away with their laptops.

I’m not saying that you can do without a PC.  Whether tablet manufacturers like it or not, we’re not at a stage where we can be completely untethered from the family PC.  But we can all certainly do with one less PC than we probably have at our disposal.

Believe me, this isn’t an argument that I’ve come to lightly.  I purposely shelved my laptop for a good month before making the decision to part with it.  In all that time I couldn’t find one thing that I wanted from a portable device that my tablet couldn’t accomplish on its own.

When you think about it, there’s apps available for most things on all of the major platforms.

Blogging, web browsing, social networking, media playback, photo editing, video editing, music creation, network administration, gaming.

These are all things that I do on a daily basis, and all can be done on a modern tablet (to some degree).

Heck, the Xperia™ Tablet can even act as a remote control for compatible TV’s and Blu-Ray players.

What’s more, we’re really spoiled for choice when it comes to which tablet to buy.  There’s more manufacturers and models than I can shake a stick at, with features that would meet the needs of pretty much any home user.

I’m not saying that tablets are perfect, there’s still plenty of things that they can’t do when compared to a modern desktop PC.  But the divide is definitely shrinking.  And with more and more people looking for the instant-on, extended battery, lightweight, feature rich experience, it’s not hard to imagine a time when tablet PC’s will outsell laptops.

What are your thoughts?  Can tablet PC’s make laptop PC’s redundant?  Or will most users always feel the pull of a full Windows environment?  Answers in the comments below…
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