Final thoughts: is your tablet love affair over?

by: Jonathan FeistFebruary 18, 2014

We still love tablets

We had an excellent conversation last week about the role that tablets have in our daily lives, and how we see ourselves using them in the future. The name of the conversation served more truth than we would have imagined, as there were many passionate responses on both sides of the debate Is your tablet love affair over?

Before we discuss your valued input and emotional responses, let’s recap and cover some of the facts. There was a story on the interwebz that suggested that the tablet was dead – that we’ve used them, abused them and they now sit in the corner collecting dust. The author presented his facts and situation rather well. As a passionate Android tablet user myself, I had to debate. My conclusions were simple, the size and capabilities of any given tablet will determine its future.

In the end, the author’s 8 to 10-Inch tablets and under-powered 7-inch tablet sit off in the corner as he uses his 5-inch phone. My point of view is that his 8+inch devices are just too large to suit his needs for mobile and his 7-inch tablet doesn’t have the power and ecosystem to be effective. Had he a powerful 7-inch tablet, like the Nexus 7 (my preferred table, of course), he may just put that 5-inch phone back in his pocket.

We posted two polls for you to vote in, the first was simple, is the tablet dead?

Tablet love Poll 1

The tablet lives on! With only 17% of you saying that a tablet is of no use I think we can overlook all of the other ways of dissecting this data and just call it a win for the tablet category. I can’t wait to see what new tablets are in store for us in 2014.

The second poll was a little more involved. Although it appears to contradict the previous poll, what we really wanted to learn here is what role the tablet has in your life. I posed the theory that only the 7-inch tablet could be useful as an ultra-personal device that goes everywhere you go. This is where I admit that my Nexus 7 is exactly this for me, it does not belong at the dinner table, but is always on my person otherwise. Back to the point, I surmised that anything 8-inches or larger can never be truly mobile due simply to the fact it just will not fit in your pocket.

Tablet love Poll 2

As it turns out, although the tablet is not dead at all, you do not see it as the same mobile device that I experience it as. 40% of you responded that your phone was enough device to carry around all day, and indeed this result was echoed in your comments. Many responses very excitedly shared stories of amazing ways your tablets have influenced your lives. Some of you simply use it for entertainment, others as full desktop replacements – even though nobody mentioned Ubuntu Dual Boot – but very few tell the story of the tablet that makes them leave all other technology on the table.

The interesting thing is, your votes coincide almost exactly with the tablet use statistics in the February Nielson report. Nielson says that 29% of Americans own a tablet (compared to 66% smartphone ownership), many of you imply that you have a tablet that you share with your family, 29% makes sense then. Nielson says that our mobile devices have become second screens to the TV. Or, the TV is a second screen to the mobile device, I’m not sure – Thank you Chromecast. A majority of you referenced entertainment as a use for your tablets, another match. Check out Nielson’s full list of phone vs tablet second screen stats below.

Second Screen Stats Phone vs Tablet

In the end, we all have different needs and uses for our mobile technology. You have concluded that the tablet will continue to be a part of our lives, and not just as a paperweight. You have concluded that Android has a way to go before it will replace a standard PC for business purposes, if only due to peripherals and the learning curve involved. But more than anything, you proved that our love affair with tablets continues.

Thank you all that participated, we value and enjoyed your input. Do you have anything more to add to this conversation – we love to hear Android tablet stories, hit us up in the comments below. Do you think we got it right, are tablets here to stay or will we convert to just using smartphones as they get more powerful?

  • Ryan

    Since getting a laptop and an Android phone (to replace my WP8), I haven’t touched my tablet. To check things quickly or for certain apps, my phone does the trick. For other things my (Linux) powered laptop is all I need. I have nothing again tablets, I just don’t need one any longer.

  • Jack Parker

    I use my tablet for everything I don’t use my phone for. Games, forums and films. Since owning my Xperia Z Ultra I have used it less but it still gets used

  • Shark Bait

    I use my tablet all the time. I’ve even sold my laptop now!

  • Ben Jowett

    I’m quite young and so I don’t need a phone, in total I use 3-4 devices, my Nexus 7, Windows 8 laptop, and 2 windows 7 home pcs

  • Jayfeather787

    My Nexus 7 2013 is my baby. My paranoid android overclocked baby.

  • MasterMuffin

    I have only use for big tablets. TabPro 12.2″ izz nice, me wantz :3

  • The tablet is great for looking up things quickly. My phone’s screen size is too small, and my laptop takes too long to start up.

    I still do my powerpoints and some (light) gaming on my laptop though, just can’t be productive with a touchscreen and a watered-down OS.

  • Kelly Caffrey

    Heck I’m in class 4 days a week, my nexus 7 is what in on all day.

  • JSo

    I still use my tablet a lot. And I dont even have a new tablet. Not even a year old tablet. I have an HP TouchPad that was released in 2011 and it still runs great. It’s even running Android KitKat. It strictly stays at home and when I get home from work, I usually swap out using my tablet for my phone.

  • Mike – Construction Contractor

    I was the first person I know with an iPad. I thought it would change everything…

    I haven’t used it or desired an iPad in several years (no joke). I have a Galaxy Note 2 and Asus UX31 Ultrabook.

    If I go back to a tablet, it will be a Surface so that I can run Windows apps that I use daily for my business.

    Tablets are great for older people. Must less confusing than learning to use a computer.

  • apianist16

    A touch interface is just so much more intuitive than a mouse or trackpad. it’s no wonder to me that smartphones and tablets are dominating the consumer market.

  • Timmy

    I still have PCs and use them regularly. A laptop (and desktop) for work (no choice there), a W8 PC for other work (web design, programming, etc), an old beater Linux box as my media server and some others sitting in the corner waiting to be put to use. I put Linux on an old laptop for my wife but she uses her Kindle 8.9 HDX and iPad more frequently. I also have an iPad which was originally purchased for work (although with limited capabilities). It now sits mostly unused unless I want to read AA on a bigger screen. Now that I can use an Android device for work, I got a N7 which I use as a day planner and Ingress domination. It also syncs better with my G2 which I use more than the others combined.

    I got a Chromebook for a brief time but returned it because it was too big. I find that even more so with a laptop. If I’m going to be doing anything for a lengthy period of time, I need my larger monitor and good (i.e. not a tablet) keyboard.

    Tablets have a place and the convenience factor is hard to ignore. When I retire they might replace my desktops systems.

  • Groud Frank

    I have absolutely no use for it. I have a phablet(Note 3) and a Windows laptop is exactly what I need to fulfil my productivity and entertainment needs. I use my mom’s tablet every once in a while when I want to play a few Android games that are too “unstable” for me to risk putting on my Note 3. Games like Cross Court Tennis 2 or any other GPU intensive games that makes my phone run too hot for me to feel comfortable. Tablets aren’t for everyone, that’s for sure.

  • zz

    I’m a student and have owned a windows tablet (Lenovo TPT2), an iPad 4, and nexus 10. Sad to say that I am very picky at “unnecessary investments” and neither of them suits my needs. The iPad had the best apps, but if you look closely most of them are just high-quality games. Gaming is not my life and I switched to Lenovo TPT2.
    I thought that was the best investment ever. I took all my notes on there on OneNote with digitizing pen and keyboard and it was amazing. BUT windows 8 32bits on tablets always have compatibility issues and I got tired of dealing with driver updates and I bought a laptop. Working on a 10 inch for projects is a pain anyways.
    Then I switched to nexus 10. I tried to make it a productivity machine and installed all these great calendar and keeper widgets to help with school. But the more I use it the more I realize tablets are productivity KILLERS because you’ll feel wasteful if you buy it and don’t use it; if you use it most of the time goes into Twitters and Youtube because it’s really hard to do work on something this small.

    I just have to accept the fact that there is no perfect tablet and have to wait for something that I can work as comfortably as I do on a PC with the mobility to be easily carried around.

  • Leo Louis

    I pretty much use my phone for everything now. I’ve had a 10 inch tablet, a desktop computer, and two laptops (one work and one personal)… and I’ve managed to squeeze all the usability I need into my Nexus 5 :) And it’s speed is pretty much the same if not better than my laptops…

    For all my desktop needs I purchased a blue tooth keyboard so if I need to edit documents or view pdfs its all on there. If I want to record lectures, I can do it from there…
    For viewing tv and movies I just use apps for that.
    News and everything is straight to my phone.
    As for battery life… as my phone is constantly on all the time… I use an external battery pack.

    I thought I’d be using the tablet for taking notes, but the tablets of old have mediocre processors and end up being slow. I’m pretty much thinking of selling my laptops, tablet, and desktop computer cause they end up doing nothing.

  • I maybe a kind of odd duck. I started out with a tablet as my first true smart device. An acer a500, I still use it daily at work. See I manage a computer repair shop and we use tablets to manage all our work-orders. It is all web form (death to paper). I bought a nexus 5 as my first smart phone one Oct 31. now it has become my primary device outside of work. But I still love and use my tablet all the time. In fact I find the 10 inch form to be perfect for paper replacement. But 10 inch is too big to be truly portable. I am looking at getting an 8 incher but none of them have the power I want, for on the go media the 7 inchers are just too close in size to my nexus 5 to be worth carrying. If google does put out an 8inch nexus I am on board for sure. Especially with LTE . All of that said I still use my laptop anytime real typing is needed as I am right now (the desktop is for gaming). That is my two cents.

  • ichuck7

    It’s nice to be able to come home and use my tablet with the bigger screen and not worry about draining my phone.

  • Chris Tutt

    I have always been an apple person bought my wife an Ipad retina for Valentine’s Day last year and we loved it. Then in July I thought I would try the nexus 7 2013 and I love it I don’t go a day with out using it. To me tablets are just more convenient to use for normal everyday use when I want to look at a bigger screen.

  • John

    Tablets as of now are a waste of money. Notebook computers can perform a lot more. Tablets are mainly either for the wealthy, those who can’t spend their money properly, or for those who have little tech interactions. When the day comes that I can inexpensively attach a bluetooth/wireless physical keyboard to the tablet along with other reasonably priced tablet-compatible input devices (scanners, drawing tablets for graphic design, etc), when tablets easily reach up to 750GB+ of storage, when they accept any kind of desktop plugins, when tablets easily take USBs (though wireless USB-like devices may be around in that future), when tablets can easily have their hardware components upgraded, when tablets have the ability to easily install applications like desktop PCs, so I can easily write Java code on a tablet-supported IDE and compile that code through an integrated JVM– the list goes on. See? Tablets already fail in tons of aspects. I wouldn’t sacrifice my laptop just for a touchy screen and portability.

  • Ewa2t

    Since i bought my Z1 last year I haven’t touched my iPad until I read this article.

  • Omari Celestine

    As we speak of the dieing love for tablets, I think most consumers look at the size when in the eyes of the public. The size of the tablet is also a main factor in ones choice as I am sure that most larger tablets might be used by students, employees, designers, in the home etc. whereas the smaller versions you are most likely to find in public hands.

    i am not sure where the concept of a 7″ tablet ‘fitting into ones pocket’ but they are generally much more portable than their elder sibblings. I would generally use my tablet when home or at work but generally have my phone at hand.

    One thing though, even if BlackBerry is not as it once was, I still have a passion for the Playbook though I wish it had a wider range of apps.

  • apurimac

    For me, a 7″ size (original nexus) is perfect. Its portable, I can hold it in one hand for long periods when reading ebooks/net surfing, and the battery lasts a good long while. I have an entry level smart phone, but I mostly use it as a phone/instant messenger device. I still use my laptop when at home. I don’t see why all these devices can’t live in perfect harmony, they do for me.