Do tablets make good laptop replacements? Some posts over the past few days have re-opened that question…
First, Joanna Stern, writing for the WSJ:
My iPad is with me every night when I doze off to sleep, it entertains me on long flights and keeps me informed during my morning commute. But when it comes to real work, the tablet fails me.
If I’m writing long emails or working on office documents, I want a larger screen, a roomy keyboard and the ability to easily juggle programs. The iPad doesn’t cut it, though there are tablets that are literally standing up to the productivity challenge.
This is a look at consumption versus work — Joanna spent time trying to use four tablets (iPad Air, Galaxy Note Pro, Surface 2, and Lumia 2520) as full-time laptop replacements, and found the results lacking.
Following this, Benedict Evans wrote an interesting related piece on Tablets and Office:
This brings us back to the mouse and keyboard that you ‘need for real work’, as the phrase goes. Yes, you really do need them to make a financial model. And you need them to make an operating metrics summary — in Excel and Powerpoint. But is that, really, what you need to be doing to achieve the underlying business purpose? Very few people’s job is literally ‘make Excel files’. And what if you spend the other 90% of your time on the road meeting clients and replying to emails? Do you need a laptop, or a tablet? Do you need a tablet as well as a smartphone? Or a laptop, or phablet? Or both?
I’m personally divided on this. There are times when I need my MacBook to do work, but otherwise, I can do a good portion of my work on my iPad with a keyboard.
I have no problem writing long emails or working on documents on my iPad, I can even do some quick coding using Diet Coda. 1
I also do the majority of my blogging on my iPad, but I fully agree that a tablet is not going to do the job 100% of the time.
In fact, I used my iPad as my writing platform for the majority of the Twilio Cookbook (with Google Docs), and then used Office on my MacBook to format the chapters to use Pakt’s templates. ↩