I recently made an appearance on The Digital Marketing Lounge to discuss with Shum the benefits of using tablets as well as to discuss the future of tablets and some specific models as well. Check out the full podcast.
Personally, I do not quite understand the popularity of tablets. I think that a lot of the movement of the market can be explained not by the perceived benefits of the devices but rather the fact that they are “new”, “cool” and “interesting”. With all of the hype going around, it is easy to see how consumers could easily be roped-in to pick one up.
The reason I say this is because I see hardly any benefits of owning a tablet vs. other technology most people probably already have. Let’s look at the tangible benefits of existing technology and compare it with tablets.
Entirely open – free to install anything
Productive (physical keyboards, bigger etc.)
Too big, however, to be truly portable
Access to a plethora of apps to accomplish various tasks on-the-go
However, too small to be truly productive
More productive than a smartphone, less productive than a laptop
More portable than a laptop, less portable than a smartphone
Limited access to applications (limited to those in marketplace)
Not all smartphones are created equal. Some people with smartphones may not understand how they could get away with just using a smartphone but with a phone like the iPhone 4, you can be amazingly productive. In fact, in almost every single way, the iPad really is just a bigger version of the iPhone (minus the phone of course).
As you can see from the above comparison, tablets fall somewhere in between a phone and a laptop but never fully replace either. In other words, you probably wouldn’t be able to get by with just a tablet. Chances are, you would also need a laptop or phone or both to accomplish various other tasks. I am not saying that there are no benefits in owning a tablet but I believe that consumers are better off sticking with the combination of a laptop and smartphone for the time-being – until we see tablets that can truly fully replace both.
In the full podcast, Shum and I, discuss both sides of the issue.
What do you think? Are you running out to by a tablet? If so, why? Just because they are cool, or do you actually feel like they add enough benefit?