Aug 26 AT 3:00 PM Edgar Cervantes 94 Comments

One of the most important benefits Android OS offers is independence. There’s no need to ever plug your device in to a computer, and it can perform most tasks typically carried out on a PC. Android tablets are convenient, portable and very easy to work with. But can a Honeycomb device replace a PC? This is one of the most discussed topics of the year, and it’s difficult to come to a conclusion. The fact is: everyone uses their devices to perform different tasks.

It’s obvious that engineers, programmers, architects, designers and other such users will need a computer. But can a regular John Doe skip a good ol’ PC and just get a tablet? To test this, I went without a personal computer for two weeks. Let’s see how things turned out.

Form Factor

This is one of the most important aspects at hand. The form factor of the device is very different, especially if you’re used to a desktop PC or one of the bigger laptop computers. The most important difference (as you may have guessed) is the lack of a physical keyboard. Most Android tablets tend to lack this handy part, so I used an ASUS Eee Pad Transformer with keyboard dock to compensate.

The only other remaining main issue with a tablet is its size. Current Android tablets do not get bigger than the typical 10 inches. This can be both good and bad. Portability was great, and the tablet (attached to the keyboard) can be carried around in most bags without an issue. But the tablet and keyboard dock were quite heavy compared to netbooks of similar size.

As always, it depends on your preference. Users with larger computers will love the portability, while small laptop and netbook users might find it a bit heavy and uncomfortable. The weight might also be due to the build quality and extra battery (which are actually great to have). Also, being able to pull out the screen and use the tablet is something PC users never experience (mostly). This feature may seem like a luxury to many, but it’s convenient to have.


When it comes to performance, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer’s specs are enough to make the tablet very snappy, but not as fast as a computer in the same price range. Though rare, the tablet does have more hiccups than a computer. Videos recorded at higher definition can have some issues from time to time on a tablet, while they play butter smooth on most PCs, for example.

Typing works great for everything... except the browser.Edgar Cervantes

Typing was another hiccup. This was one of the most annoying things I encountered during the experiment. Typing works great for everything… except the browser. Since tablet-optimized apps are currently scarce, you must rely heavily on the browser. You may not notice the lag as much when typing with the on-screen keyboard, but once words are flying out of your fingers on a physical keyboard, the browser seems remarkably slow.

Aside from those issues (and your regular force closes), the tablet’s performance is not bad at all. That Tegra 2 processor takes good care of most things, but we do wish it was faster. We must remember that computer processors are clocked way higher, and the PC operating systems are known to be much more stable than Android. For now, that is.


Compatibility is definitely among the biggest issues when trying to replace a computer with a tablet. Both hardware and software are no issue with a PC (especially with Windows and Mac), while Android still needs to mature more in that area.

The tablet’s keyboard dock comes with two USB ports and a full-sized SD card slot. These are convenient, especially for storage, but not everything works with them. None of my two mice actually worked with it, and it’s still not possible to connect a printer to it (though you can use wireless printing). Personally, I was only able to use those USB ports for storage (external hard drives and flash drives). The tablet also lacks a CD ROM, which may not be completely necessary, but at times it makes life much easier.

Not only is hardware an issue, but most programs are not compatible with Android yet. There are some apps that may replace your software, but they will never be as complex as a full-on computer program. If you need programs like Premier, Maya or Dreamweaver, you will not find something comparable. Even MS Paint works better than all photo editing Android apps. Media files can be an issue as well, since Android does not support all media formats.

Entertainment / Media

Aside from the media compatibility issues, the tablet is a great entertainment device. This is not surprising, since that’s what tablets are made for. Social networking, music, videos, images, e-books and similar activities are a breeze with a tablet. Everything is intuitive, due to the touchscreen factor, and it really feels like you’re interacting with content at a higher level.

As a media and entertainment device, a Honeycomb tablet is a very fun gadget to have. Whether you’re reading Pride and Prejudice or throwing some birds at green pigs, a tablet will definitely be more fun than a good ol’ PC.Edgar Cervantes

Apps and widgets make a huge difference, giving you access to everything you may need –from multiple email accounts to YouTube videos and e-books.

As a media and entertainment device, a Honeycomb tablet is a very fun gadget to have. Whether you’re reading Pride and Prejudice or throwing some birds at green pigs, a tablet will definitely be more fun than a good ol’ PC. Unless you want to play games like Crysis. But better processors and graphics chips are coming, so this may soon change.

One issue I did find is that the Honeycomb browser does not behave like a PC browser. It’s due not only to speed and performance; things just usually work differently in general. I was not able to click on some links, and websites kept sending me to mobile sites. While Android is great for multi-tasking, it’s horrible at it compared to a PC. Videos usually stop buffering when switching between tabs, and it’s not possible to see multiple windows at one time. Sometimes RAM memory is not enough, and apps simply close out. (I lost multiple articles due to that).

Productivity: Work/School

This topic is also subjective; some people need more than others. If you’re looking to write essays, or even make spreadsheets, and simply email them, this would be an ideal device. As mentioned before, though, a tablet will not help anyone who needs complex programs for work or school.

Most of the work I did on this device was for Android and Me. With a computer, I usually work with the browser, Google Talk, Photoshop and Gmail. Since the browser was very laggy and the WordPress app is not as mature, I had to write my articles with an Office application.

Using an Office app was no issue. The real issue was working with images. This part of my job was highly complicated without the use of Photoshop (or any PC image editing software), even after using multiple image editing apps. Not only that, but the browser did not allow me to click certain links. For example, I was not able to click the link that allowed me to put the featured image on a post, nor was I able to even upload an image to WordPress. For these tasks, I relied heavily on help from the Android and Me team. Without them, these two weeks would have been impossible.

One more issue was copying and pasting text. Trying to copy text from the browser is buggy, and much of the text in a tablet (whether it be in apps, the browser or other text) is not even selectable. Highlighting any text and using “CTRL + C/V” was the most amazing feeling once I had my computer back.


All this brings us back to the initial question: can you replace a computer with a tablet? The answer is simply, no. At least not yet. You may only use a computer for the simplest tasks, in which case you’d assume it would be possible to do so. But the fact is, at some point, you’ll run into something that will require you to use a PC.

I cannot express how frustrating things became at times. After I was done with work, everything was great; I could browse the web, do my social networking, chat with my friends, watch movies, etc. But those working mornings were about the most frustrating thing I have ever gone through. It would usually take me twice the time to finish an article, and I would still need my co-workers to finish up those things the tablet would not let me do. I literally pulled my hair at times.

It would usually take me twice the time to finish an article, and I would still need my co-workers to finish up those things the tablet would not let me do. I literally pulled my hair at times.Edgar Cervantes

A tablet will not have the flexibility and complexity a computer has anytime soon. It is meant to be a supporting “side” device (or a luxury), to perform simpler tasks in a more intuitive manner. They are also great for portability, entertainment and games. But if your work revolves around a computer, you need a desktop or laptop PC.

On a side note, the keyboard on a tablet is actually very convenient. You could definitely use it at school to take notes and for other simple tasks of that nature. Maybe a good alternative would be to have a desktop computer in your living room and use it only when necessary. Battery life was quite impressive, since both the tablet and the keyboard had a battery. I would usually manage to get over 24 hours of battery life on one charge. That’s one of the biggest advantages a tablet has over a laptop computer: battery life is way better on most tablets.

As for me, I will continue to use my laptop for a long time. While tablets are exciting, everything is simply much smoother with a PC. And many times it becomes necessary. Plus if you really want portability, you could also go for a smaller laptop or even a good netbook. Honeycomb is still young, though, and we will see it grow with time. Hopefully the browser will behave more like a PC’s soon; that was the biggest frustration I encountered.

Technology is definitely moving fast, especially with regards to the Android platform. In just a few years, Android went from being a small competitor to the most popular smartphone OS in the world. Now that Android is in the process of making its transition into mobile computing, it might be able to replace a computer in the near future.

Quad-core processors are coming soon, as well as processors clocked at higher speeds. While current tablets have specs similar to a lower-end netbook, eventually they will reach the level of most laptops. There are also rumors about the possibility of Honeycomb tablets getting a Chrome browser, which would definitely change the picture.

Once these tablets are stronger and more popular, software developers should start getting more involved in the Android platform. Can you imagine a full version of Photoshop in the form of an Android app? It would be a very large app, but it will definitely be possible at some point. If major computer programs are compatible with Android and the performance is comparable, it would definitely be possible to get rid of good ol’ Windows/Mac/Linux. Do you guys think this will happen any time soon, though? If so, when? Will a tablet ever be able to replace a PC at all? Have you tried to do it? Please do tell us your experiences/opinions on this topic.

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • Steve505

    I think it’ll be about 5 years until tablets replace laptops.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I’ll go with 2 yrs.

      • Raj

        I’ll go with never. Nothing will replace mouse, keyboard and 24″ monitor for gaming. Every time I see an article like this, the author always disregards gamers. I don’t mean the stay at home moms playing Farmville, I mean enthusiasts. You can’t play simulation games on a tablet.

        • Angie Strickland

          Didn’t he say it was good but that there are exceptions, like Crysis?

        • AmyInNH

          I want it all. I want a tablet I can take with me on the road and that docks when I’m home allowing me to use that mouse, keyboard and big monitor. And having spent hundreds of hours in the past year alone debugging and maintaining a desktop, notebook and laptop, I want something WAY better than Microsoft. They spend their time on catching up and their existing product maintenance is non-existent.

      • DroidSamurai

        I will go with “never” also. Put it this way, this is simply a wrong question to ask. A PC can serve so many purposes that it’s hard to imagine how a tablet can ever completely replace a PC.

        For example, how big can a tablet be? 12 inch? 14? 16? If you are a person who works with image editing, large number of spreadsheet records, or anything that needs a big monitor, I seriously doubt that a tablet can serve you well. Imagine you have to select 1000 records? It’s hard to imagine how a touch based interface can be faster than a mouse base one.

        • muadhnate

          I have to agree. My PC is my entertainment/work center, gaming, television, music, school, work etc. Maybe in about 10-15 years will the tablet have the power needed for me to ditch my PC. Although I do think it’s well on its way to helping me ditch my netbook. But not yet.

        • dope

          Well a touch display can’t work like a hardware component lik mouse , keyboard etc…
          Tablets are made for entertainment like watching movies , listening music or viewing pictures or helpfull in school or college going students . well iTs Just A Beggining “Future is just on door step” we have to go and open door for it ..

      • Lucian Armasu

        I’m with you Taylor. In 2013 we should see quad core 2.5 Ghz Cortex A15 chips, and maybe even 8-core ones by end of the year. Also, within the next 2 years we should see the platform mature a bit more, too, and get more professional apps.

        Edgar mentioned that it was still pretty heavy with a keyboard docked, but the Transformer is not exactly one of the slimmest tablets around, nor is its keyboard. Imagine something like a Galaxy Tab 10.1, with a keyboard as slim as Macbook Air/Asus UX21, or even slimmer than that. The Asus UX21 is already at 1.1 KG with a 11.6″ screen. The Transformer could go under 1 KG, which is extremely light for a “notebook” form factor.

        Either way, Android 5.0 needs to really impressive to stop Windows 8 on these types of devices, but luckily for Android, the future is ARM chips for computers, and there Windows has to start from scratch with no apps, too. So Android might actually be ahead of Windows 8 for ARM based computers by 2013.

      • Mike

        Two years later, and this hasn’t happened.

        • Joe H

          @Mike….I was thinking the same thing. Found this thread by TYPING on my docked laptop the question “when will tablets replace PC?”

          I think the next big jump in the tech world will be when we begin using holographic methods more than not. Holographic Versatile Discs are out there, and soon I bet we’ll be using them!

          Imagine the possibilities. Holography has come a long way since the 1940s and 60s. Interactive Holography cannot be far away!

          • WhatAFool

            nope, wearable tech, VR headsets and AR are the next step

      • WhatAFool

        Well aren’t you a fool, god you people really are narrow minded newbs.

  • VonLaserface

    Nice write-up.

    I found myself mainly using my laptop for web browsing, watching Netflix and Hulu+, social networking and playing the occasional casual game so I made the leap to a 10″ tablet and sold the laptop. I didn’t have any problem adapting my laptop activities to tablet and it was nice carrying a smaller device. I’ve since switched to a 7″ tablet and I’m just as pleased with the functionality and more-so with the convenience.

    My tablet completely replaced my laptop but I do still need my desktop for any number of design and programming tasks that my tablet just cannot do. I think we’re a few generations of device from seeing a tablet-like product complete replace the PC, at least from a productivity standpoint.

  • Mike Leahy

    >It’s obvious that engineers, programmers, architects, designers and other such users will need a computer.

    Perhaps.. At least for programming I’ll be looking into a way to interact and remotely build Android apps from an Android device / tablet with TyphonRT. Of course HDMI out helps to a screen and with the enhanced USB support connecting a keyboard is possible. I’m considering an HTML5 editor like the Ace / Cloud9 project and managing the build process in the cloud with a public or private server for a developer w/ Git support and then sending back the app for sideloading on one or dev devices / tablets. This gets around the limitation of not being able to develop directly on a Android device with the standard tools. Also it may be cool for new developers or folks interested without the desire to install any tools on a desktop / laptop as it’s a remotely managed process. This should be reasonably possible with 4th gen Android devices coming out next year in regard to performance.

    • Armando Hechavarria

      I was thinking of a similar setup to program with. In worst case scenario I was just gonna use a notepad app to write the source code and then compile it when I would get to my PC, however accessing my PC remotely is another option. There is also that app (forgot whats its called but its from google employees) that allows one to write scripts and code in python straight on the phone, I think I would use that more with a tablet like the Asus.

      • Futureboy

        I agree. For the average user, remote access from tablet to PC certainly extends the usability, convenience and productivity. Granted, even with remote access it doesn’t replace a PC, but it works well for those times when you need a PC to do a bit of the heavy lifting.

  • Armando Hechavarria

    Nice article, I was actually looking to buying the Asus Eee Pad Transformer to use as my main notebook/tablet for school and light work. Your article put somethings in perspective that makes me wonder if I should wait for quad core cpu’s. I was thinking of getting it after getting frustrated multiple times with a netbook I bought to replace my broken laptop, needless to say the atom powered netbook was a horrible mistake it is simply not powerful enough for windows 7, it was more functional after installing Linux (Ubuntu) which is my preferred choice anyways, but it still lagged significantly and can’t do multimedia at all. I’ve played with tablets like the Asus and they are a lot more responsive and faster than the netbook that I bought, so I figured why not buy one and get a tablet/netbook. I am still not sure though if the current gen of tablet processors can meet my needs.

    • Luis Angel Castillo

      If you wait for a quad core CPU then you will wait for a six core CPU and then for a eight core CPU…

  • M3rc Nate

    Obviously removing gaming from the equation. I think it is very possible tablets can replace a laptop, possibly someones need for any computer.

    There are however ESSENTIAL things the tablet must have to do that that none have right now, even super basic things like a USB port, expandable storage (SD port), etc. Besides all those things, they HAVE to have a dock w/ keyboard. From what i have seen not all tablets can even use a dock.

    And in terms of hardware, it has to be fast enough (CPU/GPU) to play HD Netflix, 1080P Youtube videos etc.

    Let me put it this way, even for me, if a tablet came out that i loved and then got, and had all those essential things, i probably wouldnt turn on my laptop again, and my Gaming Rig would probably only ever be turned on to game. Like right now on my rig i am typing this, playing a Flash Player game and have a forum on another tab. So if i had a tablet i would be outside in the shade, with all the same things open but on a portable tablet and probably not turn on a computer all day. I probably wouldnt really be on my G2 much either, only to make calls or to text, then when if i had a paper to write or w/e i would put it on the dock at my desk and type away, save to Google Docs in the cloud and bam… thats a tablet replacing my laptop, my Smartphone (except for calls) and 75% useage on my Gaming PC.

    I however dont video edit or any of that stuff, but then again truely how many people do? Probably a very small fraction of the people that buy computers/tablets. Not saying they arent important though.

  • sahil burman

    they will never be able to replace it, they will always act like a substitute to them,

  • Wilson Lara

    I love how all the questions I have get answered on Android and me. I love this website.


    Fantastic article edgar !!!

    For me Tablets are no where near replacing a laptop.Ib for lb when it comes to price there is no comparison. For me my tablet only wins when it comes to portability. If I had 5-600 dollars to spend on one, I would def do laptop. especially if you have a smartphone already.

  • jonehi

    Except the browser? That’s strange as I have never run into anything on my icon a as far as the browser goes. As far as replaseing my computer goes that went off without a hitch I had a net book an acer 9in so when I got a hold of this 10in dual core beast i t was nothing but uphill (it even had more battery). As far as the desktop PC goes I think it is unrepaceable laptops and tabs are great for the amount of time you use them but I could never burn a DVD on a tab nor play starcraft2 or another comp games for that matter. In my eyes the tab has already replaced the laptop but as far as desktops go android has Manny years to go if that’s there gole

  • The Dragon

    Yes, it’s possible. because I did. I use the transformer for all (personal, School, projects, fun,

    I’m not attached to a program like Microsoft Office or antisocial games like World Of Warcraft you now what im trying to say

  • Transient

    Windows 8 will flood the market with true PC replacement tablets. That will happen by the time the back to school 2012 season starts,

    • qriusme

      I for one, just want a tablet where I can take notes at work, and get good old handwriting recognition back. I want onenote on my tablet! Windows 8, please make this work! I know Lenovo just came out with a notetaking app in their android tablet, but I don’t think it’s worth the $600 price point.

      Please MS. I’ll even live with 4-5 hours battery life if you can give me a windows 8 tablet with a stylus, outlook, ms office + onenote!

  • Dan

    My ASUS transformer AND ipad 2 have replaced my laptop for essentially everything, except using Outlook Express (I have over 7 years of data there that I can’t access any other way), so I RDP to my laptop if I need Outlook and do everything else on the tablet.

    The Transformer is the real star here – the ipad 2 is used for gaming, but when I’m working, it becomes my digital notepad, calculator,etc.

    I personally find things a lot quicker on the tablet than on the PC and I use it mostly for work, so I have to be able to multitask quickly with it.

    For your “problems” with the Transformer, it sounds like you have some settings not working right or you’re not on the latest firmware. The browser can be set to Desktop and you’ll NEVER get a mobile site. Also, typing lag in the browser has been fixed in the latest Asus firmware/dock update.

    I’m waiting for an HP Touchpad to come in to see how it compares with the multitasking that I have to do all day.

  • Richard Yarrell

    I have to say this is definately one of the best articles I have ever read on this topic. I have not graduated to this yet in my world the pc vs tablet matter of fact the laptop I have is 5years old an acer laptop that I have used only 2 times since June 4th 2010. While I will say that there are things you will always need a laptop for and things that you will always want a tablet for I feel they both hold there place and serve to need for different reasons. I applaud Edgar on this article and hope one day my work will border on this level from an article standpoint.

  • anujahooja

    My Samsung 10.1 was never meant to replace my PC. It was meant to replace my bookshelf, newspaper, and notebook. It was also meant to be a portable media device. It’s fulfilled these purposes incredibly well. It’ll take long time for a tablet to replace all the uses a PC has, but for now it’s an awesome way to go paperless and an absolutely amazingly convenient portable media device.

  • PeterP

    Why would anyone want a tablet to replace a PC when you can have a phone replace a PC. Much more portable.
    Just need to have a switchable android / ubuntu type setup. Doesn’t ubuntu desktop offer all you need assuming you don’t use cloud based editing apps.

    I thought ICS pretty much does the whole PC/Phone thing. Needs an option to fast boot into other OS with cloud app integration. Maybe Sony can save the day with the OtherOS Feature :)

    You just need a USB/Blutooth/wifi keyboard and a screen with hdmi in.Shame there isn’t a standard connector for phones and docks yet. Or my other huge grumble for a long time… Why doesn’t a laptop / pad have HDMI in ?? Wish I could buy a screen with hdmi in – ooh, it’s called the padfone.

    I say 8 months to 1 year and a phone (not a tablet) will replace the netbook, 3 years and it will replace the pc.

  • ScottH

    I no longer drag an antiquated laptop with me on business trips (every week). I use an Acer Iconia tab with a Logitech bluetooth keyboard. As a sales manager with a large geographical territory, no laptop is great. USB port is needed and the HDMI out works great for presentations. I do use my laptop when in my office. One comment in the article showed me that maybe the author did not really try this for real. His comments on the browser. Why did the author not try Dolphin HD or Opera Mobile or Skyfire. All of those overcome the mobile website issues he mentioned. I for one have replaced the laptop for mobile use. So my answer to the question is yes in many cases.

  • issac4760

    They need silverlight on tablets….maybe one day tablets will replace computers, just not anytime soon.

  • cb2000a

    Tablets and phones will replace PC’s except in business, gaming, and specialty areas,

  • Gordon

    i need FULL REAL MS OFFICE. i need FULL REAL EXCEL and WORD. without that, a tablet can’t replace a PC/Laptop/Netbook.

  • ☻

    iPad 3 replaces everything

  • jack schulz

    Answer is simple. Your question is can a tablet replace a pc, the answer is no. If a tablet can eventually do what a pc can do, then it’s a pc in a tablet form factor. Still a pc.

  • crubbish

    Well written and interesting article Edgar, thanks!

  • AHB

    This was a really great article. One that’s helped me a lot regarding even just deciding about the ASUS. If I may then ask a question regarding the usage of the transformer?

    I’m actually thinking of getting one, but the size and the price keep me holding off until I am 100% sure I want to take the risk. What I’m mainly interested in it for is the portability and the options of using it as an e-reader (currently using my Epic 4G as an e-reader lol) and writing.

    I’m curious how it would be for working on documents (even blogger articles/blogs) without images, but just plain written documents in the word processor? Whichever program is on it for that purpose. That, as an e-reader, and even online (if I could do it) editing of documents for my site is what I’d probably use it for the most. Although with the copy and paste, as well as image information you talked about, it probably wouldn’t be too good for that huh?

    Anyone else that could answer that, I would greatly appreciate it.

  • mike

    Not a chance. Maybe for people who just browse web and email and casual games that use about 10% of a PC functionality

    I’m avid gamer and benchmark enthusiast and build custom rigs, this kind of post would be a joke in a PC forum

    Tablets are no where near the technology that current PC are at and even when they are PC will be miles ahead in technology

    PC hardware/software set the standard on current and future technology and will continue to do so

  • http://- Zhi Hao

    I’m also siding with “never”. I do wish for the day to come whereby I can run pretty much everything on a tablet, but the fact is, that the PC will always have a greater headroom for higher computational speed. PCs will always have faster processors than tablets, and until we reach a point whereby we can no longer write an application that fully utilizes the processing capabilities of our PC and tablet processors, then will tablets replace PCs.

  • Manly Man


  • Rashad

    I don’t see tablets taking on laptops. The form factor just isn’t good for productivity. Sure it is great for web browsing on the fly, multimedia, or games; but I could never see myself composing email more than a paragraph long or doing homework on the thing.

    I believe that tablets and laptops will remain separate until they are both succeeded by an as-of-yet not invented product.

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  • TF101 user

    Great review. Everything is riight. About the browser the only one who works as fast as my computer browser is the Dolphin HD. The default browser starts to get slow, and others, like firefox, seems to have some kind of delay on touch response.

    The tablet is great for check your gmail, facebook, listen music and write a novel or a blog in plain text!

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  • Ryan

    I think Tablets will certainly take over PCs. They will just become PCs. People aren’t thinking outsdie the box. I mean in say 5 years, size won’t matter when it comes to power. Tablets will be just as powerful as PCs. And Windows will be launching Windows 8, starting a new PC/Tablet era, where an army of ‘Windows Slates’ will launch. And Tablets today, like the Asus Transformer, already has remot desktop abilites. What if you just buy yourself a nice 24′ monitor for your home, and rather then having the PC vs Tablet debate, you simply let your Tablet stream to your larger monitor, and there you have it, a PC Tablet.

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  • Teresa van Zyl

    I invested in a tablet on Friday, but I am confused about the “architecture” of the tablet. What does it actually replace (My laptop, my celphone, that has the same features???) the real question, once I’ve set-up my work e-mail and calendar, do I still pitch up at meetings with my phone, laptop AND my tablet or will one or more of these devices stay in my office if I just take my “tab”????

  • samuel

    i’ve been researching this topic a bit, and have come to the conclusion as well that it cannot really replace a laptop/desktop. not now, at least. but i think it is funny to see all these comments about how the tablet will “never” replace the laptop. the laptop isn’t sliced bread or holy scripture. i mean seriously, how long has it even been around? technology changes rapidly and the market for tablets has exploded since the ipad and as such has been taken more and more seriously by developers, and really it is an incredibly convenient device for things that the majority of people use their laptops mostly for. you pick it up and are almost immediately doing what it is you want to do, and 3g capability is brilliant especially for the on-the-go society we live in. that said there are major aspects of the tablet that keep it from being a laptop replacement. but as the software advances and works out the seemingly numerous kinks, and as the hardware advances to the point of high end laptops, there will be more and more people replacing their laptops for tablets. i do think that a proper keyboard is rather indispensable, especially for speed and hours of writing and the ergonomic benefit of typing going on with a keyboard while your point of vision is right in front of you, not to mention the various ports that so many people need, and for that i believe laptop-like docks will become more and more prevalent, but the laptop as we know it is going to gradually creep out the door. i for one am going to get a new laptop this year, and when i get a new one in probably 3 or so years i’m confident that a tablet will be able to replace it with relative ease.

  • rijnsma

    Even a laptop is less comfortable then the well configurated PC.
    So I (still) don’t see the PC substituted by the tablet.
    And íf I ever use a tablet it will be a transformer, so I can 10 finger blind type and so I can use the mouse. Until they force me to do the other (tablet) way.

  • elizabeth

    I have to say that i read your discussion forum in its entirety and i have to disagree with a few things that were said. I personally want to start by saying that about a month ago my PC got broken by my twelve year old nephew which was very irritating. Especially since my work revolves around my computer. I decide that once it broke that i wanted to replace it with an Asus we pad and i did this. I went to best buy after making this decision and purchased the tablet that best suited me then I came back home an was able to successfully run all my work programs from the tablet and i personally think that it is a lot better than the computer in many ways it is much easier to work from the touch screen in my option and also I just love the overall performance of tablet. I have also owned both version of the I phone and both versions of the I pad and absolutely would choose the android phones and tablets over that i products any day of the week. Thanks for allowing me to type my thoughts. God bless everyone.

  • wehengarangi

    i think tablets will certainly take over pc and notebooks:)

  • steven vaccaro

    I cant wait to see the day a tablet does everything a laptop will. I’m always running into something my tablet work do. But I love the tablet for the extremely long battery life and size.

  • ChicagoBob

    PC is dieing. Slots configs noisy FANS etc what a PIA.
    Human Beings want this new interface where we can talk to our machines touch the screen to effect things and change the way we interface with our information devices.

    Tablets are movng people into this new age of portability, touch screen interface and personalization.

    My Crystal Ball
    says if WiGig are devices are connected to tablets they will start take over.
    In 2 years with speedups tablets can smoke the PC for any average joe user.

    Here is how WiGig will play into the demise of the low end PC. WiGig will allow for short range 60Ghz signal which will give you a 700MB/sec transmission of data without wires.
    What does that mean? A wireless large monitor no problem. HD movie transmission speeds no
    problem. Data I/O from a multi-terrabyte NAS drives, printing at high speeds no problem.
    Basically any high speed I/O to any device, similar to USB except with out a cord and about
    350 times faster can be seamlessly hooked to your tablet. This expands the tablets reach without adding a slot or configuration file.

    Will there be a market for PC’s? Sure, but the PC market will be MUCH smaller. PC’s will
    be relegated to heavy lifting chores that Tablets cant do yet such as servers, high end graphic workstations and the like. But gaming, office apps, web browsing, movie viewing, does anyone
    have any doubt on how fast those will be replaced?

    In the next year small developers will pave the way to the new Gold rush of customers available on tablets looking for solutions. Larger companies will see their success and move teams of engineers to covert their apps. So as the people BUY these crazy tablets the software will start to show up.

    Also during that time the touch screen will become much more accurate and sensitive to touch so electronic art can be an hands on medium again. For me a mouse is a has been a device invented by cruel people that hate your fingers and want them to be permanently curled into a ball causing the arthritic pain.

    So in about 2 years the world will change again for the better and a new tech boom will begin.

  • G7400

    It’s going to be long time when a battery powered device become equal or more powerful than PC for obvious reasons: power, software, display flexibility, etc. Name an application for tablet which equals a PC one. Can somebody try to upgrade a tablet? I’m not talking from Android 3.2 to 4.0 or so, or try to replace just the battery? the only way it’s to buy another one, and how long takes to become obsolete? Upgrading, updating a PC its straight forward, incremental by priorities and budged, I don’t want to mention reliability and yes you can build yourself by your preferences and you can choose any operating system and software and make new software for android and other tablets. My opinion all will live because each one has certain purpose, like cars: Smart vs. Honda Odyssey, vs. Nissan GTR vs. Mercedes S550, what about a bike BMW 1000RR, no one replace anything just when you have no choice, but we do.

  • Bill

    With the right tablet, I can see a full size computer being replaced very easily unless you’re doing work the way the computer was originally created. If you’re doing any type of actual work on the computer, whether its accounting, drafting, writing, editing, etc…, than yeah, a good laptop or desktop will be best. Although, many hospitals use tablets and netbooks for patient exams.

    My opinion on gaming, is that if you’re spending that much time and money on internet gaming or computer gaming, really, you need to get a date or an outdoor hobby. There’s more to life than the internet or gaming. Chatrooms ? Gaming ? My favorite chatroom and game is my dining room around the table playing a game with life participants in person. Nothing can beat that.

    Simple test. Shut all the communication and electronic devices (including computers, tablets, cell phones, video games, radio and TV) off in your home or circle of friends (Work only allowed if necessary) for one week. – Than see how well everyone in that home or circle of friends actually communicates, or do people go silent. (Talk about things not related to the net or electronic devices )

    The average person could survive just fine using a tablet and gaining the mobility it has to offer and as an end result, spend more time interacting in real time.

  • John B

    My daughter wants a laptop so she can play Simms. Can she do this and other online activities such as club penguin, or poptropica, on an android tablet?
    I have an iPad, and these tasks can’t be done on it.



  • Rod Minns

    Great piece. The reality of a one device world sounds far away (a year or two?). I want to carry more paddles than devices. Just attaching a keyboard to a tablet is so far quite lame. But the Asus TF 700 T gets closer. Forgive me for mentioning Microsoft Surface RT with it its solid effort to put MS Office onboard. However, I’m typing this on a sinking ship, XP, that Microsoft wants me to abandon in favour of 8. No way as I grasp Google’s lifesaving Android and most recently Chromebooks. I’ve been chained to costly MS everything for too long. Even trying out ubuntu on my old machine.

  • AmyInNH

    Thanks Edgar. I’m so sorry to hear this as I shop for a new system. I guess I’m going to be stuck getting a tablet toy for roaming/traveling til they improve.

  • znbnz

    The Tablet will replace the Laptop and Netbook, but asking if it will replace the Desktop is like asking if the Microwave will replace the Stove.

  • Peter Sørensen

    For users like my wife, only mail and browser, including buying stuff on the Internet.
    the tablet might be close to replace the PC.
    But then again the danish payment system nemid is not supported on android so to buy somethink we must have a PC.
    I have just installed a NAS, it has android support. I took our samsung II tablet and wanted to a add a line to my spreadsheet keeping track of our woodpille consumption.
    The file is on the NAS. I used a file browser and could access the right folder, but then the android asked is this file text, picture, video or music.
    WHAT if not one of these 4 predefined file-formats I could simply not access the file!!!!!!!
    So until the Android people start to think and provide access to any kind of file on network, the tablet is an absolute NO go.

  • RBS

    In my opinion, the the answer is yes. But a PC in smaller form with size like tablet and has longer battery capacity. With more use of SSD hardware (still very high cost now) in PC and the latest-advance processors and software being developed by Microsoft and its business partners, this would be possible. I think this will be faster than the maker of Android can do. But the key to this change is how fast the makers of this technology can do it…this is business.

    I love to work in mobility, faster and anywhere. As a consumer, I hope to see a PC tablet which is portable, with high-speed processor, light weight (lighter than the normal laptop sold in the market), reasonably priced and with at least 24 hours battery life.

    The question is when?

  • chris holleman

    Excellent read! been thinking along the same lines a bit myslef. Although i dont use a mac enough to really know how well they cold work together…. Ienjoy the ipad 2nd gen Igot from MR. Anderson!!! yea somehow FACEBOOK well its users in confusion thinking weird stuff….maybe no body knowsit but me….but anyways… that can be definitly left for a later topic…as if anyone is concerned…? Been thinking how i canintegrate the three systems PC IPAD and Galaxy tab into a proccessing unification…i think that would be awesome….let me tell you….kinda hard getting all these ideas to work together and that has been a huge frustration but i believe soon enough…..not gonna try and be nostradomus and say when but soon enough! hope you enjoy this read as well as the one that inspired it! Have a great daya!

  • sue

    Never.i doubt they will ever have all the programs that a pc has.they are great at the simple stuff like browsing the net which im doing now on a Samsung galaxy tab s 10.5 inch.i wanted to watch a video before and j doesn’t support will be off to the desktop. Speakers for listening to music will never be good enough. I could go on and on


    when they get chrome on tablets.. this may cure the mobile version issue. But for now try Dolphin for tablets.. It resolves that issue

  • Kevin

    User Agent. Make it desktop, or IE depending on which browser you happen to be using and wah lah. no mobile sites

  • M3rc Nate

    Very awesome. And obviously if you have a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse already, all you need is a stand to hold it up and with only the cost of the stand you have everything you need. However i think i would take a dock still, for the ability to have everything in one. A good stand, charging dock, keyboard/mouse.

    Its funny cause part of me is like a lot of people, that feel tablets are this weird not a laptop but not a smartphone “not really needed” piece of tech. However with how great android (Honeycomb) is, and everything android and its apps (first and third party) bring to the table, like i said before i honestly think if i owned a tablet that met my requirements (which aren’t crazy) i would use it all the time and like i said, only use my gaming PC for gaming, and my smartphone for calls/texts.

    Im hoping but might get disappointed that Amazon knows what they are doing, and their tablet which is reported to be <$300 will be great. Though if theres one thing i think it probably wont have, its all the ports i need. I just dont want to buy a tablet that doesnt have USB, Expandable, and HDMI out..and i dont see a medium-low end tablet from amazon having all those when "higher" end ones havent, like the Samsung 10.1 and ipad 2.

  • Angie Strickland

    Yeah they have a really handy Desktop/Mobile toggle switch that you can add-on, and you just swipe to the right each time you need it.

  • Clark Wimberly

    Also, there is a ‘regular site’ link in our mobile footer, which should swap you to the desktop site.

    But my favorite solution is the Dolphin Toggle switch that others mentioned here.

    PS: Just to be confusing, the Tab 10.1 seems to always load the desktop site. So it seems as if specific devices are starting to choose for you…

  • Aaron

    Just go to Settings > Useragent in ANY browser, and choose ‘Desktop’, ‘Android,’ ‘Tablet’, ‘Mobile’, or whichever you decide to force the browser to always display the full or mobile versions of the site.

    It’s not Android, it’s the browers settings that aren’t being utilized by the user.

  • Angie Strickland

    The Toshiba Thrive has standard USB and HDMI – it isn’t the best out there, but a sign of some hope.

  • Ant

    Is there a way to side load that app? I’m using my hacked nook as my tablet, but since the os thinks it is a phone, the market won’t even give me an option to download it.

  • Raj

    I like what you’re saying. I like the idea of one portable device that does everything. The atrix is actually something that has a concept like this.

    My only concern is upgrades. On PC, I don’t have to get a whole new system when a game comes out that I can’t run on max detail because of graphics. I wonder how this is handled?

  • Dave J

    I bet that it will be quite a few years before the tablet gets close to the average laptop or desktop. I’m replying to you off an Android and can tell you that for now it’s not in the same league as laptop (not even close). That said, Windows and MAC have been investigating this issue and I bet that they will lead the way in improving the tablet movement big time. I like the idea behind it. But, there needs to be much more compatability between the average PC and tablets (function, “power”, etc) before the tablet can be a serious competitor.

  • Armando Hechavarria

    Yes I think quad core could be the best time to jump on the bandwagon. I don’t want to wait for the best always I just want to make sure that the tablet I get can perform better than a netbook (which the current ones can as far as my testing) and almost as good as a regular mid range laptop.