Jan 26 AT 10:24 PM Nick Sarafolean 19 Comments

Do you consume or create content with your tablet?

2013 Nexus 7

Of all the time periods in history, this century is one of the best to live in. The technological advances in the past 100 years have changed the world in huge ways. Even since the new millennium began, we’ve seen major strides in portable technology. Laptops, smartphones, cameras, tablets. They’ve all grown much smaller and more powerful than would ever have been believed fourteen years ago. In this case, we’re going to focus on one particular piece of the pie: tablets.

Tablets have been around for a couple of decades now, but since the launch of the iPad, and maybe even the original Samsung Galaxy Tab, tablets have really become a popular new consumer device. They work to bridge the gap between phone and laptop, and if nothing else, are excellent for doing all the things that your phone can except on a larger scale.

In terms of media consumption, tablets are perfect devices. More portable than a laptop and yet larger than the minuscule screens of phones, tablets are easy on the eyes and allow you to really get immersed in the content while still being able to take on the go. They also have generally better battery life than phones and many laptops, which makes them last.

When it comes to creating content on a tablet, things get a bit murky. For tasks such as typing up documents or creating a quick PowerPoint, tablets can generally work well. But without accessories, most tablets are hindered by their slate form factor, which makes typing more difficult and certainly doesn’t help with precision tasks. Unless you’re just doing basic edits, photo editing on a tablet without a mouse and keyboard is really out of the question. In-depth PowerPoint and video creation won’t come easily, and don’t think that you’re going to be able to quickly throw together spreadsheets.

I’m a tablet owner, as I’m sure many of you are. While I primarily use my tablet for content consumption, I do occasionally use it to create content. However, it’s generally limited to typing things up, sending out emails and occasionally other things. Due to the challenges accompanying more complex tasks, I usually avoid them and opt instead for the ease of doing them quickly on my laptop. As it stands, tablets aren’t well-suited enough for a great deal of content creation. They’re better for media consumption in my opinion.

Now the mic is turned to you. Do you use your tablet for consumption or creation? And in either case, why?

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

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  • Curt Hibbs

    I use it for content capture or, rather, information capture. I really see this as a third category above and beyond content consumption and content creation.

    Information capture to me means capturing on-the-fly notes, images, documents (from “scanned” images), links, web pages snippets, etc.

    The portability of a tablet means its always with me and available for content capture (and maybe some minimal massaging of the content). But the actual of the the captured information to produce other, more polished content, is done on a PC.

    I also do some of this on my phone, but its often easier to do on my tablet.

    • aelfwyne

      Pretty much exactly my sentiments. I use my tablet in the classroom. I can review turned in assignments on Edmodo, take notes in the classroom, take roll. Note taking is also an important function.

      None of that fits cleanly in “content creation.”

      I think the issue with this whole “content creation” versus “content consumption” is a artifact of the media’s viewpoint. Writers and bloggers view everything through the lens of “I’m creating!” and that readers are “Consuming”.

      In the real world, however, while there are pure consumers, there are also many people who do “productive tasks” that are neither technically creating nor consuming.

  • jerrbomb

    I’ve used tablets to write last. Minute papers for school and mainly read content

  • Jerome Woody

    I’ve used my tablet in software development, namely writing or editing code from a code editor like droidEdit or using a ssh terminal. It hasn’t been a smooth process though, especially in the input category. Still I like the idea of creating software using such mobile device like a tablet.

  • Jason

    Hi my Android tablet is primarily used for consumption, watching videos and playing games. I actually have a Lumia 1020 and recently acquired 6″ Lumia 1520. Both of which I use for writing in Word and WordPress. I also use the 1020 for content capture and picture editing.
    I find the always connected aspects(unlimited data) of my smartphone a good tool for research/ reference material and the extreme portability and the inclusion of Windows office and OneNote with integrated Skydrive great tools for writing on the go. I can publish directly to WordPress from my smartphone as well. So yeah, the though I use the phones for a lot of consumption as well, they are very productive due to Word, OneNote and Skydrive. The Android tablet is used for gaming and videos.

    When its time for real sit down and focus productivity I pull out my Windows 8, HP laptop.
    I would like the portability of a productive laptop which I feel a Surface with its Keyboard and USB ports to transfer data, its expandable memory, the ability to connect a mouse, a second screen and use Legacy programs like Photoshop, Office, and literally millions if of other available Windows programs make the Surface and other Windows 8 devices(hybrids and convertibles) great productivity tools.

    I do look forward to adding a Windows 8 tablet to my lineup as a productivity and not only a consumption tablet.

    • Jason

      Correction – The second sentence in the second to last paragraph should read -”I would like the portability of a productive “TABLET” which I feel a Surface with its Keyboard…”

      • SGB101

        I have a thinkpad x200t, 2008 still use one note with styles everyday.

        Originally bought do I could get closer to a paperless office

  • ChrisAstro

    I have a Nexus 10. I use it for editing all my pictures using the stock gallery. It is just sooo easy to edit pictures. No need to move a mouse. Touch the screen, edit and boom! Simple as that. Plus the big benefit of using apps to upload my pictures on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram or on Twitter so easily! I would love tto edit my videos on it but sadly, there no apps that can edit .mov files. Only .mp4 files using the stock movie maker.

    The Nexus 10 can easily play all my full HD videos. Plus it has a high resolution screen. It just works well!

    100% of all YouTube videos I watch are from my Nexus 10. The YouTube is way way way better than the one of the website. You can easily edit documents on the Nexus 10. I did it a lot of times already and have no problems from it.

  • CJ

    My Android? Consume-only. My MS Surface? Create.

  • franrich

    I definately use my 2012Nexus 7 for consumtion. Movies ,books, magazines and games

  • Kirk SchwarzH

    Hey Nick u r #1 in the android world u r the man. Keep it coming your posts r right on informative. THANKS

  • Michael Brooks

    I’m +60yrs old newbie, presently deciding whether to purchase keyboard for my Nexus 7 2013, let believe creating content in near future.

  • Camanokid

    another category might be as a control device. I use my tablet as a DLNA control and streaming device for my Wi-Fi home entertainment system.

  • GE918

    I use my Nexus 7(2013) for content consumption and information capture. (Thanks Curt).

  • donger

    Tablets are great for second screen.

  • Dumadu

    we can consume content with tablets and as well as use it for create purpose also!

  • Michael

    Use my nexus 7 purely for consumption.

    My surface Pro 2 I use for mainly creation. The stylus is perfect for note taking and painting. Even the odd picture adjustment is OK, the graphic power is too small for longer of work. Love the ability to through my light room on sofa. I just wish they had a more transformer like keyboard.

  • minimage

    I do very little of what I would call creation with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, my constant companion. I did get it, however, to allow me to work remotely, and I’ve used my tablet and Citrix to login, update my tickets and remotely control users’ PCs to fix issues. While that’s being productive, I wouldn’t call it content creation, but I would call it solution creation.

  • Dijait Evans

    I’m late to the party but I have to say, I have a Galaxy Note 8. the Multi-window capability and the S-pen (and its software) make it to where I sometimes never have to sit at my PC to do what I need to do. I especially like it for thought gathering, notes, snipping content off the Internet, etc. but because of all the Cloud stuff, everything I do is Instantly available for me. Getting Things Done, Accomplishing Tasks, Organizing files and folders of Projects, Even writing a letter, or a sermon can be done on it. And the S-Pen satisfies my need to feel the pen on paper as I write.

    I use mind map programs that are cloud based. Evernote. OneNote. So I can get things done without ever sitting at the computer. The computer now a days serves more as the hub. The fact that the PC based cloud programs have more functionality may cause me to sit there but as far as your original question: Consumption or Creation, I DEFINITELY CREATE MORE ON MY NOTE THAN AT THE COMPUTER.