There were multiple attempts at creating tablets, some as early as 1986, but it wasn’t really until Apple released the iPad in April 2010 that they became popular. Then Android got in on the game with the first Samsung Galaxy Tab being released only 5 months later in September 2010 and lots of companies have since used the software and released their own tablet to rival the iPad. Since then tablet sales grew from strength to strength with sales increasing year on year. They were a revolutionary piece of tech mainly due to their large touchscreen and all the rage in their heyday. However in 2018 there was a reported drop in global tablet sales of around 20%, but figures show they are still as popular as ever over the holiday period. But is there any reason to buy a tablet any more?
- Tablets are a lot easier to use and more productive than a smartphone, mainly because of the bigger screen making it easier to view websites and watch videos. This also makes it easier to use them for work-related tasks while you are out of the office and even doing small presentations at meetings.
- They are generally more powerful than a smartphone so performance should be better.
- Cheaper to buy than a laptop and still as good to use, especially if you buy a tablet that has a wireless keyboard too.
- Good for travel, easily fit into a bag when travelling and a good addition to any trip whether you want to read your favourite ebook on the beach on holiday or watch a movie while you are waiting for a flight.
- With very few physical buttons other than power, home, and volume they are very easy devices for kids to interact with using the large touchscreen. They can use them to watch their favourite cartoons or play the latest game. Most tablets also include a built in child-friendly mode to make sure they can only use safe, approved, children friendly apps.
- Smaller and harder to use than a laptop if you need to type long pieces of text. The built in keyboard on tablets is OK but can be cumbersome if you need to type a lot. But you can always buy a Bluetooth keyboard to combat this.
- Quite big to carry around with you on the move compared to a smartphone. Unless you have really big pockets you would need a bag to carry a tablet around with you.
- Very few unique features any more. It used to be the case that they were a lot smaller and easier to use than a laptop and bigger and easier to use than smartphones. But now you can get a hybrid laptop or Chromebook which is similar in size and can do a lot more, as well as having a keyboard. The same with smartphones, new phones now have the same processing power as tablets and phone screens are also getting quite big with the average being between 6-7″ so do you really need a slightly bigger tablet?
- There are very few apps specific for tablets, most apps are just a scaled up version of the smartphone app and are a bit clumsy to use.
- Smartphones are getting bigger and more powerful with bigger batteries making it entirely plausible to use them to stream videos. It’s also easier to have less devices to worry about so makes more sense just to have a laptop and a smartphone.
Overall, looking at the points above the answer is a pretty resounding no, there is no need to buy a tablet any more. It’s more of a device that you buy if you want one, not need one. I can’t think of any cases where you would need to use the functions of a tablet over a smartphone or laptop. So it is more of a lifestyle product to buy if you like the idea of using a tablet to browse the internet, social media and stream videos or films.
I personally think tablets are great devices to use and I hope they stay around; it would be a shame if they ever went out of production.