You can't do real work on a tablet

Whenever I think about tablets v. PCs, I remember a bold prediction of old: “Son, 10 years from now everyone will drive an electric car!” When was that, 20 years ago? We’ve all read something like that from someone believing to be clairvoyant.

I read similar articles almost every day where the writer plays the same old broken record: tablets are the death of PCs, or some other flamboyant thing that’s bound to get interest -- with the hope that the reader will agree with the author. It's like almost everyone is set on sending the PC down to the gates of Hell. But why should I agree with their assertions when I actually need a PC?

I see things rather differently, maybe because I’m not writing this story on a tablet but HP 8710P laptop; it has a 17-inch 1680 x 1050 resolution display and is powered by a Core 2 Duo T9300 processor at 2.50 GHz and 4GB of RAM. The computer has served me well for the last four years and I don’t see any reason for letting it go and rushing into buying a tablet; but what I want to do is exchange it for a new, faster PC. Why?


Steve Jobs best described tablets like this: “Our competitors are looking at this like it's the next PC market. That is not the right approach to this. These are post-PC devices that need to be easier to use than a PC, more intuitive. The hardware and software need to intertwine more than they do on a PC. We think we're on the right path with this.” That was his perspective on tablets and a very good reason for their success; they’re designed to be intuitive not to replace a PC.

Surface gets close, but not Really

Microsoft Surface can win you over” is one of my first stories written for BetaNews, just to point out that there’s a real purpose to the tablet, despite initial reaction, and for plenty of professionals it’s still the only tablet that can suit their tablet needs.

It’s very important not to mix things up and think Surface as a device that can suit their every need, because I believe no tablet can currently substitute a PC. The tablet technology is still too far behind for the post-PC device to completely replace the old trustworthy personal computer; there are quite a few reasons as to why it’s not going to change soon enough.

You can’t do proper multitasking on anything but a single tablet: Microsoft Surface. I find it very annoying to multitask on anything but Windows-powered devices (OS X is just as good though), because they’re the only ones with anything as simple as the taskbar. I spend plenty of time navigating through at least ten tabs at a time in Firefox, switching to Word or Excel to write and talking to friends via instant messaging; this is an all-day continuous process and it’s the lightest of my scenarios.

I’m going to propose an exercise: try to do that on a PC then switch to a tablet and do it all day. I know for certain it’s going to be a complete nightmare. Microsoft Surface might be the only tablet that’s designed to make multitasking easy, but to make it work at the desired parameters I’d need a mouse and a 20-inch-plus display with 1080p resolution.

Five More Reasons

I can think of lots of reasons why PCs are superior to tablets. Consider these:

1. Android and iOS are too far away. Google couldn’t even manage to make the interface fluent enough, as only a quad-core smartphone like the Galaxy S III or HTC One X can get close to seamlessly navigating through the UI. I really like the Galaxy SIII and I only mention it because Android tablets aren’t faster than Samsung’s new flagship phone, which is still currently the speediest Android device on the market. So what can I expect from a tablet running the Google-designed operating system or from the hardware that is powering it then?

iPads aren’t great either as they’re designed from the start to work as a post-PC device, which implies that their operating system and adjacent software is designed to revolve around the idea of simplicity, not complexity. And that makes for companies developing resource-intensive programs such as Adobe Photoshop to steer clear from tablets.

2. A tablet needs accessories to close in on a PC. A tablet needs a keyboard and display just because it’s too small to be able to provide a large enough workspace to juggle between applications, and it also needs a keyboard to get typing done, as the virtual keyboard isn’t ever as good as the physical one in terms of spacing between keys, feedback and speed of use. I don’t see a point in buying a tablet, a keyboard, mouse and a new display just to make the tablet work as wanted.

I’d have to pay the same as for a new laptop, but it wouldn’t be any faster. So where does that leave me? And that brings us to the matter of processing power. To get the fastest tablet one has to look at the new iPad and up in terms of pricing, because let’s face it: most of the tablets are still too slow.

3. PCs get better applications. I’m surprised at how easily people pushing tablets ahead of PCs dismiss programs like Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and Premiere or Autodesk Maya 3D and AutoCAD -- and I’m only just scratching the surface here. These are not applications that are on every user’s “Most recent” list, but there are plenty of people that need a PC just to run them. Last week, colleague Randall C. Kennedy wrote “BYOD apocalypse deniers suffer from post-PC depression”, which from my perspective emphasizes just the consumer market that doesn’t have to use complex programs like the ones I’ve mentioned.

I’m going to ask you this: do you think that civil engineers design skyscrapers on iPads? Or as another example: do Formula 1 teams use tablets to process information? I beg to differ. These are just minor examples and ones that we can all understand, but they best emphasize the lack of processing power post-PC devices have.

4. PC offers better gaming experience. In a recent CNBC interview, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said that “The fastest growing platform for video games today is the PC, but it’s growing through subscriptions, through micro-transactions and through downloads”. Major titles are still developed for the PC market because the “old” desktops or laptops are the only ones capable of running them in their full glory. Gamers are interested in tablets, but the technology doesn’t allow the same level of detail to be displayed on a post-PC device as it does on a PC. While that may change in a few years and tablets will try to level the playing field, PC technology will evolve as well and so far has got quite a lead.

5. Batteries haven't evolved enough. That gets us to another issue tablets have: the battery. Unless we’re not that 0.01 percent of the population, we’re all using devices powered by batteries each and every single day. We’ve all faced the same eternal problem: poor battery life. Unless you pack up an immense battery, you’re going to look for the charger in a few hours after playing a game or continuously surfing the Web.

The battery technology has evolved as little as HDD speed has. It’s the final frontier towards proper mobility. In fact, the only reason for getting more battery life today is the advancement in the power management of other components, especially the CPU and GPU field. Lithium-ion polymer battery or Li-Po as it is commonly abbreviated today, which is found in the new iPad and the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, is just an evolution from the old Lithium-ion technology developed 40 years ago, yet is still powering devices in 2012; albeit in the Li-Po form only became popular 17 years ago.

Nearly two decades later, we’re using the exact same battery technology and we’re not even getting half a day of intensive use from it. This issue plagues all devices and it really shows how little batteries have evolved.

The PC is here to Stay

My point is that tablets can replace PCs for some people, but that it can’t replace them for most of us. Plenty of people still need a PC today. I have no personal agenda against tablets and do believe that in the near future a tablet could replace a PC for some people. I can’t help but to point out some of their current flaws. It’s easy to dismiss the benefits of a computer based on minor tasks alone, but it’s not really fashionable today to admit we can’t easily do all of our work without one.

I simply disagree with the assertion that you can get real work done on a tablet.

Photo Credit: CLIPAREA l Custom media/Shutterstock

136 Responses to You can't do real work on a tablet

  1. Beta says:

    Thank you for a well thought out article
    I also have a problem with the "PC will be dead" mentality. This current time is awash with new possibilities - tablets with market share, online storage, expansion in smartphone capability. PCs remain in the background, but without a fancy gimmick to give them publicity, they remain the silent giant
    In five years time, I predict PCs will still hold a central position in the workflow of the majority of users, both private and enterpriseI have had at least 20 years experience using Microsoft Office, and am aware of the pitfalls that will face user of Office documents on mobile devices such as PDAs, and more recently phones and tablets.The main focus for mobile devices should be providing a fast, minimal delay, and crashproof way to OPEN, and VIEW existing documents. A stable viewer is the main application that is of benefit on the move An application that can faithfully and reliably display an EXISTING document is rare.Personally, I deal with a lot of Office documents containing vital data, both Word and Excel, where accuracy is critical
    **Finding a viewer that accurately reproduces existing documents including complex graphics or tables is the Holy Grail**Mobile computing should really be about viewing existing documents and if necessary, performing only very basic editting corrections on the go.
    To try to make fundamental and significant edits/adjustments to an important document on a small screen (eg smartphone) is asking for trouble. With the more limited view on a mobile device, it is much easier to delete sections without even realising.
    Summary - lets see applications on mobile devices that faithfully, accurately VIEW existing documents, which have both speed and stability. Only then should software authors discuss added extras such as editing functions and Skydrive

    • woe says:

      Your type or response is hilarious.  First off this whole argument that PC's are dead and tablets are the future was created by TECH BLOGGERS.  You know like this guy you are praising for writing this dribble.

      Please provide a link from someone at Apple, Google, Microsoft....anyone that is currently working in this field VS BLOGGING about it....that has said the PC is dead tablets are the future.

      This guy that wrote this and his blogger buddies have setup a strawman argument and now they need material so they attack their own strawman.

      Worst of all.....people like you can see it.

  2. 1DaveN says:

    I agree, and given my choice, the PC I go to first is my i7, 8 GB, dual monitor desktop.  But if I'm ever to get out of the house, I need something more mobile, and that's been a laptop until now.  What I'm hoping is that Surface will allow me to carry a device with the perfect size and weight.  Then I'll toss a bluetooth keyboard and mouse in my suitcase in case I have to write or edit documents, remotely troubleshoot a server, etc.  I'm not passing my final judgment on this scenario until I've actually tried it, but at least in theory, carrying a small, light tablet sounds preferable to a laptop and its peripherals.

  3. mshulman says:

    While I agree with most of your points, I do think the future could have some desktops/laptops replaced with windows 8 tablets.  They are going to get to a point where they will function as fast as a reasonable desktop/laptop - or at least fast enough for the basic office worker.  Someone who just needs internet and office and that's it.

    They certainly won't replace PC's for anything more serious though and faster.

    • Aires_OFFICIAL says:

      "I do think the future could have some desktops/laptops replaced with windows 8 tablets."

      Well I've got to know where that visiosn of the future comes from because you obviously have such storng belief in Windows tablets, so share with us - how did you arrive at that conclusion?

      • mshulman says:

        Simple - I have a belief in windows and windows being the primary OS business use in the future as it is today.  Any change in this would take a long time.

        A windows 8 tablet will function the same as a windows 8 desktop or laptop (and I'm talking full 8 tablet, not RT).  So rather than giving someone a desktop, they could be given a windows 8 tablet with dock.  Perhaps that dock is in the form of a laptop where the tablet is the removable screen. 

        At some point, tablets are going to be powerful enough for most users, so a serious worker could have a tablet as their primary system and have a laptop shell it can go in and dock in the office.  1 Computer to serve 3 purposes.

        After all, who wants to carry more devices than they need?  I'd carry just one device if I could.

      • Aires_OFFICIAL says:

        "windows 8 tablet with dock."

        Isn't that a laptop?

      • mshulman says:

        @Aires_OFFICIAL:disqus That's my point.  Today, you can't just grab the screen of your laptop and walk away with everything else, can you?  That's where I think windows 8 tablets can change things.  iPad's couldn't do this because its a different OS.  Windows can because its the same - tablet specs just need to get further up to speed.

  4. MMurcek says:

    Never mind all the specialized software that will never be an iPad or Android app, just try to hold a tablet and do as much at your desk as you can do with two free hands while the PC sits there with no assistance from the user.  And don't any tablet groupies reply back about all the wonderful tablet stands that are out there and especially don't bother being cute and mentioning that the tablet can be put down when two free hands are needed.

    • CA says:

       Why dont you want people to reply back about cases, stands and other accessories for tablets??? is it because that would essentially make 100% of your comment look 0% plausible?

  5. SoundMix says:

    Finally..somebody with a brain.  Thank you betanews.

    • CA says:

       Really? Where? Because from the top of the article thru 90% of comments I see nothing but stopididty and an ABSOLUTE SINGULARITY VOID OF A BRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Try actually using one. I do real work on my iPad for several hours through the week, whenever I'm outside. I no longer take with me my MacBook Pro, that became my desktop.

    • mshulman says:

      And I'm sure you are as productive on your iPad as you are on your MacBook Pro.

    • cid03 says:

      you must have a easy job where its point and touch like the hospital diagnosis on idiocracy..

    • alysa says:

      Several hours through the week - that's a lot of work you are doing :D

    • TroyGates says:

       Just last night I found how limited an iPad is. I was in a Google hangout on my laptop and there was someone on there with an iPad. During the session the guy went to check his email and it dropped him from the hangout because the iPad can't multitask like Windows can. So after checking his email he had to rejoin the hangout, all the while he lost audio and video.

      With a Windows 8 tablet that won't happen because he can either tile 2 metro apps side by side or just use the Windows desktop.

  7. Mosesvii says:

    Short sighted article.

  8. Nice article, I couldn't agree more.

  9. montessa says:

    Refreshing. I couldn't agree more.

  10. At last! I agree totally with you! 

    The marketing guys at Apple are pretty good!  If I hate to write using a laptop keyboard (needing to use a physical keyboard attached to), now imagine to type using a glass screen...

    Imagine use 3D software and other graphic design software using a tablet?

    This "pc is dead" stuff is bullshit!

  11. Adas Weber says:

    Your electric car comment is an interesting one...

    You're right - electric cars haven't taken over yet for various technical reasons. However, we do have perfectly viable hybrid vehicles available now. And I think the same applies to PCs where we are starting to see viable tablet/laptop hybrid PCs such as the Surface, Lenovo Yoga, etc. At least Microsoft have put some thought into how you could do real work on a tablet - by making it an x86 Windows 8 device that also includes a keyboard, USB, and stylus for those that need it.

    Essentially it's all about using the right tool for the job. If you can find a hybrid device that meets your criteria and allows you to do real work on it, then that's all that matters!

    • Aires_OFFICIAL says:

      "You're right - electric cars haven't taken over yet for various technical reasons."

      It was obviously a broad anaology, not meant to be dissected and taken literally.

      • Adas Weber says:

        I know, but the point I was making is that hybrid devices are viable alternatives to tablets or laptops/desktops, just like hybrid cars are viable alternatives to pure electric or pure internal combustion.

        For those people who need a desktop/laptop AND a tablet, the hybrid option is a good solution. And if that hybrid can run a full OS like Windows 8, then it's even better!

  12. woe says:

    Which is it for you?  Can a tablet replace a PC or not?  You quote Steve Jobs who said they cant. (Which I agree with) Why not stop there?  Then you defend the PC?  If you believed Jobs then why the defense?

    I dont know anyone that said a tablet can replace a PC..........besides tech bloggers that want to stir the fanboy soup...and get page hits.

    What is ALWAYS wrong on in these type of blog posts.....

    * Quoting PC specs, ghz, gigabytes....etc.  Joe Consumer has NEVER cared about that.  They want a PC or Tablet that is fast enough, once you cross that threshold they just dont care.

    * One size fits all.....NOT.  I know many PC users that could replace 90-100% of what they do with an iPad.  I also know many PC users that could only use a tablet for consumption at best.  I also know many people in between those two extremes.

    * PC gaming.  Yes there many PC gamers, but they are VASTLY eclipsed by consoles and mobile gaming today.  Just look at the number 1 selling game of 2011 (MW3), the PC sold just at 1 million and is #83 on the list.  The Xbox 360 version sold 12.5 million at #1 and the PS3 version sold 10.3 million at #2.  Best selling game 22.8 million console sales to 1 million PC sales.

    PC gaming has had a small (very) resurgence lately because the consoles are aging.  However once the new version of the Xbox/PS come out combined with NO love for Windows 8, PC will lag even further behind.

    You are NUTS if you dont think tablets are effecting PC sales.  They are especially amongst those in my first example.  In the past that crowd might have purchased multiple PC's in one house.  Now they probably by fewer and the time between those purchases is greater.  This is supplemented by tablets.

    • TroyGates says:

      As far as PC gaming goes you are leaving out the main populace of PC gamers, MMOs. MMOs haven't successfully moved to consoles or mobile yet. Its hard to tell if they will ever move over successfully either. You just don't get the same experience with a limited number of buttons on a controller or by touching a screen.

  13. Whitebuck says:

    Right on Mahaita, tablets are toys and great for reading, except for the iPad and like sized, their too big and bulky. Carrying all the necessary accoutrements to make a tablet behave similar to a laptop and still not be par... What? Take the laptop numb nuts! The general public sadly can be brainwashed into any direction, thought or consuming, no matter how ineptly ridiculous! Apple trying to convince me that I am better of with iOS on my iMac instead of OSX is rude, indifferent and greedy! No happy trail here and I have iPhone and iPad to thank for OSX's demise! Unbelievable Microsoft is following suit with Windows 8. I have no idevice and never will I consider paying an exorbitant price for a unnecessary gadget. The sheep who buy such have more money than sense! Look up and forward, then get a life you texting and game playing numb nuts!    

  14. Neoracer Xox says:

    Depends what you call 'work' dicking around on a spreadsheet or in google doesn't count for me, I need Photoshop, Maya and a dozen other applications that would melt a tablet. They are for fairies on the train to 'look cool' from what I see. LOL.

  15. TSSanJose says:

    I will switch over to tablet for real work when it has at least 24" screen. Otherwise they will lie around the home for occasional browsing or video/movie watching like our iPad/Android tablet/Kindle are. I will not even do serious internet browsing on tablet or notebook having been spoiled by 28" inch LCD screen real estate for so long. Tablet screen really feels so small.  

  16. 100% Agree. I don't understand this whole new pose dubbed: "Post PC" in my opinion it is a lie since people in office and at home for serious work (office works, typing, gaming and even browsing the web) are using PC. sure PCs are not portable but laptops are and they are good enough nowadays and they can easily serve as a good PC (Dual Monitor Mode or even Triple Monitor) You Can buy a high performance laptop for a 1000 $ which is a price of two tablets. Don't you think it is not worth it? and don't you think this whole Post PC thing is not a lie to put into people's brain to pull them away from using more powerful and easy to use device such as laptops and make them buy these cheap tablets?

    • woe says:

       "and easier to use devices"

      Read the Steve Jobs quote again genius. 

      An appliance type of device is always easier to use.  As far as which is easier to use, the task at hand will determine that.  If its reading and replying to email then the tablet might be easier.

      I do some work with my iPad, that is suited for it.  I also use a few different computers at work/home to get work done.  NO computer I have ever used can hold a candle to the battery life of my iPad.

      Post PC means there are other devices to do computing tasks on IN ADDITION to the PC.  NOT IN PLACE of a PC.

      That said I see tablets (mostly iPad's) replacing many tasks that used to be PC only. 

      My car dealership (Honda) uses iPad's to check you in and out of the service department.  It used to be PC's.  Our SAN vendor sends out a tech with replacement Hard Drives when they fail.  They used to carry a PC with them to close out the job ticket, with a USB pad that I signed on.....they use iPad's now....and they nothing attached to them, so its less crap to carry than with the PC.  My corporations sales force traded in their laptops last year for iPads because we use and all of their apps are on iOS.....they freaking love them.  They love not having to lug a laptop around.

      These people are doing REAL work on tablets everyday.  You might think you are high and mighty and that they are not doing real work.  If so...get over your self.  No one is saying you CAN do your work on a tablet.

      The POST PC thing (other devices in addition to PC's vs PC's only) is not a lie, its all around you.

      • Sumit Gupta says:

        Awesome comment.

      • alysa says:

        Yeah, right - they are doing "real" work on salesforce :) And they are typing 1 word a minute with a lot of spelling mistakes (iPad "autocorrecting" keyboard) :) That is definitely efficient :)

      • woe says:

         alysa if those sales people using only a iPad and to do all of their work, make more money than you...say double or triple what you make....then does it become a valid device for doing real work?

      • CA says:



      • mshulman says:

        I think it makes perfect sense to use tablets to replace the very basic of tasks.  It's just another device that takes up less space, is easier to transport and can do the same job, since the job its doing is incredibly basic in most cases.

        What would be interesting is a study to see how those salespeople's productivity is for the year prior to getting tablets and the year following. I'd be surprised.

      • Leo Pine says:

         Yeah, right. Closing a ticket and having a signature is a 'real work'. Isn't it a kinda supplementary action? Isn't a real job of a support engineer to bring a replacement part and install it in a storage?

    • CA says:

       WHAT ON EARTH are you talking about?!?!?!??!?!

      How is surfing the internet IN ANY WAY BETTER on a computer or laptop?

      Im done debating the whole "real work" issue since some people are just ignorant... But surfing?????? REALLY??????

      WoW! Now you are just like the people who dont evacuate when the volcano blows!

      • TSSanJose says:

        Bigger screens (notebook/PC) are always better for surfing (or internet browsing) than smaller screens (tablets). And mouse seems to be better for current web designs than touch - many a time I need to zoom before touching one of a closely spaced hyperlinks on 10" screens (latest Android makes it slightly better - when you touch multiple links it zooms them for you automatically for another touch). So no tablet for surfing when a PC or notebook is near.

      • Leo Pine says:

         Well, you obviously do not know how to browse internet correctly, that's why your experience on a PC isn't any better than on a tablet.

  17. Reimar says:

    I use an Tablet for some time now with Android OS, now Android 4.03 ICS.
    Main use is for mobile, if I'm out of Office and don't want to take the "bulky Laptop with me.
    But what I use it for? Check my e-mail's (I've quite a bit of that accounts running on my own server), connect to my server, connect remotely to my main computer at the office and much more! Isn't that real work?
    Furthermore I use the Tablet for to show interested person info's about my company, our products and developments! Isn't that even real work?
    I hardly use the Tablet for to look movies or listen to music! I wouldn't use a Tablet for to software like Maya, Photoshop and so on, for which I would need at minimum a 22" or bigger Monitor, for which even the normal Laptop Monitors are not big enough!
    Come on guy's, it's fact that most of the Tablets are used as kind "Toy" for to play! But that didn't means that a today's Tablet's couldn't be used for to do real work. 
    A Tablet is an excellent Tool for to use on mobile working, could connect to the Internet, is light weight, has long Battery life up to 10h and more.
    Mine is an Dual Core 1.2GHz, 1 GB Memory, 9.7" (4:3)10 point IPS Monitor, 16GB + 16GB Space, WiFi, 3G and has 10h of battery time! and cost just a third of an iPad! Unlike an iPad, I could use external devices (USB, TIF Cards etc),.
    For me, my Tablet is an essential tool for every days work while I'm out of office, and I wouldn't like to work without is anymore.

    • woe says:

       Scared PC users that think (wrongly) that their PC's will be taken away.  Most of these people will tell you "its not real work" that you are doing on that tablet.  Arrogance.

      I bet its real money you get paid with...that you use to spend. 

      There is not right or wrong answer here.  Tablets are replacing SOME tasks that were ONLY done on a PC before them....and doing so because its either a better experience for those tasks or more convenient. 

    • CA says:

       Man thats a decent comment!

      For all the grief I get and give I gotta say its refreshing to see that there are some android users that dont come on the internet to go Apple trashing and bashing.

      This is one of the first times I have seen a comment that while still comparing to the ipad, doesnt go on to totally trash it and pretens its useless...
      However, you ipad comments are wrong. You can definitely use external hardware with the ipad. Yes you have to buy an expensive $40 (thats a lot for some folks) adapter to get compatibility, but the option is there.

      The problem is that Apple designs and engineers for 90% of the population. And you are the minority. And why would you need USB when there are external bluetooth hardrives and cloud storage?

      • Reimar says:

        Thanks for your comment.
        regarding the iPad, or any other Apple Product, I would never trash them because they didn't deserves that! Instead I din't like the way Apple is "screwing" it's customers and dictates what they're allowed to do with their hardware! Yes, THEIR hardware and not Apples! At the same moment I BUY any hardware form apple or whoever, I'm the owner and it's totally up to me, the owner, what to do or what not.
        So, you have to see my comment under the light that I were mean, that there isn't "legal" hardware, supported by Apple to use with the iPad. And: NO Card Slot, NO USB Port, NO Ethernet port etc., things you mainly have on most Android devices.
        And that's the huge differences between Apple and the Rest of the World of Computer: Apple produces for a very small range of hardware whit the effect that those developments are much more cheap for their hard- and software, as for example Microsoft, who's developing for a huge range of hardware mainly the software which must be able to run on all of them! And, Apple is using mainly hardware which is one (electronic) generation or more old, well tested and mainly error free, while Microsoft is developing their Software for the latest available technology include that which isn't tested in any means, and that cost a lot of money, time and effort!
        Ok, I'll stop here and I do believe that the readers will know what I'm talking about.
        Thanks for reading.

  18. alysa says:

    You can do real work on a tablet, but you can NOT do it EFFICIENTLY. That's why only CEO's (and alike) use iPad's/Mac's at work - they do NOT do real work and they do NOT need to be efficient.

  19. Rankine Zero says:

    Not news. Everyone doing serious work on computers know that a tablet need not apply.
    It is fine for presenting results, reading, simple gaming and basic data collection, but it does not have the power, the connectivity or the input devices for any serious work.

    • Reimar says:

      You're wrong! You could do serious work on Tablets, that's out of questions. 
      Let see a simple example:
      Developing Web-Applications! Those Apps are mainly written in PHP, Java, Perl, Codeigniter and other languages which will need some Webserver and MySql running. The programming interface is an Web Browser. 
      Using an Tablet, connecting via Internet connection to the Webserver where the required software is running, in the same way as you do from your PC in your office, that isn't real work?
      And that were only one of many available examples!
      I doing such work every time I'm out of my own office, visiting customer, or other interested persons, and fine-tune directly online what need to be done! I think, THAT is REAL WORK!

      • Leo Pine says:

         He's right of course. Because you can't type in your code fast, you don't have programmer's editors highlighting operators and all the stuff, you don't have a large enough screen to show everything you need to do your job efficiently. You start programming on a tablet and guess what? You lose and get fired, because everyone else in your team is programming on a PC and do 10 times more than you do on your tablet. However, you will be jobless, but top-notch post-PC guy, I admit that.

  20. Ivan Vojt says:

    I want to see the laptop flipped around.  Everything is built into the screen.  So If I don't want to carry around the keyboard, touch pad, optical drive, media reader, etc. I just detach it & use the laptop as a touch screen tablet with a full non crippleware OS.  Yes the touch interface would be less desirable but it would be lighter & more portable.

    • Adas Weber says:

      That's exactly what the Microsoft Surface Pro will be!

      • mshulman says:

        Not really - maybe someday, but I haven't seen anything to indicate that will be the case at release.  I think what Ivan is talking about would be a laptop where you pull out the screen and there's your surface tablet.  So you have a shell of a laptop that the surface plugs into for all the accessories.

        I think this will be the future, but I haven't seen anything its going to be the future of windows 8 release.

      • CA says:


        I almost wish I could fast forward 12 months JUST to see the deer-in-headlights look on your face when the surface turns out to be more of a flop than WinPhone7!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Adas Weber says:


        Re: your comment below...

        All of your comments up until now were fairly reasonable. Now you just replied like a typical Apple fanboy.

        Let me ask you this - why would it be a problem for you if the Surface was successful? It sounds to me like you WANT it to be a flop - but why? It appears to be a very well engineered device with a lot of attention to detail. When it was announced, all my collegues suddenly said "I want one". It's the first device that I have seen that has universally amongst my friends and collegues made them want this over the iPad. Even my sister, who was shown an iPad 3 by her friend, said "great, really nice, BUT I'm interested in getting the new Surface".

        Now, I know this is hardly a proper survey, but the fact is that the Surface has generated a lot of interest. If it turns out to be the high quality device that it is intended to be, then I can certainly see it being very successful for exactly the same reasons that the iPad is successful. And since competition benefits all of us, then I see this as something positive.

  21. jin choung says:

    depends... if you're a writer, it might be possible.

    but yeah, if you're doing vfx work with maya, houdini, after effects, etc... you don't even have the option... unless you do a remote desktop thing... which would be ludicrously painful.

  22. Fritzly says:

    My biggest concern about the article is that the author seems to have no clue about what a Tablet is: I bought my first Tablet, Convertible PC in 2002, it replaced my laptop and since then I bought several others Tablet, Convertible PCs and I never missed my laptop.
    Granted there are tasks that I prefer to complete using my desktop and my two 21" screens but this is a different story.
    The problem is that people confuse "Tablets" with iPads and clones. The original concept of the Tablet has nothing to do with what Apple, successfully, launched; unfortunately ignorance is what, nowadays, drive people and even writers.
    A properly thought and written article would have been based on a comparison between "Real" Tablets and laptops and about the fact that the former could replace the latter and guess what? The answer is YES, absolutely.

    • mshulman says:

      I think the author is well aware of what a "tablet" is and I think it's also clear from the way it was written that he's referring to what I think should be called slates - iPad..etc..  
      Tablet's were once known as the convertible laptops.  That's just not the case anymore thanks to the iPad.  Tablet has become the standard for what the iPad is called and when you say tablet to 90% of the world, they think iPad or equivalent.

      There's no need to write an article between a "real tablet" and a laptop, because they are essentially the same thing - the "real tablet" is a laptop, but can also function as a slate.  It would be stupid to argue how a "real tablet" can replace a laptop, since it already is a laptop.  We might as well argue why a Transformer robot could replace my car..

      • Fritzly says:

        A Convertible Tablet is, IMO, more than a laptop. If people do not know the difference between a "Slate" and a "Convertible" they should be informed about it and not left in the dark. This should be the motivation for "Tech journalists"....

      • CA says:

         Your entire argument comes down to preference and the definition of each.

        I never heard any official source claim that a "Tablet" must be a fully functional X86 computer??? That is your interpretation.

        Technically, a "real tablet" is a slab of rock with information on it... so then your qualification is also negated by that definition.

        And comparing an autonomous robot to what is essentially an engine on wheels void of intelligence is almost delusional.

        When your car can get you to your destination, prop you on your feet, get your bag and park itself, I would hold off on likening a car to a transformer.

      • mshulman says:

        Having an error posting, so I deleted my text to see if this will work..

        @TechnologyRules:disqus Summary of what I typed is:  "Tablet" is the de facto standard term for what an iPad is.  "Tablet PC" is what Fritzly is talking about and is more commonly used to describe a laptop that can have its lid flipped around, although I'm sure some iPad owners might confuse a tablet PC with their iPad.

        Only thing I mentioned that is preference was my preference to a tablet being called a slate just to avoid any confusion, but that would have had to happen when the iPad was released.  Never did I say a tablet must be a fully functional X86 computer.  Read what I was responding to and read what I wrote and perhaps it will make more sense to you.

      • mshulman says:

        @Fritzly:disqus I agree, but that's why I don't see any need to compare a convertible tablet (aka Tablet PC) with a laptop.  It's simple - A Tablet PC IS a laptop, but has extra features a laptop doesn't.

        The author is comparing something completely different, an iPad to a full PC - whether that be a Laptop, Desktop or Tablet PC is rather irrelevant.

    • Aires_OFFICIAL says:

      "Granted there are tasks that I prefer to complete using my desktop and my two 21" screens but this is a different story."

      Oh? Is it? I thought that was entirely the whole point of the article.

      "A properly thought and written article would have been based on a comparison between "Real" Tablets and laptops [snip]."

      You must be thinking of another article because that's not what this article is about.

      • Fritzly says:

        If you just check the title of the article you will see the point I raised: I can do "real work" on a Tablet PC, not on an iPad. I spent a ot of time traveling and while on a plane for several hours I can do a lot of things on my Tablet.
        Again I surely prefer to drive a Porsche than a Ford, still both take me from point A to point B.

      • CA says:

         This article is saying that tablets will be reolegated to a niche market...

        No matter how much fluffery he adds to dampen his intentions of convincing people he has a clue, he is basically saying the PC will not be over run by tablets in the next few years when it has already started...

        Do you really think all those people buying tablets are going out to buy PC's and decide to also pick a tablet????? NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

        The reality is that those people were in the vacinity of another major tech purchase when the ipad came along and steered them away from buying a laptop or desktop.... THAT IS HOW THE IPAD MANAGED TO BE SOOOOOO SUCCESSFUL.

        Apple was able to figure out when 90% of the population was doing on a computer, then design and produce a product that met 90% of the needs of that 90% of pc users.


        Can you geeks please tell me which desktop or latptop will sell over 60 MILLION units this year???????

      • Aires_OFFICIAL says:

        Malfunction with the Caps Lock function on your tablet perhaps?

    • CA says:

       You make good points but your convertible is more of a convertible than a tablet.

      Think of the word tablet... Yes from the bible... no moving parts, one slap, one slate.

      now convertible laptops are more laptop than tablet because A) has laptop form factor, B) has a laptop battery life, and C) not designed for Touch-Input.

      While I used a tablet-pc from Lenovo, I never felt like it was a real tablet per say...
      It always felt like a laptop with a stylus touch screen.

      • Adas Weber says:

        That's where the MS Surface differs because it is, first and foremost, a tablet. That probably explains why it has generated a lot more interest than other offerings from the likes of Lenovo etc.

  23. Anthony Clark says:

    I've been saying this all along...

  24. cool_guy says:

    Of course you can't do real work on a tablet. Any computing device without a physical keyboard is just a shiny, expensive and useless toy.

    • Stephen Charchuk says:

      Have you actually used a tablet?

    • CA says:

       I did not see anything you listed that cannot be done by RDP'ing into a server where those tasks are done...

      And I create very good documents on my iPad... Presentations, Word docs, PDF's, and even spreadsheets can be done on the ipad (i will admit spreadhsheets are better done on bigger screens)

  25. I think all companies need to do research more:
    1. Google need to do research on: Better UI Experience, Better SDK, better update.
    2. All Gadget companies: how to save more batery, look at philips xenium which can have battery life up to 2 months. meanwhile others only 2-3 days.

    • CA says:


      I charge my ipad less than once per week!!!!

      • juanitotantan says:

        Get a life looser. You respond to everybody about s***g SJ ****s. Common man watching video is not work, even SJ was wise enough to convince people tablets were content consumption devices and not replacement for PCs. He knew that tablets suck big time when compared to PCs.

      • Reimar says:

        Which means you work just very little with your iPad! The battery working time of an iPad is ~10h : 7 days = 1.4h a day! I use my P90 app. 40h a week which means 5.7h a day. And that's for productive work, mainly pogramming.

  26. johnrc2 says:

    All of this seems so obvious I don't know why you had to spell it out. Any IT person knows this. Any developer knows this. Perhaps you are trying to educate your fellow bloggers.

    • CA says:


      I debug on my iPad everyday!!!!!!! Unless I am starting my coding I RDP into my work laptop and test/qa/debug while on the couch...

  27. bibleverse1 says:

    You cant make a dreamworks animated feature on a tablet

    • CA says:

       Right... but in the decision-making meeting you can leave your desk, take your tabelt, RDP into the server and play the animation for the decision makers.

      The whole time you have a little screen in your hand instead of lugging around a laptop and needing a place to sit.

      • bibleverse1 says:

        Work can be transported and displayed or streamed to a tablet they do have a place in the office.

  28. jarober says:

    That all depends on what your "real work" is. I suspect that most doctors and nurses would be far better served by tablets than by pcs. Anyone who soends large parts of the day away from a desk, actually.

  29. Peeed Off says:

    You can do real work if you are at a desk and have a keyboard dock for your tablet....On the move it's handy for running presentations or checking and updating patients/clients charts, info, and linking in to a database server...Well on Android you can...!!!

    On Apple iPad thingy, different kettle of fish....It's just not geared for work, iPad is only a glorified iTouch for entertainment purposes....!!!

    • CA says:


      LoL! You started off like a rational non-stoopid person then quickly changed lanes into Apple bashing stoopid geek territory.!

      FYI... EVERYTHING that exists in you android tablet world WAS PRACTICALLY invented and pioneered by the ipad!

      Get over it! You are an apple user every time you pick up your droid garbage!!!!

      • Peeed Off says:

         Everything in the iPad was previously invented by other Pad inventors before IOS & Android....However Apple are merely copying everyone ese at this stage.

        Android is miles ahead of iOS in both Technology & Software....Apple are being left in the ha'penny place...The iPad is merely an oversized iTouch media player...!!!

        As Steve Jobs once said..., “Good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

  30. fredreed says:

    these writers are dumb because you can use a tablet for real work just like a PC. But you would a keyboard and dock to do it. But tablets are far better then PCs. PCs you can't take with you and If you work for a drug company then you would use either a tablet or laptop. But tablets to me are on the rise for usage. I am predicting that within the next 5 years every household will have at least 2 tablets rather then using the laptop. Tablets are better then both the PC and laptop. You can do much more with a tablet then with a laptop or PC.

    • Stephen Charchuk says:

      I agree. Tablets have way less overhead than a PC or even a laptop. I use my Playbook far more than my PC now. I even got a mini Bluetooth keyboard for when I hook it up to my 40" flatscreen. Plus, there are plenty of Office Suite apps out there as well for them.

      • CA says:

         How is the playbook BTW...?

        Ive used android tablets, and yes they are garbage. I have a HP webOS TouchPad and it is awesome! HP blew it by abandoning it.

        But I have never paid attention to the playbook, mainly because RIM phones blo and but also the email fiasco left a foul taste in my mouth regarding RIM alteogether... but i never gave the playbook a fair shot!

    • CA says:

       These BN Apple bashers and trashers will do any thing and say anything regardless of the stoopidity involved to chip away at the ipads success.

      I do lots of work on my iPad and while I need a PC for coding I can use my ipad as a portal and RDP into the heavy bulky laptop sitting on the desk...

      But it is well known that geeks are not creative and cannot see past the 1's and 0's... which is why geeks just dont fit into society and have social incompetence!

      • stromos says:

         You're special and not in a good way.  If you have to RDP into a laptop I hate to tell you that you are not working on a tablet.  You are working on your PC and simply using a portable mouse/keyboard/screen.  The tablet is nothing more than an expensive accessory to your PC.  I would love to see you versus someone on a keyboard and mouse draw something up in Autocad and see who is more productive.

    • Reimar says:

      You're wrong! I didn't tell that because I didn't use or din't know how to use an Tablet! NO, I'm a havey Tablet user with app. 40h a week work on it. And I use it for real work, mainly pogramming in Web Aplications. 
      A Laptop on the other hand is just a movable PC, nothing less!
      And with an PC you could do nowadays much more than with a Tablet.
      Again, I'm a havey Tablet user and I like my P90 9.7" Tablet very much, but without my PC and Laptop I wouldn't able to finish my work.

    • woe says:

       Or you could look at this list....

      Yeah no one is using to get real work done.

      • romath says:

        You're right, real work can be and is done with tablets.  However, it's not the work that PCs do or people who need PCs do - and there are lots of those people, in fact, still the vast majority.  To put it the opposite way, tablets (and smart phones) are coming to be used where they are more functional than a PC.  Hospital staff walking around, sales folks and some utility workers in the field, certain kinds of educational situations and many more.  There are lots of those kinds of situations and thus sales will be booming for awhile.  That will, of course, get the Joe Wilcox's and similar others of the world who count with their fingers instead of their heads telling us all about the demise of the PC.  That would take a fundamental change in the way computing is done, which is quite a ways off - short of a 1984 type situation. In the meantime, even tablet owners in their vast majority keep using PCs.

      • Bald says:

        As romath says, there are a few workplaces where you need either to do office work and to stand up, but it has always been marginal in numbers to desk work.
        Apart for 1-2 years fashon mojo, tablets will not convince white collars to give away the desk and work standing up for 8 - 12 hours, nor will you seriously prefer to stand up while watching a film or playing VG?
        And to work while standing up or when commuting (hopefully, not if you need to drive, as many users does...) there is no serious drawback in using a 1,1 Kg PC rather than a 0,8 Kg tablet, unless really bad muscolar or skeletal diseases.

    • frankwick says:

      I can chop veggies with my ASUS Zenbook.  It is thinner than than a Mac Book Air.

  31. And I fully agree with you, tablets mobile time-wasters.

    • CA says:

       Just because you cant afford ipads in mexico doesnt mean they are not useful!

      • I dont personally have one, but know many people who bought it, I have always demonstrated to them how useless it is. Last time I had one in my hands it couldnt even display hotmail correctly, and that on an enterprise 100Mbps Internet connection.

        I have more than enough evidence about how crappy a replacement they are, not only for PCs, but for anything.

        Ask any Tablet owner what you can do with it, they cant but stare like idiots at the device, think for about a minute looking upwards and then come with something like: "well... many things... you can... you can check you mail..."

        Pure crap, a real PC, well nevermind the PC, they cant even replace a good 17" Laptop.

      • Whitebuck says:

        I see you're thoughtlessly rude too! Please troll get a life?

  32. frankwick says:

    I agree mostly with what you are saying.  However, tablets are EXCELLENT media consumption devices.  My iPad has become my kids NetFlix device.

  33. extremely_well says:

    Tablets will take at least 90% of laptops share soon enough. People will most often get wireless keyboard/mice/monitors for their very CPU-strong tablet instead of carrying around a bulky laptop. For when you're on the road, there will probably be 14"-21" standalone ultra-light and portable touch panel-screens that'll run on batteries and that could physically and wirelessly connect/attach to your 7"-14" tablet.... 

    That standalone monitor could be reused auto-magically with a stronger workstation/server, or as a secondary screen to be more productive, or as a big screen for movies for the kids in the car on road trips, or blind-spot killing display, or quick-TV in the kitchen etc. Of course by then there'll be wide adoption of wireless display and wireless battery charging which means batteries can be kinda light/weak. Wherever you'd set the device (car, office desk, living room desk) -- they'll be charging...

    What most people won't do is keep a laptop and a second full-blown Windows tablet and deal with managing software installations and data syncing on both. Even in 10 years most people are still gonna prefer to work on locally stored data and apps (orders of magnitude faster and more feature-full).

  34. fgump says:

    I agree with the main idea of this article and Steve's quote was dead on.  However, I believe tablets are very useful, but in a limited fashion.  Tablets will most definitely outsell laptops, destroy netbook sales, and
    decrease PC sales in general - as most people use a PC for social
    networking, email, internet, etc., - a tablet will be a great replacement!  But the need for corporations and power users remains.  This is not to say that as technology changes, tablets will slowly improve too (given that, as other comments have said, with docking keyboards, etc. make them powerful tools).  My current concern is the acceptance of how MS is pushing many of the tablet OS interface features onto a desktop PC.  As a developer, I'm not liking the new GUI to Visual Studio 2012 - that IS a desktop application and not intended to truly be run on a tablet.  So as long as week keep things in perspective, I believe both will have their useful purpose.

  35. Aires_OFFICIAL says:


  36. Sparxx2k7 says:

    Maybe you should talk to your co-worker, Randall.  I don't think he gets it.

  37. CA says:

    Well, if it wasnt for the Oil industry suppressing alternate vehicle technology then we would have more than just electric cars by now...

    But anyway... you are wrong. The next major flow of PC's will be basically a big tablet, with accesories like stands and keyboards... Even a touchpad can substitute a mouse for Graphic Designers and even better if they use some sort of stylus.

    You hatred for Apple's success in themobile space has you ignoring the simple fact that 99% of the population can get everything they need to done with a tablet.

    I didnt see anything in your piece explaining away the dramatic growth in tablets vs the same dramatic regression of PC sales.


    • captainqtp says:

      LoL - Seriously? There are battery innovations being worked on all over the world. Try BAE system, MIT, Envia, IBM, etc, etc, etc. All working on absolutely fantastic new innovations in battery technology. 

    • Whitebuck says:

       Please troll, do tell, do you get paid by Apple for your nonsensical ramblings, or do you do it as a fanatical fanboy, for free! Either way, please spare us!

    • Abraham Saenz says:

      "the simple fact that 99% of the population can get everything they need to done with a tablet"

      That would be quote of the year...

      Of course I'm just been sarcastic, not sure if you live under a rock or anything but most people I know don't just read documents, they need to create them and please don't come and tell me that iWorks its a replacement for even the most modest Office suite on a full OS.

      The iPad is a cool toy, status symbol of some kind, but a tool for real work, I mean unless all you do is just read email, I don't think so...

  38. Sal Suboor says:

    Today, the tablets cannot replace PCs. Apple is only a consumer device, like all Apple products. They are not designed to do anything other than browse, watch, read and light email work. Andriod, on the other hand, is just a copycat of Apple. Things are however, about to change significantly, with the arrival of Windows 8 on the Intel-based tablets. If you know, Intel is in the process of leapfrogging past ARM by the end of 2013 and middle of 2014. This is when Intel will bring out its new, extremely small, 14nm processors. These processors are going to be fast like the multi-core processors in the i-core series and smaller and energy efficient like any ARM processor.

    What will this do? This will allow X86 tablets to be thinner and more battery-efficient than the ARM tablets.

    But how does this make tablets better for work we do on PC today. That is already possible with the next Windows 8 tablet. Remember, Windows 8 works really well with multiple displays. Also, the new tablets coming out this year will support all sorts of peripherals, including HDMI widescreen monitors, wireless keyboards and mouse, and track pads. So here is one possible future...

    You have an X86 tablet at work. You attach it to a monitor. Your monitor is your second screen. You throw the desktop app on it. You launch Adobe, Photoshop or AutoCAD or Microsoft AX on your touch-enabled tablet and with a swipe, throw it on the desktop ( in most cases the Desktop application will automatically open on the monitor since that is where the Desktop app is running). Your wireless keyboard and mouse/track pad can then be used to do "real work". When you have to go to a meeting, you simply detach the tablet (or the hybrid device) and take it to the meeting, or home if you like. In this case, you only need one device and that triples as your desktop, laptop and tablet.     

    • extremely_well says:

      There won't be any "attaching" to anything. WiDi Wireless Display by Intel is a reality, so are two wireless charging/power standards currently beating each other for dominance. With no ports left around to protect, you'll immediately get the added benefit of waterproofing. You could work from inside your swimming pool... Now THAT'S the future.

  39. skimore says:

    We have 120 Tablet-PC's in the field HP 2760p's they work great.  I use a Lenovo X220 works great. (now with Windows 8)
    The problem is the OS and Keyboard.  All the units we have are real computers with the i5 CPU and a keyboard with touch screen. 

  40. johnusa says:

    I will always pick a PC or a nice light laptop instead of a tablet. I have tested many tablets and non suits my needs to be efficient and contructive as I can with a laptop.
    Tablets will always be behind laptops, no questions about that.
    Tablets are like toys compared to laptops.

  41. ZombieJerky says:

    I have a Transformer Prime with the Keyboard. Granted, I spent a little more for the keyboard that folds with it, but I have to disagree with you.  I am a 'nix system admin and I have tested that I can do my daily job from my tablet. It is a lot more convenient because the battery life is WAY longer then my laptop, I open it up and it is on, and it is smaller, easier to take with me where I go.

    I SSH into work all the time, can open/edit MSOffice Docs, video conference, etc. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to do SSH tunneling (mostly because I haven't looked into it enough), but other than that, I CAN do real work on a tablet.

    Now if I didn't have the keyboard, I can still do real work, it would just take me longer to type using thumb keyboard.

    As a bonus, I sometimes take my USB Xbox controller to play games on it. There are a few games that are outstanding on it.

  42. Adas Weber says:

    Of course you can do real work on a tablet. It all depends on what your definition of real work is.

    Ultimately, if your paid job can be done on a tablet, then fine. If you can't do your paid job on a tablet, then use something on which you CAN do your work such as a laptop, desktop, or a hybrid. There is no right and wrong answer here - only the right and wrong tools for the job.

    It really is that simple! IMHO of course!!! :)

    • Mihaita Bamburic says:

       Exactly my point. There are plenty of apps that don't work on a tablet and there's plenty of people using them that can't do it on a tablet.

      I am not arguing that everyone should use a PC instead of a tablet when the latter fits them fine.

      Thanks guys for providing feedback, it is much appreciated!

  43. yeld says:

    The author of this article is dead wrong. With an external keyboard, tablets can do EVERYTHING computers did in the 90s and more. I think the only thing preventing them from being full on work machines is processing power. But as we all know, technology improves exponentially. It will only be a matter of time that I can stop carrying my heavy laptop to meetings, and instead just bring a powerful small laptop in it's keyboard case. 

    • ckot says:

       I've worked from conferences and cafes using an external keyboard and my iPad.  While I could do most things quite well, I found that reaching for the screen for navigation wasn't great.  I also didn't feel like my cloud options worked nearly as seamlessly as local file storage on my laptop.  Finally, spreadsheets need big screens and quick ways to move within them.  The current apps aren't there yet for powerful spreadsheet work, and I'm sure the same goes for other productivity apps in other fields.

      Things may be different on a Windows or Android device, but I believe that my current experience would be similar on both of those.  The issues I mention are mainly due to the device form factor and primary purpose. 

      All that said, I expect things to change.   There will be options for different kind of tablets, and different storage, apps and peripherals that cater to different users.  I'm pretty sure I'll continue to want a big screen, good keyboard and mouse (trackball in my case) at times, but I can see getting more and more done when away from my desk with mobile devices.

  44. Doug Thompson says:

    I actually DO use my table for everything.  I have two desktop pc's and two laptops.  Since getting my Samsung Series 7 slate, I have been able to do everything on it that I used my other PC's for.  I haven't touched anything else since switching to the tablet.  I tried doing this on an Asus Transformer but found that it was too limiting using an android device in a windows network environment.  Will definitely be looking to purchase a Surface Pro as soon as they become available.

  45. iwebmaster says:

    I think it is absolutely incorrect on the author's part to compare the current "tablet" trend with the "electric car potential" of yore. If 10 (or 20) years back, small not so fast electric cars had outsold the big and fast gas powered cars, we may have been driving many more electric cars now. Would everybody be driving them ... no, there would still be many who would want/need a big/fast car. 
    Also, remember Apple was not the one who really brought the "tablet" to the market. I was using "folding touchscreen PCs" years before the iPad - and I liked it for the most part, even though it was expensive, underpowered, had a smaller screen, touch experience was not so great and was not really lightweight. However, it was never promoted for the masses. Apple's (or rather Steve Job's) idea of making a device "anybody can use, so anybody can buy" was the key to the iPad's success.
    So, in summary, I believe for some time you would have a see-saw war between tablets and laptops. Tablets will get more powerful (speed, capabilities, display) and laptops will get more nimble (lighter, longer battery life, add touch capability) till somebody comes with a  idea to to make a device that meets in the middle....... wait, isn;t that supposed to be the Microsoft Surface ...... we shall see

  46. I agree that tablets will never replace the PC; however, you're wrong on two counts at least. I find it's just as easy to do "real work" on my 7-inch Android tablet as it is on a laptop or PC when the work involves document editing (because I have a bluetooth mouse and keyboard). I can multi-task easily by hitting "home" and choosing one of the other apps I have running from my homescreen. Furthermore, when the work involves tracking down rouge wifi hotspots or dead spots in out wifi coverage, the tablet is MUCH more useful than a laptop, and infinitely more useful than a desktop. And if you don't think keeping the network secure is real work, then you're a fool.

  47. Leo Pine says:

    Totally agree. All the guys down here, posting about them doing a 'real work' are just deluded and deluding themselves. Have they ever done a real work, I wonder? F.e.: keyboard. I type with speed for about 300+ symbols per minute. And with a tablet... maybe 50 and with errors. And of course software. It's virtually non-existent on tablets. And monitor. Right now I have 3 RDP sessions, Firefox with three windows and 100 tabs, several excels and words, mail client the Bat!, two VoIP softphones, three command shells,  four messengers, these are ICQ, two Skypes and jabber and two remote administrator windows. On a tablet? I beg you. Tablet is OK to read news (without even comfortable way to react on news) while in transport. Every other task on them just sucks. Period.

    • ZombieJerky says:

      If symbols are anything close to typing in English, you should look into registering yourself into world records. The fastest recorded typist is 216WPM.  I don't know if it is comparable. At that speed, probably not.

      I am curious why you would need so many tabs open with Firefox, and why you don't just use one messenger program like Pidgin. I also question why you need to keep several excel and word documents open. I have worked in IT since the late 80s as a DBA and a System Admin. I have never seen one person running so much at one time. The only person I can think of that even comes close was some guy that would start a telnet session every time he wanted to do something, but he had something running in the background that would kill the oldest session when he opened a new one, but that is being REALLY lazy.

      In reality though, I am not deluded. When I use my transformer prime to work, I usually have at least 5 Connectbot (SSH) sessions going, email running in the background, and IM+ running. Skype on Android works really well, and I use it all the time as well. Yes it is real work, but as someone stated earlier, depends on what your day job is.

      Looking at your Facebook page, you are heavily into using Microsoft products, and if your job requires Windows products, you really wouldn't be able to get much work done. It's the price of being locked into using a GUI.

      • Leo Pine says:

        Aren't you confusing things with words per minute and symbols per minute? Anyways, are you trying to convince me, that typing on a tablet touch keyboard is as fast as typing on a real keyboard? Probably not, so we can check this argument: tablets suck because of lack of performance when typing.

        All tabs in Firefox are parts of different unfinished businesses. F.e. you typing an answer to Leo Pine here, than you have to find out why your virtual bridge in ESXi doesn't pass level 3 datagrams, you type in search query open 10 tabs to read, leaving betanews open, and after that you receive more urgent task and so on. That's obvious I thought.

        Remote sessions of any kind to remote computers are needed (surprise) to control them, because you do some network configuring and maintenance, or some windows contain important information with some command's output in them and you can't close them before making use of that information, and so on.

        So many messengers because of my clients -- some of them use business skype with only preapproved contacts, some use general skype, some use ICQ and some use jabber. I would gladly stop using some of them (skype is disgusting bloatware, for example), but I can't, because of 'real work'.

        And I don't see any objections to other arguments. So I have to conclude, that you and others here are OK with
        - low efficiency because of lack of keyboard, lack of large enough display to show needed text and graphics, lack of CPU/RAM/OS multi-tasking resources to run so many programs or
        - you hardly do any real work and only pretend to
        - you always on a move from one place to another

      • ZombieJerky says:

        I guess it doesn't allow a direct reply to you because it is already a few layers deep.

        About the WPM...That is why I asked about symbols, because that is really high if comparing to WPM. I admittedly don't know.

        My typing on my small keyboard is almost as fast as my full sized keyboard. When I say "almost" it is because I have only had my TF201 about 3 months, and as I get used to not extending my fingers so far, it is getting faster. Your inability to reprogram your muscle memory is not a reflection on how fast others can type. So I can at least check off that argument.

        It isn't real obvious that you would have so much unfinished business by the end of the day. Having 100+ tabs is a whole lot of unfinished business (your words, not mine). So many open sessions at once implies even more unfinished business, I understand that.

        If output is important, I usually cut/paste and save it in a text file which I either put in drop box or put in Evernote (which of course gets synced to my Windows and Linux desktops). The problem with NOT saving it off somewhere immediately is power outages or lockups/crashes, very rare, but it does happen. One would hate to lose that important output. Syncing also means you can work pretty much anywhere, even if someone lit fire to your building/computer if you are at lunch.

        You are convinced you need more than a tablet, I understand that. There is no changing your mind. But for me (that is me, not you, but me):

        - Efficiency on keyboard is not lacking, display is large enough for the command line work I do (my tablet does have HDMI output if really needed). The lack of CPU/RAM/OS multi-tasking resources is invalid for me because of efficient use of system resources. I would think that since you work in IT, this would carry over from managing servers since you can't always just throw hardware at a problem.
        - Not sure how using a tablet led to a jab at being lazy.
        - I am always on the move. Three different sites (all 1+ hours drive away) and on-call 24/7.

        The bottom line is, tablets will not work for people such as yourself (or video editors, graphic designers, Windows server managers, etc.) because of your job requirements (such as your tools for customer communication), learned habits (not stopping programs or closing tabs because you MIGHT need them later), and the need for a full size keyboard because your muscle memory cannot be changed to type on a smaller keyboard. 

        Since you can only assume what daily tasks everyone has, stating that all tablet users only pretend to do real work is giggle worthy (I hope that is what you were aiming for), regardless of your implications of being lazy or delusional. Any definitive response without knowing a person's "real work", is short sighted and invalidates pretty much every point made since it is applicable only to you. Different job requirements, different tools.

      • Leo Pine says:

         Yes, commenting on betanews definitely could be better. That's why serious discussions more often can be met in LiveJournal or specialized forums.

        I type in both russian and english, however english is little slower.

        You mentioned TF201. It's a transformer and when used with a physical keyboard the keyboard argument can't be applied I admit that. Because physical keyboard is a physical keyboard, and not a touchpad keyboard. Aren't you use it with a physical keyboard?

        Physical keyboard has nothing to do with my, huh, 'inability to reprogram muscle memory'. Physical keyboard has two objective advantages, that cannot be denied and which superiority cant' be disputed when compared to touchpad keyboards. These are embossments on 'F' and 'J' keys, that allow one to type blindly, not looking on a keyboard; and a physical feel of a pressed key, that ensures its correct pushed state on a spinal brain level, so one can be 100% sure that key is pressed and letter is accepted by a computer. You can't type blindly with high speeds without these techniques. Didn't you know that? If you knew that, why are those idiotic 'muscle memory' arguments arose?

        Tablet is a tablet, it generally has no keyboard and THAT'S why (among others) they are criticized. If you use a convertible or a transformed then it's a lot closer to a laptop or PC because of physical keyboard.

        So, keyboard argument is definitely checked.

        Yes, something can be copied and pasted and that's why I talked about efficiency, because it takes time and these actions are excessive. Why should I copy/paste when I can do my job without it. Power outages/system crashes are rare, but are considered, and that's why add-ons like session manager etc. are used and that's why any pure browser hardly suits effective style of job. Those add-ons even save half typed comments like this one in case of the crash.

        I assure you, that several concurrent projects easily generate 100+ tabs. And sometimes when I become greedy and close some and don't save them I regret that, because I can't predict precisely if this information will be needed or not.

        "- I am always on the move."

        Well, I guess it's the key point. That's why you use tablets. Their batteries don't wear that fast like laptop's ones. They don't need be opened/closed or need less effort in that.

        I, on the opposite side, leave my house 1-4 times a month and do all the job remotely. When I move I suffer from using laptop, it annoys because it lacks keypad and numbers can't be input fast enough, and keyboard while it's physical isn't ideal, and screen resolution isn't good enough and symbols are so small that eyes start burning. That's VERY annoying. But I can live with it cause I can't take my PC with me. But trying to work on a tablet isn't just annoying it drives me crazy because I can't do usual thing fast enough. It robs me out of my life time and I can't tolerate this no matter how much money Jobs or Cook or Page put in advertisement.

        display isn't large enough, it's often the case when one analyzes large outpus, f.e. some powershell command have extended output tables, it's the case when grepping large log files. Display is smaller, that's a fact.

    • Avalon Computers says:

      There is a Difference between getting real work done and doing all of your work on a tablet. I am a System Administrator and Currently I have both a laptop and a tablet. 90% of my work I do on my laptop and I do not see that changing anytime in the very near future. However when i am not in the office and I get a message saying that one of my servers is experiencing issues or I need to edit a report quickly out comes the iPad and either RDP or my VCenter Management system and I am able to get in get the problem fixed and get on with my day in the time that it would have taken me to unpack my laptop, boot in, connect to my VPN, and begin the process. With the Microsoft Surface Coming out soon that will make the job even easier. 

      I completely Agree that we will not see Tablets Replace PC's anytime soon at least not in the Enterprise but i do believe real work can be done on the devices and in some cases it can be done faster.

      • Leo Pine says:

         Hey, you mentioned that you have to establish the VPN connection, when using the laptop. What kind of VPN connection is this and I wonder how it is supported by your tablet?

        I guess it's not. Is it?

  48. danman1111 says:

    The best camera you have is the one you have with you. Does this also apply to your computer or tablet?

    This article is flawed because it makes presumptions about "real" work. Much of peoples real work involve reading, writing, and web browsing. This is all very applicable to tablets, and in many ways better than a PC since the tablet you have with you.

    Is Mihaita wrong? Yes - tablets will over take PC's in sales. Tablet apps will improve, and new younger users will be more comfortable with the touch interface than the mouse/touchpad interface. I don't think that the keyboard is going away, but keyboards for a tablet is quite

    Will PC's ever go away, probably not. But it will become less and less relevant.

  49. jfplopes says:

     The industry loves to create buzz words. Those words are great to create hype, confrontation and so on.
    But although I agree with many things in this article it is yet again a A vs B article.
    PC vs tablets.
    What were seeing today is not a PC vs TV vs tablet vs notebook or whatever. What were seeing is convergence.
    What were seeing is the same basic technology being applied to several scenarios.
    And that is it. A CPU and accompanying OS being integrated to your TV, phone, or whatever.
    The touchscreen device is just yet another type of input device to help people in particular scenarios where it makes sense. It is not tailored for writing big documents.
    Just like your TV remote control is another type of input device and sucks for writing stuff too. Or just like the Kinect is yet another type of input device and so on.
    There is no post-pc because what were witnessing is the PC technology being applied in many more form factors. From as small as your smartphone up to large screens.
    Smartphones are powerful enough to run an OS like Ubuntu. You can hook your phone to your monitor, keyboard and mouse. And you got yourself a desktop PC. As for peripheral support, that is up to the hardware or OS maker to build the driver support.  So when I see articles like this claiming "You can't do real work on a tablet" I see no logic in it. There will be devices that only accept a touch based input.
    Just like most PCs up until now have traditionally been used with a mouse and keyboard. It is a lot more fun playing a FPS with a keyboard and mouse. But it is also a lot more fun to play Fruit Ninja with touch. Soon we'll have TABLETS that are both touch based and come with their own keyboard and mouse.
    And they'll run the powerful desktop OSes we've been using for years.
    So the question is. Do you want a portable PC that is also a touch based tablet like PC?
    Perhaps you don't. But I do. I Would love to be able to be in a park reading a magazine. And when I need to do some work, attach my keyboard and turn the tablet into a portable PC.
    Perhaps play some games using the built in NVIDIA GTX680 GPU. Or just arriving home and using Wireless display technology to show my "tablet pc" screen on my TV screen and play some games with my wireless gamepad.
    All this done with my portable PC.

    The question is. When prices get lower will it make sense to have a device that only serves one purpose? Or having a device that "changes" according to your needs?

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