#MobileLife : Why I’m not buying a Tablet, Cheap or not

The pretty awesome Nexus 7 is now sub 9k at Flipkart. It was even lower, briefly, when they had a sale on around Diwali.

This, along with the fact that the last un-tablet-ified neighbours had recently got one too and the kids were starting to tell us what games they played on the tablet at whose home, set off another round of product comparisons, review reads and price checks on the huge information labyrinth that the internet is.

But one question that kept cropping up : do people really create stuff on tablets, or are those pure consumption devices?

What do you use yours for?
What do you use yours for?

I checked with entrepreneurs, geeks, doting dads, prolific authors, journo friends, cyclists, geeks – oh I already mentioned those but I just know so many of them, managers, and everyone else. And the response was unanimous – tablets are great devices for consuming content, and pretty lousy for creating any. This was as true for the 10 inch ones as it was for the 7 inchers. Not documents, definitely not code, not art, and not really even long emails. I suspect part of the reason is the soft keyboard – I have tried it a couple of times and writing on a tablet – yes, even the uber-friendly iPad – is never as quick and free-flowing as on the laptop. On the phone though, Swype and similar keypads have solved this problem but using two hands instead of one makes that a clumsy experience again.

And god knows I over-consume digital content already. As an aside during these conversations, I also figured a lot of tablets were taken over largely by the kids. I’m pretty sure I don’t want our kids to become bigtime consumers of content on digital screens, not until they’re older anyway.

There is also the question of value – you can get a very good phone these days for the price of a decent tablet. With my current budget quad-core itself I’m able to read pretty much anything that I need to on the web, watch videos, and stay active on social media. Long form emails and documents still await laptop-time, and like I already figured out, a tablet is unlikely to change that. Plus, given the longevity of handsets these days, a new phone purchase is as inevitable and more frequent than death and taxes. So phones-1, tablets-0.

Then there’s the whole thing of carrying a tablet around. They’re less robust than laptops of course – and unlike with phones, living with a cracked screen will probably not be an option. Even the larger 4-5 inch screen phones are relatively pocket friendly, and do the job fairly well on most other counts.

Seriously – I just haven’t been able to figure out why I need a tab.

[Although I am going to be forced to have to think again – I just searched Google for a link to add to the first bit in the article, and every ecommerce site with any sort of a tech team is now going to chase me all over the internet with “targeted” recommendations  about exactly the same product or even a couple of more such options – arrrgh!]

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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