Spend too much time surfing the net on the topic of tablets and you could easily be convinced that they represent little more than a tech gadget that was fun while it lasted but is now heading the way of the VCR and the Wang word processor. Today, everyone has a smartphone that can do exactly the same thing, usually better, so why does anyone need a tablet?
The argument sounds compelling, and is given additional credence by the fact that tablet sales have been dropping steadily since hitting a peak of 230 million units in 2014. Last year, around 150 million tablets were sold and the estimated figure for this year is 137 million.
However, the same argument can be levelled at PCs, laptops and, most notably, game consoles. People have been heralding the demise of consoles for years, and while sales figures are likewise showing some decline, it is fair to say the PlayStations and Xboxes will not be disappearing from our lives any time soon. Likewise, it is a little early to be sounding the death knell for tablets just yet.
Your smartphone might surpass your tablet where brains are concerned, but it is left standing when it comes to brawn. For some applications, size matters, and whether you are watching a boxset on Netflix or spinning the reels at CherryCasino, it’s a more enjoyable experience on a larger screen where you can properly see what is happening.
In this respect, the tablet still fulfills what was, after all, its original purpose. This was to blend the functionality of a laptop with the portability and convenience of a smartphone. After all, while you can certainly play a game or watch a movie from your laptop, a tablet undoubtedly offers you the chance to do so in greater comfort.
Even defenders of tablets tend to caveat their praises with “as long as you don’t need to do masses of content creation or anything.” What nonsense they are talking. A latest generation tablet, such as the iPad Pro, is absolutely perfect for content creating, video editing and artwork, especially when you use the updated Apple Pencil 2 to go with it.
The frustrating thing here is that Apple seems to be sprinting ahead like Usain Bolt in his pomp, and nobody else is showing the will to compete. New iPads have been flying from the shelves in the Black Friday sales, and it is a shame that Samsung and Huawei are not showing the same inclination to push Apple as they do in the smartphone market.
We could have added e-readers to the above list of obsolete tech, as you can just as easily download the Kindle app to your smartphone and access your books from there. However, you quickly find yourself up against the same constraint as the Netflix watchers and casino gamers. In short, have you ever tried reading an ebook on a smartphone? A tablet works far better for reading, and the screen size means you can easily use it for manga or graphic novels, too.
These are just three examples of ways in which a tablet is still highly relevant as we head towards the 2020s.