Have you taken the tablet plunge?

I’m thinking about getting a new laptop in the next few months, but the rapid rise of tablet computing since the iPad came out has me thinking twice. Indeed, according to Mashable, tablets will be outselling laptops as early as 2012.

There are several things I find very attractive about the tablets. I travel quite a bit, so size and weight are a big deal for me. And, I read when I’m traveling a lot. I’ve also been toying with the idea of getting a e-reader for that purpose. But now I’m wondering if I should just get a tablet instead of both a laptop and an e-reader.

On the other hand, I’m hesitant go with a tablet as my primary travel device because I also work and write quite a bit when I’m traveling. I’m not convinced yet that a tablet is going to get the job done when I’m on the road and I want to spend a couple of hours writing, answering emails, or grading papers.

So, I’m curious. Has anyone out there taken the tablet plunge? What do you think? Has it met your needs as well as you’d hoped? Do you think that a tablet will do what I need it to? Or, if you haven’t purchased a tablet yet, why not? Is it just financial, or do you have reservations about whether a tablet would work for you? Any thoughts you might have on this would be appreciated. I’d like to pull the trigger one way or the other by the end of the summer.

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on June 20, 2010, in Misc. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I recommend a device like the Asus Eee PC. It has a screen that swivels, which means that you can use it as a tablet when that is most convenient, and as a netbook when working with a keyboard makes more sense.

    Mine has a soild state drive. I found the computer a bit sluggish with Internet Explorer, and am still planning to get more RAM, but I think the problem was a combination of those memory-hogs Internet Explorer and Adobe Flash. I’ve ditched both and am using Google Chrome without the Flash plug-in. If I want to watch a YouTube video or something else Flash-based, I can do that on a desktop. I may give Flash another chance at some point, but for now I’ve opted for speed, since that’s what a device like this is for – working on the go, a quick glance at e-mail or blogs, etc.

    The Tablet mode is great when you want to be able to read an e-book on the go, jot down notes rather than type them, or put your computer with lecture notes, powerpoint, or Bible software on a lecturn and refer to them there.

    I’ve tried an iPad and the only things I like better about it are (1) the hard touch screen is very cool, (2) I have yet to find a decent piano for Tablet PC like the iPad has, and (3) the virtual pond, which is useless but cool.

    So as a PC user and as an Asus Eee PC user, I recommend the latter. It’s a netbook when you need one and a tablet when you need or want one. And so there’s no need to choose!

    • Thanks James, this was very helpful. I’m a little concerned that Flash didn’t work well, because I do tend to run across of Flash-based media. But, of course, I’d have the same problem on an iPad anyway. I’ll have to check the Asus out a little more.

  2. I played around with an iPad while I was in a Mac Store in Iowa. One word: cool! If you’re looking for something that will allow you to read books on line, surf the web, check e-mail, and even access media like music and movies, then the iPad is an excellent choice. It will allow you to do all of these quickly and easily, and the size and weight of it is great for someone who is on the go. On the other hand, the only thing it will not allow you to do easily (at least initially) is type in word documents. You can get an iPad with pages, but the screens keyboard is really hard to type on. With practice that might change (i.e. I could only text two words a minute when I started and now I text almost as fast as I type.) One option at bypassing that is an external/bluetooth keyboard that I’ve heard of people using. I would do the iPad. As a Mac lover, I would recommend Mac over anything else you could buy just because they are better computers. They are more expensive, but when it comes to Mac, you get what you pay for.

    • I’ve heard that the on-screen keyboard is definitely not something you’d want to type on for very long. But, the bluetooth keyboard would probably address some of that, though adding cost and bulk at the same time. There is also the added drawback of all my files/programs being PC-based at the moment. So, the iPad has a bit of an uphill battle from that perspective. But, if it’s good enough, I’d still think about it.

  3. I expect the issues will be resolved once I get around to adding more RAM. And the only issues were on memory-hungry sites like Google reader, and usually with several other browser tabs open at the same time. And so it is worth noting that the iPad won’t run at all things that work on the Asus but sometimes a bit slowly. And I suspect that if you went with a hard drive rather than solud state, that would speed things up too.

    The Asus definitely gives you a lot for the price!

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