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Apple iPad 2
I was one of those doubters who thought of tablets as nothing more than a gimmick. But having now used these devices more extensively, I've changed my tune. I can see that tablet technology is incredibly useful. My change of heart has given me a growing belief that tablets will replace the laptop as the mobile device of choice. Here are the principal reasons for my new position.
1. Power consumption
The tablet scores heavily over the laptop when it comes to power consumption. On average, I can get a full day out of a tablet on a single charge. I couldn't even get close to that with a laptop. For anyone who has to operate on the move, running out of power is just another factor that interferes with work. You're less likely to find yourself in that situation with a tablet.
Photo credit: James Martin/CNET News
It's a fairly safe bet that tablets will never suffer from viruses to the same degree as Windows laptops. That's not to say the iPad or Android devices will never be the target of malware, but it shouldn't be a major concern. Of course, you can find antivirus software in the Android Market, but it's pretty pointless. A portable device that isn't vulnerable to the masses of viruses and malware that exist out in the wild is an undeniably attractive proposition.
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Tablet in a taxi
Which would you choose when going through airports, taking taxis, staying in hotels, and attending conferences and meetings — a laptop weighing between 2kg and 5.5kg or a tablet of about 600g? You'd choose the tablet every time. And it's not just because of weight. The tablet is far superior to the laptop in its ability to work in confined spaces. Need to work in a cab? Tablet. Need to work in the bathroom? Tablet. You simply can't beat the tablet for portability.