Why tablets will usurp laptops in 2012

Why tablets will usurp laptops in 2012

Summary: The laptop's long pedigree won't prevent it being replaced as the default tool for mobile workers in 2012, says Jack Wallen


 |  Image 5 of 10

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Low price sign

    4. Cost effectiveness
    A really good tablet will cost about the same as a low- to mid-range laptop. So you're immediately getting more for your money. But now factor in the price of an extra battery and software for the laptop and you can see how quickly the cost can add up. Tablets are quickly becoming one of the most cost-effective office tools available.

    Photo credit: CoCreatr/Flickr

  • Antenna

    5. Online connection
    If you pay extra and get your tablet with a 3G connection, you won't have to worry about finding a Wi-Fi connection to access whatever cloud or service you need. Many tablets can be bought with a 3G connection, which puts them a step ahead of most laptops. Of course, you can buy aircards for laptops, but that's just another piece of hardware to worry about.

    Photo credit: johaneko/Flickr

  • App store

    6. Application availability
    There are thousands of applications available for tablets. These applications are so varied and numerous that it makes going back to a laptop potentially painful. I admit that many of those apps are worthless, but not all of them. And a good portion of the solid, useful ones are free. Best of all, they can be installed from anywhere without installation media. If you have a network connection, you can install software.

    Photo credit: GlenBledsoe/Flickr

Topics: Mobility, Smartphones

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Wishful thinking!

    A tablet is an excellent way to absorb content, internet browsing, music, books, movies, tv. etc. But mobile workers (not consumers) need the ability to produce content (documentation, diagrams, reports etc) and for that the tablet is hopeless in its current form. I would bet my house with you that this prediction of yours is nothing but wishful thinking and has no base in reality. We can check that in December this year.
  • Surely all it is missing is a key board, which could be stowed (until needed) in/at/on the back of the tablet.
  • I’m still waiting for a tablet that has proper software, security and interoperability with my other systems and services. I have high hopes for Windows 8. However in any case I can’t see a tablet taking over my notebook just as I don’t see my notebook replacing my desktop. They serve different purposes and situations. A tablet to me would be a supplementary device for data consumption, web browsing and synchronisation, etc. I’m never going to do any serious work on a tablet unless I add various devices to it that effectively make it a notebook. I look forward to developments in 2012/3 and hope someone finally brings out the tablet I am waiting for!
  • I think in 2012 tablets will gain missing features. Currently I consider tablets a rough but interesting concept, far from improve productivity at a sustentable cost. Talking about portability, connections and productivity, I do prefer 10''-12'' screen netbooks with 6-9 cells battery and SSD storage, with wi-fi/3g/bluetooth.
    Almost of tablets can run same tasks (and they have same caracteristics) as laptops but in a more expensive and in a not-so-solid way. In counterpart, tablets PROs are evident... and will be more evident in the future.
  • I find it interesting to note that the majority of reasons given in favour of the tablet, aren't tablet specific per se, they are attributes that could be implemented on other devices such as notebooks.

    The key attribute of the tablet (and e-readers) is their size which in partnership with instant on, allows them to be kept close to hand and enables and encourages ad-hoc usage, in circumstances that can be problemmatic with a traditional clamshell notebook/netbook.

    So yes I now pack a tablet along with my notebook and for on-the-move lookups use the tablet; leaving the notebook to be used when I am doing substantive work.

    What I have also found, is that the tablet has enabled me to revert to a smaller and more pocket friendly phone, as many of the functions I used to perform on the smartphone I find are easier on the tablet.
  • @ndl007 is right, "mobile workers ... need the ability to produce content". I think that a tablet *with a keyboard* might be a step in the right direction. You could call it a laptop ;)
    Jake Rayson