Can a tablet replace a laptop?
Since the (re)appearance of tablets on the mobile computing scene, an interesting question has been bugging users - can a tablet actually prove to be a worthy replacement of a laptop? Well, it's PhoneArena Knows Best time again, folks, and now we have a reader of ours who's facing this exact problem. Let's see if those funky touchscreen slates have what it takes to become a primary computing device!
Thanks for all of you help
Hi Grant! By the looks of it, a tablet will easily get the job done for you, seeing that you don't do any fancy stuff on your computer. However, since you need to be able to easily transfer filed to and from the device, as well as play Flash video, it'll be best to stick to an Android-based tablet, since an iPad can't give you that.
It does seem like you've already narrowed the choices down quite a bit. If you really want a good keyboard dock for your tablet, then the Asus Transformer line sounds like the logical way to go. The Transformer tablets have excellent keyboard docks, which are specifically designed to work with them.
Asus Transformer Pad 300 will be available very soon, and it will have a more affordable price tag. That's the model that we'd recommend for you. And don't worry about its affordable nature - it isn't at the expense of specs, as it will still have that sweet quad-core Tegra 3 processor.
Of course, if you plan to invest in a tablet and use is as your primary computer, you should be absolutely certain that you aren't going to need the advanced functionality of a laptop in the near future.
Well, guys and gals, it turns out that tablets are already feature-rich enough in order to be suitable laptop replacements... if don't do any fancy stuff on your computer, that is. In Grant's case, the Asus Transformer Pad 300 sounds like the best option, but let's see what you guys have to add! Maybe we're missing something out? C'mon, people, let's help Grant find the ultimate device for him!
PhoneArena Knows Best is our advice column. You can send us your questions about anything mobile-related at the following email, and we'll do our best to answer the most interesting of them. We're waiting for your inquiries at:
14. Dr_fajardo (Posts: 32; Member since: 29 Apr 2012)
i think with a good os can. something like windows 8 inside it
46. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
A tablet with a laptop dock? Maybe....
But I think for real work you would use a laptop. Can have cd/dvd drive, can connect a mouse, have alot more on board harddrive spac, etc..
Even for gaming....so many 'gamers' use keyboards. Can connect a wired controller too...
For the laptop dock....all thats needed is some software like Webtop that Motorola is doing with its Android phones....or a full desktop OS that can load and run like Webtop.
48. rockhunther0 (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)
Asus tf300 can actually do all that stuff you just mentioned, maybe the Dvd is not inside, but you can plug an external Dvd drive, mouse and even logitech tegra 3 compatible game pad and bluetooth keyboards and/or mouse, you can plug hard disk drives up to 64 TERA Bytes and if it's still do not convince you there's windows 8 coming optimized for touch screens that is a full OS
2. Birds (Posts: 958; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
I agree, but I think the original Transformer should be priced at 299$.
3. Fayeznoor (Posts: 65; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)
for him, yes tablet can be a good decision. but after sometime he will realize the use of laptop is more wide than tablet.
i have many friends who own a tablet but still i find them using laptop. they will hardly use tablet. i ask them why did they get tablet if they still use laptop for everything.
the only good use of tablet i see is book reading and casual gaming. other than this every tablet owner use laptop as daily driver.
8. tigermcm (Posts: 669; Member since: 02 Sep 2009)
I have a laptop and a desktop when WP8 comes out i'll get a tab but only for light gaming, media, reading. my desktop does the heavy stuff and storage and the laptop is portability.
4. stmcgill (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
From the requirements you have, I can't help but feel that a decent netbook would suffice. Some offer huge battery performance, decent keyboards and enough processing power to do what you need. Obviously, if screen size and keyboard size are important this may sway you away, but for everything else, inclduing the price, a netbook could be ideal.
10. tigermcm (Posts: 669; Member since: 02 Sep 2009)
im not really a tech person but now with tablets and docks I dont understand the market for netbooks
5. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
lol cannot replace laptop.. maybe in future yes.. but as of now no OS provides the functionality of Windows 7 and all tablets are under powered compared to a laptop running i5 CPU with 1 GB dedicated graphics and 4GB RAM :)
31. BattleBrat (Posts: 1038; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
You know, Samsung makes a Windows 7 tablet with an i5 and 4gb of RAM it is called the Series 7 if I'm not mistaken...
35. Exofuji (Posts: 19; Member since: 25 Jan 2012)
Samsung Series 7(http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/en_US/pd/productID.241554200?WT.mc_id=mercent&mr:trackingCode=3AA719B2-EC65-E111-B2BE-001B21A69EB0&mr:referralID=NA&origin=pla&mr:adType=pla):
i5 and 4GB of ram?!?
45. BattleBrat (Posts: 1038; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
42. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
I had an Acer Windows 7 tablet it was some iconia W500 but its touch screen was defective, it used to record false touch response like if i touch start button the cursor used to jump somewhere else so replaced it with another W500 and its touch screen was also defective, so finally went and bought Motorola Xoom.. Its not that i don't like Android.. Its great but still It cant give functionality of Windows 7 Professional I really hope windows 8 solves that though i am not a Metro UI fan!!
About Samsung i didnt know back then :P I think it was not in market!!
Still want to see how final version of windows on ARM will be like
6. cGmC11 (Posts: 109; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)
I say yes...is ridiculous press a physical keyboard, and thanks Apple for change the norm in touchscreen tech from the 1gen iPhone!
7. tariqinifinityblade (Posts: 9; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)
well that depends on what you will use it for if you do designing or play heavy graphics games like skyrim or mass effect 3 then laptop is the best choice for you however if you like casual gaming and basic business features like microsoft word or pdf readers and editors tablet is a nice choice but still laptops are more reliable overall.
9. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)
A convertible / netvertible would be a sound compromise.
11. wendygarett (unregistered)
if it is a windows tablets, yes it will.
iPad? Not a chance...
12. 7keypad (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Aug 2009)
"Laptop without Keypad" can compete with Touch-Tablets :
In this osk , K77 or G7 keypad can be used while travelling
for editing English Hindi etc
13. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
If for tasks like web browsing, music, videos, apps etc yes. But as far as things like say full photoshop, excel, powerpoint etc no not yet.
15. protozeloz (Posts: 5369; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
we have touch Photoshop witch seems rather nice, also we have spreadsheets and PowerPoint creator apps like Quick office, they get job done, Unless you are among the 5% people that need to use macro or use 365 different fonts
16. gp284 (Posts: 120; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)
yeah and pro works really well and has lots of features, and can edit and create PDFs. i got it on the android market on sale for 5$
21. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
Thanks for the info proto, as ive said in earlier articles im still learning in the mobile phone market.
43. N.Reynolds (Posts: 257; Member since: 15 Feb 2011)
While the Photoshop Touch app is nice, if you use more than 5% of the features in the full version of Photoshop, Photoshop Touch just won't do the job. Plus I would much rather use a mouse, cursor and keyboard along with a USB Tablet and Pen. But then again that could be personal preference.
44. protozeloz (Posts: 5369; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
I think A stylus like the Spen would be enough, the idea of a tablet should be moving away from some conventional tools, to be honest compared with the potential a Smart stylus holds a mouse cant even take it to that level. and keyboard is a tool tablets can use too. just look at the asus dock, I could see an artist having better photo editing tools on a slate than on a tablet in a really close future
17. -box- (Posts: 3708; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
As a former tablet-owner and current laptop and netbook holder, the only pros from a tablet is its thinness if you're carrying it around, battery life, and the ease of use from a touchscreen. Other than that, laptop or netbook hands down. No awkwardness from trying to prop it onto something (or using your lap) for typing, weights are similar for the portability-focused netbooks/laptops, and you get a full desktop OS (though many netbooks ship with just Windows7 Starter, which is stripped down, but still more capable than a tablet OS). Plus you get a keyboard and can adjust the screen to whatever angle you want. Also don't have to worry about compatibility of peripherals (esp. keyboards) as much, and the computer can truly multitask without fully switching programs to make changes on it.
That being said, Windows8 will minimize the gap between computers and non-computer-OS tablets by a good amount. My next computer purchase will be a touchscreen-enabled laptop (aka convertible) so I can take full advantage of the touchscreen capabilities and gestures in Windows8, but have the portabilty I want. I'd like a new convertible instead of the existing models though, given the complexities and sensitivity options of Windows8 compared to current touchscreen convertibles
28. jlscott777 (Posts: 45; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
I agree completely, I currently own a desktop, laptop and a android tablet, since I am a printed circuit board designer working from a home office the desktop will never go away. I use my laptop when going to customer sites and as far as the tablet is concerned is primarily used for entertainment such as ebook reading, casual gaming, and news reading. However I think Windows 8 may change all of that, a couple of months ago I ran onto this article which really shows what future capabilities may come about, very interesting.
39. jcpwn2004 (Posts: 314; Member since: 18 Jan 2012)
yep, i'm thinking transformer type tablet with windows 8
18. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1197; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
It will be interesting to see what the industry will end up to be. Personally I think laptops are hard to be replaced by tablets but tablets can take good amount of market share away from laptops in the future. One is more functional and the other is more mobile. Both have their pros and cons. However, they are nice to have at the same time :)
19. BattleBrat (Posts: 1038; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
I own pretty much all Office Suites available for Android, and I can honest say that they are not there yet. I just bought an Archos 9 PC tablet, the cheapest windows 7 tablet I could find, but it is a little underpowered, but it runs Office 2010 well, which is what I wanted it for. Tablet replacing a Laptop? Not for a power user, or if you type things up often. I believe that tablets will more and more be like this PC tablet I got, running desktop OS's and not so much android or ios.
20. mercorp (Posts: 967; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)
Not now.you still have wow and legacy apps,right?
22. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
Windows 8 Intel Tablet
Plus Keyboard Docking
= Perfect Laptop Replacement
Wait for october.:)
24. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
for light use and media, tablets are superior to laptops in many respects.. a primary one being battery life. Tablets can last for many hours compared to 2-3 for most laptops. If email, movies, web, some light gaming, and such, a tablet is a great option.
However, you are paying a premium on that tablet. For 600 bux you could also get a pretty decent laptop that can do quite a bit more than a tablet can. So you need to best decide where to put your money... especially since you want a keyboard dock to go with it. You are basically creating a laptop.. but one that can do less than a real laptop.. for the same amount of money.
25. sinple (Posts: 98; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)
i believed that an android tablet is able to replace a laptop.
Reasons to use a laptop: programming, MS powerpoint.
Things that android tablet can do that a laptop can do: pdf, word, excel, basic powerpoint, email, CAD, remote desktop? basic gaming, flash browser.
26. ahhxd717 (Posts: 317; Member since: 08 Dec 2011)
Ahhh I'd venture to say that tablets are definitely not good laptop replacements if yiu jhave to do any word processing, MS Office work, or play actual computer games. Typing on a tablet can be awkward and if you're a student, fully functioning Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are probably necessary. And being able to have multiple windows open on a screen is a huge adavantage for a laptop, at least for me
27. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
a keyboard doc can fix the typing problems. On Android you can flip back and forth between windows since it multitasks unlike iOS. They just are not on screen at the same time. Of course there is a mod that is coming to fix that. Word and Exel are not too bad on android.. reading powerpoints are no problem, though i have yet to try to create one on my tablet..
For all that i would definitely prefer a laptop though. Full functionality with no work arounds is a much better option. Just pointing out that it can be pretty easily done on tablet if you know how.
29. thachlel (Posts: 61; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)
It's a joke! Only when when Intel stops making CPUs
30. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
yeah, i agree with this conclusion. i wouldn't even suggest the Transformer Prime over the Transformer Pad for anyone with real productivity needs because of it's hampered radio strength. i'm going to get a Xyboard 8.2 to carry around and use on Campus because the Laptop i have is a big, heavy beast that's impractical to carry around for my needs out. hell, i even find my sister's Prime to be too unwieldy and not portable enough for me which is why i'm more lured towards the 8.2.
32. networkdood (Posts: 6247; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Yes, the right tablet can - for example an iPAD would be a poor choice to replace the tablet due to lack of memory expansion and closed environment....just to name a couple of reasons why....
33. Fluxman (Posts: 46; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)
I'm not sure you addressed his file transfer via SD issue. Can the transformer series take external SD cards? I know the Sony tablet can, but I'm not sure about the others.
41. quesoesgrande (Posts: 217; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)
Yes they can. They do sd, flash drives, and even portable hard drives.
34. Credo (Posts: 683; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)
no, only a windows 8 tablet, but yet windows 8 is also not perfect for replacing a laptop with a tabb, maybe windows 9 will, we shal see ...
36. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3874; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Maybe when the Windows 8 tablets come out, with a keyboard and up to date processor and graphics. Should be around $400-600
37. theruleslawyer (Posts: 108; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)
Its pretty clear we are working towards a convergence device. I don't think it will be a tablet form factor, but instead a phone that plugs into a tablet that in turn has an optional keyboard dock with USB ports, etc. We're still several year away from that really being an option, but I forsee the majority of casual users being able to dump a traditional PC within 5 years or so. Right now I don't think tablets are up to being your sole computer. They are still really content consumption devices and you'll run into too many things you simply can't do. That might change with windows 8 or future updates to android.
38. jcpwn2004 (Posts: 314; Member since: 18 Jan 2012)
until windows 8 I don't think I'd ever consider getting a tablet as a replacement. I may consider getting one for games/media consumption when the price point is right (~$200)
40. quesoesgrande (Posts: 217; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)
If you use Splahtop remote on android play store on a Transformer tab, it really gets close to being jst like a laptop. Its what I do! :-)
47. andrew1953 (Posts: 174; Member since: 13 Nov 2011)
Look at what Asus is doing with the Padfone . Smartphones with 4-5" screens inside the the Bombay doors of 10" tablets-brilliant. They wont replace laptops-they'll add to their versatility.