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Is there a place for a tablet in the life of a smartphone user?

Posted: , by Ray S.

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Is there a place for a tablet in the life of a smartphone user?

We all love our smartphones and tablets, there's little doubt about that. There's just something about that personal touch interface that makes using them feel so good. To top things off, the sheer amount of stuff you can do with these gadgets is downright amazing and makes us love them even more. However, there's this question that keeps popping up inside our heads: "Is there a place for a tablet in the life of a smartphone user?"

Now, we know what you're thinking - "Those nerds at PhoneArena must have gone mad!" but we're telling you, guys - we haven't. Think about it - imagine the lifestyle of millions and millions of people around the world who go to their workplaces, where they work on computers or do some other activity, then come back home and watch TV or do something on their personal computers. Now imagine that these people all have capable smartphones, ready to load any website or app they want. Where does the tablet fit in the whole picture?

Whatever your tablet can do, your smartphone can do as well. Sure, it's way more comfortable to use a tablet than a smartphone for some things, but are the benefits big enough to make up for the need to carry a second device? Because, you surely aren't leaving your smartphone at home. Not to mention that men cannot just put the tablet inside their bags and forget about it, because, well, men rarely wear bags. If you're a woman, sure, you just put it in your bag and you can have a tablet everywhere you go, but it's not so simple for those of us who love watching sports and drinking beer with friends.

And let's say that you've found a way to carry your tablet comfortably. How much of a reason you have to take it out instead of your smartphone when out and about, especially if it's a Wi-Fi-only tablet? Sure, you can always set up a personal hotspot, buy why go trough all that, when you can just take a look at your smartphone? Keep in mind that the main use cases for tablets include access to news, weather, email and social services. You can easily do all of that with your smartphone and without much loss of comfort at that.

We're far from thinking that there isn't place for tablets as a whole. Quite the contrary, for a person who travels frequently, a tablet might be the ultimate mobile computing solution. The compact size and light weight easily make the tablet the preferred device when one has to carry a ton of other things with them. The question that bothers us is different: How much benefit do you see in having both a smartphone and a tablet, if you aren't traveling much? Most of us already have desktop computers or even notebooks. Do you think purchasing yet another device is justified if one can already do whatever they want to do on their smartphone or computer?

The answer is certainly not simple at all, and depends on a lot of factors, but let us hear what you think! How have you integrated the tablet in your daily grind? What do you use your tablets for?

63 Comments
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posted on 05 Mar 2013, 06:50 14

1. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


I would much rather watch a movie or TV show on my Nexus 7, than on a 4-5 inch smartphone. Playing games on a tablet is much better, too.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 06:56 3

2. asianface (Posts: 12; Member since: 27 May 2011)


I agree on the watching a video content on tables is better. But I do like playing game on my phone, even though I rarely play games on it anyway. However, I can see myself playing games more on a 7" tablet because I have a 10" (Xoom). It's just a bit too big for my taste.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:20

28. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 983; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


I agree as well. I use my tablet (32GB Nexus 7) for reading e-books, watching movies on NetFlix, playing games, Skype, and other things that would be too much for my phone (The SIII) to do. I dont think that it should be an issue to have a tablet and phone. Most people dont have a big phone like the DNA and the Note II because of price, likability, size, etc.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 12:24 1

43. WirelessCon (Posts: 309; Member since: 11 May 2010)


I would much rather watch a movie or TV show on my HDTV because I care about the quality of the presentation of the art.

I also care about the quality and presentation of music, of which I have just over 300gb ripped at high bit rates.

I would need a portable device with at least a terabyte of on board storage. I'm not going to pay for the cloud when I already own so much data, that's just throwing money away.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 16:14 1

49. jcarrigan (unregistered)


I have a smartphone and I dont even use my laptop or have internet at home. I do not need a tablet

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 06:57 6

3. rdeleonp (Posts: 43; Member since: 21 Jan 2012)


Have not bought a tablet.

I prefer a smartphone's portability when compared to tablets.

Happy with my Nexus 4 (•‿•), but also waiting for the Almost-No-Bezel™, 5"+ Nexus Phablet (ಥ◡ಥ).

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:00 3

4. ar2730 (Posts: 40; Member since: 24 May 2012)


The only way I was able to justify a tablet was because of the Note 10.1's S Pen. I use it to take notes in class and at work.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:02

5. tusshharish (Posts: 341; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


until u have asus padfone and its dock station.........

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:02 3

6. nikenturd (unregistered)


I mainly use my tablet for downloading torrent data and watching hd TV shows and movies as it stays on 24/7. My phablet for everything else.....havent touched my desktop and my notebook for ages now....

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:11 2

7. techspace (Posts: 599; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


my android phone is good but i use an ipad 3 for gaming, watching videos and browsing the internet,reading books(sometimes) etc etc..... if you don't have a tablet, you may be happy with your smartphone, but when you get a tablet you will understand how important it is and suddenly even a big phone becomes too small for you.......
i may not carry it with me everywhere like the phone, but it has to be there

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:14 3

8. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3947; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


I've only had an iPad before (sold it), but I have been thinking about buying another one, this time being a Nexus tablet. I almost bought a Nexus 10, but I didn't go through with it because of all the new processors that were coming out at the time.

The only real use for tablets that I see is watching videos/movies and playing games that would otherwise be kind of lackluster on a phone, maybe some web browsing as well.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 11:45

38. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Light, high resolution tablet is ideal for reading magazines.
When it comes to gaming, phone is better for games that can utilize a gamepad, whereas a tablet is great for strategy games and such

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:24 3

9. spideyhead256 (Posts: 148; Member since: 05 Nov 2012)


i'm pretty happy doing everything on my note 2..seems to do the job just fine.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:24

29. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 983; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


the Note II is the exception, but a nice phone to use for phone and tablet capability. The Note II is too expensive for me so I have the Nexus 7 as a good alternate. I hope that phones dont get too big to the point where they are the size of a tablet

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:30 1

10. Peter27 (Posts: 233; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


don't worry PA, you won't need any of them once the google glass comes.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 13:56

46. Peter27 (Posts: 233; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


hmmm. some anti-google glass isheeps are thumbing me down. ok sorry, let's forget all innovation and let's just look stupid by taking pictures with iPads and talking to siri in public when google now can give me information even without asking for it.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:30 1

11. adi4u4882 (Posts: 135; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


Of course, Tablet is a very important gadget today.
I have a smartphone,laptop and a tab.
But i spend most of my time watching movies or sitcoms on my tab than on laptop or a mobile device.
I think tablets are the new laptops.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 08:12 1

21. Captain_Doug (Posts: 748; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


I like the idea of having a tablet and then having a dock at home with a keyboard. I can't get past the small screen though...

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:31 4

12. rusticguy (Posts: 2826; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Phone and a notebook for me is good combo.
Tablet just for kids to play games on.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:56

17. Peter27 (Posts: 233; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


well said. same for me

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 08:40

25. Andrewtst (Posts: 303; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


Laptop was just working material now, after off duty, laptop is dead thing there.

Tablet was replacement of laptop.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:51

31. rusticguy (Posts: 2826; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Yea but problem is i cannot install Oracle on a Tablet yet and hate moving around with 3 devices. Oh at home i prefer 10 ft viewing thumb rule ... so TV all the way :)

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 18:18

54. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Cmon now...you sound like those BB users.

A tablet or a phone can be for work...depends on the individual. If I was in real estate, a tablet could very well be for work.

Designer, architect...same thing.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 01:41

58. rusticguy (Posts: 2826; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Hmmm never knew architects could do CAD/CAM stuff on Tablets ... sorry i am more on the tech side of things so view from that perspective ... my daily work schedule is far beyond just mails or surfing .... i can't even ssh to my server from tablets ... but who knows things might change if UBUNTU tablets could do all this :D

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:37

13. Darkerm (Posts: 120; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


I am Happy with my xperia S and my Custom Build PC (Win7).
I would Rather Buy a Laptop Than Tablet.
Tablet are the same as Phone with Big screen and a bit more like Great SoC RAM etc.
Although I would buy a Tablet if that is specifically build for gaming with Buttons ;)

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:42 1

14. timtimity (Posts: 196; Member since: 13 Aug 2012)


When watching TV I usually have my iPad sat on my knee. I find browsing the internet more comfortable using that. Although I've currently got an iPhone 3GS so the screen is small. When I get an Xperia Z, HTC One or S4 within the next couple of months that might change.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:51

15. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 418; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


I got Xperia S as for my everyday texts and calls.The iPad4 for games, PDFs, internet browsing, etc. because of excellent battery life. Lastly my Acer laptop for Microsoft Office programs, browsing, printing documents, and gaming.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:53 2

16. TylerGrunter (Posts: 891; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


I think the question you plan is wrong. The tablet doesn't replace the smartphone, it replaces 90% of what you do with the laptop. That's why PCs are on decline, in a normal house you'll start having 2 tablets for every PC, and for most of the things you'll be using the tablets, while the PC will be used just to create content and serious work.
And that's for now, when they become more powerful they'll start replacing PCs too (just imagine having a dock for the tablet with a big monitor and an external keyboard).

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 07:59

18. Peter27 (Posts: 233; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


I can imagine Microsoft surface to replace my PC, if it was not that expensive.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 08:04 2

19. buccob (Posts: 1367; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Im not sure there is a place for a tablet in the life of a smartphone user.... But I am sure the is a place for a smartphone in the life of a tablet shell... Thats the Asus PadFone...

And to answer a little subjectively... My wife is selling her Laptop which is a 14 incher, intel i5, with 6gb of Ram and 750GB of hdd... and I suggested that todays technology has come so far that an Android tablet can replace a basic notebook....

I am not saying that a tablet can replace HER laptop.... but she is selling it because she mainly uses it for Internet, and Microsoft Office...

And a tablet today CAN handle both things great...

So, her phone is barely surviving, with the battery dying quickly and a crack on the screen... I decided to buy her the original Asus PadFone with the Tablet Station... and see how that goes...

If she needs it, she might get the keyboard dock, which enables USB port and SD slot.

Sure, the dual core Krait might not be the fastest, and the 1280x800p screen might not be so crisp...and today, to properly handle multitasking on Android I would always go for 2GB of RAM.... BUT for her tech needs, which are rather basic,

This phone/tablet, combine with Kingsoft Office, Opera Mobile, uTorrent, (and possibly Photoshop touch) will satisfy 99% of her needs for a Notebook...

I hope this turns out well...

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 18:16

53. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


This might be the best option. The Padfone. This or the phablets like the Note.

No need to break your pockets for a tablet and phone.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 08:10 1

20. Captain_Doug (Posts: 748; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


My wife just wants a basic phone and an 8-9" tablet to use as a clipboard replacement. She's a teacher so the larger screen helps her with lesson plans and keeping her calendar/to do list handy. I don't see as much use in a tablet for me although that doesn't mean I don't want one. I fear I'd lose interest in it. Give me a phone with a 4.5-4.7" screen and I'm good to go. My desktop at home can handle all the things my smartphone can't.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 08:21 2

22. hiBreed (Posts: 90; Member since: 29 May 2012)


Simple, if u want an 'always available' tablet, why not consider a phablet (you know? Not really best of both worlds, but never the less, best of both worlds) so you have a phone and also a tablet in your pocket.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 18:14

51. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I agree. Multi function device. I dismissed them before...but now I might go the phablet route.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 08:36

23. Andrewtst (Posts: 303; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


Tablet still there, ya everything can do at tablet can do at phone also, but user experience was total different. Phone still phone and screen can't be big enough to be like tablet, except you use phablet but not everyone fancy on phablet.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 08:37

24. ddxmms (Posts: 141; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)


i think there is.. but if the OS of the tablet and the smartphone was different.

its like owning nexus 4 and Microsoft surface pro, or having galaxy note II and the apple iPad 4.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:11

26. FireDragon (Posts: 107; Member since: 13 Nov 2009)


A quick answer is "Yes".

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:14 2

27. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


From my own experience, it's actually the other way around. Tablets are making smart phones obsolete.

My tablet can do everything my phone can, and it does it better. Games are more enjoyable on a 10 inch screen. Movies are easier to watch. Web browsing is more relaxing, since you're not constantly zooming in or scrolling. Music is a more enjoyable experience, because of my tablet's dual front facing speakers. Oh, and you can't read an ebook on a smart phone - well, I suppose you COULD, but you really wouldn't want to.

Ever since I got my tablet, I haven't used my smart phone other than for ... strangely enough... making phone calls and texting. Every once in a great while, I'll use my phone to browse the web - but that's only when I don't have my tablet with me.

And if you're worried about how to transport a tablet around without looking socially awkward - get a premium leather case for it! It actually looks very professional, and no one would think you use your tablet just to play Angry Birds.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:51 1

32. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


I'm almost positive that your phone' screen isn't over 4.3 inch in diagonal.
Correct?

My experience with Galaxy S3:
- big enough for movies
- big enough for books, even pdf magazines (there is a reason why visual structure of articles is the way it is, you know..the widespread text in classic books is more tiring for visual focus to keep up with)
- adequate size for gaming, and you can use it as a true handheld gaming console via gamepad accessories (unlike a tablet)
- browsing with one finger and manipulating pages entirely within a grasp of single hand (unlike a tablet)
- FAR better screen quality than that of any tablet (only iPad and Nexus 10 can remotely compare)

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 10:34

34. buccob (Posts: 1367; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


I agree with you, even when using the 4.3" screen on my Xperia Acro S

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 22:47

57. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


I actually have an S3.

Once you upgrade in screen size, there's just no going back. Everything is just better.

The screen may be "big enough" for movies, but it's just better on a tablet.
The screen may be "big enough" for books and magazines, but once again, it's just better on a tablet.
Playing a game may be "adequate" as you put it. But once again, it's just better on a tablet.

Of course, 10 inch tablets aren't as easy to hold with one hand as a phone. I actually think the perfect form factor for tablets is 7 inches, since you can use them with one hand and the screen is still massive in comparison. Plus 7 inch tablets are considerably cheaper, too.

It's ironic that you assumed I didn't have a phone larger than 4.3 inches - implying that a larger screen is a superior experience. My tablet is 10.1 inches, so according to your logic, the experience must be much, much better.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 12:03

41. Taters (Posts: 2678; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Same for me. My phone is just used in a pinch. Everything else I prefer to do on the tablet or PC.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:38

30. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


If you have a galaxy Note, then the answer is no in 99 percent of the cases.
I'll skip the tablet world entirely and wait for Note 3 to be my all in one device

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 10:06

33. rashsys (Posts: 16; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Yes. Especially when a smartphone is "toy-system"-powered device (Android, iOS) and a tablet is a "real" Windows-powered computer with optional keyboard dock (Surface Pro, Asus VivoTab Smart, Acer W510 etc).

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 11:10 1

35. the_s2 (Posts: 205; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Yup. I literally use my GS3 only for calls and for music. My iPad does everything else for me. I reserve my smartphone as an emergency device, i.e, something to be used when i wont be able to use my tablet out in the public, or when i run out of juice.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 11:29 1

36. yajia1 (Posts: 107; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)


I had a galaxy s3 and a galaxy tab 7.7. Used the s3 as a phone and the tab for everything else. Replaced both with a galaxy note 2. Never looked back.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 11:40

37. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


This.
And the reason why I won't even consider getting a tablet.
Waiting and savig for the Note 3

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 11:47 1

39. lallolu (Posts: 229; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)


I used to think it was unneccessary having both but I had to buy a tablet since I read novels and other ebooks quite often. It has proved to be very useful. At times I can be browsing on my phone while my daughter watch muffuns on youtube on my tablet. This is one reason I do not see so much sense in Asus Padfone since it is just one device even though it is a phone and a 'tablet'...I digressed :)

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 12:00 3

40. Taters (Posts: 2678; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Technically, the only thing we need is shelter, food, and water. I guess clothing too since we are not hairy enough to stay outside for too long naked anymore. Everything else in life is just for comfort and convienence.

Tablets do a lot things better than smartphones because of the bigger screen and is therefore more comfortable to use at home. That's all there is to it.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 15:15

47. Ray.S (Posts: 253; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)


You, sir, have a point.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 12:12

42. crogers2012 (Posts: 6; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


In my justification, it simply depends on what you are doing on your average day to day. I currently have a desktop, tablet, and two smartphones. (I work at Att, I have a lot of gadgets). I purchased a tablet after my laptop was stolen thinking it would be a justified replacement. After I thought I had made a smart purchase, but over time, it simply became a glorified device to simply watch Netflix and YouTube. I have since then purchased a laptop because as stated within the article, a cell phone does exactly everything a tablet can do. In my opinion, there is only a need for one of the other. My younger sister enjoys playing games on my tablet, she is only 8. In this degree, I feel it is a great learning device for children within grade school. In summation, it simply has to only do with what you want to do with each device. I do not see a need for a tablet even though it is at this point where companies are trying to shove them down your throat in all different colors and sizes. There removed supersize from McDonald's for a reason, we don't always need the bigger version.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 12:54 1

44. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


I have the surface and I find that for school the tablet is an important thing. its hard to work on a powerpoint on my phone when I can just do it on my surface. most of the time if your a student your going to be carrying 2 devices. a phone and a laptop. the surface for me allows me to carry something smaller and lighter which pretty much does the basics I need for school, tablets in the near future will replace laptops as there computing capabilities are increased.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 13:38 1

45. Stuntman (Posts: 711; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


After owning a tablet for over a year now, my usage on it has greatly diminished in the past few months. First of all, the tablet is just not mobile enough to carry around. It is also redundant as my phone does pretty much anything my tablet can do. For most of the things I do on my phone while mobile and roaming about, the tablet just doesn't do it better enough to justfy carrying around a less convenient device to carry.

I have attempted to use my tablet as a near PC replacement. For perhaps 75% of the time, it does an adequate job. My usage patters have changed a bit in the past few months and now I find that it is closer to 50% now. Also, the PC functions that my tablet can replace, the tablet just does a worse job on most of those functions. The only good thing about my tablet is that it is way more portable. I would carry a tablet while travelling over my laptop PC.

Right now, for most things I do on a phone, tablet and PC, the tablet just does not offer enough of an advantage over a phone or PC (laptop). There are some things that a tablet is great for and I would use a tablet for those things. They include watching a movie, being a good travelling device, but for the most part, it just isn't good enough for my every day use over a phone or PC.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 15:16

48. ximacloudx (Posts: 12; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


I'm prepared to sound terribly spoiled, but....

I have a notebook, an iPad, an android phone and an iPod. I carry pretty much all of them.

My computer I use to hook up to my TV to watch movies, write papers, do spreadsheets, computery type things.

However, I prefer to read on my iPad. I have a Kindle App, Nook App, and the iBooks so pretty much anything I need (textbook, normal book, something that is out of copywrite) I can get in the cheapest and most convenient way. I also will watch Netflix on my iPad when I'm not at home.

My phone is a phone, but it also tells me the weather before I get to class, and it's what I use to browse the web if I'm somewhere I don't feel like pulling stuff out of my book bag, or if campus wifi is super s**tty wherever I am (which is often). If I'm laying in bed, it's easier to look at facebook on a phone than pulling out an iPad or computer.

my iPod holds all my music, and I'l use it to watch Netflix at the gym if I don't feel like pulling out my iPad and risking getting robbed walking out. I'll also play games that are better on iOS (fruit ninja and ruzzle are super slow on my android phone) than android.

So yeah. Frankly I like having all kinds of devices. I used to do everything on my phone pre-iPad and iPod (because I prefer Android OS, and hate starting up my laptop), but it's hard to keep a charge throughout an entire day, and it can hurt my phone's poor little brain :(

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 18:41

63. puckhead (Posts: 76; Member since: 13 Jan 2013)


you need to dump the ipod and get a new android or iphone, you can have all the gadgets in the world but if you dont have a good phone you have nothing...JK

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 18:11

50. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


If you have a big screen phone, I say no. I might get a 5 or 6 inch phone just for the bigger screen. I'm reading eBooks now. A bigger screen is welcome. I have a Maxx HD and its fine, but a bigger screen would be better.

That said....I want a tablet more then ever now that I'm into eBooks. Reading in bed on the phone is terrible.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 18:14

52. Bentos711 (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Just buy the Padfone then, if you can afford at least.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 19:42

55. phil2n (Posts: 466; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


I really don't like apple but i admit i always play on my iPad mini, which was given by my older bro.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 20:16

56. shirtlessrabbit4 (Posts: 39; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)


Tablet best at home, smartphone best at work/school.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 01:44

59. Scorpion (Posts: 78; Member since: 28 Apr 2012)


I think that tablets are a luxury product - Not that they are expensive, but you don't really need them. It's just something to use in the bed, or around the house. Or take it to a park and watch a movie with your girl. It's just for fun. I think that if you must have a tablet, go for the Padfone 2 when the Infinity version hits the market, and the price goes down.

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