Can a tablet replace a laptop?

Can a tablet replace a laptop?
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:

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!

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.

However, with a maximum budget of $600, most models in that line happen to be out of your reach, due to the fact that their keyboard docks push the price up significantly (though you can always get only the tablet now, save some more, and buy the dock later). The good news is that the 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:



1. Fayeznoor

Posts: 74; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

Nope....not ready yet.

14. Dr_fajardo

Posts: 32; Member since: Apr 29, 2012

i think with a good os can. something like windows 8 inside it

46. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I agree. 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 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: Sep 15, 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: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I agree, but I think the original Transformer should be priced at 299$.

3. Fayeznoor

Posts: 74; Member since: Nov 15, 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: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 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.

23. djg71087

Posts: 70; Member since: Oct 10, 2010

Couldn't agree with you more

4. stmcgill

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 30, 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: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 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: Apr 10, 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: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 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: Jan 25, 2012

Samsung Series 7(​S/pd/productID.241554200?WT.mc_id=mercent&mr:track​ingCode=3AA719B2-EC65-E111-B2BE-001B21A69EB0&mr:re​ferralID=NA&origin=pla&mr:adType=pla): i5 and 4GB of ram?!?

45. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

42. CharlieAtInfinity

Posts: 253; Member since: Apr 10, 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: 152; Member since: Apr 02, 2012

I say 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: Apr 01, 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: 318; Member since: Apr 02, 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: Aug 25, 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: Oct 05, 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: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 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 Photoshop touch Quick office

16. gp284

Posts: 120; Member since: Feb 25, 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: Oct 05, 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: Feb 15, 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: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 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: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 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: Feb 10, 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: Jan 18, 2012

yep, i'm thinking transformer type tablet with windows 8

18. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 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 :)

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