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Can a tablet replace a laptop?

Posted: , posted by Ray S.

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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: phonearenaknowsbest@gmail.com

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!

Grant Pinkert: Hi Phone Arena. Recently I have been looking at this site and others (like C-net and other sites like that) to try and decide what I should upgrade to, and after I saw this I thought that this would be perfect. My laptop is really old now and I just think that it is time to upgrade. My big question is if I should stick with laptops, or should I go with a tablet. I really don't have that many needs, I just need to be able to use email, be able to easily transfer files with a flash drive or SD card, and have a good enough processor to be able to render flash and java easily enough and play. So if you do think that I should go with a tablet, which one should I get? I only need WiFi though, what was mentioned before, a battery that can last a long flight, and expandable memory. I would also rather have an android tablet. My only hitch is that i would like to spend sub $600, and that if i did get a tablet that it would be able to have a very good keyboard dock that I could get with it, also so that it is still under $600. I also don't care what it would be made out of as long as it would be sturdy. So any help that you could give me would be very helpful.
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

Asus Transformer Pad 300

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:

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posted on 30 Apr 2012, 05:11 13

1. Fayeznoor (Posts: 72; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)

Nope....not ready yet.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 07:58 5

14. Dr_fajardo (Posts: 32; Member since: 29 Apr 2012)

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

posted on 01 May 2012, 22:54 1

46. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 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 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.

posted on 15 Sep 2012, 07:48

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

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 05:16 2

2. Birds (Posts: 1171; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)

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

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 05:21 10

3. Fayeznoor (Posts: 72; 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.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 06:03 4

8. tigermcm (Posts: 860; 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.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 09:39 1

23. djg71087 (Posts: 70; Member since: 10 Oct 2010)

Couldn't agree with you more

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 05:21 5

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.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 06:09 5

10. tigermcm (Posts: 860; Member since: 02 Sep 2009)

im not really a tech person but now with tablets and docks I dont understand the market for netbooks

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 05:26 5

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 :)

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 12:52 2

31. BattleBrat (Posts: 1476; 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...

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 14:11 1

35. Exofuji (Posts: 19; Member since: 25 Jan 2012)

Samsung Series 7(http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/en_U​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?!?

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 23:23 1

45. BattleBrat (Posts: 1476; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/822653-REG/Samsung_XE700T1A_A01US_Series_7_11_6_Slate.html Yep, i5 4gb of ram....

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 16:59 1

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

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 05:30 1

6. cGmC11 (Posts: 152; 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!

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 05:36 2

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.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 06:03 2

9. steelicon (Posts: 318; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)

A convertible / netvertible would be a sound compromise.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 06:16 7

11. wendygarett (unregistered)

if it is a windows tablets, yes it will.
iPad? Not a chance...

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 06:36 1

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



posted on 30 Apr 2012, 07:06 6

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.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 08:46 1

15. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; 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

Photoshop touch

Quick office

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 08:52 2

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$

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 09:28

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.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 19:40 1

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.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 20:52

44. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; 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

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 08:52 1

17. -box- (Posts: 3991; 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

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 12:27

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.


posted on 30 Apr 2012, 15:33

39. jcpwn2004 (Posts: 314; Member since: 18 Jan 2012)

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

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 08:53 1

18. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; 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 :)

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