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: 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!



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:


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49 Comments

49. Roop795

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 07, 2014

I have the samsung note 10.1 2014 table and love it i got it when it for came out back in oct 2013 and now that it has got the kitkat os updat it is so great i also just ogt me a new smartphone too the samsung s5 and with the too i dont use my labtop that has windows 8 on it that mouch i like chrome for broswe but i do use firefox witch you can not get on ipad i do have a bluetooth keyboard i got off of amazon.com witch i am useing right now to type this i also got a microsoft bluetomouse too and i got a bose bluetooh spacker so i think a good high end table ike the note linne can with the right add on be turn into a labtop one last thing i got a bluetooh game pad for playing games so that my to cents

47. andrew1953

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 13, 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.

40. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 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! :-)

38. jcpwn2004

Posts: 314; Member since: Jan 18, 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)

37. theruleslawyer

Posts: 108; Member since: Apr 23, 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.

36. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Maybe when the Windows 8 tablets come out, with a keyboard and up to date processor and graphics. Should be around $400-600

34. Credo

Posts: 749; Member since: Apr 19, 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 ...

33. Fluxman

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 03, 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: Aug 03, 2011

Yes they can. They do sd, flash drives, and even portable hard drives.

32. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 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....

30. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 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.

29. thachlel

Posts: 75; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

It's a joke! Only when when Intel stops making CPUs

26. ahhxd717

Posts: 332; Member since: Dec 08, 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: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

25. sinple

Posts: 132; Member since: Nov 04, 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.

24. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

22. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Windows 8 Intel Tablet Plus Keyboard Docking = Perfect Laptop Replacement Wait for october.:)

20. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Not now.you still have wow and legacy apps,right?

19. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 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.

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 :)

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. http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/03/09/microsoft-patents-tablet-that-converts-into-laptop-desktop/

39. jcpwn2004

Posts: 314; Member since: Jan 18, 2012

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

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 touchhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIP280WOX_A&feature=relmfu Quick officehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJl9jVFBX34

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

12. 7keypad

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 25, 2009

"Laptop without Keypad" can compete with Touch-Tablets :https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1eyIMpZLFS1gZureeezDjYXh-c-O0IlYW4BCUvlXk8a0 In this osk , K77 or G7 keypad can be used while travellinghttp://k77g77.hpage.com for editing English Hindi etc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8uWADJU3ug http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1Ba_0RUSss

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