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

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

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?

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63 Comments

1. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 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.

2. asianface

Posts: 12; Member since: May 27, 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.

28. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 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.

43. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 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.

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

3. rdeleonp

Posts: 44; Member since: Jan 21, 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).

4. ar2730

Posts: 42; Member since: May 24, 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.

5. tusshharish

Posts: 342; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

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

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....

7. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 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

8. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 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.

38. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 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

9. spideyhead256

Posts: 148; Member since: Nov 05, 2012

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

29. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 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

10. Peter27

Posts: 233; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

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

46. Peter27

Posts: 233; Member since: Jul 13, 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.

11. adi4u4882

Posts: 137; Member since: Jan 10, 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.

21. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 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...

12. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

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

17. Peter27

Posts: 233; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

well said. same for me

25. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

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

31. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 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 :)

54. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 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.

58. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 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

13. Darkerm

Posts: 322; Member since: Jan 31, 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 ;)

14. timtimity

Posts: 196; Member since: Aug 13, 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.

15. spiderpig2894

Posts: 597; Member since: Jan 10, 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.

16. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 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).

18. Peter27

Posts: 233; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

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

19. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 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...

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