Not getting it: The tablet confusion


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It’s been seven years since Apple introduced the tablet computer category as we now know it and we’re still having the same dumb argument about it.

Writing for the very fine people (?) and kaiju and clown college dropouts at Business Insider, Steve Kovach says “There's no such thing as a tablet that can replace your laptop.”

If you define the problem in exactly the way I have, there is only one solution! OK, but what if we don’t want to journey through your soul’s particular dark carnival in order to play these shoddily constructed games?

Kovach starts off by coining 2017’s catch-phrase.

You were promised better than this.

True. But, here we are reading Business Insider. That’s on us.

Tablets wouldn't just be good for lean-back content consumption, we were told, they'd eventually replace the laptop for good.

Was that really what we were told? Or were we told that for many uses and for some people, tablets could replace laptops? Clearly an iPad couldn’t replace a laptop for all uses since it can’t make apps. But the Macalope has worked and traveled with an iPad instead of a laptop and it’s been fine. Your brain's inability to wrap itself around this concept does not obviate its reality.

Kovach at least sticks to his guns and declares all tablets, not just the iPad, to be 10 pounds of hot garbage in any number of slim, metropolitan over-shoulder bags currently being Kickstarted by ironically mustachioed brogrammers.

Despite all the pitches and promises that each company has cracked the code for that dreamy device that can be all things to everyone, the result is always a niche product that's one part mediocre laptop and one part mediocre tablet.

The iPad might not be able to do literally everything a laptop can, but it is at least a very good tablet. And if your laptop needs are email, web browsing, writing, drawing and gaming, the iPad will replace your laptop.

Unlike the soon-to-be-released Surface Pro, the Galaxy Book comes with a keyboard cover. And that's a good thing. Apple and Microsoft make you spend an extra $130, which is borderline insulting to sell the device as a laptop replacement, but make you pay more for that luxury.

Actually, the iPad Smart Keyboard is $149. The point is, though, you can get an iPad Pro with a Smart Keyboard from Apple for $150 less than the cheapest laptop they currently offer. And, depending on what you’re using it for, it could actually be better than a laptop. If you’re just looking for something really cheap, you can get a regular iPad for $329 and a decent keyboard case for less than $40. The Macalope would argue that a device designed to do fewer things but to do them well gives you a better user experience than shoehorning Windows into a weaker laptop.

There's no better combination than a really great laptop and a big-screen smartphone for everything else when you're on the go.



No, that’s not it. Thank God is more like it.

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