I resisted the tablet craze for the last two years. I just couldn’t see how they fit into my digital lifestyle. Most of what a tablet was good for I could do on my phone (especially my large screen Galaxy Nexus), and it couldn’t replace my laptop. A tablet just seemed like a product looking for a solution. I just couldn’t understand why people were so excited over them, even to the point of calling them “magical”.
With the introduction of the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 last year, the prices of good tablets fell to under $200, so I figured it was time to give them a try. I picked up one of each over the holidays.
After a month with the devices, my position hasn’t changed. I’m struggling to find a place where these fit into my daily routine. I’ve come to the conclusion that tablets aren’t a necessity, and they aren’t even a little magical, they are a luxury.
Over the last month, here is how my family and I have used the device:
- Casual browsing. Every now and then Lisa and I will pick up the Nexus 7 and browse a couple of websites. It doesn’t happen regularly, but more out of convenience when we’re too lazy to move off the couch to the computer.
- Gaming. My youngest, age 10, enjoys playing Temple Run (and more recently Temple Run 2) on the Nexus 7. In other words, it’s a miniature Xbox.
- Watching video. My other daughters have used the Nexus 7 for watching Netflix when we first got the tablet, but that novelty has worn off. They’ve gone back to catching up on their favorite shows on our 55-inch HDTV’s.
- Reading books. I’ve picked up a couple of free eBooks for the Kindle and plan to buy a couple soon. It’s convenient but not necessary. I could have used my phone or bought the actual books, but since I have the device, I might as well use it.
If you’re thinking about a tablet, I’d point you to an article that I wrote almost exactly one year ago on the miniListings blog. It’s amazing that even a year later, the technology still hasn’t evolved to the point where the tablet is ready to replace the laptop. Once it gets there, then my position might change.