Tablets are luxury items

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.

Kindle Fire HD

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.