Can a Tablet replace your laptop?

This is hands down, one of the most common questions I see just scrolling through YouTube. It is an interesting idea however, and for those of us with big 15 Inch laptops, its quiet a compelling idea.

The current landscape of Android Tablets is pretty bare. Between the cheaper end of the spectrum with Huawei and Lenovo, and Samsung’s Tab S3 or other offerings, its pretty slim pickings. Compared to the iOS route, you have two sizes of screens to choose from and thats it. 

 I have been using my new Tab S3 for a week now, and being an Android Fan, I wanted to customise the hell out of it. I have previously owned both 12.9 and 10.5 inch versions of the iPad, but subsequently I am back on Android for my tablet experience. However, the question still remains – Can a tablet in 2018 replace your laptop? Short answer is yes, Android and iOS have come a long way to help this. But if you’re a poweruser, can you?

Absolutely! Using the key features of your respective OS, you can 100% make your tablet your portable personal computer. Now I am aiming more at the croud that have a Desktop PC or iMac or heavy laptop already, and dont want to, or can’t, carry it around and own a tablet as well – Just to clarify. If you have something thin and light already and it’s 100% functional for your probably going to want to go read something else. 

Now on iOS, I made HEAVY use of the productivity apps and the dock, as well as slide over & split screen compatiable apps for my main workflow. Lucky for me, Google updated their app suite whilst I was an iPad owner to be more iOS 10 and 11 user friendly. As a result, this played right into my workflow’s strengths. Editing Docs, using Buffer on iOS as a secondary code editor (Great for JavaScript and CSS work!!) and even study with Youtube and Google Chrome open, all served me well. 
The Apple eco-system is feature rich and app flush. With a small arsonal of apps on the platform, there is something for every standard user. 

But what about Android? Well Android is, in my opinion, far my flexible than iOS, and since Android Nougat 7.0, there has been a suite of Google based addition and third party options to Android to make Multi-tasking, multi window support and even a task bar, 100% doable on Android.
I currently use Taskbar, an app designed to enable a full taskbar like productivity to Android. Imagine iOS crossed with Ubuntu. 

 My current setup supports modern DSLRs for professional grade photo editing
My current setup supports modern DSLRs for professional grade photo editing

Between that and the default Google Launcher features with a bit of Samsung UI mixed in (I use the Google Launcher to ‘vanilla’ my Android devices back to a more Google Aesthetic). 

Both Apple and Samsung make REALLY good keyboards for their devices. Apple’s Smart Keyboard for all their pro line of iPads, and Samsung’s Keyboard Book Cover (what im writing this on) are both really easy to get used to typing on and very smooth on the level of key response and travel. The Samsung one is a bit more traditional, the Apple ones are fabric covered, have a bit shallower keys, but are very very smooth. 

Personally from my experience, the mass market seems to like iOS more for simplicity, and there are huge amounts of apps available on the platform to really make the most of wanting to convert your humble tablet into a true productivity machine.
With Android, 7.0 and 8.0 have done some tweaking on Android, but the standard gripe remains – Some apps are still made for phones and forced into portrait mode, or are just blown up apps in tablet mode. Which especially sucks when their touch targets are microscopic.

Overall, if I wasnt studying or working in web development space and needed a dedicated IDE with power and customisation of Atom, I would be spending most of my time in on a tablet. In my main day job, I spend pretty much ALL my time on a tablet, with few exceptions when I am at my desk. This includes photo editing and publishing content to the internet. 

Many folks have already adopted a tablet first, computer second approach. But it isnt for most, however for some, it may hit the spot just right. 

Sam Toohey Written by:

Sam is a self taught Developer, focusing on Web Technologies and E-Commerce. He is also an avid writer, blogger and gamer. You can commonly see Sam toying around with web technologies or working on his Podcast, Markup.

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