The Quest for Portability

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 Science

The tech race

Computers, when they started out, were huge monsters that occupied entire rooms and consumed massive amounts of power. As mainframes evolved into desktop PCs, their usage grew, and soon the need for portable computers arose. The earliest laptops were bulky devices, usually running a watered down version of a desktop OS as their hardware didn’t support all the functions of a traditional OS.

Now the trend is with the Tablets. They are the hottest new form factor in computing and offer people a new way to interface with data and applications. The world’s gone portability crazy – what started as simple browsing on your computer or dumb-phone has now transmogrified into an app crazy, bandwidth hungry, touch-enabled world of its own. Now we’ve got tablets for as cheap as 6K, all the way up to the iPads of the world, and none of them can really hold a candle to the productivity that a laptop or desktop offers – but that’s not what you’re really looking for when you think “tablet” are you?

So the real question here is, do you really need a tablet?

To put it simply, tablets might not be able to really fulfill all your digital computing needs. They still cannot act as alternatives or replacements to your full-fledged computers or even your smartphones for that matter. A lot of tablets do have features for mobile services, but they are still neither a good phone nor can be used to make phone calls via a traditional mobile provider. While you can still handle the issue of productivity on an iPad or an Android tablet, which are fairly powerful, you won’t get a system level even close to that of a conventional desktop operating system, like you’ll find on a PC or a Mac. You even have to consider the fact that these being mere slates, they don’t normally come with a hardware keyboard. So they can’t be very work driven, their primary function still stands for media consumption.

But tablets do have a major upside and a few advantages over traditional laptops and phones. They offer a more convenient portable way of checking your email, browsing the internet, enable to have video chat on the fly, watch movies, and listen to music, and play games, with a much bigger screen yet very portable. Still, all these things are capable by a smartphone too!

Settling to a tablet over a laptop or a smartphone.

Feature wise tablets and smartphones are same. When compared to laptops, the weight and portability of a tablet is its biggest advantage, but to be very specific, it’s definitely not as light as a smart phone, this stands true even in the case of 7 inch tablets as well. After you hold one on a bus for ten minutes, your hand will get tired. Again, a 10 inch tablet doesn’t fit into pockets most of the time.

One advantage a tablet scores over the laptops and smartphones are the battery life. Tablet is having a real estate space which enables the manufacturers to add big batteries. In the race for making smartphones and laptops thin and weightless manufactures started to compromise on battery life. Here is where tablet wins over laptop and phones. Again viewing the other side, it’s difficult to get work done on tablets with the same level of quality or ease that you do with a laptop. Charge your laptop more consistently and your tablet’s battery life on those trips becomes redundant.


written by
Arjun M