I tried a little experiment....


  1. dragon2knight

    dragon2knight Well-Known Member

    ..I tried to see if I could replace my computers with an Android tablet for a month. As we are being told again and again that a modern tablet can and will be replacing a laptop or desktop PC, I thought I'd give it a real chance to prove that to me. The tablet used was an Acer Iconia A1, a 7.85" quad core tablet running Android 4.2.2. I have done reviews on tablets/phones with KitKat and really didn't see any real difference between it and Jellybean to think it would matter in this test.

    My results were mixed. If I were to just surf the web, do lightweight document mods and play a few games, the Acer was just fine for that..actually, it was great for that. I ran into zero problems, the speed was fine, no lagging or crashes..it was a fine tablet for doing those simple tasks with ease. Printing was also easily accomplished...if you have a wifi enabled printer, that is. You need one if your going to print out anything, no exceptions here for home use.

    It's when any kind of heavy lifting was needed, like creating said documents and doing serious work in the Photoshop app that things got a little bogged down. It's not that the tablet couldn't handle it, more like the apps available to me needed to be polished a bit more to work smoothly.

    Battery life was great here, much better than any laptop I've ever used, so that's a real plus. Portability also wins out here, I fit the Acer into a small pouch inside my carry bag, I hardly even knew it was there. Also, having it work on wifi and me having a portable hot spot capability on my phone allowed me to just whip this out anywhere, anytime to get work done. No way that was happening with my laptop.

    So convenience is a great thing with tablets, and it definitely can be a plus if traveling a lot. A portable bluetooth keyboard is a necessity if doing any real work, but that's an easy thing to get with a tablet as many of them(complete with cases)are available. And it's nice to have a choice here, you don't get said choice with a laptop unless you like lugging around a separate keyboard along with it adding more bulk to an already overweight package.

    All told, this just might work if your willing to make a few sacrifices. You will need a wifi enabled printer for home use, so that might be an added expense to consider if you don't already have one. And I admit surfing the web on a 7.85" screen(even on a 10.1" screen)pales in comparison to my 27" screen I use at home. So I might be able to do this...but I still prefer the old fashioned way more for my personal uses, for now at least. What's your take on this?

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  2. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique VIP Member

    I tried when I had my Asus Transformer Prime, but it just couldn't happen. I'm quite close with my Samsung Chromebook but the keyboard is a little cramped and the screen is just too small. 99% of what I do is simply through Chrome (no need for apps) so I'm just waiting for a large screen Chromebook and the HP 14 is so close.
  3. dragon2knight

    dragon2knight Well-Known Member

    I've never tried a Chromebook, but I have tried android sticks. I believe that they are better because of the apps...but I'm really considering trying out a Chromebook for portability. How well does it work for you?
  4. Rukbat

    Rukbat Well-Known Member

    And since that's what most people use computers for - web browsing, Facebook, email - the statement that tablets will replace *most* desktops (or even a lot of laptops) is probably true.

    One exception. You can "wifi-erize" a regular printer with a Linksys or D-Link printer server. And they're cheap.

    There are many other places where it'll be many years before anything like a tablet replaces a full computer - like large servers or workstations used to do heavy math or programming work.

    My Note 3 is close to being a small tab, and that's why I chose it - it's got the power to do a lot of things I'd need to carry at least a netbook with me for, but it fits in my pocket. For a little more power (and I see it happening in the not-too-distant future, much more RAM and much more storage), a tablet would probably be all most people would need for most work.

    But I wouldn't want to see H&R Block running their online income tax site on a tablet this century. I wouldn't even want to write a site like that on anything a tablet could become in the next few years. (Maybe I'm being too pessimistic. In 1994, the best primary domain controller we could get was a Pentium - and many phones are more powerful than that today.)
  5. dragon2knight

    dragon2knight Well-Known Member

    Well, who knows, Rukbat, tablet/phone processors have come a very long way in a very short time....and they aren't slowing down not one bit. We could both just be a little too used to the way it has been, heck even a massive entity like Microsoft almost got left behind this time out. Only a matter of time before these new fangled tablets replace out time honored solutions. I guess it isn't such a bad thing, unless your eyesight is going going gone like mine is,lol. Ah well, here's to the future :)
  6. Davdi

    Davdi Well-Known Member Contributor

    With a screen around the size of an A4 page (14" diagonal) I could probably live with a sufficiently powerful tablet, with a USB or BT keyboard and WiFi printer.
  7. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues - Crazy peacock person - Guide

    Nice rundown on your experiment, dragon2knight; thanks for sharing.

    I've morphed from saying I could see no use for a tablet in my life to using a tablet throughout the day, every day. :) However, when it comes to REAL work, even including writing e-mails, I'm on my big laptop.

    My tablet is a Kindle Fire HD 8.9", rooted, and I love it--for playing games, and the occasional web browsing.

    I have an Acer Chromebook, running Kubuntu Linux, and I love it, too--but it's too small to use for anything heavy duty.

    I have several desktops--which just sit, humming along, no longer ever really used as in sitting in front of them physically using them. They're all on my network and I access their files that way, and back things up on them, too, but that's about it.

    Then there's my REAL laptop, the one I'm typing this on: an HP laptop with a NICE, WIDE, BIG screen and full-sized keyboard, including numeric keypad on the right. This is where I do all my real work, including image stuff with the GIMP, photo stuff with digiKam, spreadsheets/word processing with LibreOffice, e-mail with my browser, SeaMonkey's, e-mail client, plus command line stuff (I'm an old...old...UNIX/Linux user).

    The tablet is great for the limited things I do on it. But I cannot replicate on it things I do naturally on a real keyboard--like typing really fast. It's simply too cramped, plus I like the tactile part of real keys. And while its screen size is certainly a huge jump up from my smartphones, it's way too small for real work.

    Bottom line for me: tablets definitely will NOT replace real computers. But they're a nice adjunct to them.
    dragon2knight likes this.
  8. sfbloodbrother

    sfbloodbrother Well-Known Member

    I wish I could do this, but already tried it. Some of the things I use still need flash and android does not support flash anymore.
  9. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    I though about using a tablet. However I would still need a real full size QWERTY keyboard for prolonged text entry. Which would mean propping up the tablet somehow for when used at a desk. There are keyboard and case combos which do this, so it becomes more like a laptop.

    Also document creation and editing is still rather limited compared to desktop office suites like MS Office or LibreOffice. However things are getting better these days on Android.
  10. dragon2knight

    dragon2knight Well-Known Member

    Well, I still say it's doable if your needs aren't too great, like using it for light work or fun/gaming. For every day use tablets have come a long way in a short time and will only get more useful as time goes by. They just aren't ready to pull the plug on what we already use for real work just yet.
  11. imdeb

    imdeb Active Member

    sometimes I also do such experiments with electronics gadgets but didn't try this one before,but guess what am going to try this one by myself sure.You just gave me the idea.

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