Over the past year, many people have questioned whether this newer generation of tablets is even necessary. As “scaled-up smartphones,” do they serve a purpose? Are they worth buying? Many who have cashed in and purchased one have already found tablets to be suitable surrogates for their home computers. I, myself, have started using my tablets for most simple, everyday tasks, leaving the very few remaining, arduous ones for my home computer to handle. If it weren't for this job, I would rarely ever turn on any of my computers.

It all makes you wonder when the conventional PC and next-gen tablets will collide. Will these lightweight, portable, and powerful tablets eliminate the need for home PCs for the average consumer? It all seems so unlikely, but we've seen what operating systems like Android and iOS have become in a relatively short time period. We've also seen how far the technology inside tablets has come as well. With much smaller requirements (memory, GPU, CPU, etc.), the power to do much of what full operating systems can, and extremely lucrative software development environment, these tablets and smaller platforms definitely have the means to do so.

You will always have your OSX, Windows, and Linux junkies that won't give up the comfort of their desktops or MacBook Pros, but not everyone needs a $2000 computer or to run software like Adobe Photoshop. Most people don't want to crank up the ol' laptop just to check some web page or to type an email. They want casual browsing in an instant while kicking back on the couch. Smartphones are too small for comfortable browsing and laptops are clunky, they overheat, take time to boot, and generally have mediocre battery life.

Android's pending Honeycomb update brings a more desktop-like experience to the tablet. It offers a more interactive user interface, a more Chrome-like browsing experience, and more hands-on and entertaining software. All of this is crammed into a neat little 10-inch package that takes up no more space than a notepad.

Look at what tablets have already done to laptop and netbook sales. That was with one reputable tablet on the market. Three months from now, we will have been introduced to countless tablets, all sporting comparable specs to current netbooks. With much lighter operating systems, tablets can run circles around their counterparts. They are already great at accomplishing the tasks they are meant to handle: media consumption, web browsing, email, file sharing, document editing, etc. For most consumers, these tasks are all they would ever need to do.

Some may scorn at not having a mouse, a keyboard, or a large (20+ inch) display. However, all it would take is a dock to turn your tablet into a full fledged work station. Take the Motorola Atrix for instance. Snap the phone into its dock and you essentially have a netbook running Android. The same or more could be done with tablets.

Don't get me wrong. This generation of tablets isn't perfect and they won't eliminate PCs just yet. Far from it. But imagine where we will be two, five, or even ten years down the road. Tablets have already made a huge impact on the mobile and PC market in just one year. Given the time to update several more times, for the internal technology to advance, and the software development to be taken to a new level, these tablets could be all we need. PCs could be a thing of the past.

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94 Reactions to this post

"Will tablets eliminate the need for a home computer for the average consumer?"

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Malik Untracable Brock
Malik Untracable Brock Yes And No, The Reason I say this is cause if u have a desktop with internet at home, theres ur unlimited internet connection, but with a wi-fi tablet u have to scan so many places for internet, Im not paying anything just to use 3G on my galaxy tab when I Have 3G On my Evo.
Matt Murdoch
Matt Murdoch no
Ankur Mehra
Ankur Mehra ya maybe later on but nothing can compete with a fully loaded pc!!!!
Tj Selvey
Tj Selvey This is what recent phone and tab tech has done for me; My phone for when I am not home, great for a quick email or browsing the web. Tablet, I see this as something I will have on my living room table. I would use it for browsing the internet when im watching tv. I'm sure they will come out with app's to become the remote for everything in my entertainment system. I would also use it when I go on vacation or any extended trips, I hate using other ppl's slow computers. Then my desktop, it will be a long long time until a tablet could match the power of my current computer. This is what I use for pretty much everything. It's faster, it can multitask seamlessly, tablets won't be able to do this for a while since computers are just getting good enough to handle true multitasking.
Vinodkumar Kn
Vinodkumar Kn Tablets are just a fantasy unless their OS is real PC Windows7/Linux/Mac
Igor Rebenko
Igor Rebenko a BIG yes with a but, coz it will be a while b4 they can.. they will definitely replace the conventional netbook, but pc will still be around for hardcore gamers and developers
Vuk Vukicevic
Vuk Vukicevic They will, for sure. If someone IS a average customer/user, than he wont show need for cad or PS. Inernet browser, mail client and some basic doc, audio and video tools will be just enough.
Liau Jian Jie
Liau Jian Jie Nope. It will most probably replace laptops rather than desktops.
Jacob Lee
Jacob Lee i will say no... because most of the tablets are not powerful then the Home computer.
Christian Anthony Diaz
Christian Anthony Diaz Let's just say for the people who say yes, are the simple users, they don't know too much, they're .... simple. But for the big daddy's of the tech world we all know the answer is no.
Eddy Issa
Eddy Issa No!!!
Hiren Loksham Subba
Hiren Loksham Subba yes...it will.....
Michael Nwankwo
Michael Nwankwo Unless people can create wireless keyboards and upgrade tablets to the functionality of modern computers, I don't think so.
Dennis Caunce
Dennis Caunce Depends if blizzard release world of Warcraft on them or not ;-)
Tony Dear III
Tony Dear III not yet
Ricardo Contreras Jr.
Ricardo Contreras Jr. Table salt
Dae Hwan Kim
Dae Hwan Kim probably not
Sachin Gurung
Sachin Gurung long way to go that. .I hav a tab bt still need my laptop when at home
Tony Abiama
Tony Abiama Tabs will evolve and yes I do think they can replace laptops... but that's months down the line
Tony Godswatching Overme
Tony Godswatching Overme Yes
Sterling Jack
Sterling Jack I think so, I plan on getting a Tablet to replcace my lap top when the time comes :)
Jon Jerico Calanio
Jon Jerico Calanio Not even the most powerful tablet in 2-3 generations can compete with a full-fledged gaming rig, complete with GTX 580's on SLI and an i7 Sandy Bridge processor. Nope. Nada. What the PC can do as well is its ability to be upgradeable with individual components, something tablets and laptops cannot do. This modular design is what's keeping an average PC alive for more than 3-5 years given proper care.
Lisa Lubova Cliver
Lisa Lubova Cliver Ilove.... But I would love to win one of the samsung tabs :0)
DomiNyc Turner
DomiNyc Turner Wait, define the average consumer.......?
Zach Cline
Zach Cline I would sssh they'll replace desktops in the next 5- 7 years. They be be more advanced by then. And to the people crying about not having a physical keyboard, touch screen keyboards are just as easy to type with. All comes down to what you've got.
Jon Jerico Calanio
Jon Jerico Calanio Nope. Unless it runs Crysis at 1080p and 60FPS.
DomiNyc Turner
DomiNyc Turner If they're like the ASUS tablet with the keyboard then yes
Jee Ramos
Jee Ramos No.
Israel Leiva
Israel Leiva Tablets have only killed netbooks. They haven't killed PCs or laptops.
Juan Jose Rios
Juan Jose Rios LOL... No, we might get more PCs with touch screens though...
Johnathon J. Lopez
Johnathon J. Lopez will they have the ability to use hardcore software for editing video, pictures and/or music, will they have the memory to hold all the things that a desktop or a laptop have to offer.. will they stick with a design similar to some smartphones with physical qwerty keyboard, will they be able to read discs and have usb inputs? these are just a few questions the makers of tablets need to think of. also School work and office work will need to be taken into consideration
Philip Raghunath
Philip Raghunath Never...not with all the games for pc's and all the other functionalities that the pc has that the tablets don't.
Bo Bohagon
Bo Bohagon I give it 5 yrs. before they discontinue laptops.
Ben Garcia
Ben Garcia If your gonna do work,a desktop,if your gonna play,get a tablet...
Marcia Gagne Weiss
Marcia Gagne Weiss I'm eagerly awaiting a PC tablet that doesn't require a cell phone connection or monthly fee. Plus it must have a USB port at least.
Mario Alan Perez Arreola
Mario Alan Perez Arreola Dont think so not in 3 or 6 years, maybe tablets are notebooks replacements, but tablets are a new market segment.. that's what I think
Cliften Bowers
Cliften Bowers I think this is already answered by the vast majority of mobile users already in existence.
Shawn Meadows
Shawn Meadows Untill*
Shawn Meadows
Shawn Meadows Untilled they make a 27+ inch tablet running OS X and is faster than my iMac not for me (:
Brian Waldbart
Brian Waldbart No pcs an macs just have a different feel when using them then tablets
Jose Pablo Islas
Jose Pablo Islas Yes
Christopher Henry
Christopher Henry Maybe but not for another 5-7 years.
Orlando Roger Grijalva
Orlando Roger Grijalva Not now. But in the near future they will. With better implementations of keyboard docks and more powerful tablets it will for sure replace home computers for the AVERAGE user.
Chris Rodriguez
Chris Rodriguez Nothing will replace my gaming computer
Tito Rodriguez
Tito Rodriguez For me the pda's did. For work still need PC. My wife uses her netbook instead of her phone though.
Hernan Ramirez Juarez
Hernan Ramirez Juarez Not anytime soon.
Markell Simms
Markell Simms Mac Book Air
Anh-Tuan Le
Anh-Tuan Le Unless you're a student or a work-at-home type of person, tablets will def be the better buy. If all you do at home is web browsing, emailing, social networking, youtubing, online shopping, tablet is the more convenient device. Tablets are not completely there yet, because they still lack robustness. But they're much more mobile and easier to use. More importantly, they have the "instant on" feature, which desktops and laptops lack. But, if you need a keyboard and mouse to do extensive writing, spreadheet-ing, photoshopping, then no, tablets will never replace the laptop/desktop.
Danny Ortiz
Danny Ortiz Simple answer...No
Danny Téllez
Danny Téllez No. Phone dockable laptops will though.
Deanna Dappen
Deanna Dappen Nope.
Phyleece Young
Phyleece Young yup. what i use my pc for i can/ will do on a tablet.
Jermaine Wiley
Jermaine Wiley Yeah I agree its going to replace laptops first b4 desktops
Josh Bloxsome
Josh Bloxsome No way.. to many people who work from home, and they aren't powerful enough
Osama Naeem
Osama Naeem i think tablets could replace secondary laptop. but not imacs or ur primary desktop...they are designed 4 internet surfing mailing and gaming wich is fantastic on ipad ....but we cant get pro software like imovie final cut for video editing etc.
Mark Plsek
Mark Plsek Maybe if they start running a windows os
Stephanie Lee
Stephanie Lee Not. It takes so much longer to type and do data entry on a tablet.
Ozker Mgl
Ozker Mgl Tablets would always be great for multimedia such as browsing videos-watching movies-viewing photos etc. They can be used for controlling your home theatre system dimming lights viewing your home security cameras, keeping an eye on your new born. viewing recipes etc. It will never replace the productivity of a desktop, writing code developing your website, video editing etc. This generation is really on the go, and mobilty is key. We can't do everything in our smartphones, we want to do a little more but don't want to take out our laptops just to watch a funny video in hd, that's when you take your tablet out and share the little things in life :)
Andrew Martinez
Andrew Martinez I think for the average person using their PC just for email, news, fb, music, movies etc.... it will be more that enough for them
Jerry Adney
Jerry Adney Depends what they plan on doing. If all they do is browse the web and email then sure, it could suffice. I use my home computer for media production, design, as a media center/server, and gaming platform as well as a web browser or media playback device so I would go nuts if I only had a tablet.
Alin Badiu
Alin Badiu
David Rosen
David Rosen only if they have well designed keyboard docks. typing on touch screens is the worst thing ever.
Ali Hachem
Ali Hachem No becoz wat if you want to print something
Alin Badiu
Alin Badiu And for the ones not reading the title...they are talking about the average consumer, not the ones doing specialty shit on them...and the second thing..."will" is future, not now!
Aj Nyatui
Aj Nyatui answer: NO
Alin Badiu
Alin Badiu they might as soon as they evolve a lil bit more
Kevin Tan
Kevin Tan If programming tasks can be in the cloud, then tablets will replace PCs.
Robert Centennial
Robert Centennial Never they are actually kind of useless. All I need is my macbook and my smart phone
Jason Ramos
Jason Ramos @Jae. I mean are you kidding? Can you imagine music editiing, video editing? Tablets aren't powerful enough to run something like Pro Tools and they never will be. Tablets could become powerful enough to replace a netbook or a laptop but never a home desktop. No way.
David Hilgendorf
David Hilgendorf Will replace laptops in the next couple of years. In the mean time zoom honeycomb will be huge in where the tablet game goes from here.
Diana Smith Hill
Diana Smith Hill No
Mario Cazares
Mario Cazares But not yet along way to go
Mario Cazares
Mario Cazares Yes
Alex Simmons
Alex Simmons No... not at all... maybe for the next gen. Kids but rite now.... NO!!!!
Angus Stewart
Angus Stewart I think I have used my laptop only a handful of times since I got my ipad...while it is true computers can do more work, I think the average consumer who just surfs the web, looks at and uploads photos and listens to music will find what they need in a tablet and personal computer sales will fall.
Joel Gomez
Joel Gomez Everything will be touch based. Time for the clunky mouse to go
German Phill
German Phill Maybe with the right docking station, but not by itself
Brian Zumbach
Brian Zumbach My droid x already has replaced all of them
Stoney Rose
Stoney Rose Computers still are a need in society cuz thier well used and owned, give it 2 generations and computers will be leaning more in the tablet size
Matthew Scott
Matthew Scott Until a real intuitive keyboard is built. It wont happen.
Andy Overcash
Andy Overcash No. Could you imagine typing for long periods of time on something like that.
Eskias McDaniels
Eskias McDaniels Did wet wipes replace hand soap?
Jae Edwards
Jae Edwards lol they said the same thing about laptops.. its never gonna happen.. But it may kill netbooks and laptops together.. www.lmaobook.com
Ramon Quintero
Ramon Quintero Tablets might replace laptops but not desktops
Jason Ramos
Jason Ramos Absolutely not. Trying doing cad or photoshop on a tablet
Ramon Quintero
Ramon Quintero No.
Matthew Scott
Matthew Scott Never.
Nora Rubinoff
Nora Rubinoff <3 tablets, but they're no replacement for my iMac.
Matthew James
Matthew James
Noel Barcellos
Noel Barcellos Maybe one day .. its going to be quicker to replace the laptop before the home computer. I still have a "home" computer media center I use to play games hooked to my TV... so until a tab can have those type of graphics and the games to support.. then im sure it will. till then its just tabs vs laptops.
John Cox
John Cox Yes
Ivan Alvarado
Ivan Alvarado No
Tanner Hodges
Tanner Hodges Nope, computers still have an upper hand in productivity and things you can do on them
Elliott Rodriguez
Elliott Rodriguez Yes/not yet

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