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Tablets are strange things. They do nothing and everything at once. They're not really capable of anything more than your smartphone is, yet they can't hold a candle to a laptop or desktop. Still, millions upon millions of people are snatching them up and finding a way to fit them into their daily routine – obviously more iPads are being bought than their Android counterparts. But I'm not here to compare Apples to ... Androids. We're talking tablets as a whole.

Despite the 70 million or so tablet owners in the world, there are a lot of people who can't justify owning (or using) a tablet over another device. Two days ago, our own Evan Selleck explained how he has tried time and time again to find the perfect tablet. No matter how many he goes through or what unique feature or add-on a tablet may come with, he cannot find a justifiable reason to keep one around. Inevitably, he returns it every time.

And even Aaron, who just finished reviewing the new iPad, has always told me he has no use for a tablet – that he doesn't care for a device that doesn't bring any added functionality beyond a smartphone or match that of a computer. (I'm almost certain that if a device smaller and lighter than a MacBook Air could handle all of Aaron's workload, he would probably pounce on it in an instant and without second thought. I can already hear him saying, "It's perfect for travel.")

I, however, am on the other end of the spectrum. As Evan explained on Tuesday, I have also been through a slew of different tablets. I've even lost count now. Unlike Evan, though, I have found the perfect spot in my life for a tablet ... or two. (You can never have too many, right?)

I know that I've been over how I use a tablet before, and how a tablet has made me more productive. But a lot has changed since then. And I figure now that there are over three million more tablet owners than there were just last week, this is the perfect time to recap and update how tablets fit into my life, and to see what uses new tablet owners have found for their devices.

If you haven't already read on Twitter or in one of my recent articles, I no longer have a Galaxy Tab 10.1. (So long, Tabby. You were always so good to me ... sort of.) Long story short, TouchWiz killed the Galaxy Tab for me and I got tired of carrying around a Bluetooth keyboard with my tablet everywhere I went. I wanted an integrated keyboard so I sold the Tab and decided to wait. I didn't even last an entire day before I started missing having a tablet around. I found and bought a Transformer Prime that evening.

Much like the original Eee Pad Transformer, the Prime fits perfectly into my routine.

The very first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is grab the Prime off of my nightstand and take it off the charger. I flip it open and start sifting through my Google Reader and checking a few other sites that I frequent. This is how I do 90 percent of my reading and browsing, especially via Google Reader. And I use the Prime, almost exclusively, for reading and responding to Gmail.

If I have to work (if it isn't Tuesday or the weekend), I generally open Google Docs shortly thereafter and begin tapping away at the keyboard, sometimes before I ever get out of bed. Of course, I can't do everything from a tablet – the browser doesn't have all the capabilities I need and Adobe Photoshop Touch doesn't export at high enough quality for me to edit pictures for articles on the device itself. So when I get about 95 percent done writing (and I do this for nearly every article), I sync my document and switch to my MacBook.

But why use the tablet if I'm just going to have to switch to a MacBook later? Why not use the MacBook from the beginning?

For me, it's all about time and concentration. I could spend 15 hours a day sitting behind a computer and writing, tweeting and whatever I could find to distract myself (like Facebook, Geekli.st, etc.). Or I can write from a tablet and work for six to eight hours with significantly more concentration and speed, and enjoy some daylight after work. I have tried everything from different techniques and taking frequent breaks to muster up some concentration. At times, I can work from my MacBook without a problem. But more often than not, I find myself drifting away behind my computer. With a tablet, the slight limitations keep me concentrated and make me work faster and more efficiently.

But it isn't all about work either. I have nearly 50 games installed on my Prime and I play a lot of them – like Shadowgun, Asphalt 6, Flick Golf, Osmos HD and GLWG – frequently. I haven't turned on my 360 or PS3 for anything other than Netflix in months, mainly because I've been so busy. Plus, an hour can quickly turn to several. I simply don't have that much time to waste. So I play a few games on my tablet after work to relax and to slip into sleep mode.

I also use the Prime for casual Web browsing, communicating with some teammates of mine, synchronizing work between us, etc. It works really well for streaming Google Music, too, as long as you're using headphones. And, occasionally, I use it for video chatting. (I tried to start a Google+ Hangout with it last night and it didn't work so well.)

For many, tablets are still novelty items – just that thing they use to browse Web sites and read news on the couch after work. For me, having a tablet is important, solely due to how I have integrated the one I currently own in my life. Not a day goes by when I don't use my tablet. I thought I would be fine without one for a couple days and quickly realized just how much I used the one I sold.

Tell me, folks. How do you use your tablets on a daily basis? Do you just use it casually? Or have you integrated it into your work life? Do you, like me, use it for more than one thing (i.e.: gaming, work, collaboration, etc.)? And new iPad owners, how do you find your new addition fitting into your life?


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77 Reactions to this post

"Are tablets useful?"


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Kirk Ngo If they had descent apps for the thing.
Anonymous Too limited for work w/o keyboard. Unpleasant for extended reading. Would rather watch video on larger screens.
Shin Wolf tablet is my life
Jermain Filicia I have a bb playbook,and i love it! I us it everyday,for surfing the web,chatting, playmusic,bbm! I like it a lot!!!
Michelle Womble Everyday, most all day. Business, games, notes, email, browsing. I own a business & it really is a huge asset. Create documents, create & email invoice, take credit card payments, endless. & then games when bored.
Peter Kis I spend about 3-4 hours per day on my iPad reading texts for uni, marking PDFs, taking notes in class etc. I also use it for the classes I teach myself. Yesterday I graded oral exams with it.
Anthony V Cannata I bought toshiba thrive & I've used it 4 times.... I'm thinking about selling it just because I don't use it I use my Moto Razr MAXX much more. I would never buy a tablet again!
Wasis Waskito Medicine?
Nicholas Campbell There is some magic in a tablet. Every time I unlock my iPad (the original) I get chills. Call it a novelty, but it really is the wave of the future. 3 year olds understand it why can't you guys?
Gmb Matt Got rid of my laptop. I use my Xoom for everything.
Nick PapaGeorgio Gulbranson Got an Archos 101 G9 turbo....best electronic investment I've ever made! Super fast, incredible screen and HDMI output puts w/e is on the screen on your TV! And reasonably priced for a tablet.
Nick LaSorsa Have not turned on my laptop in 5 months, my Asus transformer is enough for me
Jan Michael Cruz I use my useful playbook all the time
Dina Locklear Ball every evening & all wknd, poor laptop/desktop collecting dust
Wendy Lindop iPad all the time for everything except World of Warcraft.
Noel Easer Ellerbe Ever since i got my tablet over a year ago, i use my PC about 80% less... Picking up the new ipad in a few weeks.. ;)
Jessica Rodriguez I love my iPad 2 it's the best ever love watching netflix and using my kindle and just the fact of the apps it's just perfect for all my uses
Michelle Sullivan-Hooper I have an iPad 2 and I use it all the time! I have arthritis in my hands really bad and was having trouble bending my fingers to type on a regular keyboard or on my keyboard on my Gateway laptop...but with this, I just tap...my hands don't ever hurt worse from just tapping! And on days when I am physically stuck in bed due to my illness, my iPad 2 is so much easier to use while in bed. My laptop was bulky, awkward to hold, it would get hot, even with a fan/tray under it! Next is the wireless link for my iPad 2 to my TV so I can watch Netflix with no cord! LOVE MY iPad 2!!!
Mark Fisher Jr. I don't have the need for one.
Paul Davis About as useful as your mom was last night lol
Tony Abiama I've been using my touchpad a lot more recently, mostly for browsing and watching videos... My laptop is officially collecting dust. This of course was typed up on my Touchpad ;-)
Larry Waters Problem is a tablet is not a phone. You still have to carry two devices. I'm leaning towards the Samsung Note as the screen is big enough for most things I would use a tablet for plus its a phone. That is, if they (or someone else) comes out with a Windows Phone OS version instead of Android.
Nic Gatewood I have the transformer and it is amazing! With the dock, even better! You can use it like a laptop, and a tablet. Just put it on the dock, and it charges! Lasts for about 16 hours with heavy usage(with dock)
Agim Alion I never understood them till I got my hands on one. I thought my 4.3" Evo would of been enough. Now I'm 70% tablet 30% laptop
Michael Turner I used to have a BB Playbook which was a little pain to use sometimes, liked the camera and it said on Facebook post it was made by Playbook app, now got New iPad that I am just stared to use, Facebook, Twitter, music, movies, and watching thing via Apple TV. I notice a lot of people travel on train use iPads.
George Isenhart I haven't used my computer a handful of times since getting my tablet and I run my business off of it as well, I would be lost without my Samsung Galaxy Tab my wife got me Christmas of 2010.
Jeremy Bennett Everyday, it took the place of a pen and paper in class
Erman Guido Don't want one, don't need one.
Joeana Marie Bush Im not too sure where mine is at really want an ipad though i dont dislike my galaxy tab but i love being in ios
Wally Morris everyday haha usually at least once an hour:p and i use it for school... when home its playing games
Nathan Wright Use my kindle fire for books, Internet, and games. Sure its not an iPad or asus transformer prime but I love it.
Roger Schubert DeOliveira To look at porn while I shit.........
Devin Martinez I'm using my iPad right now lol
Wilson R. Torres Tablets are an extremely overpriced gimmick.
Karan Lamba Everything and all the time
Byktor Urvaes Nope! I still don't see the point of it
Rob Smith My Acer Iconia A500 goes whereevr I go, and is much more convenient than even my netbook. No, it won't do everything that my ThinkPad will, but that's OK, it does what I need it to do. No holds barred, it was the best purchase I made in 2011.
Ben Cicotte Never... Because I'm too poor to afford one ;)
Paul Vanderbear I'm on mine at least 4 hours a day
Shanne Liszewski I have Samsung 10.1 and 7 plus, I use them everyday, for basic e mail, Facebook, internet, and games, add well add one of them keeps my daughter busy, when the battery dies on my old Samsung galaxy 4g I gave her when I got the s2 lol, I like Samsung products, including my laptop and 55 inch led TV
John T Wilson Jr I use my PlayBook everyday. I rarely ever use my netbook any more.
Karam Grewal For taking notes in class
Cody Haley I use my Jetstream in place of a computer
Matic Poznic Eee pad transformer :D for web surfing and playing games when i'm bored ;D
Preston Campbell uh , yes .
Cassy Dickerson Acer Iconia A500. I use it everyday. Still waiting for 4.0 update in april
Curtis Ritter I use my Acer a200 with 4.0 everyday
Henry Lavender Asus Eee Pad Transformer + Splashtop HD = WIN
Adrian Anguiano I'm going to use my New IPad for college next week
Calvin JW Transformer Prime ftw.
Chris Cobeen Getting an Iconia Tab A100 on the 3rd, CANT wait to have one :D
Gabe Moran Hi def porn on the big screen
Mark Schleupner I use it to check Facebook and watch videos
Wasim Mazahreh For everything. Idk where my laptop is anymore.
Curt Popejoy We have 2 streak 7's running honeycomb and they are in constant use in our family of 4. We have 2 laptops, 3 smartphones, and 2 ipod touch, and other than my windows phone, nothing gets more use than the tablets.
Linda Beheller Mazziotti Since I have my ipad2 Ouse it more than my laptop, in fact Ouse my laptop about 4times a month and my iPad everyday. Love it.
Tebo Lemur Finally ! Someone asks the right question
Bradley E Watson I use my toshiba thrive 4 everything now I barely touch my laptop anymore
Davide Mazza phablet ftw
Kyle Bowser i use my gslate as an ereader more than anything else
Robert Wellington Clubine III I use my iPad 2 everyday, why buy anything if you do not put it to use.
Simon Andersson I use it all the time for stuff that don't require a powerful PC which has become loads of stuff as reading the web, mails, videos. It doesn't do anything special, but it makes everything else that I do much simpler.
Neil Leisenheimer I use mine for browsing while I'm eating or watching tv. Otherwise, my computer offers a better experience at home and my android phone offers a better experience on the go. My iPad occupies a small niche in my life, but it's still nice to have.
Tori Lee All the time. I use it for taking notes in class. I have the Lenovo Thinkpad, by the way. I also browse the Internet and play games.
Brandon Worley Every day for everything. 4 tablets in our house 2 w/service
Kwame Amin Im using an hp touchpad running android 4.0. I use it alll the time. Lets go knicks.
Aaron Cantu I use my iPad all day everyday for literally everything...
Allan Morrill I use my tablet more than my laptop
Isaac Castillo i don't use mine for anything its just they're gathering dust i use it for netflix sometimes that's it loll ipad2
Francis San Pedro I use my iPad 2 more than my laptop. I got a TouchPad during the fire sale, but only recently have I been using it more since I put android on it. Mainly for the emulators, namely psx.
Deborah Trebour Cooper i like the touch screen feature...i also use it for work when i need to look up medications.
Billy Keller II I use mine for everything, nav, music, videos, web , email, and school
Derek Mann I use mine for school, I haven't used paper to take notes all year.
Jose Guerrero Iam an android fan and my tablet is great, i use it fro entertainment and is very useful at my job since i have to be checking things on my jobs software and walking around, it helps me a lot!
Gordon Christie i hardly ever look at it anymore it wasnt as good as i imagined it to be in fact my galaxy s2 is better than it so i prefer the phone
Ivan Vasquez I use it every time I get in my car its mounted in my dash for music nav videos web




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