How do you use your tablet?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| November 25, 2012

I use my laptop every day. I know that isn’t surprising, but I do. With that being said, it’s one of the reasons why I’m super picky about the device that I use. I’ve gone from Windows 7, to Mac OS X, to Windows 8, and then back and forth between the last two multiple times, all because my need changes on a whim. I need a certain sort of functionality, which is why (or at least one reason why) what I want will change without warning. I bring this up because I think this is one of the biggest reasons why I can’t pick a tablet, despite the fact that, right now, we’re probably in the best time to choose one.

No, not because we’re in the start of the holiday shopping season. Now is probably the best time to buy a tablet because we have the best options to choose from at this point. I mean, just a few years ago there weren’t any good options, outside that one tablet from that one company. Now, though, that’s completely changed. Not only do we have two different sizes of iPads to choose from, but we also have tablets from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ASUS, and others that are actually worth our money.

Like I said, now is the perfect time to want to buy a tablet, as there are finally worthy devices to choose from.

Since the launch of the Nexus 7, I’ve owned several different tablets, including the Nexus 7. I’ve picked up the iPad 3, the iPad 4, the iPad mini, Microsoft’s Surface with Windows RT, and I almost pulled the trigger on buying a Nexus 10, too. (A colleague of mine almost got me to buy HP’s TouchPad, but I talked myself out of that just in time.) All of them were returned relatively quickly, and all for the same reason: the realization that I have no idea what to use it for.

Let me explain. I use the tablet, any one of them, for a good few days, and I get a lot of use out of them. Reading the news, or checking up on social networks, or even getting some writing done. All of the tablets, with the exception of the Nexus 7, really, have been great with providing me with another means to get my writing done away from my laptop. The problem is the next part, when I have to do something with that writing, because as it stands a tablet cannot replace my laptop as the be-all device for getting work done.

Which means that I’ve basically bought a very expensive device to play games on, or read the news on. Paying upwards of $400 or more to read the news in a digital fashion, or to play Jetpack Joyride on, doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s something that just . . . Well, it just hasn’t clicked for me, and I want to change that.

Why? Because I think tablets, especially the ones we can choose from in today’s market, are amazing. I love them. I love the idea, the concept, and even, in most cases, the execution. The fourth-generation iPad, Surface, and the iPad mini are amazing devices to use. The Nexus 7? Probably will be my favorite 7-inch tablet for a long time.

I do think that tablets need a 3G/4G connection right out of the box. Tethering to my smartphone is an option, or finding a Wi-Fi signal, but I just want the ability to connect to the ‘net wherever I am, not having to use my phone’s battery or have to find a Wi-Fi location. Those options exist, thankfully, but they don’t get a fair shake because I can’t replace my laptop quite yet.

I feel like this is a topic that I can be swayed on, though. I feel that, with my love for tablets in general, I could be swayed to get one and actually use one, if a poignant argument was presented to me. Which is why I’m reaching out to you, Dear Reader. I want to know which tablet you have, and why you use it. Do you use it every day? If not, are you okay with that? Do you use it every day? If so, what’s your number one use for it? Tell me why you use a tablet, and maybe you can be the one to finally convince me to buy, and keep, my next tablet.