Is there really room for a tablet in your life?

Marc Flores
 from  San Francisco, CA
| July 13, 2013

My Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is sitting on my desk, collecting dust. Between the massive amounts of time I spend on my smartphone and laptop, I really just don't see the point in using the Galaxy Note 8. By now, most of you are thinking, "What's the deal with this guy? I use my tablet all the time." I realize this isn't the case for everyone, but for the most part, everyone I know who owns a tablet has fallen into the same pit. When I got the Galaxy Note 8, I was excited to use it and take advantage of all of its features. Split screens, the S Pen, tablet-specific apps -- I was ready and excited for it all! I remember thinking to myself, "I'm going to use this thing every day. It's so convenient and useful!"

My girlfriend, who also works in tech, almost never uses her iPad or Galaxy Note 8. She was also excited when she got the Samsung tablet, and now wants to be rid of it. Her iPad only sees the light of day whenever she needs it for work events. Otherwise, we're both on our phones or MacBooks whenever we need to create or consume content. 

Both my brother and sister own an iPad mini and an iPad 3, respectively. When I ask them how often they use their Apple tablets, they say every day. What do they do with them? Watch YouTube when they're about to fall asleep at night.

A developer friend of mine uses his Nexus 7 as a music player. He connects it to his speakers and runs Spotify through it all day. I gave him a Galaxy Tab 10.1 a little over a year ago, and I don't even know what happened to that thing. I never see him using it anymore. 

I've really tried getting into fitting tablets into my life somehow. I travel a lot, and figured that any one of my tablets would've been a great asset on the road, whether it was for checking and responding to e-mails, flipping through social networking feeds or even watching videos. I just can't. I've owned every single iPad except the iPad mini since the first model, and they're all gone now. I sold each one on Craigslist.

There are undoubtedly people who use their tablets, likely iPads, if we're going to be honest here, every single day. iPads are occasionally useful for taking notes, watching videos, and performing all the smaller tasks that don't require a computer. But being on a computer is just so much faster and easier for almost everything you want to do. Sure, computers are bigger, but I really don't mind the size and weight of my 13" MacBook Air. And if I'm away from my computer, my tablet isn't the first thing I go running to; I'll just take out whatever smartphone I happen to have in my pocket or on my desk and use that. 

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that tablets still seem so very niche. Sure, gazillions of iPads are sold every quarter, along with a handful of Android tablets, and maybe one or two Windows tablets, but how many of those device see regular use? Nearly everyone I know, from the tech savvy to the tech apathetic, eventually stop using their tablets after about a month or so. 

One good use I've seen with iPads is for business. Whether they're used as catalogs inside retail stores, POS units for transactions or displays and interactive tools at other businesses, they really seem to have found their place in the business and enterprise world. It's the one case where I've seen not just the daily use of an iPad, but reliance on what I'd otherwise call a non-essential device. 

If you wanna rail against me in the comments because you're glued to your iPad or Android tablet, and you think I'm just plain wrong, knock yourself out in the comments and I'll be more than happy to engage with you guys. Hope you're having a good weekend so far!