Mortal Kombat: Tablets vs. Computers FIGHT!

Photo Credit: PC World – 10/26/11

I recently picked up an iPad. The reason behind this is because my laptop (which has a loose battery) will up and shut off from time-to-time. This is very embarrassing when it happens in front of a client, during a consult. That has ACTUALLY happened to me. Feel free to ask Ashley over at Loafer’s Station is you need confirmation. I thought to buy a new laptop, but realized that there are a ton of useful accessories out there for things like iPads, so I went with the iPad. Being that this is fairly new purchase for me, I haven’t had the chance to play with the full functionality of the iPad as being a solid replacement for my laptop (I am getting ready to purchase some hardware that will allow me to hook my mixer and mics up to the iPad so I can podcast from it) but from what I know about the hardware that exists out there, I don’t see why I couldn’t make a full and complete transfer.

After I started using my iPad for updating Twitter and such, I got a question from someone via Twitter that spurred this blog post. To preface this embedded Tweet, Stephen (the person that raised this question; as you will see below) and I were discussing how much I liked my new iPad. That led to a Twitter conversation about a meeting that I had attended the night before. I know Stephen and I know that he is a big fan of Android devices.  So that is what led to this exchange:

That made me start thinking about the topic, so I promised him that I would do a blog post on the subject, and took to Google later on to get some figures. This is that blog post…

Tablets Outselling Laptops?

I am not going to bother quoting too many figures on this subject, because, in my opinion, the results should be pretty obvious. Laptops are still outselling tablets. Laptops provide a greater depth of functionality when it comes to audio/video editing, ease of typing (conventionally anyway) and digital storage space.

Tangential, Yet Useful Info:

My household is currently in possession of my personal laptop, and three tablet devices. The first tablet that we bought was a couple of years ago and ran the Android system. At the time, both my wife and I had Android phones, and we were familiar with the operating system and how to use it. So I purchased an Android tablet for us during a Black Friday sale. Around 6 months later both of our Android phones went belly up. That being the case, we replaced our Android phones with iPhones, just because I wanted to try out a new gadget. Then, another 5 months later,  the tablet went belly up. My wife wanted a Kindle Fire to replace the previous tablet, so I got her one last Black Friday. I was iffy about it, however, because it also runs an Android system, but that’s what she wanted. I am going on about this so the “I Hate All Things Apple and All People That Use Apple Products” types don’t get their panties in a bunch. Not that my saying that, “I tried out different things and made a consumer decision based on the experiences that I had with the given products” will make a difference to the “loyalists” that exist out there, (some people get crazy about this debate) I am stating that I do not blindly purchase products that are made by ANY company. If I buy something and like how it performs in its given range of abilities, I am more likely to purchase the same product again, in the future, should I need to. The inverse is also true. Go ahead and attack me loyalists and elitists, I believe in being an experience informed consumer rather than blindly following trends because someone on some forum or another said that I should. The same argument could be made for many Apple people I know, as well. To my knowledge, Stephen is like me and makes informed decisions. He went Android and I went Apple in these given sets of circumstances. So I hope he realizes that I’m not referring to him with this jab. The “Apple vs. Android” people seem like people that want to make other people feel inferior for their consumer choices, which is stupid. I don’t take part in these fights, but I am tired of getting pulled into them and then getting ganged up on by either or. The Apple people get after me just as bad.

Back to the Subject at Hand:

As I said before, tablets are not taking over the laptop market. They have, however, taken over the netbook market. In a post on PCWorld late last year, the website revealed that the tablet market has, and will continue to affect the netbook market:

Netbooks declined 13 percent from their first quarter shipment of 8.4 million netbooks, but, more importantly, tablet shipments really boomed: In the first quarter of this year, just 6.4 million tablets shipped—making the second quarter shipments a 112.5 percent increase. – Posted on PCWorld by Melanie Pinola 10/26/11 Read More—>

This comes as no surprise to me. Tablets run right around the same price as a netbook, but are markedly greater when it comes to processing power. As for the “Tablet vs. Laptop” debate, I think it is pretty clear. Laptop’s sell better than tablets, and will continue to for a couple more years. I do believe, however, that tablets will take over for laptops in the future. Laptops are more expensive than tablets. Sure, there are plenty of advantages of owning a laptop over owning a tablet. Processing power, hard drive space, keyboard convenience and the ability to add external components.

The average consumer, however, does not need the kind of processing power or hard drive space that comes with laptops these days. The people who would still need this functionality are people who are producing and creating audio and video content. In which case, there’s a good chance that they would prefer a traditional computer over a tablet anyway, because professional audio and video processing software is more readily available on a computer and generally needs the disk space and processing power that can only be found on a computer. That computer should be a laptop, if they want to be able to take the “show on the road” so to speak. The average consumer is looking for something that will perform a few basic functions (surfing the web, playing music, watching videos, updating Facebook, etc.) for under $500. Once you apply those criteria to the debate, it seems obvious to me that the average consumer would choose a $400 iPad or a $389 Samsung Galaxy over an $1100 Mac Book or $1000 Dell XPS.

With the peripherals market being what it is today, you can customize your tablet with external hardware pretty easily. I have a nice leather case that allows me to easily tote my iPad along with a keyboard that connects to my iPad. There is also a piece of gear out there that will allow me to jack my mixer and mics into the iPad so I can record podcasts. Garageband has a great app that allows me to record/edit/mix audio, so I should be able to (in theory; still not tested) record edit and upload all my podcasts from my iPad. As for video stuff, the camera on the iPad is pretty amazing, and iMovie has a super simple to use video editing app that allows me to upload finished video directly to YouTube. Those are the reasons that I purchased a laptop. So I could do worky type stuff while my wife was playing Farmville (or whatever) on our home PC. Should that piece of equipment that would allow me to podcast from my iPad work out, then my iPad will become my primary form of computing.

In Conclusion:

Do I think tablets will start to outsell laptops? Yes. Do I think they will eliminate laptops all together? Not at all. As I said, there will still be people who prefer the functionality of a laptop over a tablet. I also thing that the smart phone boom that happened recently has prepped a lot of people for tablet computing. Think about it… If you’re used to doing most of your internet stuff on a smart phone via applications, then the tablet is made for you. It’s the same premise, with a larger screen.

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About Alloy Matt
Happy Husband | Beardsman | Blogger | Dreamer | Wholigan | Drinker of Coffees | Tweeter of Hashtags | Gamer of Table Tops | Amature Astronomer | Fanboy of Apple

2 Responses to Mortal Kombat: Tablets vs. Computers FIGHT!

  1. Hey man! Nice writeup.

    I didn’t take offense to it at all. Honestly…I like my PC because it was cheaper than a Macbook Pro but I spent over $2K on a good iMac for my home studio. When it comes to audio/video editing I think that Apple is the way to go. Even Windows elitists usually agree with me, including my roommate who is a PC Nazi. I enjoy the iPad a lot and it always seems to wrong fuckin’ fantastic. I will say that iOS (of any generation) has fantastically fluid movements. It’s gorgeous, to be honest. Not that Android tablets don’t, but when it comes to android, I pay for customization. Without jailbreaking an iPad/iPhone you don’t have much customization. At least not to my knowledge. Same with the iPhone…it’s a great device…ESPECIALLY the camera. Android phones’ cameras will never beat the iPhone…period.

    So I guess you could say when it comes to mobile devices I’m an Android lover but when it comes to computers themselves, I love OSX and Apple.

    That’s my two sense!

  2. ashusood says:

    Thanks for sharing this detailed information that tablets beats computers but according to me its depend on brands if we talk about apple ipad tablet and one simple non brand computer it makes difference but if we compare it with apple computers then its difficult to compare

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