Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Why I don't use tablets
The world is filled with tablets and smartphones. I've resisted the temptation to jump on the bandwagon (mostly, I did buy a used zaurus).
My main computer activities consist of running a server, programming and researching information on the internet. Now writing programs on a tablet just seems silly. There's no tactile feedback from an on-screen keyboard and even if it did have a real keyboard it would be no where near the full size. The grunt-and-point interface just doesn't cut it.
I've always wondered just how difficult it is to repair a tablet. Fortunately the engineers at ifixit.com have ranked the tablets by repairability:
The Microsoft Surface Pro ranked the worst and the Dell XPS 10 took top ranking as the most repairable device on the list.
The advantages of using a desktop or tower computer over a tablet are numerous: no battery life to worry about, proper keyboard, repairable (replacement parts are easy to come by), large monitor, and it's just nicer to sit at a desk with a good chair. Last but not least: you're probably not going to drop your desktop computer.
Portable devices such as cameras and ereaders do have their uses, but to my mind tablets have far less utility that a standard desktop. One can not help but wonder what the sociologist Vance Packard (author of the Waste Makers) would make of tablets. It's hard to imagine he would be in favour of them.
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