Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tablets vs. Smartphones: Where is Technology Headed?

All the current buzz about the iPad 3 got me thinking about technology and how all these devices have become a part of most people's every day lives.  The iPad really got the whole tablet movement going, but now there are plenty of alternatives out there when it comes to tablets.  All of this doesn't mean smartphones have slowed down in the least, as iPhones are also just as hot and almost every other company has tons of smartphone options that are huge sellers.  Being tablets are pretty much a hybrid of a smartphone and a laptop, where do these devices stand as technology continues to advance?

To me it has always seemed that tablets were just bigger versions of smartphones.  Same touchscreen, same basic functions, just a larger screen that made games and videos/movies more appealing.  Now there are keyboards and stands that turn tablets into laptops basically, so tablets have really turned into "everything devices."  The main factor here is size.  Tablets are great to pull out a home or any place where you can sit down and relax for a while, but when someone is on the go, the smartphone is still the go-to device when it comes to convenience.

It seems like the size factor will be the main reason tablets don't fully take over as the top media device.  The main improvement of the iPad 3 that I've heard about is how vibrant the screen is, which makes it appealing for customers that enjoy throwing a movie on anywhere in your house or a hotel, but it's still too big to haul around and use in the car or while walking around a public place.  While the size factor is there, it does seem like the iPad is moving toward being as smartphone-like as possible, even adding features such as a camera on later versions. 

Maybe I"m wrong, maybe there is a hybrid device that will come along and do away with the need for a phone, laptop, tablet, PC, etc.  I don't think the tablet is it, not yet at least.  Phones are the option for needing something portable, but can't deliver the big screen for movies that is the appeal of tablets.  Tablets do lack the one basic thing that started it all, which is talking.  No one is going to hold a tablet to their ear and try to have a conversation with anyone, so phones still have that over tablets, but then again we are inching closer and closer to a world that only communicates through texting/Skype/Facebook etc.

What device do you use/prefer?  Do u still see a need for both a smartphone and a tablet?

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