This article in Information Week is particularly timely, since I will be expecting a new laptop to be delivered to me this week. Apple’s Tim Cook has suggested that tablets do away with the need to own a computer. The reality, however, is quite different. I am a card-carrying technophile. I have a tablet, an ebook reader, a laptop, and have just upgraded to a 64GB Android smartphone. Yes, my tablet has my ebook app (Kobo), but I still prefer my ebook because of its very long battery life; for example, I didn’t need to charge my ebook reader over a nine-day trip in Europe, including transatlantic flight. Also, I find the ebook reader cuts down on interruptions, as I don’t feel compelled to look at email, FB, Twitter, etc. notifications while I’m reading, as I do when I use the Kobo app on my tablet.
The laptop I’ve ordered is for the office, as the previous laptop died very quickly from a mysteriously fried motherboard. Much as I love my tablet, it simply doesn’t work well for a number of my work needs. I can’t use it quickly or efficiently to do my research, read and annotate articles, create presentations, create and maintain databases, do Excel calculations, and so forth. Storage isn’t a problem, since I’m 100% cloud based, but the functionality of tablets simply isn’t there yet. Investing in a keyboard, which is a must for any of the applications above, creates a smaller laptop-type device (so why not use an actual laptop?). Working with complicated files such as databases, PowerPoint, and Excel is frustrating on a tablet, as is working with multiple windows on a tablet is an exercise in frustration. Tablets simply can’t meet my professional needs at the moment, so a new work laptop it is. The seven products highlighted in this article are certainly a big improvement on tablets, but I don’t think they will work well in my work environment, where we are still behind in technology and tools (tight budgets). I would certainly consider these seven tools for personal use, knowing that I have an office laptop to fall back on, but how much money can one invest in more devices? or, rather, should?