Does your laptop have abandonment issues?
Tablets are still a ways from being true laptop replacements, but increased performance and better software availability is bridging the gap more and more every day. I don’t know about anyone else, but my laptop is starting to get abandonment issues.
I remember 5 years ago when laptops were still cool gadgets that you had to save up for a while to afford. That was before netbooks hit the market and the entire laptop (and PC in general) market dropped in price to where anyone could afford one. For the first time, anyone had the ability to bring the PC experience with them. For some the laptop also served as media players and +regardless of size, weight and (lack of) battery life they became portable companions.
These days, things are different. People often don’t have desktop PCs at all anymore, but instead of 15″+ laptops . Out view on size has been distorted and many people use netbooks even thought they have perfectly portable laptops. Even netbooks are starting to pop up less in “the wild” as people start carrying smartphones and tablets instead. The reason why we’re trading more powerful laptops for smaller, lighter devices is simply that most people don’t need the full feature set of a laptop with them all the time. You can surf the web and watch media on any tablet and that’s a major part of having a laptop. You can also do productive things, though people haven’t quite figured that out yet. Sometimes a laptop is simply better (or absolutely necessary) to do a task, but it all depends on the task at hand.
I recently visited my grandma, who doesn’t have Internet. Knowing that I didn’t have WiFi and would need to tether I left my laptop and brought only my iPad and iPhone which both have 3G. I have to say, I didn’t miss my laptop one bit. Granted it was a short trip and I would have brought it if it wasn’t, but I’m not sure if I would have really missed it either way. Some things were slower on the iPad (such as browsing due to me normally surfing tabs like a maniac) but I was able to do everything I needed. On top of that it saved me quite a bit of space in my bags, as a laptop + power supply + mouse does take up a fair amount of space even if it’s a 13″ ultraportable. You also can’t expect to have a place to set up shop when you’re out of the house, and despite their names laptops aren’t necessarily meant for laps (especially not if you’re male and want children one day).
I quite like the idea of traveling light even if I don’t strictly speaking have to, and I think that’s one of the big advantages of a tablet. Between the battery life and 3G connectivity of the iPad (and other tablets, at least once they match the iPad’s battery life) it’s a lot less tied down than a laptop, even if both are portable. The fact it’s only a fraction of the size and weight doesn’t hurt either, of course. So I ask you all, be it due to a tablet or a smartphone, is your laptop starting to get abandonment issues?