Ultimately, I think that tablets, at least in the Android world, will vanish. Well, maybe not to total extinction, but they’ll disappear. That’s because Android sucks on tablets.
A post from an Android developer I follow on Google+ raises a different issue.
I wholly agree with Keyan, but also think the problem expands beyond media.
The problem with media consumption
Yes, I guess it’s time to grab the pitch forks. But the fact remains that I don’t consume that much media from my tablet. In fact, I’d have to say that my three most used devices for media are my Nexus 5, Chromecast, and Chromebook.
I have several movies downloaded to my ASUS Transformer Infinity tablet for viewing while I’m traveling; but that tablet’s sitting on my entertainment center not even charged. Now my Nexus 7 gets a little more playing time, though I can’t justify carrying around a tablet simply for playing movies on a larger screen. Similarly, at home or at the office, I’d rather view media on my big screen television, versus a 7 or 10 inch tablet (not to mention my Nexus 5’s micro-sized screen.)
Admittedly, I’ll occasionally lay in bed and watch a movie or YouTube clip, but that’s a rare instance.
But what about books?
Books might be the one area where I can see an argument for the value of tablets. I love the Kindle app, and I regularly read the latest fiction or non-fiction work with my Android tablet.
However, I’m more inclined to read important things on paper versus the tablet. Similarly, I could easily read the book in paperback or on my smaller Nexus 5 screen.
Tablets and productivity
No doubt, tablets increase productivity, at least to a small extent. I know several lawyers who tote their tablet to the office and use them as a second computer screen. There are other attorneys whose sole mobile computing device is their 10 inch tablet and a Bluetooth keyboard.
That’s an expensive monitor or laptop.
Considering the relatively low cost of computer monitors and Chromebooks, you’re paying a premium on price to screen ratio. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (arguably the best Android tablet on the market right now) costs $497 on Amazon. The tablet’s awesome, but you’re paying almost $50 per inch for a 10 inch screen. And don’t forget Google’s Nexus 7 — that’s almost $40 per inch — or Nexus 10 ($40 per inch).
Compare that with the cost of an Acer ($179/$229), Samsung 2 ($299), or HP ($279 and 14-inch screen). Now you’ve lowered your costs to about $30 per inch with a generally equivalent device. Plus, with the tablet, you still need to purchase a keyboard.
Of course, some readers will argue that tablets give you more mobility, easily connect to the internet or other media, and generally improve productivity. I could say the same about Chromebooks.
Chromebooks feature HDMI, VGA, and USB interfaces, and accept SD cards for media transfer. Additionally, I can create documents using Google Docs, show off presentations (and cast the presentation), and generally perform each function a tablet can, for less money.
The tablet demise is inevitable
Given comparable available alternatives to tablets, it’s no wonder Google hasn’t showcased a new Nexus 10 replacement. Quite simply, the cost to value ratio is too low.
What do you think? Am I off my rocker? Or am I right? Is there a happy medium between oblivion and over-indulgence? Are you one who mass consumes media on your Android tablet? Let me know in the comments.