Steve Jobs once theorized that the tablet computer would at some point overtake the desktop and laptop market. At the time it seemed preposterous. Why would we give up all the great hardware to use a small device that didn’t have all the options? In his remarks, Jobs made the comparison to trucks and cars, saying trucks were at one point used more often than cars, because that’s what you needed on the farm. But urbanization changed all that, making cars more popular.
The same thing has happened with technology; it hasn’t rendered desktops and laptops obsolete, but it’s made them not as necessary. It’s possible to make your tablet as powerful as a desktop or laptop. You just have to have the right setup and have the diligence to see that there is almost always a way to get the job done.
1. Tablet Stand
If you want to work long hours on your tablet, you have to make sure you have a good stand that can allow the tablet to stand at different angles. The good thing about a tablet stand is that it can be portable and attach when required or even double as the protection cover for your tablet.
It’s obvious what is missing from a tablet to make it truly like a laptop – the keyboard and trackpad/mouse. First, forget the trackpad/mouse. Touchscreens eliminate the need for a trackpad or mouse. For casual browsing, the keyboard is redundant as well, but for serious work, you will be more productive with a physical keyboard.
There are plenty of keyboard options in the market, and most of them make use of Bluetooth to connect to your tablet. Tablets such as the Transformer series from ASUS even come with a keyboard dock that is fully integrated with the tablet.
One note of caution: examine the keyboards before you buy them. You have to make sure that you can type comfortably on it and it is not missing necessary keys like “Shift” or “Enter”.
Now that you have a physical setup that resembles a laptop or a desktop, the next thing is to setup the software. This needs a slightly different way of thinking – instead of the regular software you install on your desktop, we will mostly deal with apps on your tablet (unless you are using the new Surface Pro). To use your tablet the way you would a desktop, you just have to find apps that do all of your required functions.
Most of the browsers that you use on your desktop are also available on your tablet. Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari (mobile) and Opera are available for both iOS and Android, and Microsoft’s Surface uses Internet Explorer 10. Other browsers include Dolphin, Skyfire, Maxthon and more.
In term of capabilities, these browsers are not up to mark as compared to their desktop version, but I have found no (or little) issues when using them for my work.
Whether you want to take some quick notes, write an essay, or write your blog, there will always be an app for it. Tablets reign over laptops in that you can even handwrite notes and illustrate them with handwriting apps. You can work on Microsoft Office documents with Quickoffice, Documents to go and iWork documents in iWork. For document collaboration, Google Drive is one good app that allows you to create document and share with others.
One of the easiest things to do on a tablet is social networking. All the major sites have apps, and sometimes they have functionality built into apps. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all available in apps, as well as video communication like Skype.
You can start with iTunes, but it only gets better from there. You can use a player that will also identifies music for you with SoundHound, can play radio stations across the globe with TuneIn Radio, and can stream music with Pandora. Or you can combine your music and social networking with site like Spotify.
Unlike desktop where it is comes with TB of storage space, most tablets are short of physical storage space. This is where a cloud storage service comes in. Whether it’s iCloud, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc., you can now store all your documents, photos, media without your tablet running out of space. You can create a network of all your devices, and back up everything to each device, or only back up what you want where you want. Many of these start as a free service, but also have paid premium service for an extra cost.
5. Simulating Your Desktop
Lastly, there may be a few times when your tablet just won’t do, and you really need the services of a laptop or desktop computer. For that, you can remote connect to your desktop and control your desktop directly from your tablet. Splashtop is one of the more popular app for remote controlling your desktop. Teamviewer is another great alternative.
It’s definitely possible to make your tablet as powerful as a desktop. What makes tablets more attractive these days than desktop or laptop computers is technology eliminating the need and giving more advantages to the tablets.
How do you make your tablet as powerful as a desktop?