How useful is a tablet computer?

Most of the people I know now have either an iPad or a Playbook or a tablet personal computer of some sort. On my blog, I have reviewed the HP TouchPad (which I own) and I have been given other tablet equipment to review. I have to say, I love tablets. The first question people ask me when they know I have an HP TouchPad is whether I find any use for it. As an academic, the first and foremost use for me is to take notes on the go (albeit slower than normally I would on a laptop) and to read student papers’ and grade them as well as read academic journal articles. Or, as in the example shown below, grade papers while reading Twitter as I go.

Paper, pen, HP TouchPad, coffee, scone. All important tools of the trade #academia

A tablet computer, particularly of the size of an iPad or the HP TouchPad is large enough to read without having tired eyes, and small enough that I can carry it on a case and take it everywhere, or even just in my hand (or my jacket). Of course, I have several secure features on it (like a robust encasing!).

My good friend Dr. @JanniAragon demonstrates how to use an i-Pad to attend and live tweet a conference meaningfully :)My good friend Janni Aragon (also an academic) showcased at the recent WordCamp Victoria 2012 how you can use a tablet (she has an iPad) with a keyboard to live-tweet a conference (she did a marvelous job throughout the conference, but even more so, during my talk on Growing Robust Online Communities with WordPress.

I was really impressed with Janni’s technical savvy and dexterity in maneuvering through the use both of the touch screen of the iPad AND the keyboard. I think this is one of the best uses I have seen for a tablet. I do find my HP TouchPad useful.

On to you, dear readers… do you have a tablet computer and if so, what do you normally use it for?

Related posts:

  1. The demise of the desktop computer?
  2. HP TouchPad (review)
  3. HP TouchPad Launch at Hewlett Packard Vancouver Store
  4. The excitement about the Apple Tablet
  5. BC Digital Divide – Bridging the computer literacy chasm

Comments (6)

Ashley TheissJanuary 21st, 2012 at 10:22 am

I use my iPad for email and news reading, i.e. via the Reeder app, to keep on top of about 50 RSS subscriptions, relating to the consumer technology and startup scenes. I also use it as my phone, via a hosted PBX (internet-based phone system,) and for location-basd apps like Foursquare and Waze.

lillyJanuary 21st, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I think that they are really useful for people who do a lot of casual browsing but anyone with serious computing needs would find them unusable. As a blogger how much use do you get out of a tablet?

EsmirJanuary 21st, 2012 at 8:42 pm

@Lilly: Answer on your question regarding blogging and tablets is very simple: a lot. I have iPad WiFi/3G which helps me to draft, edit (text and photos) and publish my posts to WordPress while I’m traveling to work, drinking coffee at Tim Hortons or Blenz Coffee. Also gives me a chance to visit many other blogs share their contents or comment on posts. Also since I have iPad (April 2011) I increased tweeting and communication with my online community. So there’s example how “serious” computing can be conducted on tablets.
Esmir recently posted..Canadian foreign policy doesn’t need review, needs more action and results

Michael KwanJanuary 23rd, 2012 at 3:15 am

Mostly for casual media consumption on the couch, when I don’t feel like booting up the laptop. Good for travel too for sure. (Posting this comment from my new Sony Tablet, ironically enough.)

TylerIngramJanuary 25th, 2012 at 5:43 am

I have an iPad2 and I use it form time to time to ready PDFs while on my computer to and from school (2hrs each way)

Other than that, I don’t really have a use for it. The wife uses it to entertain herself too.

When I think of tablet computers though, I tend to think of the ones you can actually write on. It seems a lot of the math department instructors at school use tablet PCs since they like to write their equations and such while having it projected onto a bigger screen.
TylerIngram recently posted..Photo of the Day: Pano of the Strip

Chris (@lyteforce)January 28th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I’m finding that my tablet is getting more use in recent times. Whether it’s reading through my RSS feed or writing this comment, I’m far more connected with a device that’s more portable.
Chris (@lyteforce) recently posted..No Smoking & Lack of Enforcement

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