It seems that everyday brings a new Android tablet. Being nerdtastic, I am sorely tempted by each new offering. However, I have largely held out against them, in part because I already gave in by buying a Color Nook.
I do like the idea of tablets and have found my Nook (and iPod Touch) rather useful and appealing in three main ways. First, they are very portable in ways that even a netbook is not, so I can carry and use them almost anywhere. Second, they turn on almost instantly-so, if I want to check my email or web page, I do not have to endure the long boot of a PC. Third, they have long battery life, making them usable for quite some time without the need to recharge. However, I have resisted the temptation of the new tablets by reminding myself of the following:
First, these tablets are are as expensive ($400+) as a really great netbook or a good laptop. Second, while they are more powerful and larger than my iPod or Nook, they do not really offer more productivity in terms of what I actually do, which is write. True, using a larger tablet to write would be somewhat easier than the Nook, but still vastly more annoying that using a netbook. While there are keyboards for the tablets (the Asus Transformer has a rather elegant keyboard/dock/cover), these add to the cost and also tend to make them as bulky as a netbook. Using a keyboard also sort of defeats the point of buying an actual tablet-if I’m going to need to sit down and type, I might as well buy a fully functional laptop/netbook for less than the cost of the tablet and keyboard. Third, while there are many useful apps for the tablets, they are rather limited compared to the software available on a laptop/netbook, especially when it comes to writing something like a book or creating presentations for class. On a lighter note, the games available for Android really do not stack up very well against those available even for my old netbook (I can run Master of Orion 2, Starcraft, Diablo 2, Baldur’s Gate, Total Annihilation and so on). However, some folks do prefer the lighter fare available in the realm of Android games.
All that said, some folks would be ideal tablet people. People who are mainly consumers of content (movies, music, blogs, and so on), who just need basic apps and who like the lighter fare of app games would find a tablet well worth it.