Though your humble narrator may review tablets, smartphones, desktop computers, laptops, and gadgets of all kinds, and would give you a fair look at the load of them, one thing remains true of the first item on that list without fail: at the end of the day, I really could do without a tablet. The same could be said about a desktop computer, but that ship sailed a long time ago if you believe your everyday average tech blogger. Why would I want a machine that I had to leave in one place when I’ve got this perfectly good portable screen connected to a keyboard right here in front of me? More to the point, why would I want then to remove the keyboard piece of this puzzle when it wasn’t causing me any trouble or amount of discomfort in any way in the first place?
I should come clean with you folks before you start to call me out on the fact that I did give a pretty favorable review on the ASUS Transformer Prime just this past week, saying that it was one lovely piece of equipment and my new choice for best Android tablet on the market. The most important piece of that review though (aside from the processor) was in the hardware, not even in the fabulous display, but in the optional keyboard dock. Have a peek at this:
“The magic in this device is not only in its keyboard dock, but once you get a taste of the ta on its own, its hard to resist the desire to own what basically amounts to the other half of it. … The keyboard dock has been sent to us to review in a box right alongside the tablet itself, and indeed it does belong with the tablet – let me reiterate: this isn’t a tablet, it’s a collapsible notebook.” – your Humble Narrator
You’ve got to know this: without the keyboard dock, I may well have put the tablet back in the box the moment I got done reviewing it. There’s no reason for a person in my position to have a tablet other than for the following several functions:
I literally still have a Toshiba THRIVE hooked up to my HDTV to play games like Riptide and Shadowgun because it has a full-sized HDMI port and a full-sized USB port – the USB port works with the Logitech wireless gaming controller NVIDIA sent my way, and the HDMI port allows for simple plug and play action. Check out how that all works in a post I added to Android Community a few weeks ago. With the Prime hooked up to the keyboard dock (which has a full-sized USB port), I could do essentially that same thing, mind you, but why unplug the THRIVE? No-one’s going to want to buy a tablet that’s out-dated by more than a month.
For testing games or new apps of all kinds, I use tablets to see how they function. You can see how fun these apps can be in such reviews as the Shadowgun double-hands-on with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the original Infinity Blade review on the iPad 2. Other than that, there’s simply no time for a person such as myself to spend playing video games anywhere, this including the tablet space.
Then there’s the Netflix situation. I do have an iPad 2 here, one I literally own, and its primary function in this house is to play Netflix out via its HDMI converter to my HDTV. Every once in a while, again, I’ll use the iPad to review an app, but other than this, not much goes on in the halls of the great A5.
So I ask you, the reader, and the owner of a tablet – do you use your tablet as much as you thought you would when you purchased it? For those of you who will get a tablet, inevitably, for the holidays as a gift – do you think you’ll use it?
Chris Burns is currently head editor for SlashGear and executive editor for Android Community. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he's responsible for editorial decisions made for the USA-based day-team of SG and AC and he uses an iPad 3 as a VCR. Follow him @ t_chrisburns and inside Google+ at http://chrisburns.co/+ for tech, gadget, and design news galore.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear