Tablets exist in a weird space as personal electronics — too big to be an effortlessly portable, all-purpose device like a phone, not powerful or full-featured enough to effectively replace a laptop computer. If you’re thinking about getting a tablet and you don’t have a literal pile of disposable income to play around with, consider these four reasons why a tablet might not be a smart investment:
The keyboards are terrible
Unless you’re cool with using your tablet’s touchscreen keyboard (which are universally awful), you’ll have to buy an external keyboard or keyboard case if you plan on doing any typing more serious than updating your Facebook status. That’s more money out of your pocket, as well as added bulk that begins to defeat the purpose of using a tablet as a replacement for a laptop.
The screens are fragile
The relative portability of tablets makes them more vulnerable than laptops to being dropped or banged. And, their larger screens make them more vulnerable to cracking or smashing than the more compact screens of cell phones. If you want to protect the screen, you’ll have to shell out for a bulky, protective case.
The functionality is limited
Tablets don’t have USB or VGA ports, or CD drives. They don’t have the ability to make phone calls, and they can’t send text messages or surf the Internet when you’re not on WiFi unless you pay for a data plan for your tablet.
They’re completely unnecessary
As we said earlier, tablets don’t seem to quite know what they want to be. They’re like a phone you can’t make calls with or fit in your pocket. (And god forbid you try to use a tablet to take a picture would with a phone — especially in public.)They’re like a simplified computer with less power and storage space that you can’t play real PC games on. If you have both a computer and a phone, what’s the point of adding a third device that can’t do anything they can’t?