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Ask Bongani: Are tablets obsolete?

Have tablets reached their expiry date? BONGANI SITHOLE gives his view

Q: Are tablets obsolete?

A: A tablet can be considered a combination of a laptop and a smartphone, designed to perform heavy-duty tasks that a mobile phone cannot do, and basic tasks that a laptop can do. Being able to work on programs with a pen or stylus is a great advantage of using a tablet.

Many people who use tablets as productivity tools on the go,  writing, creating drawings, editing images and the like, now find a lot of smartphones have the same functionality and prefer the smaller format. This is especially true for people who would rather have one device that performs all their tasks than a number of devices to do different tasks.

The new foldable smartphones are in effect mini-tablets, with their unfolded screen sizes between 7.6-inches and 7.8-inches close to that of the 8-inch tablets. However, their high cost means they will not replace tablets soon.

The transition has also come from the laptop side: new “2-in-1” laptops are marketed as “laptop and tablet in one”, which combines tablet simplicity with the functionality of a heavy-duty laptop.

However, many parents purchase tablets for their kids to use for educational purposes, and their simplicity is especially appealing to younger children. So, while tablet sales have slowed down, they still represent a large market and are not obsolete. The bottom line is, that they still meet a need.

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