Caption: Are tablets on the way out or do they have a chance of survival?
After smartphones became a worldwide phenomenon in the late 2000s, tablets started to hit the market as a larger alternative. Apple’s iPad is credited with bringing about the modern tablet, and the device released in 2010 was intended to be a straightforward-to-use computer which could be easily carried around. Within seven years of its release, Apple had sold 360 million units, although the peak of its popularity was some time ago, in 2013. Now, smartphones are advancing to such a stage that they can do most of the same things like tablets. Laptops are also offering so much more processing power than their mini rivals. Tablets were designed to sit in a Venn diagram between the two devices, but it seems as though it is getting harder for them to survive in the modern age.
Smartphones Are Getting Better and Laptops Are Unrivalled for Performance
Caption: Laptops have so much more processing power than tablets
In a relatively short space of time, smartphones have come an incredibly long way in their development. The early offerings, like the iPhone in 2007 and the Samsung Galaxy in 2009, could now be seen as primitive compared to the iPhone XS and the Samsung Galaxy S10+. These debut devices from the technology powerhouses had between four and eight GB of memory, and 128 MB of RAM. The latest models come with up to 512 GB of memory and either four or eight GB of RAM. In ten years, this progress is extraordinary.
Smartphones are now able to do a lot of the same tasks as laptops and are handy devices which can be carried around. But there are a number of reasons why laptops are still seen as essential. There is nothing yet around which can rival a laptop for digital work such as writing and web design. Microsoft Office is available for smartphones, and keyboards can be connected. However, typing and seeing the words on the smaller screen is much more difficult than on a laptop. Laptops are also top of the tree when it comes to processing power for advanced games. Visually stunning titles like Rising of the Tomb Raider use voxel ambient occlusion and, to experience this fully, players need a system with at least 2560×1440 max + VXAO + SMAA: 54/44 fps. At present, only top-of-the-range laptops and PCs can offer this.
Where Do Tablets Outdo Their Rivals?
Tablets are lacking the handiness of smartphones, and are inferior to laptops in terms of processing power. So where do they come out on top? There are some areas in which tablets are able to outdo their rivals, and this is mainly to do with mobile gaming. The mobile gaming industry is one of the world’s most thriving sectors and was made famous by games like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, and Pokémon Go. Mobile games are designed to be simple, and players should be able to pick them up and put them down at a moment’s notice. This is because mobile players often play games while traveling or between doing other things.
Casino games were perfectly suited to the mobile market, which is why most online casinos now have mobile apps. Games like roulette, blackjack, and slots follow the pick-up-and-play model, and developers now design their games with mobile as the primary consideration. Thanks to the rise of online casinos on mobile, there are now thousands of slots for players to select from various genres. These include titles like Fruit Case, Wild Worlds, and Dwarfs Gone Wild. Tablets are also seen as better for video streaming and often have superior battery life.
These mobile games look much better when played from the tablet screen over a smartphone because it is much larger. It is also easier to touch the right areas of the screen to place a bet or change the stake. The evidence to support the fact that players prefer to play from a bigger screen is the fact that the average screen size of a smartphone is on the rise. In 2015, 37 percent of US smartphone users had a device with a screen size smaller than 4.7 inches. In 2018, it had fallen to 15 percent. The share of smartphones with a size between 5.5 and 6.2 inches had risen to 44 percent from 21 in the same timeframe. Is mobile gaming enough to keep tablets in business, though?
How Can Tablets Stand Their Ground Against Foldables?
Caption: Samsung is leading the way with the Galaxy Fold
As users are hungry for larger screen size, developers are trying to provide this while still offering the same portability. Foldable phones are on the horizon, and there is a chance that these could end up negating the need for tablets to exist. Samsung is preparing to release the Galaxy Fold, and Huawei’s rival offering, the Mate X, is also coming soon. These phones have screen sizes of 7.3 inches and 6.6 inches respectively when folded out. It remains to be seen how popular these devices will be, but if there are no technical problems they could easily take off.
There are also laptop/tablet hybrids on the market, such as the HP EliteBook and the Lenovo Yoga. The screen on these can be disconnected and carried around like a tablet. If tablets are going to stand their ground against laptops and smartphones that can offer the same things, developers may need to come up with a new innovation that makes them stand out.
In the current climate, it does appear as though tablets could soon be on the way out. Their rivals are offering much of the same things, and few users are now seeing the need to buy a smartphone, tablet, and a laptop. In the future, it could be a straight choice between buying a laptop or a smartphone.