Tablets are taking over in the office.
They offer flexibility and portability and are increasingly powerful. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, users love them. A survey by CDW shows that one of the biggest reasons for tablet adoption is that it makes work more enjoyable. Stripped down operating systems may limit functionality, but they also streamline the user experience. The survey also shows that the average tablet user spends more than 2 hours per day working on the device and gains over an hour of productivity.
Tablets fill a gap in our work that we didn’t have before Apple launched the iPad in 2010. Much of what we do on the web is focused on consuming information and communicating. While tablets obviously fall short when it comes to performing heavy-duty computing, they are perfect for e-mail, social media and web browsing. Smartphones fill this role with the added functionality of telephony, but they aren’t as easy—or as fun—to use. Tablets have taken the experience of using a smartphone and dramatically improved it, creating a new category of hardware along the way.
In an article on his blog Techinch, Matthew Guay compares a tablet to a piece of technology that followed a similar trajectory: the microwave.
First, why in the world do you need yet another way to heat food? Kitchens already have an oven and range, plus perhaps a toaster, waffle iron, or a grill on the back porch. And the coffee pot can keep coffee hot anyhow. Do you really need another oven? Plus, surely it won't work quite like an oven, or quite like a stove. It's like something in the middle. How could we need that?
But, wonder of all wonders, people started buying microwaves and using them regularly. In the store, a microwave didn't seem like a must-have item to many, but once you incorporated it into your daily life, it was irreplaceable.
People that would have never touched a computer suddenly found ways a computing device could help their lives, and techies that spent 10+ hours a day in front of their glaring monitors could now break away from their hefty PCs easier. Not doing the same old stuff, but new, innovative things that you would have never thought of on a traditional PC with a screen, keyboard, and mouse on a desk.
Read iPad: The Microwave Oven of Computing on Techinch.
The infographic below shows us where the tablet stands in the office at the close of 2012, but where will the tablet go in 2013 and beyond? Let us know what you think in the Comments section.