A great post from Techcrunch about how tablets are beginning to replace laptops for everyday use.

Apple’s latest iPad spot demonstrates that tablets have general purpose computing strengths that have never been exhibited by laptops.

Laptops have had decades in the spotlight as our portable computers of choice and were on their way to eradicating desktop machines before tablets came along. But they’ve never managed to exhibit the flexibility of purpose that tablets can.

Apple’s spot presents examples of people using iPads in various real world situations, which is a note they’ve struck before. But this particular spot focuses not just on the things that people are doing with iPads, but specifically things that would be cumbersome, irritating or impossible with a laptop.

It’s a brilliant rotation of the argument that tablets can’t be ‘seriously’ used to create.

In many ways this is the realization of the dream for the original ‘tablet computers’ of Microsoft — something you can view with more or less irony depending on what chances you give the company of succeeding in a crowded space.

It’s not that you can’t use a laptop to do any of these things. I’ve used a laptop as a tethered shooting companion for photography for years now. Seeing instant feedback as I shoot speeds up the process and makes editing faster, it’s great. But I’ve never wanted to use a laptop. They’re bulky, they’re not the right form factor and they’re not optimized for easy one-handed operation (not counting the one you hold them with, thank you). And some of these cases, like diving, present an impossible challenge for laptops. They’re simply not the right tool for a lot of jobs.

And I think that more of the jobs laptops aren’t any good at are becoming part of our lives every day.

It’s not as if laptops (or desktops) are going to go away over night, but they’re definitely going to fade in importance as new general purpose computers like the tablet and smartphone grow bolder. And they’ll work in concert to allow us to do stuff better — I wrote this piece on a combination of phone, tablet and computer as I’ve been traveling.

There will always be things that will be accomplished more efficiently with a dedicated keyboard and a device that allows us to perform several tasks ‘simultaneously’. But neither of those are sacred cows limited to laptops. If you pull the thread a bit technology-wise it’s not hard to see machines that run off of the power of our phones or tablets without having to have dedicated CPUs. Just flip open your display and keyboard and start typing, with your pocket computer doing the calculations.

Read the full article at Techcrunch.

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