Skip to main content

Tablet hardware has outpaced both software capabilities and usefulness

With laptop-grade software and mobile-grade hardware, tablets seem to have evolved in the wrong direction.

There are a lot of people who really love to use a tablet. You might not be one of them — I'll admit I'm not really a tablet guy — or you may turn to your tablet first when it comes to work or play and always want to have one of the best Android tablets you can buy on hand. Tablets have traditionally had a pretty clear purpose; filling the void between using the small and less powerful phone and the bulkier and more powerful laptop. But today, those lines are blurred more than ever before.

Putting a laptop chip in a mobile device doesn't make things better by default.

All it takes is one look at Apple's Spring Loaded event, which featured the big changes to the iPad Pro to see this in action. While these issues affect every premium tablet to some extent, the new iPad Pro is a clear example of the hardware being hamstrung by the software capabilities — or lack thereof. With the same powerful M1 chip featured in the MacBook and now the iMac, but still chained to a mobile operating system, the iPad Pro exists in a market that doesn't make a lot of sense. The "regular" iPad does everything more than well enough for a lot less money, and the MacBook Air actually offers the same specs.

This doesn't just apply to the iPad, though the new Pro does shine a spotlight on the problem. Samsung makes two different flavors of a tablet, too. Premium models like the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus are filled with the latest powerful Qualcomm chip and oodles of storage and memory, while the much cheaper A series or the "Lite" versions have more modest specs and price tags. Ask someone who has used both, though, and they're likely to tell you that the cheaper model is just fine.

It's something that has been brewing for a while, especially on the Android side of things. Most everyone will agree that Apple's tablets are more capable than an Android equivalent simply because there are more apps tailored to take advantage of what a tablet can offer when it comes to screen real-estate. Samsung is at the mercy of Google here.

Google doesn't seem to care about tablets as much as Samsung does and that's a problem.

An app doesn't have to offer more features on a tablet — though that's always a bonus — but it does need to utilize the form factor. Apple makes sure apps do this and developers that want their apps to be installed on an iPad follow the rules. This is an area where Android tablets have always lagged behind, and there is only one place to lay the blame: Google's lack of attention to the tablet form factor. And that's not getting any better anytime soon, even with Android 12 on the horizon.

But once you put hardware that's capable of more than running the web browser, using Google Docs, or even playing a mobile game inside of a tablet you've reached the point of zero return. Even though your Galaxy Tab S and your phone may share the same chip, bigger batteries and better thermal management make the identical hardware much more capable, and we see that in products like Microsoft's Surface line, Apple's MacBook Air, and Chromebooks.

The whole situation is a vicious circle of companies competing against each other and being forced to follow the path they created by telling consumers that we need the best hardware. Straight up — you don't need a laptop-grade SoC inside your tablet unless it can run laptop-grade software and has a laptop-grade operating system. Great displays and plenty of memory are worthy additions, but when paired with a very expensive chip it does little more than drive up prices.

This circle where Apple and Samsung keep making high-end hardware without the software to power it will continue.

It will continue. Apple decided that in order to earn its Pro nameplate, the new iPad Pro had to have the same chip you find inside a new MacBook. Samsung has to put the best chip Qualcomm has to offer that works with Android inside its Tab S Plus line for the same reason — to justify the price.

This may work out for Apple and Samsung, as neither company would be offering a product that loses money. But it's not great for us as consumers because the value isn't there. Yes, the new iPad Pro will run 1Password or Slack or mobile games XX% faster than the previous model, and the next Galaxy Tab S Plus will boast the same, but did we really need or will we even notice the performance gains? I doubt it.

There is no easy way to fix this. Maybe Apple will marry iOS and macOS one day and that would make the iPad Pro more worthy of its price. Samsung could work with Microsoft and put Windows 10 on the Tab S Plus to achieve the same results. What-ifs aside, maybe you should think twice before you drop the big money on one of these premium, overpriced, and over-specced tablets.

Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

Google Pay on Wear OS expands again, is now available in 37 countries

More people will be able to use their Wear OS watch for payments. Update, Sept 8 (5:30 p.m. ET) : Google Pay support expands to more countries. What you need to know Google Pay is getting expanded support in more countries. 16 additional countries will support contactless payments on the Galaxy Watch 4. The expanded support will also come to older Wear OS smartwatches "in the coming weeks." With the launch of the Galaxy Watch 4 , Google has highlighted some of the new app experiences that will come with the new Wear OS 3 update. Google Pay is among the apps that are getting a redesign based on Material You, but Google also announced that it's expanding support for more countries. As it stands, Google Pay only supports a handful of countries for contactless payments on Wear OS. Google is now adding 16 additional countries to the list, which include the following: Belgium Brazil Chile Croatia Czech Republic Denmark Finland Hong Kong Ireland New Zeal

How to watch England vs India: Live stream Fourth Test cricket online

Having bounced back from defeat with an impressive win in the third Test at Headingley, Joe Root's men will be hoping they can now forge an advantage as the series moves to London - watch every ball of this fourth Test with our England vs India live stream guide below. England managed to dismiss India for just 78 on Day 1 in a scintillating bowling display, but there was even better to come from the hosts' top-order batting, with all of the top three managing to notch up half-centuries in their first innings. Skipper Root meanwhile continued his extraordinary 2021 form, clocking up yet another three-figure score. With a buoyant home side now hoping to carry on where they left off, India captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri must unravel how their attack was so routinely undone with the new ball last time out. Kohli himself will also need to do more leading from the front, with the normally reliably prolific batsman having scored no more than 55 during any inni

Don't let your phone die out there — these are the best battery packs!

Nothing can turn your great Android phone from state-of-the-art to overpriced paperweight faster than a dead battery. The best portable chargers and power banks can help recharge your tech when life plays keep-away with your power outlets. Portable chargers used to be big, bulky, and slow, but USB-C power banks and Power Delivery charging standards have made things much faster — fast enough to charge laptops, even — and have allowed power banks to get slimmer and better than ever. There are plenty of options in every shape or size, but our favorite is the versatile Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless. Still, there are plenty of other choices that rank among the best portable battery packs. Here are our top recommendations that you can buy today. Best overall: Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless While most portable chargers only let you recharge your devices with wired charging, wireless portable chargers are finally becoming somewhat mainstream. There were several hurdles that earl

How to watch the Djokovic vs Medvedev: Live stream the US Open 2021 final o

History beckons for Novak Djokovic as the Serbian legend goes in search of two significant tennis records in this afternoon's grand finale at Flushing Meadows. Read on to find out how to get a 2021 US Open live stream and watch Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev online no matter where you are in the world. A win here for the 34-year old would see him overtake eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam titles won, with all three veterans currently tied at 20 wins a piece. Victory in New York this afternoon would also see Djokovic complete the first male calendar slam in the Open Era. Aiming to make a piece of history of his own but stopping Djokovic is Russian star Daniil Medvedev who will be looking to finally claim his first slam title. The 25-year-old world no.2 has been in some of the best form of his career in the Big Apple having given up just a single set on his way to today's final. The match marks Medvedev's second major showdown