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Tech tablet unwrapped

Published on July 17th, 2012 | by John I.

Discovering the disadvantages of Tablets

Tablet computers are fantastic little devices. Today’s editions like the Apple’s iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the Acer Iconia possess a level of functionality and processing power that surpasses that of the Space Shuttle. Just a few short years ago, a device with this level of capability would have been impossible, and innovation is only continuing to further increase the potential of these handheld computers.

Surely, there is much to like with these devices. Everything is wrapped up into a singular package. No sharp edges, no complicated instruction manuals or set up time. Purchasing one does not include a pushy salesman talking you into optional extras you may not need. Most have only a handful of buttons; some have none at all. The level of complication in operating such a device rivals turning a door knob. The available applications can provide endless hours of entertainment, movie watching, and Internet browsing, all on the go. No need to plug anything in, and the battery lasts for days. Wonderful.

These devices are also very well-built. When you turn them on, they work. Their upkeep is virtually non-existent, often nothing more than the occasional update, if even that. You would be hard pressed to find a device simpler, more reliable, and more functional. The foibles that plague desktop and laptop computers like viruses, malware, and all kinds of hardware malfunctions are not found in tablet computers. What a utopian device.

But what happens in the event that something does go wrong? What if the screen freezes? What if the touchscreen no longer recognizes your fingers? Problems like this may be rare, though they do happen, and when they do, the rarity of such problems will hardly provide comfort. So what can you do when something goes wrong? Unfortunately, this is where tablets have glaring issues. Often times, you’ve got only two options: send it in to the manufacturer for several weeks and hope they can identify the problem, or buy a new one.

If you’ve got an Apple product like an iPad, you can take it to the ironically named “Genius Bar”, where people just as clueless as you take your device into the back and bring out a new one, claiming to have fixed it. If you went for an offering from a company like Samsung, Acer, Microsoft, or any of the others, you don’t even have such an option. You can try to send in your malfunctioning tablet, but much like the Genius Bar, they will likely just toss it into the trash and send you a new one. There are virtually no troubleshooting options for issues that arise in a tablet computer. There are no at home fixes, no tinkering to replace faulty hardware, or reformats to erase corrupted software. If your tablet becomes unresponsive, better break out that checkbook, because you’ll need to replace it.

Thankfully, things like this are indeed rare. Though I can’t really confirm it with any facts, these devices seem to have a 1 to 2 year shelf life (assuming proper care) where they work like a dream. Anything beyond a few years of ownership, however: be aware. Fortunately, with the level of evolution that these devices are going through with each passing year, your tablet will likely have its last mechanical breath just in time for you to purchase its replacement. And thus the cycle continues.

 



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Is an IT professional who loves writing about the latest technology news.



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