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Why it might be time to seriously consider a full-time tablet

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 8:54AM Monday November 4, 2013
under Shop Smarter

Months back I wrote about my love for the Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook, by far the most expensive laptop I've ever owned, but a great overall machine.

Or at least it was.

In recent weeks, for reasons I can't explain, battery life has dipped significantly. In the beginning, I'd get 6-7 hours before needing to plug in the charger. Now I'm lucky to get four hours.

(Yeah, I've checked all the power-plan settings, lowered the screen brightness, and all that. I'm no novice when it comes to squeezing extra juice from a laptop. Something systemic is amiss here.)

But things really went awry after I installed Windows 8.1. Again for reasons I can't explain, the Series 9 will no longer run at its native screen resolution. VPN clients I use for work started producing error messages and had to be reinstalled. Sleep mode is now a train wreck; instead of going into standby when I close the lid, the system stays awake and runs a bunch of programs.

And, to top it all off, now I get the occasional Blue Screen of Death, something that never happened before 8.1 came along.

If you've encountered oddball, impossible-to-remedy problems like these (and if you use Windows, I guarantee you have), you know how incredibly frustrating they are.

The worst part is that Microsoft offers no option to uninstall Windows 8.1, meaning I can't even go back to a system state that was working. And Samsung provides no recovery media or any other way to do a factory-restore--not that I can find, anyway. This laptop is locked inside a no-going-back bubble.

And I've had quite enough. For me the time has come to consider switching to a tablet. All I need is a Bluetooth keyboard and an Apple iPad, Google Nexus 10, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, or something similar.

Is a tablet really that superior? Consider: It will boot and shut down instantly. It will weigh less--possibly a lot less. It will run for upwards of 10 hours on a single charge. It will be immune to viruses and spyware. It will run app equivalents of nearly all my desktop software: Google Chrome, Evernote, Photoshop, Spotify, etc. E-mail? Covered. Office suite? Apple iWork and Google Quickoffice are now available free of charge.

And, most important of all, a tablet will free me from the nightmare that is Windows. This is 2013. The whole concept of Windows is dated and done.

Indeed, for anyone who has just basic computing needs--e-mail, Facebook, Web browsing, word processing, etc.--I think it's definitely time to consider a tablet (coupled with a keyboard). And not a Windows-powered tablet, which just packs all the same problems into a smaller package and charges a hefty premium for the privilege.

Those are my thoughts. Now let's hear yous Are you ready to give up your heavy, bulky, error-prone laptop in favor of a thinner, lighter, more reliable tablet?

Veteran technology writer Rick Broida is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his money-saving expertise to CNET and, and also writes for PC World and Wired.