While cell phones keep getting bigger and bigger laptops seem to be getting so small they could soon be on the verge of extinction. Even netbooks, a not too distant past trend, are seen as too bulky and have been the gateway to the tablet craze. With tablets now available for every type of operating system and customizable for a person’s technical specifics, they could be considered the computer of the future. Here are some tips on how to ditch that laptop and turn your handheld tablet into your main computer.
1. Know what’s on your tablet
The tablet has come a long way since it was first released as the iPad by Steve Jobs in 2008 (there is many an argument about who really came up with the tablet but we’ll leave that to the conspirators). The first step to getting the most out of your tablet is understanding what tools it has. Much like a computer, tablets can comes with word processing exactly like the type you’d get on a computer, the two major ones are: Microsoft Office and Apple’s “productivity” apps which include, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. Google Docs is another great word processor that many use because of its ease of access from any device in any location.
Tablets have a lot of awesome features similar to a smartphone, one major perk to utilize are applications. Most of the ones that you use on your phone have a version accessible from your tablet. Best of all, all of your accounts, including calendar, email, and your contacts, can usually sync regardless of what device you access them from. It’s important to keep in mind that, when determining your word processor or what apps to use, Apple products will favor Apple tools while Android tablets will favor Google tools.
2. Storage and backup
One of the major computer-like tools even the most up-to-date tablets don’t have is a way to get files onto a tablet using an external dongle such as a thumb drive. In addition to this, tablets have a very small amount of storage space. Luckily for us, the world is becoming more digital and therefore there are many cloud storage services out there for you to use to hang on to your files. Some of the best and most notable tools are Dropbox and Google Drive. These both allow you to keep files on your tablet much like a computer but instead of storing it on the actual device they are stored on the cloud.
If you use Apple’s iCloud on your iPad, be aware that you are much more limited on how you can organize what you store and where it can be accessed from. If you need to store a lot of larger files, there are tablet-specific external drives such as Seagate’s Wireless Mobile Storage drive which rings in at $129 and holds up to 500GB. The Seagate is also great for backing up your files.
3. Wireless keyboard and mouse
Apart from the screen, the other half of what makes a laptop is the keyboard. One of the simplest ways to make a tablet appear more computer-like is to get a wireless keyboard. Unless you have the Surface, which comes with a keyboard, you will need to buy one. If you have an iPad, the best choice is to get Apple’s Wireless Keyboard (remember Apple favors Apple products). You can also get Belkin’s Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case, which serves as a cover when closed and when flipped open it reverts to a keyboard.
For Android tablets there is Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for the Samsung and the Google Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio for Nexus Tablets. If you are looking for a keyboard that will work with both Android and iOS devices, Logitech’s Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard is excellent. The next step is to get a wireless mouse such as Samsung’s S Action Bluetooth Mouse. If you are looking to get the most productivity out of your tablet a keyboard and a mouse are an essential combination to have.
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