What will you buy next – Phone and Tablet or Phablet?

With screen sizes going up to 5 inches (my Samsung Galaxy Note is 5.3 inch) the smartphone still remains the lightest. One can hardly carry a laptop in one’s pocket and even a 7 inch tablet won’t fit in your pockets.

The shift in cyber-age has caused a change in how people communicate today. People seek and need information at their fingertips. Gadgets are becoming a part of our daily life and people today cannot live without one. The Internet changed our way of finding new information and even friends. Technology has caused communication to change drastically. It seems that everyone today carries a smartphone and many almost feel lost if they forget their phone at home. Email and text messages have also changed the way that people interact on a daily basis. The market is being flooded with new devices at a rapid pace.

So what will you choose next – a Phone and Tablet or Phablet?

A combination of smartphone serving the purpose of a tablet forms a “Phablet”.

Coming back to our point of discussion – what to choose? Smartphone with a big screen which fits snuggly in to your pocket or a tablet? The basic tasks that one want’s to do while away from their desktops is to check emails, catch up on social sites like Twitter and Facebook, browsing the web and listening to music or watch movies to kill time. So basically, what one needs in their travel kit are three main devices – a phone to make calls, a Mobile Internet Device (MID) to check emails or connect to friends on social media sites and a laptop when you need to do more CPU and memory intensive work. Given that these three devices both compete as well as complement each other to a certain extent, could a smartphone or laptop make it unnecessary for us to carry a tablet?

The SmartPhone

The smartphone evolved from PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant) and is certainly more mobile.

Samsung Galaxy Note - N7000

With screen sizes going up to 5 inches (my Samsung Galaxy Note is 5.3 inch) the smartphone still remains the lightest. One can hardly carry a laptop in one’s pocket and even a 7 inch tablet won’t fit in your pockets. Moreover, the smartphone also allows you to do phone calls comfortably and throw in the fast processing power (some models offering Dual Core Processors) and adequate storage to hold your movies and music, the smartphone becomes a irreplaceable device.

The Tablet

Coming to tablets, one gets the same functions as that are offered in a good smartphone, except that on a tablet, it’s a larger screen. Steve Jobs once said that in order for the tablet to become a hit, it would have to do “far better” at seven key things than the smartphone or notebook. They are browsing, email, photos, videos, music, games and e-Books. Well, the new breed of large screen smartphone do all that and that too with great processing power.

The Laptop, Netbook and Ultrabook

Let’s shift our focus now on laptops, netbooks and ultrabooks. Since the past two years tablets have been eating into the laptop market and now ultrabooks have joined the bandwagon too. The biggest advantage a tablet offers over a laptop is the size and weight. However a drawback of having a tablet over a laptop is that none of the applications designed for the PC run on a tablet. Tablets run on Android or on Apple iOS operating systems.

Netbooks are another type of laptops that come in very small size and shape. These are basically toned down low cost versions of laptops. Most of the netbooks are powered by Intel Atom processors and lack an optical drive. They are meant for daily PC needs and not for resource consuming applications.

Ultrabooks have only been introduced recently into the market and are already gaining popularity. An ultrabook is basically a high end laptop/notebook that has been designed to be less on weight and thickness. They offer higher battery life due to the use of new processors from Intel. The ultrabooks are designed under specific guidelines laid out by Intel and are under 20mm thick.

Welcome Microsoft Surface

Microsoft recently announced the “Surface”. This is a PC tablet that runs Windows 8 Operating System which is yet to be released – though the Consumer Preview as well as the Release Preview are already out.

Microsoft Surface Tablet PC

The tablet features some standard tablet specifications, including a 10.6 inch high-definition touchscreen and front and rear facing cameras. All this fits into a 9.3 mm magnesium frame which weighs 1.5 pounds. But Surface also brings some new innovations to the tablet space.

The device’s cover, for instance, flips down to become a full keyboard. It features a rigid case built from magnesium, a pen that clicks into the tablet and a built-in kickstand. The best feature – which would make people at Apple scratch their heads – is the magnetic cover that snaps firmly into place and functions as a keyboard. Now, why did not Apple think of that before?

My Choice

If I were to consider choosing my Mobile Internet Device (MID), I would go in for a big screen smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Note which has a 5.3 inch AMOLED screen with 16M colours, 1.4 GHz Dual Core Processor, 1 GB of RAM, 32 GB storage with an additional 8GB microSD card and weighing just 178 grams.

On the other hand, while choosing my work device, I would eagerly wait for Microsoft to launch their “Surface” as it plans to pack within it Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. It also has USB and micro-HDMI ports and a micro-SD card expansion slot and comes loaded with Microsoft’s Windows 8.

Given that these three products compete and complement each other to a certain extent, could our smartphone or laptop make it unnecessary for us to have a tablet as well? Share your views.

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