How I Realized the Laptop Wasn’t Dead

by Paul Johnson

Late last fall, I finally decided to take the plunge and buy a tablet.  It seemed like the perfect solution for our desktop woes: we hated going into our dreary office to search the web, which is what we do 90% of the time with our computer.  I figured we could streamline our household by not having a clunky laptop to drag to the various rooms in our abode.  If only I could have known how wrong I was.

After excitedly opening my new tablet, I was amazed to see a look of distress on my wife’s face.  “I don’t like touch screens,” she said.  Unbelievable!  I had never heard such nonsense before.  Turns out, she likes the tactile feel of the keyboard and appreciates the speed with which she can enter data on pages.  What a crazy notion! I had thought this would be a non-issue, considering most surfing doesn’t require too much user input.  She was aggravated right from the start.

We own fairly simplistic phones to save money.  Surfing the web on our phones isn’t something we need to do frequently enough to warrant the cost.  So, was it possible she was just unaccustomed to the touch screen and it would take a little time?  The answer, after a week or so of having the device, was a resounding no.  “I want a mouse,” she said.  The touch screen makes it all so much easier though, I thought.  For her, moving the mouse around offered a familiarity she wasn’t willing to give up.

So, we had to buy a laptop too.

Is she just an archaic relic of a bygone era?  I would have to argue firmly against that.   I find myself being drawn to the laptop all the time when I just don’t want to take the time to touch my way to my destination.  Yes, I know I could get a keyboard for it.  But doesn’t that start to defeat the whole purpose of having this one compact tablet in the first place?  Not to mention that any kind of file system necessary to do some of the most basic computing tasks I’m used to doing is totally lacking from my device.  Having the iPad and a laptop has given me a new appreciation for the lack of substance in an argument that the laptop is being replaced by the tablet.  In fact, I would definitely recommend having the laptop and only having the tablet if you can have both.  It’s a great toy, don’t get me wrong: even thought my wife now refers to it as “my second wife,” there really is no substitute for the power you lose when you give up on its older brother.

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