Tablets have been around long enough for you to figure they are not yet ready to replace your workhorse desktop or notebook. They might be outselling PCs and laptops, but they continue to remain devices that are better to consume content than create it. However, the sheer convenience of lounging in your couch with your tablet is something that even the slimmest notebook cannot match. The writer looks at six aspects that are fun to do with the tablet

Gaming

It’s tough to compete with pure-play gaming consoles that hook up with your gigantic television screens, but the zippy processors under the hoods of tablets are making hand-held gaming very addictive. This is clearly an area where your laptop can’t compete with the tablet. There are platforms that allow you to download a host of cult games free of cost. Many tablets offer more screen space for a compelling gaming experience. But, if you are one of those occasional gamers that need the odd stress-buster, the seven- or eight-inch tablets will do just fine.

eBooks

You might miss the smell of that new paperback edition, but a growing number of bibliophiles has switched to eBooks. Amazon’s Kindle led the way, but its bookstore has kept both Android and Apple in the mix. The nifty-embedded eBook dictionary now present on all platforms is a great tool to expand your vocabulary. It’s not just the cost factor, the convenience of carrying all your eBooks on a long holiday is impossible to imagine with your book collection. Nothing beats the form factor of the seven- or eight-inch tablets for eBooks. It explains the phenomenal success of a few of the tablets that offer the perfect screen size (that of a paperback book!) to flip through the eBooks.

E-mail and social media

Almost all leading social media platforms have apps optimised for tablets, and make best use of the larger screen. Just perfect if you don’t like to stay connected on social networks through the day with your smartphone. Unless you are typing that rare long e-mail, tablets work really well. The large screens are handy to view attachments while the on-screen keyboards are easy on your thumbs.

Videos and movies

With a battery life that outclasses most laptops or smartphones, tablet is the perfect ‘go to’ device when the in-flight entertainment does not meet your approval; there’s a storehouse of movies you can buy or rent. And if you already have a collection of your favourite movies, you can easily move them to your tablet. Even if the tablets don’t come with an extendable memory option, with in-built storage ranging from 16GB to 64 GB and cloud storage, you are more than covered if you need to make space for your top 10 movies!

Web browsing

With an app for almost every conceivable need and a dedicated search bar in most tablets, you don’t need to entirely depend on your web browser. When you do need to browse on your tablet, there’s a choice of browsers other than the in-built custom browser. Some of the tablets may not Flash videos, but it’s good news that a lot of sites have started moving from Flash to support hassle-free browsing.

News and other apps

Whether its utilities such as flight and train schedules or lifestyle-related apps such as recipes or gadgets, a large of number of intuitive and fun-to-use apps is making web browsing almost redundant. The world’s best news sources offer apps specifically designed for tablets with a pleasing user interface. In addition, cool apps simulate a magazine experience by aggregating news and updates (including social media feeds) from different sources on a single platform.