Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Should writers use tablets or PCs?

So tablets are pretty popular. They're thin and shiny and you use your fingers in order to make them do things. Supposedly they're going to replace the personal computer.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. It seems like an accurate assumption for the general public--aka, the people who use their computers solely for Facebook and watching videos on YouTube and playing Plants vs. Zombies. But what about people who type for hours everyday? People like writers. Will tablets replace laptops and desktops for those people?

I say no. At least not anytime soon.

I don't know about you guys, but typing on a touchscreen has never been up there on my list of favorite things. The keyboard is cramped and you don't get the satisfaction of actually pressing a key in. I'm willing to forgo a tablet just so I can type without stressing my hands. And yeah, I know, it's possible to hook a wireless keyboard to your tablet--but that's just one extra thing to lug around.

Moving on. There is no tablet version of Scrivener. There is no tablet version of a lot of programs, and if your writing process requires one of them, well that makes things difficult. Continuing on that vein, if you own an iPad, you can only run one process at a time . . . so there's no music + Twitter + writing document + chat window + email. Sure, it's good for staying-on-task, but inconvenient if you need to bounce between programs.

These are little, nitpicky issues and I know of many people who actively write on their tablets. But right now, it seems easier to stick with my laptop . . . which already does everything I want and need it to.

So what side do you fall on in the tablet vs. PC debate? Do you own one of the other? Are you a diehard fan of the desktop and the laptop? Or do you welcome our tablet overlords with open arms? Tell me in the comments.