Replacing a PC with a Tablet or Phone

macbook pro beside white ipad

I asked for your opinions on replacing PCs with tablets or phones and you had plenty to say:

“I have a desktop, a laptop and a tablet. I would never swap out my desktop for anything else. Second choice is laptop. Tablet, I use occasionally, but I’m not fond of it. I despise touch screens. The gestures are slow, awkward, and nearly impossible for me to learn. I can’t write with my finger. I carry a stylus with me everywhere I go (for, say, signatures on terminal touchscreens) and I have them stashed around the house. I use the tablet only for portability, such as for visiting a hospital patient, waiting for an appointment, or waiting for a car repair, or if the power is out. I keep it charged up and also have a cellular Wifi unit and a couple back up battery chargers for power failures. I will never get up to speed with this thing. If I ever have to use it much, I will look into linkable keyboards and, say, a linkable touchpad.”

The touch screen is a learning curve but a good one shouldn’t be slow if you’re applying the right pressure. Many people just press to hard on them. And once you get the gestures down they become pretty automatic. BTW, no one can write with their finger.

Another reader has a better experience.

“I’ve been using a desktop and an iPad concurrently for some time now. I also have been talked into an iPhone SE (2020) but I limit what I do on that because of its size. I find I still like to have both. I use the desktop for most writing and calculating (spreadsheets), and for most email and web searches, and the iPad for reading, some email and some web searches, weather checks,

I have a lot of programs (apps) on both devices, so if I can’t get to one in a pinch I can use the other one. Seems to work fine. I do my banking and other financial stuff mainly on the desktop because I believe it is safer, but I can access it from the iPad (or iPhone) if I have to.

The touch screen became easy to use fairly quickly; I haven’t had any trouble with it. I got a book on the iPad when I first got it, and that (along with your columns) helped get up to speed quickly.

And by the way, I currently use the iPhone for Second Factor Authorization, except for a couple of systems which require the iPad as a recipient of the codes.

Life keeps changing.”

You’re certainly right about life changing. I agree with the value of multiple devices. Finding out which device is best for which task takes practice and patience. I’m glad you have it. It makes things better in the long run.

This reader isn’t going down that road”

“I don’t have a smartphone so I never use one. Not even remotely interested in going that route.”

Yet another reader is a little scared of new tech.

” It is OK for the younger generations, but difficult for oldies like me (84) to just get a phone and know how to operate everything on it.   I help teach computer to U3A classes, I love my PC, but put a phone in my hand (and except for the very basics) I am lost.  I have my first great-grandchild, and am frightened of losing the Messenger photos by doing the wrong thing.”

It’s pretty hard to mess up a computer unless you try hard. It is damned near impossible to mess up a phone unless you fall for a phishing scam or some nonsense. It’s also pretty difficult to lose Messenger photos. They stay there basically forever.

Honestly, old school computers were way more complicated and prone to problems than those current handheld computers we call phones.

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