Does the World Really Need Single-Purpose Tablets?

Everybody wants a ‘tablet’. Everybody wants to do this, that or the other thing on their tablet. What is the number one item on your holiday wish list? A tablet. They are popular, they are convenient and there are options. Whether you play for team iPad, prefer team Android, have your fingers crossed that Microsoft finally has things figured out, refuse to bail on team BlackBerry, or have your sights set on some other flavor entirely… there is a tablet out there for every body.

We are taught as children that having focus is a good thing. Does the same theory apply to our electronics? So in a sea of possibilities, are some choices better than others?

If you love to cook and spend all sorts of time in the kitchen, perhaps a single-use tablet like the QOOQ would serve you well. It is beautiful and would look lovely on your counter; but despite being a wealth of recipes with related culinary tips, tricks and techniques, the QOOQ is a very expensive cookbook with a price-tag of USD $399. Now it’s true that they throw in at the end of the product description that you can also check your email and do a few other social networking type tasks, but don’t be fooled –this is a proprietary device. While they invite you to add your own recipes to the QOOQ, they are also equally interested in selling you their content… along with a line that makes you feel like every other tablet is just too delicate to be considered ready for prime-time kitchen use.

What they don’t mention is that there are countless protective cover, case and stand options available for those renegades willing to risk taking their other multi-purpose tablets into the kitchen.

Are there instances when single-purpose tablets make sense? Certainly. If you consider the highly-successful line of eReaders out there it is enough to prove that theory. If you are wanting a replacement for carrying around bulky and heavy hard-cover novels in your purse, a basic Kindle, Kobo or Nook device will be your work-horse; the batteries last for what seems like forever and being honest I’m much less worried about taking a USD $79 eReader with me to the beach or pool-side.

Other single-purpose tablets are out there, with more hitting the scene every day. Each manufacturer will try to explain why you can’t continue to successfully live your life or run your business without their product. In many cases, their claims prey on the inexperienced user who isn’t aware that you can put a waterproof case with a handle on an iPad or just how easy it would be to add a keyboard or use a mounting bracket.

So why should you choose an iPad (appreciating that this argument is also applicable to the BlackBerry Playbook, Microsoft Surface and many of the full-featured Android tablets as well)? The answer is easily summarized with a single word: potential. Between the considerable number of apps available (in every genre covering virtually any topic you can imagine) and the equally considerable selection of accessories, you can transform your device into something well protected in the kitchen yet sleek and portable for the boardroom with very little effort. Plus, when you upgrade you can bring your apps along with you to the new tablet (not to mention it seems reasonable to trust Apple will still be around at this time next year).

The moral of the story? Buyer beware. Despite the fact that your mother, friend, uncle, brother’s neighbor may be the best chef out there, they may be able to take advantage of the considerable library of apps and accessories available to multi-purpose tablets without the other limitations.

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About Jillian: A professional. A geek. Writer. Music fanatic. Creative. Thoughtful. Programmer. Educated. Outgoing. Thrill seeker. Realistic. Optimist. Clever. Sarcastic. Not typical. Contact me on Twitter: @codeGoddess