Can replace Android Windows
Use your tablet as a laptop or desktop replacement
One device for everything. The dream becomes more realistic every year. Ten years ago, tablets were not even thought of, but today we already carry around with us enormously powerful devices that can be used in a variety of ways. The tablets, which are often said to be dead, are now really useful laptop alternatives or can even replace the large computer in the office. How it works? Here some examples.
Microsoft Surface Pro, Go & Book
I myself used a Surface Pro 3, which was actually a bit old, as a full-fledged desktop replacement. This is made possible by the Microsoft Dock (Shoplink) - a docking station that is specifically designed for this. The new Surface Pro 6 with its current Intel processor and sufficient RAM is hardly inferior to a classic PC in a large case. Nevertheless, there are restrictions: In games, video rendering and other professional applications, even the very expensive Surface Pro 6 with i7 chip and 16GB reaches its limits.
It looks similar with the sleek, small, handy Surface Go, which is also based on Windows 10. The Intel 4415Y processor is simply not strong enough for games and graphics-intensive programs. But with the separately available Surface Go Signature Type Cover, the 10-inch tablet becomes a stylish notebook that should be enough for everyday work or study.
The Surface Book 2 pursues the idea of merging tablet and laptop even more consistently: Tablet and keyboard are strictly separated from one another and can be stably connected to one another by a kind of hinge device. Interesting here: The keyboard has a separate graphics card and an additional battery - for a lot of "power" on the go. At home on the couch, on the other hand, the Surface Book 2 is “only” a Windows 10 tablet.
iPad Pro as a laptop
Similar to the Surface Pro from Microsoft, the iPad Pro (Shoplink) from Apple can at least be used as a laptop alternative. The manufacturer offers the Smart Keyboard (Shoplink) for both iPad Pro models, i.e. for the version with the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch screen.
The keyboard is also a protective cover that you don't even have to connect or plug in - very practical. The catch: An iPad Pro is and remains a tablet, no matter how powerful the hardware is. Unfortunately, there is no customized interface like the one that Windows 10 has to offer when using a laptop. But here, too, the iPad Pro can do an excellent job for some office, internet and similar “little things”.
Pixel Slate: The newcomer with Chrome OS
Nobody is interested in tablets yet? This is reported over and over again. Users simply don't change their tablet as often as a smartphone. In 2017 alone, over 160 million tablets were sold worldwide, so there can be no question of a "death". The giant Google is still using tablets and is showing with the recently introduced Pixel Slate how mobility and performance can work in the guise of a tablet.
The Pixel Slate has very similar technology to the current Surface Pro 6. The highlight, however, is the 12.3 large display with a resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixels. A display of videos in 8K resolution is not a problem.
Here, too, there is a keyboard with which the Pixel Slate mutates into a complete laptop. This is made possible by Google's own Chrome OS operating system, which has long been able to function and start Android apps even without a permanent connection to the Internet. In other words: Chrome OS should be a serious alternative to Windows 10, which, however, is located in the Google microcosm with all cloud applications.
Multimedia, Android, Office - the Pixel Slate is certainly an attractive candidate for everyone who cannot get used to iOS or Windows, but still wants a tablet and laptop in one device. In any case, the price differences to the iPad Pro and Surface 6 Pro are relatively minor.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Android tablet as a laptop and desktop replacement
With its Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB flash memory, the Galaxy Tab S4 is equipped like a 2017 top smartphone. Either way: The 10.5-inch Amoled display is easy to work with. With an additionally available keyboard, the top tablet from Samsung becomes a laptop replacement, but thanks to Samsung DeX it is also a desktop alternative. Connects a keyboard, mouse and a large monitor to do everyday tasks. The hardware is strong enough for that.
Samsung relies on Android 8 and a specially developed DeX mode. If desired, it even starts automatically as soon as you dock the keyboard. Or you use a DeX station. The Galaxy Tab S4 (Shoplink) becomes an almost full-fledged work computer with a Windows-like interface and a large number of customized Android apps.
The Galaxy Tab S4 is certainly an attractive solution for Android friends who are flirting with swapping stationary computers and laptops for a tablet. But the well thought-out system from Samsung is not particularly cheap - if you also buy the keyboard and possibly a DeX Dock.
Tablets as a desktop replacement: the right operating system
Sure, there are many other suppliers of tablets with accessories or so-called detachables, where displays can be separated from keyboards. The Transformer series from ASUS or the Switch series from Acer are mentioned here as examples. And some tablets also have an HDMI output for connection to large displays.
In my opinion, the greatest agony of choice concerns the operating system, which cannot be changed on your tablet candidate. And each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Countless apps are available for Android and iOS, but very few applications and interfaces are designed for laptop or desktop use - DeX is one exception.
Windows 10 looks better, but the tablet mode of the Microsoft OS is not as comfortable to use as iOS and Android. Chrome OS, in turn, wants to bring everything together optimally. However, you get a world of three different app types (Chrome, Android, Linux), which is likely to be at the expense of convenience. Something is always.
The right tablet as a laptop or stationary PC
My tip: Decide on an operating system before researching the right all-rounder tablet. Once this has been established, it is easier to find the right device. With iOS there’s only the iPad (Pro), with Chrome OS the Pixel Slate is one of the very few candidates. From this point of view, the number of Android-based, powerful tablets is also very manageable. Only with Windows systems are you offered something like variety thanks to various manufacturers.
How to use your smartphone as a desktop PC
Do you already use a tablet as a desktop or laptop replacement? Which configuration do you prefer?
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