Tablets have become massively popular, but some of us are still trying to figure out why we'd even want one. Wonder no more: here are 10 worthwhile, clever uses for tablets, whether it's an iPad, Android or Windows device.
10. A Productive Second Screen
A tablet can actually make a great second screen to augment your main computer — whether you hook it up to your computer as a second monitor or actually use it as a tablet. With a couple of work apps and shortcuts, you can easily use your tablet as a more productive, secondary device for keeping up with email, your notes, or other work-related tasks you need to keep an eye on.
9. A Universal Remote Control
Your phone can control a lot of things, but a tablet's size make it a great remote for just about anything. With the right apps, you can use your tablet to control your home theatre PC, your computer from afar, or even your actual house.
7. A Note-Taking Machine
If you're studying or need to take a lot of notes at work, a tablet actually makes for a pretty dandy note-taker, making it easy to annotate books and article or take handwritten notes. With apps Evernote, Drafts, and OneNote available, you can do more with your notes than you ever could on paper.
6. A Creative Tool
Traditionalists may scoff at the use of digital tablets for art, but they allow you to do a lot of things you can't do on paper — especially if you're short on funds. Whether it's making music, digital painting, or creative writing, a tablet gives you portability, ease of use, and the ability to easily copy or share your works quickl. It may not be your go-to studio, but it's a great tool to have at your disposal for creative tasks.
5. An Integrated Car Dashboard
Ever used the built-in navigation and music players in most cars? A lot of them leave a lot to be desired (OK, let's be frank, they suck). Why not just add your iPad or Android tablet to the mix instead? It's got music, it's got navigation, it's easy to use, and you can even control it with your voice. We've seen countless examples of this, from DIY mounts to more serious, built-in setups. Whatever you choose to do, it's sure to bring your car into the 21st century.
4. A Portable Media And Gaming Centre
Imagine the awesomeness of a home theatre PC that fits in your backpack. You can bring it over to your friends' house for the Game of Thrones finale, throw some old school video games on their TV, or stream some iView on a whim. All you need is a tablet and the right apps and accessories. Plus, it's great for when you have those same cravings at the airport or while you're out with no access to a TV. And if you're really dedicated to those old school video games, you can turn it into a mini retro cabinet, too.
3. A Do-Everything Family Device
Having a tablet lying around as a general all-purpose device — for quickly checking email, reading the web, or killing a few minutes with a game — seems to be an ideal use case. It's faster and easier than grabbing your laptop or heading to your computer, and it isn't locked to one location. However, most tablets don't really lend themselves to multi-user experience. Thankfully, we've figured out some ways around that problem, so you can use your tablet as a do-everything device for the whole household. And with a few dedicated "tablet stations," it will never get lost.
2. A Device Dedicated To Distractions
The internet is distracting. It's hard to stay focused when you have so many options for procrastination. Blogger Ben Brooks recommends offloading all that distraction to your tablet. Then just schedule in some time for procrastination and switch to your secondary device to keep it separate from your work. Photo by Houang Stephane.
1. A Distraction-Free Work Device
On the flip side of the distraction coin, tablets are also great at focusing you on one specific task, since apps generally run full-screen. That makes it great for distraction-free writing, and turns it into a surprisingly legitimate productivity tool. It's also great (obviously) for distraction-free reading. When we asked you guys whether you use your tablet for work, a surprising majority of you said yes for these very reasons.