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The Dark Side of Tablet PCs

Entertainment can destroy tablet productivity.

Last time, we talked about Business Tablets, how they can be productive, and how you can use them to your advantage.

Not everything is rainbows and unicorns when it comes to tablets though. Tablets, despite their diminutive size, have a dark side.

I talked about how productive you can be with a tablet, assuming you use it properly, but tablets can be extremely counter-productive if used as most people use them.

This is why tablets have such a bad reputation for productivity.

Current Tablet Uses

A cursory glance over questions asked on retail websites will show that the average person is concerned about 2 things when shopping for their tablets: Can it play Angry Birds (or Facebook Games), and can it handle Netflix.

If you are buying your tablet for entertainment purposes, these are perfectly acceptable questions to ask, but if you are purchasing a tablet for your business, then beware: you’re being drawn to the dark side.

Angry Birds & Free Games

Unfortunately for my “productivity” argument, tablets are amazing entertainment consumption devices (they’re also great at Twitter), and this is the foundation of the “tablet dark side.”

Angry Birds is the perfect example of why Tablets have such a bad productivity reputation. I’ve seen people literally play Angry Birds for hours. The funny thing is that the Angry Birds game itself is not a unique concept, it was just executed well and given a story line.

I’m unfairly targeting Angry Birds. Other offenders include Fruit Ninja, and just about every Facebook game. The combination of convenience, and free games is what leads tablet users to the productivity dark side (aka Time Vampires). They’ll try to get you to join as well, but you must resist.

Tablets & Netflix

Another way to tell if you’re being drawn to the dark side is if you spend ample amounts of time watching Netflix on your device. Many tablets are great for streaming Netflix, but this can be just the thing to take you from being a “Tablet Productivity Rockstar” to “Entertainment Consumption Glutton.”

We all know how good “Lost” was, but when you’ve got orders piling up, it’s time to put down the Netflix, and time to pick up the packing tape.

Don’t Use Tablets Like Laptops

Entertainment consumption is definitely the biggest productivity drain when it comes to using a tablet. The next productivity drain is using your tablet for things you should be using a normal computer for. If you are trying to type a long report using a tablet’s onscreen keyboard, then you are not being productive.

For text heavy uses like this, you should either have a keyboard connected to the tablet, or you should be using an ordinary computer. The same holds true for creating spreadsheets on your tablet. It’s cumbersome to be jumping between the Alpha keys on the onscreen keyboard, and the symbol keys.

Save your “heavy lifting” for an actual computer, or get the proper peripherals to get the job done. Anything else will just be a drain on your productivity.

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