Mobility has always been a blogger’s friend. If you survey 100 bloggers, a good 75 will probably say they blog primarily from their laptops. This makes perfect sense. Desktops tie us to one place. Laptops allow us to explore different environments. They let us write wherever the inspiration hits. Well, that is, if we have the proper amenities.
Come to think of it, a laptop isn’t quite the ideal portable device. Even smaller laptops are still relatively bulky. They require chargers, which themselves can be bulky. And they don’t last long on a single charge. Thankfully, we have an alternative. Blogging from a tablet might seem odd at first, but it’s easy to make the transition.
Bloggers can benefit from a tablet’s simple design. It is nothing but a flat panel, meaning it’s more portable than the hinged laptop. It can fit in any bag. Some 7-inch tablets can even fit into back pockets of jeans. The simple, one-plane design of a tablet means bloggers can take them anywhere. They can also use them on any surface, or no surface at all.
With a laptop you need a bag big enough to fit a 13- or 15-inch device. The laptop needs padding, too, since it is fragile. Both the screen and the hard drive are delicate components that can break if jostled too much. There’s also the matter of the charger, which also needs storing. All in all, it takes a decent-sized bag to tote around a laptop.
Tablet cases, on the other hand, are often minimal in design. They simply cover the tablet. Even a 10-inch tablet with a heavy duty case isn’t nearly as large as a 13-inch laptop. It’s also significantly thinner. A tablet’s screen is more durable than a laptop’s, and tablets do not have moving parts in their hard drives. All in all, a tablet is a safer, easier to transport option.
Anyone who has blogged from a laptop knows that a charger is essential. Laptop batteries last four hours at most, and that’s for a brand new battery. After dozens of charging cycles, that battery life can diminish greatly, giving you only a couple of hours before needing a charge. If you can’t find a charging outlet, you might be out of luck.
Tablets have much better energy efficiency than laptops. While the batteries are considerably smaller, they don’t need to power as many components. Laptop processors aren’t as powerful, and so use less battery. Another factor is the software running. Laptops have software meant for big desktop PCs, which require plenty of energy. Tablet apps are built specifically with the tablet in mind, and are better geared towards the tablet experience. That means less battery usage.
Another advantage: tablets don’t use much energy when not used. Take a fully charged tablet and a fully charged laptop and leave them unplugged for a few hours. The tablet will have used maybe one percent of its battery in that span. A laptop will have used much, much more. Traveling with a tablet, then, is much better than traveling with a laptop.
Making the switch
It might be a strange feeling to switch from a laptop to a tablet, even if a tablet is a better device in the long run. Here are a few issues you might run into.
Keyboard. Some people do not like the virtual keyboard of tablets and other touchscreen devices. This is mostly a matter of feel. We get tactile feedback when we type on our regular keyboards. On a touchscreen keyboard we’re just hitting a piece of glass. Typing on a touchscreen does become easier with time, but if you need a physical keyboard there are many small Bluetooth keyboards that do the job well.
Software. The good thing about using a laptop is that the software is compatible with desktops as well. Tablets, however, use different operating systems. This means buying various software that you might already have on your laptop. Thankfully, tablet software is relatively cheap. An office suite might cost you $400 on a laptop, but it costs less than one tenth of that on a tablet. Loading up your tablet with the best software is relatively cheap.
Blogging tools. All the major tablet platforms have WordPress apps. Many have apps for other blogging platforms. They are not necessary. Tablet browsers are as efficient as PC browsers, so you can log into WordPress just like you do on a laptop. Other blogging tools, such as an image editor and word processor, are also available for tablets. There’s really nothing lose in the transition.
Blogging from a laptop is nice. We’ve done it for years and years, so it has become familiar. But blogging from a tablet can change everything. It’s an ultra portable, simple, and efficient device that can fulfill all of our blogging needs. It’s tough to change over to an unfamiliar platform, but with a tablet, it just might be worth it.
If you blog from your tablet, please share your experience here. I started blogging from my iPad last year, and I’ve barely used my laptop ever since.
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