James Robinson on the Tablet's Existential Crisis

Our iPads are just around. They’re with us, and kind of nifty, but seem to hover awkwardly in the space between smartphone and desktop computer. I finally invested in one myself at the end of 2013 with the release of the iPad Air and it took me months to relax into the fact that I probably didn’t actually need it.

In 2012, I eagerly bought a Nexus 7. I'd been waiting patiently for a decent Android tablet, and the Nexus 7 was undoubtedly the cream of the crop. I read on it, watched TV on it, browsed Twitter on it.

The following year, the new model was released, and I found myself underwhelmed. It was an upgrade, but not a significant one, and the kids had been getting more use from it than I.

As I write this, my tablet is on the coffee table, where it's been for the better part of six months. It's little more than a Chromecast remote these days. I prefer the Kindle for reading, my phone for Twitter, and my laptop for email.

Despite the tablet's surge in popularity since the iPad debuted in 2010, we still don't really know what to do with tablets. James Robinson explores that awkward no man's land.

As the iPad turns four, the tablet faces an existential crisis