MS Office might have become available for the iPad, but will it convince people that you can actually use a tablet for work? Well, it might. And then, it might not. Here is our tongue-in-cheek look at the followers of the ‘tablets for data consumption’ camp.

“Young man, what are you doing on that device?”

“Nothing, nothing, just working on a presentation I have to make…”

“But you cannot do that!”

“Why not? It seems to work.”

“No, no, you cannot. That is a tablet.”


“It does not have a proper keyboard!”

“Oh come, it has one. See, I am using it to type.”

“No! A proper keyboard, I mean. One with real keys, not a touch one.”

“Well, I can manage just as well with these…”

“You cannot. REAL typing can only be done on a proper keyboard not on an onscreen one.”

“But I am able to type quite comfortably on the touchscreen of my phone, and hardly any phones have keyboards these days…”

“Why are you bringing phones into it? This is about tablets!”

“No, I was just pointing out that if I could type on a phone’s touchscreen, I could type on a tablet’s too. The display is bigger and the keyboard is too.”

“Do not try to be logical here. The phone is used only for minor text entry tasks!”

“Well, actually I do write a bit on my device. I have got Google Drive…”

“Listen to me – you do NOT do heavy writing on your phone!”

“Even if I do?”ipad-productivity

“Oh you just convince yourself that you do – long text messages maybe! But you need a proper keyboard and a large screen to do anything productive.”

“Exactly what I was pointing out. My tablet has both. Actually, so does my phone.”

“Nonsense. A keyboard is not a keyboard unless the keys sink in and emit clicking sounds.”

“You can turn on the clicking sounds…”

“Do not trivialize the issue. The stark fact of the matter is that tablets are devices meant for consuming data, not being productive.”

“But I use mine for a lot of work…”

“Blasphemy! How dare you!?”

“Well, look at this – I have apps to create and edit documents and spreadsheets, an app for presentations, a proper browser, an e-mail app, a good contacts application and even a very good image and video editor…”

“Apps! There you go changing the topic again.”

“No, what I was pointing out was that these apps let me do pretty much what I could on my notebook.”

“How dare you mention notebooks and tablets in the same sentence! They are very different devices!”

“Well, I don’t carry a notebook around as much these days, as I am able to do most things on my tablet.”

“That’s impossible!”

“No, not really. I mean, I can view and edit documents, play around with spreadsheets, browse the Web, send mails and check Facebook and Twitter…”

“But you cannot type!”

“Yes, I can. See, the keyboard pops up on the screen whenever I have to enter any text…”

“That’s not REAL typing. REAL typing is when the keyboard is always there and has keys that can be compressed.”

“Look, this is a bit unfair. I mean, I actually find editing video and images easier on a tablet – you know, no mouse to bother about…”

“Hah! That’s what you think. What you are actually doing is compromising quality by adopting a device that is meant only for data consumption not for productivity!”

“But wait a minute, we used to write documents on BlackBerry devices too…”

“Yes, but they had proper keyboards. Not these fiddly onscreen ones. How can you type on these?”

“You touch the key of the letter you want to type…”

“Stop being a smart aleck. Anyone can tell you that the only way you can write on a tablet is if you attach a REAL keyboard to it!”

“But I can type on it, see?”

“Hah, that’s what you think. I bet autocorrect messes up whatever you write.”

“No. I just turn it off.”

“There you go trying to be smart again. What about not knowing what keys you have pressed because hey there is no real response when you touch them?”

“Well, I tend to keep looking up at the screen while I type. I even do that on a computer…”

“Don’t you ever dare say ‘tablet’ and ‘computer’ in the same sentence. That is so not fair! The computer is a device meant for work, the tablet only for seeing stuff.”

“…and some pretty nifty games.”

“Oh yes, casual stuff. Just entertainment. Not really productive, productive work!”

“All right, all right, fine. Now can I please get back to my MS PowerPoint presentation? I need to insert some images, tweak a few videos after editing them, check and accommodate the comments made by my boss, mail the presentation to seventeen people, take a print out, and then rush to the venue to actually make the presentation. And I have to do it all – even make the presentation – from this tablet! Oh and respond to any mails or queries that come in while I am working.”

“Sure, sure. Go right ahead. Just as long as you realize that a tablet is not a productive tool. It is only meant for data consumption. The rule is: if it does not have a REAL keyboard, it cannot be REALLY productive. No matter how you use it.”

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Associate Editor

Nimish Dubey has been writing for more than a decade now (well, Windows 3.1 was around and Apple was on the verge of being finished when he started). He has been published in a number of publications including The Times of India, Mint, The Economic Times, Mid-Day and Femina on subjects that vary from tech write -ups to book reviews to music album round ups. He managed to interview Michael Schumacher once and write two books for young adults along the way.