How do you use your tablet?


Today saw the announcement of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab4 range of Android tablets. Available in screen sizes of 10.1-inch, 8-inch and 7-inch, the new family of tablets are equipped with standard features such as a microSD card slot, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and runs on Android 4.4 KitKat.

The news prompted me to think deeper about how tablets are used, including the differing philosophies adopted by the various device makers. As a fun exercise, I list some of them below.

A device for every need: It is no secret that Samsung believes in saturating the market with all types of devices that span across different screen sizes. The newest Galaxy Tab4 certainly does not disappoint in this regard, continuing with the company's tradition of offering every configuration you could possibly want.

iGeneric--Cause we know what's best: On its part, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) continues to enhance the processing and graphics capabilities while maintaining battery life over each generation of the iPad. The occasional form factor upgrade also delivers a slimmer and lighter device. Because Apple knows what's best, the iPad offers very limited ability to upgrade; No memory card slot, and no standard USB interface.

It's a PC with a removable keyboard, silly: Not to be outdone, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has its Surface (and Surface 2) tablets. Microsoft actually designed a couple of excellent keyboards, which is no surprise considering how the tablet is really a PC with a removable keyboard. And yes, every tablet should run the Windows operating system too, even if it is a modified version of Windows that works on an ARM processor.

Portal to your desktop: Finally, Parallels, the company behind the popular virtualization software Parallels Desktop for Mac believe that you really do want to use your desktop. In that vein, Parallels Access for the iPad promises to "applify" your universe by making it easy to use your desktop apps from a touch-based interface. Executives that I spoke to at the company's annual Parallels Summit conference in February hinted that an Android version is currently in development and could be available in a matter of months.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the above. - Paul Mah  (Twitter @paulmah)