Tablets have come a long way since the first iPad made its debut appearance back in 2010, and I have to admit that they have really started to impress, in computing power, portability, connectability and battery life. But are they really taking over the mobile market?

I've been reading articles recently about the newest iPad, the newly announced Microsoft Surface, and mobile computing research. Between Smartphones, Tablets and Laptops, we have a wide variety of choices for various parts of daily computing life. But consumers, as always, want ease of use, and so more and more things are becoming less and less. Everything is melting into the one ultimate mobile device.

A tablet is described in Wikipedia as 'a mobile computer, larger than a mobile phone or personal digital assistant, integrated into a flat touch screen and primarily operated by touching the screen rather than using a physical keyboard.' They are smaller than a laptop, thus much more portable, and bigger than a smartphone, so are easier to use with a larger screen. They seem to be the best of both worlds, yet they are jack of all trades, master of none. Some tablets have attachable or externally connectable keyboards as well as other devices (such as a mouse, or a web camera), but they will always be slower to work on when typing. They also lack the power that laptops possess. This severely degrades the high-end application use that one might require on a tablet such as art programs or video editing software. Also, in essence they are still quite large to carry around when comparing them with high-end smartphones, so they are not the most mobile of devices.

Why then, did people jump on the tablet-train so quickly? Because its easy. As I mentioned, the mobile computing market really encompasses those that are on the move, or that hates sitting down at a desk to work. Tablets eliminate this by having no wires or connnections required for web browsing and word processing. Altough a laptop is similar in this design, it generates a lot more heat, is heavier, and larger, so it is generally less easy to carry it around, especially for business men or women that travel a lot.

Tablets also appeal to the newly founded 'app' market. People love downloading small, pointless games and apps to indulge in when waiting at the doctors, or driving down to go see your grandparents. The newest tablets run even better applications, and allows low-end computer software to work on the iPad or Galaxy.

Now, with Microsoft's new release, things are getting even more suitable for the mobile person. The Surface will run Windows 8 in its core, meaning that applications for the laptop or desktop versions of Win 8 will also work on their tablet. This is good news for some, as their favourite Windows applications can be brought with them wherever they go.

The sad truth is that tablets might just be the death of laptops soon. Or so some people say.  Research by NPD Displaysearch  suggests by 2016 Tablet sales will exceed laptop sales. I think that there is a good chance that low-end laptops used for processing and web browsing might slowly phase out, but a tablet will never be a i7, R15,000.00($1800) laptop with a great graphics card and superb capabilities despite its small size. So your favourite Alienware notebooks, and those monster machines from Acer and Dell will stay on for quite a while yet.

Despite the growing popularity, I don't much like this 'tablet revolution' that is doing the rounds, because of the effect it will have on the laptop market. But, the world is slowly -or really, very quickly- embracing mobile computing, and the only thing that stands between the tablet and a desktop, is the one problem that always lingers in the confines of its hardware - its lack of computing power. You won't see me buying a tablet soon, though I might consider it for small things such as e-mailing and web browsing. But in the end, desktops and laptops are still the best computers around in my humble opinion.