RT Cunningham


Working at Home - Can I Replace My Laptop Computer with a Tablet?

working at home with a tablet I’m going to skip the Android versus IOS debate. I want to replace my laptop for working at home and I want the least expensive route. If it happens to be Android, that’s what I’ll use. Likewise, with IOS (Apple, obviously), if it’s less expensive than a good Android tablet.

Do I really need an expensive tablet? If I’m not using it for anything but working at home, why should I spend more money than necessary?

Working at Home with a Tablet instead of a Laptop Computer

I’m currently using a laptop computer as my web development workstation. I honestly don’t use it for much more than that. On occasion, I’ll use it for listening to music, but I’m much more likely to use my cell phone for that. When I use it for music, it’s while I’m working. On occasion, I’ll use it to watch movies or TV shows, but I’m much more likely to cast something from my cell phone to the big TV in the living room.

To be as clear as I possibly can be, I want to use a tablet instead of laptop computer for working at home. I travel more than I want to travel and I spend more time away from home (wherever home may be at the time) than I care to. Lugging around a laptop computer, wires and whatever can quickly become a pain in the ass. Getting around with a tablet should be much easier.

Since I’m tasked with driving family members wherever, I need to be able to recharge whatever I’m using. Most cars come with ports (or you can use adapters) that can charge anything by USB. Charging a laptop is out of the question. If I run out of juice on my laptop, I have to wait until I get home to recharge it. If I run out of juice on a tablet, I can simply plug it into one of the ports, even if the engine isn’t running.

An App for Everything

I can only speak from experience. I have no experience with IOS or Windows on anything other than a desktop or laptop computer. Everything I mention is going to be for Android.

There are specific apps I need to use to do what I do every day. I need a text editor, an FTP client and an SSH client at the very least. ConnectBot works well as an SSH client. AndFTP works well as an FTP client, but I really haven’t found a text editor I like yet. QuickEdit Text Editor Pro isn’t free, but it isn’t expensive.

I once mentioned that web development on an Android tablet would be difficult. I don’t think it would be too difficult with the right equipment.

Equipment for Working at Home with a Tablet

There are two routes to take. USB or wireless. With USB2Go cables, I can connect USB keyboards and USB mice to any tablet (or smartphone for that matter). Using Bluetooth, I can connect wireless keyboards and mice.

I’m already using a wireless mouse with my laptop computer. It works great until the battery gets low. That’s why I always keep batteries on hand. It wouldn’t be any different with a tablet.

I can find tablet stands at walmart.com and amazon.com for ridiculously low prices. The keyboards and mice are a bit more expensive. And then there are the tablets themselves.

Unless I want a top-of-the-line tablet, I can find one that isn’t terribly expensive. In fact, the RCA brand is incredibly inexpensive. I’m talking about a tablet for work and I don’t need the bells and whistles of the latest must-have tablet.

A tablet, with or without a keyboard and mouse, can be used just about anywhere. A laptop computer requires a flat surface. Despite the terminology, it won’t work very well on my lap.

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RT Cunningham
July 28, 2019
Technology