Tablets feel incomplete without a keyboard

You shouldn’t own a tablet without a keyboard. Let me rephrase that: Unless all you’re interested in is browsing the internet, watching movies, and playing a few games, tablets feel incomplete without a keyboard dock/cover/attachment of some sort.

Tablets are great consumption devices, but if I want to get any work done at all – at least, at a reasonable pace – I need a real keyboard. Virtual keyboards are great in many cases, but I would never want to use one to write a paper, article, or even a long email. One could argue that I’ve been spoiled by the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT and its Touch Cover, but using a virtual keyboard for more than entertainment consumption and simple responses has always frustrated me. Some work better than others – the Kindle Fire’s virtual keyboard is atrocious – but none can match a dock or cover.

Over the last few months, I’ve become accustomed to effortlessly switching between work and play modes with my Surface, due in large part to the Touch Cover. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my two other Windows 8/RT tablets, the ASUS VivoTab RT and the Acer Iconia W510. I’m supposed to receive a keyboard dock for the former device at some point – although it hasn’t arrived yet – and I’m seriously considering picking up a dock for the latter as well. While I’ve only had the Iconia W510 for a few days, I’ve found it difficult to get any real work done on the device. It works great for consumption, but it’s not nearly as versatile.

Maybe it’s just me, but using a tablet for anything other than consumption without a keyboard just doesn’t feel right.

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William Devereux

William Devereux is the former Microsoft editor at Pocketables, as well as a Microsoft MVP and SkyDrive/Outlook.com Insider. As his title implies, he wrote about all things from Redmond, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone. He is currently carrying a Windows Phone 8X by HTC and a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT tablet.