Tablets are the new PC … a surface to build on

Tablets are the new PC. Tiny touchscreen computers with all-day battery life are invading our homes, our trains and our workplaces. Building for the web is changing all over again, says Giles Turnbull

Surface is Microsoft’s answer to the iPad, and is on sale in the UK starting at £399.

Announced with a fast-paced promo video (which you can see on YouTube at, or clicking on the play arrow above, the Surface ( is supposed to offer people a real alternative to the iDomination of Apple’s system.

But either way you look at it, the tablet computer is fast becoming the best value computing device for the majority of people. Tablets – not just iPads, but tablets of all kinds – are selling in huge numbers.

Starting with the first iPad, tablets have been sold cheap. That’s only been possible because advances in hardware technology have finally made tablets a viable, profit-making venture for computer companies.

Most tablets are mostly battery: that’s the bulk of the volume and weight. Then comes the screen, and finally the electronics, which are shrinking almost by the minute.

The computer industry is focusing all its efforts on tablets at the moment. They are what people want to buy. They are where there’s money to be made.

This matters because it has a direct effect on the way software and websites are designed and built.

Web developers who build websites for pointing and clicking with a mouse are having to rapidly re-think. The concept of a web link itself is changing: links used to be sections of highlighted text, but on tablets they work better if they’re shown much larger, large enough for a fingertip to tap on.

Web pages need to be adaptable, depending on the device that’s being used to view them. They need to re-shape themselves for small screens.

Some might argue that’s looking at it the wrong way. Tablets are so huge now, and will be so popular in the future, that most digital content will be designed for them first – and will only have to adapt when people look at them using old, out-of-date computers with mice.

Take a fond look at your mouse now. Its days are numbered.

Do you use a tablet, or are you planning to change any time soon?



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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fuelling fun for the young at heart!

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keith briody
2nd Nov 2012
Thanks for voting!
i would be lost without my computer i only started with them 5 years ago when i was 45 i love information so get what i want i wish we had them when i was younger
30th Oct 2012
Thanks for voting!
My son-in-law convinced me that I "needed" to treat myself to an iPad for my 60th birthday this year. After overcoming my reservations about spending the money, I bought the new iPad & now find it indispensable. It delivers my newspapers, emails, answers all those "I wonder" reference questions which come to mind & is a useful recipe book in the kitchen. My 10 year-old Grandaughter has an iPod, so we're able to facetime each other to chat. I use Dropbox so photos are equally accessible from iPad, smartphone or the ancient laptop (on the rare occasions I use it!). I can also catch up with television programmes I've missed or watch something different from the programme my husband's watching on the main TV. Then there are the games! I'd certainly recommend the purchase of a tablet to anyone who's currently in two minds whether they'd be able to make much use of one.
30th Oct 2012
Thanks for voting!
Thank you Hilary for sharing this with us, and for your recommendation. Sounds like you would be lost without your iPad!
Fran Moore
30th Oct 2012
Thanks for voting!
I'm the same age as you Hilary & I'd love one [but my husband wouldn't] & one would have been most useful when we were in London for a few days, but luckily the hotel had free wi-fi so we were able to access the info we needed thru' them. My new phone's good [a Sony Xperia] but on occasions the screen is a little small! Luckily I can still read the small print!!
Laraine Parker
1st Jan 2013
Thanks for voting!
I am so envious of your ability. I would like an MP3 or Ipod, but haven't a clue how you download 'burn cds' etc. I can see it sitting there for ever and a day. However, although I am 65-years-of-age, I still power walk and garden, so one would be invaluable!

A newbie, by the way!


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