Connecting with technology: devices that do everything

As a lover of technology, I often find myself trying to decide which devices I actually need. As I write this, I am literally surrounded in my toys. There’s a smart watch on my wrist, a smartphone and tablet on the desk next to me, and I write from my 2-in-1 laptop as the desktop sits idly in the other room. Of course I also have my Playstation Vita nearby in case I decide some procrastination is in order.

In day to day life, it honestly does not feel like I have all that much. However, once it is listed out I definitely feel that there may be a little too much. I’m still trying to clear out the clutter and wanted to remind the others suffering from gadget overload that they are not alone.

It is strange that so many devices are marketed as all-in-one, multipurpose, jack of all trades machines, and yet none of them offer a truly complete solution. In my case, each device I listed above serves a very specific purpose compared to all of the others.

My cell phone is the one device I can expect to have with me 100% of the time. In my case, it’s my camera (though I wish I also had a dedicated camera), it’s my music player, it’s good for a quick web search when I’m out and about.

Unlike my phone, my tablet has a very specific set of uses. First off, it is almost exclusively used at home. It’s an 8.3 inch tablet so it is reasonably portable, but in most cases my phone is just easier to get to. Because my tablet is only used at home, it is my web browsing companion and ultimately my go-to media consumption device. More than anything, my tablet is a comic book reader. I read news on my tablet, I watch videos on my tablet, browse social media, and other things of that nature. I could admittedly do all of this on my phone, but having the larger screen just makes things easier especially while I’m relaxing on the couch. This allows my phone to stay on the charger at home.

Now we get to my 2-in-1 laptop which is a recent addition. I tried using my tablet for productivity but it just did not work. What I found was that multitasking on an Android tablet just isn’t very great. Samsung has some offerings that make multitasking a little better, but still ridiculously far away from a traditional desktop operating system. Now I use my 2-in-1 to take notes and write assignments. It is my dedicated school machine. I don’t use it as a tablet often,  but having the touchscreen is definitely helpful.

Where does that leave the desktop? Honestly, even if I am at home I hardly touch it. I like to consider it my fail-safe. With the desktop, I don’t need to worry about a battery or charger, I just sit at the desk and get to work. Because desktop storage and components are cheaper, it is home to the majority of my media. Most of my desktop sessions are ridiculously brief.

With so many devices around me, I find it easy to get lost and distracted. Dedicating a specific purpose to each device made it far easier for me to focus and get the best use out of my many electronics. I game exclusively on my gaming consoles, use my tablet for consumption, and laptop for creation. This system has worked great so far but of course I’m always looking for improvements. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the number of devices around you, you should consider repurposing them. It could breathe new life into something you already have as opposed to going out and buying something new.

Myron Jones
Technology Columnist

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