The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 may seem like the perfect tablet when it comes to actually doing work, but if you don’t have one, there’s loads you can do to turn your Android, Windows or iPad into a replacement for your desktop computer.
We’ve already looked at different ways you can turn your tablet into a laptop, but tablets these days are a lot more powerful. With quad-core processors and stacks of memory, gadgets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S can be ideal replacements for your desktop PC. So read on for some of the accessories and apps you’ll be needing if you want to ditch the desktop.
The big screen!The size of the screen is one of the biggest barriers to getting work done on your tablet, and nobody want to hammer out long documents on a tiny eight or 10-inch display. Thankfully, following a recent announcement at Google’s IO conference, it’s now possible to mirror the display on your Android tablet to your HDTV with a little help from the Google Chromecast, meaning you’ll no longer be left squinting at work you’re trying to do.
Apple’s iPad offers a handy solution when it comes to wirelessly streaming content from tablet to the big screen, in the form of the Apple TV. Meanwhile, the Windows 8.1 RT-based Nokia Lumia 2520 may not offer wireless screen mirroring, but it does cram in a micro HDMI-D port, making it easy to hook up to a big screen via cable.
Beating the Surface at typing
There’s no point in viewing content on your TV if you still have to resort to typing on a tiny touchscreen keypad though. Thankfully, there are loads of Bluetooth keyboards out there that are perfect for your tablet. Check out the Archos Ultrathin Bluetooth Keyboard for the Apple iPad, for example, or the Ultrathin Keyboard Folio from Logitech for your Samsung Galaxy Tab.
If you’re serious about replacing your desktop computer, one of the first bits of software you’ll be needing is an office suite. Few are more accomplished the Microsoft Office, and the app is free for your Android tablet.
It’s just as easy to add Microsoft Office to your Apple iPad, but unfortunately, unlike your iPhone, you’ll still need to pay if you want to edit documents in addition to simply reading them. How much? Prices start at $70 (£43) for one computer and one iPad.
The Nokia Lumia 2520 goes one better, and it already has everything you need to start editing documents the second you take it out of the box. A full version of Microsoft Office – including Word and Excel – is pre-installed on the Lumia, so you’ll be good to say goodbye to the desktop as soon as you hook up to a proper keyboard and screen.
Add some tunes
If you’re working in a home office, the chances are you’ll also spend plenty of time listening to music. You’ll be needing speakers for your tablet then, letting you get the most out of Pandora, Spotify or your local music collection. Check out the NudeAudio Move L Bluetooth speaker as a great wireless solution for your iPad, Windows or Android tablet. We also loved the Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20, which is another compact yet powerful wireless speaker.
You can print too…
Just being able to work on your tablet sometimes isn’t enough, and there’s a good chance you’ll want to print something every now and again. Thankfully there are loads of wireless options around, letting you connect straight from your tablet and print all without the need for cables.
The HP Envy 5530 e-All-in-One printer is a great example, offering integrated Wi-Fi to let you connect to a home network, or even letting you use Wireless Direct to let you beam data straight from your tablet to the printer. Perfect for the home office!