I think it goes without saying that the real value of tablets lie in the apps which are available in abundance and are very well suited for the touch screen interface. With about 700,000 apps available in Apple's “App store” and approximately 675,000 apps in Google's “Play store”, it seems as though you can find apps for just about anything. Many of those apps offer superb functionality for doing things such as quickly and conveniently managing and viewing important data such as bank account information, business docs, email, and address directions. I'd go as far as to argue that the functionality of the apps are perfect for anyone who is on the move and wants to perform simpler non-intensive tasks; however, tablet apps tend to be decidedly light weight and lacking the full spectrum of features offered in their PC counterparts. For example, on a desktop you might be able to create a text document with things like special fonts, headings, table of contents, linked objects, footnotes, etc via feature packed programs like Microsoft Word or Libre Office. On a tablet you're limited to apps such as Office 6 Pro and Quick Office Pro which don't really offer all the same capabilities needed to get serious work done. It is worth noting that Microsoft office is said to be developing a port of it's Windows 8 operating system for tablets running ARM processors (which is an industry standard for mobile devices). It certainly could be a game changer, but there are already reports that the ARM version will not include all the features available for PCs or Macs and quite frankly I'd imagine it would be quite difficult to successfully translate the full experience on a touch screen UI, so I don't fault them. Productivity simply won't (and probably can't) be as good without a keyboard and mouse.
It is, however, possible to purchase keyboard and mouse “add-ons” and bring your tablet's capabilities up to par with that of a PC, but that leads to the question of whether or not you're better off just buying a notebook. If you are looking for something a bit more portable than a traditional notebook, why not try buying an ultrabook? They may not match the compact dimensions of a typical 10inch tablet but, especially for a device that packs all the heavy duty hardware of a desktop, they come pretty close. There's scarcely anything I can think of, capability-wise, that an ultrabook couldn't do better than a tablet. Some possibilities include utilizing drawing apps or more conveniently snapping photos, but drawing programs can be nearly as easily used on a desktop or a laptop/ultrabook when equipped with a mouse, and you would be better served using your smartphone for snapping quick photos anyways which actually segues to my next point.
All three major tablet operating systems (iOS, Android, and even Windows) are also available for smartphones. This means that all the capabilities and features you get from apps on tablets are available on smartphones and you'll have the additional benefit of having even greater mobility along with a more cost effective solution of mobile wireless internet since you can utilize your phone's data plan which are standard nowadays anyways. I personally have an android smartphone and the only drawback is that it has a much more tiny display than its tablet counterpart; however, when using the apps it's easy for me to forget I'm using them on a smartphone, and I especially like the fact that its always within a pocket reach away. Those bothered by the smaller screen size can always purchase a 5.3-incher in the case of Android smartphones, and you can get up to a 4inch screen iPhone if you purchase the latest release.
Alternatively, opting for a 7inch tablet seems to be the most practical choice for anyone seeking a device that bridges the gap between a smartphone's mobility and a full-sized tablet's appeal as a media consumption device, but in any case none of the aforementioned options could dethrone the PC. At best, I can only see tablets as complementing PCs, and for those who depend on laptops, it's difficult to recommend the full-sized 10inch tablets because they're too large to have to carry along and not to mention impractical as well. For the time being, deciding on a 7inch tablet would limit your options down to Android since neither Apple nor Microsoft has released tablets with 7inch screens. For what it's worth, there are rumors spreading with increasing intensity of an impending iPad mini which will supposedly have a 7.8 inch display.
To be clear, I'm definitely not trying to make the case that tablets have no place in the marketplace because that couldn't be further from the truth. Tablets may very well be here to stay, and I have no issues with that. But despite the growing chorus of tech analysts and market watchers chanting of the PC's doom, I remain at odds. Tablets simply aren't up to the task.