Weighing the Benefits and Costs
Laptops and tablets both have their selection of pros and cons, so let’s take a look at how they stack up against each other across different categories. Hopefully, by the time you’ve read this article, you’ll have an understanding of the differences between laptops and tablets, and will know which device you’d like to purchase next.
When it comes to productivity, laptops are still in the lead. There are a number of reasons why laptops end up being better off for productivity over tablets.
For one, laptops come with a keyboard and trackpad. This allows for faster typing speed and the ability to get work done quicker. Tablets can have a keyboard and mouse connected via Bluetooth, but you have to go through the additional steps which involve buying the additional accessories and charging your keyboard and mouse.
Secondly, laptops are far better at running more intensive programs. There are apps on the tablet for things like spreadsheets and word processors, but the PC experience is smoother and much easier to use.
Another reason why laptops are better for productivity over tablets is because they are capable of running multiple programs and apps far more efficiently than a tablet.
Not only can you have more apps running in the background, but you can also have multiple programs on the screen at once, and switching between programs is easier.
Tablets are starting to support a wider range of multitasking features, but they are still far behind the multitasking potential of a laptop.
For the most part, tablets are more portable than laptops, but not always. Most tablets are easier to carry around and can fit in and out of small spaces easily. However, if you get a super lightweight laptop, you’ll find the difference in size and weight isn’t actually that big. So, tablets do beat laptops when it comes to portability, but only slightly.
Here’s where tablets can become more viable. Buying an entry level laptop will set you back $300-400, whereas tablets can be as cheap as $100-$200. Obviously, you’ll have to pay more for a high-end tablet that has better hardware, but for the most part, tablets are cheaper than laptops.
If you’re an Apple and Mac fan, the most expensive iPads are still cheaper than your entry level Mac.
If you’re on team Windows, finding a suitable Android tablet can work out cheaper than getting a high end laptop. At the low end, things on Windows and Android are slightly closer in price range.
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Ease Of Use
For many, tablets are just more convenient than laptops. They boot up quickly, they very rarely have software problems, and they are easy to pick up and use no matter where you are.
There’s something very satisfying about being able to use your tablet in any circumstance. Whether you’re at home, traveling, or sitting down in a public area, tablets are far more convenient to use than a laptop.
Laptops typically require you to have a bit of extra space and preferably a table to sit down at. Tablets, on the other hand, are easier to pick up and hold in your hands.
When compared to tablets, the typical battery life of a laptop is notoriously bad. It seems that no matter what the manufacturers say, a laptop battery never lasts as long as they are advertised to. Even if you’re just using a laptop to browse the web or listen to music, the battery life lasts less time than a tablet.
Tablets are pretty versatile when it comes to battery life. They use low power processors and they don’t require any power for any external hardware. You can even get a decent battery life on a tablet while watching movies or other media.
Finally, tablets typically charge faster than laptops do, so you can be safe in knowing that even if you do run down the battery, you’ll only need to charge your device for half an hour to get a decent chunk of battery life back.
In summary, there’s no outright winner when comparing laptops and tablets.
On one side, we have tablets: lightweight, ultra-portable devices which are easy and convenient to use throughout the day. We also have laptops, which are almost necessary for more strenuous tasks such as managing multiple documents and spreadsheets, or running software for image or video editing.
Ultimately, tablets provide that extra level of convenience and comfort, whereas laptops are great for providing functionality and extra multitasking potential. If you’re serious about your work, a laptop will always prove to be the best choice. If you care more for quick access to the basics, a tablet will work fine.
What’s very clear at this point is that while we have this clear line between the different use cases for laptops and tablets, it may not be like this in the near future. It won’t be long before the experience between a tablet and laptop has blended.