Are you ready to buy a new computer but are unsure whether to opt for a laptop or tablet? Tablets today have become increasingly popular and are decidedly rivaling laptops in terms of value for money. Tablets offer a lot more for people whose top priorities are mobility and convenience. But can a tablet truly replace a conventional laptop? After all, laptops are incredibly portable and offer a broader range of features than a tablet.
To put the debate to rest, let’s examine common features between laptops and tablets in detail. This comparison will give you a better understanding as to which device will better serve you in the long run.
The first difference people notice between a laptop, and a tablet is the fact that the latter lacks a keyboard. A tablet relies only on a touchscreen interface, which is perfect for tasks like tapping, dragging or pointing to navigate a document or program. The problem arises when you need to input texts such as writing text-heavy documents or an email. Since tablets don’t have keyboards, each tablet will have its own layout, design and interface. In addition, a lot of people can’t type as fast or as accurately using a virtual keyboard. Some tablets come with a 2-in-1 design that comes with a detachable keyboard. While this feature may increase the ability to type quickly, it falls short when compared to a regular laptop’s keyboard. Tablet users can opt for a Bluetooth keyboard that is similar to a laptop’s, but this will be an additional cost.
Verdict: Tablets for those who do more point interaction; laptops for those who require to type a lot.
This is by far the primary reason most people choose a tablet over laptops. Tablets are roughly the size of a small writing pad and weigh less than a kilo. Several laptops are much more prominent in size and weight. The main reason behind this is the presence of the trackpad and keyboard, which makes the profile of a laptop larger than a standard tablet. In addition, laptops have a number of components that require cooling and power, making laptops even bigger. Because of this, tablets are much smaller and are easier to carry around, particularly for frequent travellers, students and people on the go.
Verdict: Tablets in because of their portability and light weight.
Tablets were created with primarily one purpose in mind – to increase efficiency. This is achieved thanks to the low power requirements of their hardware components. In fact, the most amount of physical space in the interior of a tablet is taken up by the battery. In comparison, laptops have several more components that are more powerful. A laptop’s battery is much smaller in size in contrast to the other internal components. As a result, even if a laptop has a higher capacity battery than a tablet, it will not last as long as one. Several tablets can last up to ten hours of usage before they require charging. While newer laptops can last the same amount of time if not longer, an average laptop will work for around four to five hours on a fully charged battery. This means that you can achieve full day usage with a tablet, but not with all laptops.
Verdict: Tablets can provide full-day performance on a single charge.
Tablets mostly rely on solid-state storage memory. This is to store all your data and programs as well as to keep their size and costs down. While this does give your tablet the potential to access information faster and consume lesser power, the most significant disadvantage is the number of files that can be stored. Some tablets come with expandable memory via a microSD card slot, but they don’t hold a candle to the expansive storage laptops offers. While an average laptop comes with a 500GB hard drive, newer laptops today, have moved to SSDs increasing their performance and storage capabilities.
Verdict: Laptops outdo tablets when it comes to storage.
Most tablets function with low powered processors and hence will fall behind laptops when it comes to computing tasks. Of course, a lot of this depends on what capacity the laptop or tablet is being used. Both devices will work well for tasks like checking and composing emails, web browsing, playing audio and videos. The problem arises when you consider more complicated and demanding tasks. Multitasking, video editing, intensive gaming or graphics performance are better suited to a laptop. However, while there are a few tablets in the market with specialised software that can perform just as well if not better than a laptop, you will have to pay just as much as you would for a laptop.
Verdict: Laptop have a lot more capabilities and can outperform a tablet.
When talking about software, tablets work with apps, while laptops give you a more versatile desktop experience. A simple task such a web browsing can prove to be a frustrating experience, especially if you’re trying to access online services or products. Apps make it easier as they are optimised for a touchscreen interface. However, this means you will need an app for every e-commerce website or service that you access online on your tablet. This takes up too much space, ultimately slowing down the system. With a laptop, however, with a single web browser, you can access all your favourite websites and so much more. Laptops help you keep things simple with one programme to access all your online content.
Verdict: Laptops provide you with a much more accessible experience.
To be used as a standalone device
While most people would not consider a situation where their tablet would be the only system they use, it is critical that you give careful thought to this. A laptop is an entirely self-contained system; you can easily use it in terms of loading data or backing it up. A tablet, however, will require an additional system or piece of hardware as well as connectivity to the cloud to backup all your data. Here, laptops have a clear advantage as many people use tablets as a secondary device.
Verdict: Laptops are an all-in-one device that can be used as a by themselves without the need for added hardware or software.
As it stands, laptops offer a lot more flexibility, portability and higher performance. If you already have a desktop computer at home, then a tablet would make sense, as it would be an add-on to your system. However, if you’re looking for a device to be your primary computer, then getting yourself a laptop is the way to go.