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When you should choose tablet over laptop / notebook and when you should not

ByinTips & Guides | March 4, 2014

Tablet vs LaptopIf you are currently considering buying a new tablet, laptop or notebook you may feel overwhelmed by a multitude of brands and options available on the market today. However, before you start thinking about any particular brand, you will need to decide which type of device would suit your needs. There is no simple answer to the question if picking a tablet over a laptop or notebook is a better choice, since using each of them bring advantages and disadvantages. If you still cannot make decision, here are few tips giving you the light when you should buy a tablet over laptop / notebook and when you should not. It all comes down to a few key factors.

Portability

Ideapad Laptop Hybrid DeviceBoth tablets and laptops are meant to be portable devices, however, the difference in their size and weight is considerable. Most popular tablets measure 7 and 10 inches diagonally, though you can also find devices with 8-inch or even as big as 12-inch screens. Such measurements make tablets compact enough to easily slip into a purse or a coat pocket. Moreover, tablets are relatively lightweight, with average weight of a 7-inch and 10-inch tablet being 0.75 lbs and 1.2 lbs, respectively.

Laptops, on the other hand, are much bigger and at the same time heavier. Some manufacturers offer ultra thin and lightweight models, however, even such laptop still will be bigger and heavier than a tablet and consequently will be less portable requiring a special laptop bag.

Battery life

Battery life is important when you want to use your device on the go with no access to power. Tablets are smaller and less power-hungry than laptops. Depending on a model, a tablet may offer up to ten hours of continuous usage, which is basically an entire day if you count a short break now and then. Average usage time of a laptop usually doesn’t exceed even five hours.

Performance

Dell's Tablet UltrabookTablets are primarily designed for entertainment on the go. They are great for watching movies, reading books, browsing the web or playing games but you may find it difficult to do some serious work, especially one that requires multitasking. This is caused by the fact that tablets run on mobile operating systems originally designed for smartphones and don’t have access to many programs available for laptops. Also, due to smaller size of tablet screen, doing some kinds of work may be uncomfortable.

Laptops are truly multipurpose devices allowing you to work, play and browse the web, all at the same time. Larger screen provides more workspace and switching between apps is much easier than on a tablet.

Storage

Many tablets come with fixed storage, in most cases no larger than 64 GB. Some models feature microSD slots for storage expansion, but still you won’t be able to add more than 64 GB. As a result you will have to be selective in what content you want to keep on the tablet. You won’t have to face this problem with a laptop. Laptops offer from 120 GB up to even 1,5 TB of storage space which by far exceeds tablets’ storage capacity.

Input

Fundamental difference between tablets and laptops is how you interact with the device. Tablets are touch screen devices, so you tap directly on the screen, for example to open an app. However, many people find it difficult to get used to such form of interaction, especially when it comes to virtual keyboard.

Laptops, on the other hand, feature hardware keyboard which for many is easier and more comfortable to use and allows for more accurate typing. If physical keyboard is essential for you, this is when laptop / notebook wins with tablet.

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