If your budget only allows for the purchase of either a laptop or a tablet, you’re probably wondering what will be best for you. With such a wide range available, it can be challenging to understand what you need and which device will support your needs best.
Both laptops and tablets have come a long way in the past ten years. Both can offer features that rival the other. To understand which you should purchase, follow our handy guide to find out more.
Why Do You Want to Use the Device?
This should influence your decision most. Both have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to various uses. Here’s what’s best for each:
Tablets are best for:
- Extensive travel
- Media consumption such as viewing photos, watching videos, movies, and reading text
- Browsing the internet and social networks
- Using digital art programs (higher-end tablets only)
- Using apps
Laptops are best for:
- Handling more complex programs such as Photoshop or sound and video editing
- Typing text
- Using 3rd-party web platforms to their fullest potential
- Working on the go or home working
People traditionally use laptops when they plan to do a lot of work on them or need the computing power to handle complex tasks. Despite being bulkier and weighing more than tablets, they offer great portability for working on the move.
Tablets are easier to transport thanks to their small size and lightweight construction. However, the absence of a keyboard and being touchscreen-only can limit the features. If you really need to, you could buy an extra tablet keyboard to make it easier to type. However, these keyboards typically cannot compare to laptop keyboards in terms of comfort and functionality. Furthermore, they’re not a good choice for those who type a lot. They are fantastic for casual use, fun, and viewing media.
Battery Power and Storage
These two aspects are important when considering what type of device to buy. Tablets require less power to run, so their batteries are more efficient and last longer than laptops. However, due to their small size, they cannot accommodate as much storage as a laptop. As a comparison, the most expensive tablet can handle 1TB of storage, whereas the cheapest laptop will easily store 500GB.
There are workarounds for these issues, of course. If you choose a tablet, you can always invest in cloud storage. If you choose a laptop, you can use it while it’s plugged into a power supply. Your choice depends on how frustrating these workarounds and potential issues will be.
Typically, a tablet will only have a micro USB port for charging and, maybe, a headphone socket. This can make it difficult to transfer files and data unless you have a good internet connection. Some tablets, such as the iPad™, won’t even have a headphone port, forcing you to buy their wireless technology to use with the device.
Laptops usually have several USB ports as well as the ability to plug in headphones. This makes them far more adaptable when using them with other external technology. It also enables the transfer of files without relying on an internet connection.
Performance and Software
Some of the most expensive tablets will perform better than cheaper laptops. If you’re looking at average price models, however, the laptop wins hands down. A laptop contains more processing power, so it can easily handle complex tasks and enable the use of software to its fullest potential.
Tablets, on the other hand, often have simplified versions of the available software. This means that you probably will not have access to all the possible features. It’s worth remembering that creators design apps specifically for tablets, however, so the tablet is the better choice if you need simplicity.
Ultimately, what you buy is down to personal preferences and your planned usage. We don’t feel like it’s right for us to decide that for you. However, we can say that one device can be better than the other depending on your need.
Buy a tablet if:
- You want a device for light, casual, or fun use.
- You prefer simplified software and easy-to-use apps.
- You travel a lot and need something extremely portable.
- You don’t plan to do work on it.
Buy a laptop if:
- You need a device to run complex software efficiently.
- You need a device that can withstand heavy use.
- You need something for work purposes or to do a lot of typing.
- You need to use certain software to its full potential.
Examine your needs carefully and then objectively choose the best type of device. This will save you down the road. There are a lot of cheap laptops on sale and good deals on tablets out there. Laptops and tablets both have their merits and their drawbacks – which will you choose for your lifestyle and goals?