Tablets are taking the market by storm. And according to industry forecasters including Canalys, “tablet domination is set to continue,” adding that global tablet shipments could surpass laptop and desktop shipments sometime in 2014.
Given all the momentum and the sex appeal tablets provide in terms of sleek design and grab-and-go convenience, perhaps you're among the throngs of consumers faced with the debate: which one is better, a laptop or tablet?
Where Laptops Run Laps Around Tablets:
Power. No question. Laptops dominate tablets in terms of power. Designed as mobile personal computers, laptops allow users to perform the same tasks of desktops but with lightweight, mobile portability.
Performance. With more potent processing hardware, laptops not only provide for a wider range of uses, but they also deliver faster performance and work well for multitasking.
Tablets are up to the task of Web browsing and media streaming, but for more complex assignments, laptops are where it's at. With low-powered processors, most tablets just can't keep pace with the computing abilities of laptops.
Storage. As you'd expect, laptops provide far more file storage capacity than tablets. To keep their size and costs down, tablets rely on new solid state storage. While that equates to fast access and low power usage, it also means a lot less capacity for file storage.
Most tablets offer between 16 GB to 64 GB of storage. By comparison, laptops might offer 10 times that. Laptops make it easy to add needed storage, too, whereas with tablets what you get it is what you get.
Compatibility. Laptops can also display/play just about any file, whereas tablets, including iPads, are more restrictive and may well require conversion prior to play.
How Tablets Make for a Top Choice:
Price. A standard laptop can easily run you $500. Though not always the case, tablets generally come with a smaller price tag.
Weight. Anyone who's had to lug around a laptop for an extended period of time can appreciate the portability of a tablet. Apple iPad Air, for example, weighs a mere one pound!
Coolness. Thanks to different processors and lower power requirements, tablets don't throw off the heat that laptops do…so cool, they don't require a fan, as do laptops. Not to mention they just look cool.
Battery Life. The relatively short battery life of laptops has always been a drain for those on the go. In contrast, you can get more than 10 hours of battery life on a tablet.
Apps Aplenty. While laptops revolve around software, tablets are all about apps. There are over 500,000 apps customized for tablets. Apps are also generally less expensive than PC software. And you'll find a lot of apps are free.
Now the big question? Who comes out the winner in the great laptop vs. tablet debate?
If you're among the many looking to downsize and lighten your load, you might hope that a tablet over a laptop would be the answer. In reality, laptops and tablets are better thought of as companions rather than dueling devices. As impressive as tablets are, and even with accessories such as tablet keyboards that deliver the laptop feel folks have been missing, they're not a straight replacement for laptops.
While good at many things, including Internet browsing, serving as e-readers and streaming entertainment off Netflix and other sources, the abilities of tablets are a simply a sampling of what laptops can do.