Since the unveiling of the original iPad in 2010 the tablet computing industry has sky rocketed; what was originally a fairly bulky and unflattering design became as sleek and pretty as the modern smartphone.
Many people are still not fully aware of what a tablet can offer when compared to a laptop, however, and with the Surface Pro range of Windows tablets it’s understandable why this is the case.
So let’s take a look at the differences between tablets and laptops to help you decide which is the right device for you.
Both laptops and tablets are designed to be portable and durable, but tablets are in fact a lot easier to carry about than most modern laptops.
Weighing as little as 300g and generally having smaller displays than laptops a good tablet is both light, thin and easy to carry throughout the day.
However, this smaller size does come at a pretty severe cost…
You won’t be playing the latest AAA games or doing a heavy amount of multitasking with a tablet, nor should you expect to enter the realm of anything over 4GB of RAM and an Atom processor.
Due to the emphasis on being slim and mobile-esque tablets just don’t have the room to pack the power of a full computing experience like a laptop can.
Even the cheaper netbooks usually feature much greater specifications than tablets, and this usability issue is only emphasised when you consider…
Most tablets will be running either iOS or Android, while most laptops will be running Windows or OS X.
Why is this significant? Because you can’t get done on iOS or Android what you can on a full desktop operating system. Don’t expect to be editing videos, browsing the web with plugins or using the full versions of websites with a tablet.
Similarly you’re limited to what’s been developed for that individual system through their respective storefronts: iTunes or the Play Store.
However, with a Surface Pro you’re given the best of both worlds: Microsoft’s store for touch-enabled apps and a full desktop environment for use as a full computing experience, so the productivity factor isn’t lost on this (more expensive) format.
Depending on what sort you want, laptops and tablets have very different price ranges.
Apple devices, as ever, are hugely marked up and so will set you back between £400 and £800 no matter what you choose to buy, whilst Android tablets can go for as little as £120 and Windows as little as £80.
Windows laptops are similarly cheap, with netbooks being available for as little as £99 for a fairly decent spec and full notebooks being closer to £200 for a good lot of tech.
As said previously, laptops have better specifications in general than tablets. This extends to their exterior hardware, too:
On a laptop you can play CDs, DVDs even Blurays in some cases, as well as attach a mouse, keyboard and monitor(s) which is dealbreaker for some.
With a tablet you can usually get fairly cheap Bluetooth keyboards for around £30 – £60 and some are able to be attached to a TV, but that’s about it. You can’t playback DVDs or CDs or use USB sticks with them.
Tablets and Laptops are very different devices and serve very different purposes, and so choosing one can be difficult. If you still aren’t sure, use our diagram below to figure out exactly what’s right for you: