Shopping season is underway and you know what that means: it’s time to take advantage of great deals on tech.
If you’re like many people, you’re investing in some fun new tech devices this year for yourself or the people on your holiday shopping list. But what are you going to buy?
We’re here to talk about making a decision between a tablet vs. laptop. Keep reading to learn more.
A Brief Laptop Guide
So what is a laptop anyway?
In basic terms, a laptop is a simplified computer that you can take with you on the go. Instead of a monitor with a tower, a laptop has everything in one compact package.
Laptops are often less powerful than comparable desktop computers, but they’re still sturdy and reliable devices. Many people choose to only have laptops in their homes.
Laptops have full keyboards, a space to connect a mouse, and a touchpad “mouse” that you can use with your fingers.
You can’t do everything on a laptop that you can do on a standard computer, but new technology means that many laptops are more than enough for the average person.
To figure out the best laptop to buy, discover more now.
A Brief Tablet Guide
So what is a tablet?
Tablets come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. In simple terms, tablets are similar to smartphones, though they usually don’t have phone plans. Instead, they use wifi.
Some tablets are as small as large smartphones. Some are best used as e-readers while others have a wider range of potential uses. Some of them come with styluses and others only allow you to use your fingers.
You can often attach tablets to external keyboards, but they use a touchscreen keyboard just like a phone.
Modern tablets are effective, but they tend to have smaller storage capacities than comparable laptops. This is something to consider when you’re making your next tech purchase.
Let’s break down how tablets and laptops compare for a variety of uses.
Best for Personal Use
So what if you only ever use your tech for personal use at home? You browse the web, play a few simple games, and communicate with friends and family. What would be the best device for this situation?
Tablets are perfect devices for anyone who doesn’t use a lot of technology. You can read on them, play simple games, video chat, and browse the web with ease. Even elderly people and children can use tablets with ease.
You can even browse social media and do a wide variety of word processing activities with a tablet.
Tablets are easier to take around with you wherever you go. If you want to read a good book, entertain your kids, or send emails on the go, a tablet is the best option.
While a tablet is great for personal use, a laptop might be necessary for anyone who likes doing more than the bare minimum.
It’s more comfortable to use a laptop while browsing the web. Anyone who spends a lot of time online will find a laptop easier to use and more effective.
Laptops are also more multi-functional than tablets, so while you can use the laptop for personal use, it can also transition into other uses. One way laptops are superior is the battery capacity. If you plan on using a lot of Bluetooth devices this could be important to you as Bluetooth draws a surprising amount of energy. Your Bluetooth functionality can also diminish with a low battery (see what is Bluetooth low energy for more information on this)
Best for Work and School
So what about people in college or who use technology at work? If your employer or school doesn’t supply equipment for you (or if you’re an employer trying to determine what the best options for your employees are), you have more to think about.
Here are a few considerations.
Tablets are more useful for several fields. When it comes to design, art, or anything else that requires a stylus, you can’t beat a high-quality tablet. Sure, you can use a drawing tablet extension on a laptop, but you won’t get the same effect.
For people in other fields, however, a tablet may not be the best option. Because there’s no legitimate keyboard on a tablet, it’s harder to use for work purposes.
Typing documents is more challenging. While you can use video or voice calls for remote work, you won’t be able to also complete your tasks simultaneously.
For most fields, a laptop is the best choice. As long as you don’t need a stylus to draw or write, a laptop will be the most efficient way to get all of your work done wherever you are.
Sitting at a desk with a laptop feels natural, but you can also take them on the go if you’re a remote worker. They have webcams and microphones so communication is easy, and you can still continue taking care of other tasks while you’re on a call.
Best for Art
Artists who work with digital media understand the importance of good tech. If you’re an artist hunting for your next device, which is the best option for you?
As we mentioned before, a tablet with a stylus is perfect for an artist. There are plenty of drawing and art apps that you can get (some of them for free), and the stylus on the screen mimics traditional media. This is best for artists who started with traditional media and then transitioned to digital media.
It’s also easy to post art to social media apps from the tablet. You can have the apps on your device so you don’t have to transfer files.
Tablets allow you to draw on the go. Whenever you feel a burst of inspiration or you want to draw the world around you, a tablet is a perfect choice.
If you create art that requires a lot of processing power, or you have a preference for Photoshop, a tablet might not be the best option for you.
Many artists still like laptops and desktops for their drawing needs, but they do present a few problems.
If an artist struggles to draw when they can’t see what they’re doing (which is the case with drawing tablets that attach to computers), they won’t enjoy using a laptop. They may adapt, but it’s a rough transition. While you can bring a tablet around with you, it’s far harder and more cumbersome to also bring your drawing tablet.
Laptops, however, are powerful tools. They can handle complex editing programs that tablets cannot.
Best for Gaming
Digital gaming is more popular than ever in 2021 and entering 2022. Whether you like to play alone or you want to play on the web, you have a seemingly endless number of games at your disposal.
So which device is best for gaming?
A tablet is a good device for people who enjoy casual games. Simple app games run well on tablets, and anyone who doesn’t identify themself as a “gamer” will enjoy the simplicity and ease of use that a tablet provides.
Tablets are great for games for children and games that are for a brief break. You won’t be playing any triple-A games on your device, but you’ll have fun.
If you like to play more complex games, you need either a gaming laptop or a PC. Most popular non-app games require a lot of memory and processing power to function. They won’t even play on low-quality laptops.
With a laptop, you can use an external mouse or controller to play. You can also stream your games.
Overall, anyone who wants a full gaming experience should invest in a gaming laptop instead of a tablet.
Best All-Around Device
So which is the better all-around device?
For most tasks, a laptop is going to be the best option. It suits a wider variety of people, it will likely have better longevity, and you’ll have a lot more storage than you would with a tablet.
Laptops aren’t as powerful as desktop computers, but for the vast majority of people, they’re more than enough.
The biggest exception to this is for artists. Any artist who wants to emulate the feeling of creating traditional art will benefit from a tablet with a stylus instead.
Tablet vs. Laptop: Which Is Right for You?
Tablets and laptops are both great little devices. Your decision between a tablet vs. laptop will likely depend on what you’re using your device for.
Overall, a laptop is the most functional of the two options. It has a wider range of capabilities making it good for work, school, and personal use. As long as you don’t need a stylus to do your work, we recommend a laptop over a tablet.
If you’re unsure, visit your local computer store to get a feel for both devices.
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