Which to Choose: Laptop or Tablet?

Which to Choose: Laptop or Tablet?

Since the release of the Apple iPad in 2010, growth in this new consumer electronics market has been phenomenal. A number of market research and forecasting firms are predicting the market will grow to 57 million units by 2015.

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(1) JPMorgan Securities projects that the tablet market will be worth a whopping $36 billion by 2012. (2) The tablet market has seen competitors to the Apple iPad 2 emerge in recent months.

Which to Choose: Laptop or Tablet?

Consumers are obviously making the choice to include tablet PCs in their electronic lives. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of these devices relative to traditional laptops?

No Keyboard

The biggest obvious difference is the lack of a keyboard. A tablet PC operates exclusively by touching the screen to mimic the action of striking a key. This affords a lot more visual space to display applications such as a calendar, an email program or a real-time instant messaging service.

The downside is that some people have trouble “typing” on a virtual keyboard. This makes writing an email or an instant message difficult if not impossible.

Tablets are good for people who mostly use a computer’s mouse and not the keyboard. The user can simply “point” and “click” using the touchscreen interface.

Size And Purpose

The smaller size of a tablet is the most advantageous feature compared to a laptop. This is a reflection of the different purpose a tablet has relative to a laptop.

Tablets are good for consuming information and media. Laptops are best used for producing information and media. Writing a document, composing an email, running mathematical calculations and preparing graphs and spreadsheets are all tasks better suited to a laptop.

Tablets are at their best when used to read news websites and blogs, reading digital magazines and looking at photos.

The size of the laptop is used to store extra memory, battery life and processing power. Tablets do not have to be recharged as much as laptops, but they trade work abilities for their small size.

This is a disadvantage for consumers who travel and need to work while doing so. Social media enthusiasts are thrilled about the ability to stay connected to the Internet and Facebook at all times.

Despite the varied uses of these devices, the distinction is clear: Customers who use computers for work are more suited to laptops.


Tablets do not handle video games as well as laptops and desktops. They simply do not have the memory or processing power to handle the complex graphics and other aspects of modern video games.

Casual and hardcore gamers would be better served in choosing a laptop instead of a tablet.


Most consumers use tablets to read e-books and surf the Internet. Tablets may turn out to be another transitory technology that will be superseded by yet another product in the future.

Until then, they will continue to be popular with customers who are attracted by the promise of constantly staying connected.

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13 Responses to “Which to Choose: Laptop or Tablet?”

  1. David says:

    My sister has a physical problem with her arms/wrists such that using the mouse is not good for her. She commented that a tablet computer might work out well for her since navigation is done by touching the tablet screen.

  2. David says:

    I think the tablet is great for reading and browsing, and casual data input. Reading eBooks or other information is convenient to do on the couch. For business use, I can see the appeal to talk with clients over the tablet. As other comments have said, it all depends on the application and people’s preferences.

  3. Lesa says:

    Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!

  4. Gunny says:

    For me, Laptop/notebook is still my best choice rather than tablet like iPad. I need laptop to support my daily work. Tablet mostly used for entertainment purpose.

  5. Tony says:

    It depending on your purpose and type of your business. If have money, I think I will take both of its.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I agree. The one thing that I have learned about technology is that the answer to many questions is: “it depends.” Everyone has a different need for technology, so they must find the device that best works for them.

  6. Stephen says:

    For those that find a tablet to be pratical, I’m sure they also think they are outstanding. I, however, don’t know how I’d manage without a keyboard and mouse/mousepad.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I’ve wondered that myself, but for those that I have seen using tablets, they don’t seem too uncomfortable. I still prefer a keyboard, though when typing.

  7. darkduck says:

    You can use whatever you want. If you think tablet fits your purpose, just do it.

    But in each case (tablet or netbook) please remember that owner of proprietary OS can stop support of their devices any time they like.
    With Free open source software you’re not linked to Big Company, but only linked to community.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      Actually, the OS isn’t one thing that I am concerned about with regards to stopping support since the two big companies are Microsoft or Apple. Considering XP has been in use since 2001, and support won’t end until 2014, I’m pretty sure operating support is not a real concern.

  8. Hi there, you have a great share! I used Laptop for my work most especially to some complicated computer works such as with documents, excel, programming and calculations.

    I haven’t use a tablet – hopefully soon. I believe it’s more and good for entertainment and games. Yeah portability is considered.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I have only really used a laptop, mainly because of working on things that you have done also – documents, spreadhsheets, and programming. The tablet just can’t match the power of the laptop – which truly shines when it comes to multitasking.

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