Ever since the first laptops became available in the 1980s – in a very different incarnation from the sleek creations we’ve grown accustomed to today – the option of portable computers has revolutionized the market. All sorts of people, from business professionals to home users, welcomed their ease of use and mobility.
However, today that market has leaped much further with the introduction of tablets, smartphones and netbooks, giving users enhanced portability and an ever-increasing choice of technology, and posing a new question: which is better, a laptop or tablet?
For many users, the laptop remains the number one choice. Whereas some struggle with the touch screen keyboards featured on tablets, the fully integrated keyboards of laptops are simple to use, enabling faster and more accurate typing.
The larger screen size is also preferable for many people, particularly when dealing with complicated data on spreadsheets, which can become tricky to view on the smaller tablet screens.
Yet the laptop does not necessarily out-do the tablet in all respects. Despite being introduced as a portable alternative to desktop PCs, laptops are now quite bulky compared to other devices on the market. Whereas a tablet can slip discreetly into a day bag, most laptops require a separate carry case, which can seem cumbersome to many users.
This is where tablets really come into their own. With their integrated touch screen technology, tablets are incredibly lightweight and portable, with many weighing less than a pound. And despite their small size, the majority of devices can still store large quantities of music, video and photo files, making them a top choice for leisure users seeking entertainment on long journeys.
The touch screen, though tricky for some users to negotiate, also has its own advantages over the traditional keyboard and mouse set-up, with the hands-on, tactile technology often proving particularly useful for designers and digital artists.
With both laptops and tablets offering their own benefits, the decision of which product to choose must ultimately come down to your own personal needs and preferences – if you’re a fairly casual computer user who is often on the go, a tablet may be the best option for you.
On the other hand, if you often need to carry out complex word processing and data handling tasks, a fully-equipped laptop is likely to serve you better.