In a world where computers have outnumbered human beings, portability is now more important than ever to help minimize electronic clutter. Of the two most important portable computers, laptops and tablets are the most practical, giving rise to the old laptop vs tablet argument.
Which one might be better for you depends on a lot of factors. Both have competent hardware that’s well-suited for both work and gaming and their respective software or applications have caught up with each other.
We’ll be enumerating why you might be inclined to prefer one over the other in this laptop vs tablet debacle. But before that, we need to get one thing out of the way.
You Could Just Buy a 2-In-1, But…
There exists a segment for both laptops and tablets that practically combine the best parts of both into one computer, hence the 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrid models.
However, as you can expect, they are significantly more expensive compared to either just a laptop or just a tablet though there are inexpensive ones with their own shortcomings.
Moreover, 2-in-1 laptop models tend to have lackluster hardware for a laptop and you’ll have to deal with the heavier weight compared to a tablet since it’s still attached to a chassis with a keyboard.
So with that out of the way, let’s start by listing out the merits of either device.
Why Pick the Laptop?
Laptops have been around for decades and you could say that the manufacturers have refined the formula. Gone are the days when they were heavy, bulky, and blocky. Most laptops these days are minimalistic and thin.
They’re the next most powerful consumer-grade computer next to the personal computer. Of course, don’t expect laptops to be complete replacements for PCs depending on what you do for a living or how you want to play your games.
More Powerful Hardware
While tablets are catching up quickly in the hardware department, laptops tend to be more powerful devices. Their CPUs are better equipped for a plethora of useful applications that offer more control and depth compared to the usual apps in the Play Store or App Store.
Since they have bigger spaces, they can fit in beefier hardware and more robust cooling solutions compared to the usual tablet. For laptops, you can expect better games and better performance in tasks that demand high processing power.
Better for Multitasking
It’s not just gaming laptops that excel due to their better hardware. They can pack in more memory and storage, making them ideal for multitasking. Laptops allow you to work on multiple tabs and windows whereas tablets might chug down to a crawl with similar multitasking.
The keyboard and the cursor also provide a more precise degree of control over the touchscreen (unless you have a stylus). It’s simply easier to resize windows and tabs so you can do more work on a single screen, speaking of which…
Just about any laptop will have a bigger screen than the usual tablet. And you can’t underestimate the usefulness of a screen when it comes to keeping your eyes in healthy and working condition.
And apart from work, one of the benefits of larger screens for gaming is better immersion. Of course, laptop screens are still small and don’t hold a candle to a desktop PC’s monitor, but they tend to be more serviceable for just about any task compared to tablet screens.
Lastly, if your job or hobby requires a lot of typing and selections, then you’re better off picking a laptop over a tablet. A physically-present keyboard and mouse or touchpad will be unmatched when it comes to typing, especially if it’s work or school-related.
Tablets can accommodate keyboards too, but you’ll have to purchase them separately and they don’t always work seamlessly with all the applications. Meanwhile, a mouse will be infinitely better for gaming compared to touch controls, especially for shooter games and strategy games.
Why Choose the Tablet?
Compared to laptops, tablets were introduced slightly later in the 1980s though they only really saw practical and widespread use with the advent of Android and iOS. Now, they’re great alternatives to laptops depending on your tasks.
Typically, the lighter your task or necessity, the more you can rely on a laptop. Moreover, in some jobs, such as those involving digital artistry, the laptop might be more cost-effective. Here’s what else makes them better.
Laptops are lighter, thinner, and smaller in size. You can just squeeze them among the books inside your bag and take them anywhere without worrying too much whereas laptops need more protection due to their sensitive screens.
Even if you have to bring a portable keyboard for the tablet, it will still be more minimalistic and lighter compared to a full laptop. Such an advantage is handy if you’re traveling a lot and don’t want to keep lugging around 2-3 kilograms of dead weight.
As usual, tablets tend to be cheaper in price compared to laptops. That sounds about right since they’re also weaker in terms of performance or processing power, but if you don’t really need that much performance overhead, then going the tablet route might be better for your savings.
Upkeep for tablets also tends to be cheaper. They’re more affordable to repair in the event that they fail as long as you stick to a reputable brand. Less moving parts mean there are lower chances of seeing something inexplicably broken (i.e. hinges, keyboards, screens, etc.).
The Camera Is Handy
Cameras in smartphones have given people power over witness information and proof, and this extends well enough to tablets. A lot of tablets, particularly those from Android, have built-in rear cameras and you’ll be surprised at what you can do with those nifty mini lenses.
You might even be able to free up your heavy DSLR camera slot in your backpacking inventory since you already have a camera on your tablet.
Better Battery Life
Laptops aren’t known for their impressive battery life. The screens are bigger and the hardware consumes more electricity, leading to overall lower longevity. Tablets, on the other hand, have smaller screens and less hardware so they tend to last at least half a day even in constant use.
You’ll spend less time charging when working or gaming with a tablet than with a laptop. For that matter, you also might save a bit of electricity.
And if you rely on your tablet for work, then you can rest assured that it won’t die on you too fast and you can be more confident with working away from electrical outlets.
We do hope that settled the laptop vs tablet debate for you. Some of these advantages can help you decide which device might be better suited for your needs or wants, and remember to spread the word if the article helped, so you in turn also help your loved ones.