Information, Hints & Comment on the IT World
Should you buy a Laptop or Tablet?
Over the past few year’s, the Tablet has risen Phoenix-like, out of the ashes of the dying Netbook market. Manufacturers clearly realised there was an appetite for a device that wasn’t as bulky as a laptop, but also had the ability to do far more than the average poorly spec’d netbook.
But is a Tablet as good as a Laptop, or even a Netbook? It basically boils down to what you need it to do. If all you need a device to do is surf the Internet, send a few emails and play the odd game, then a Tablet is perfect. Far easier to maintain and use than the average Laptop, with substantial cost savings possible dependent on model.
On the other hand if you need a device to sit in front of all day long and type letters or fill-in spreadsheets regularly, then a Tablet is not the device for you. Even on a large 12″+ Tablet, the software is just not designed for this kind of intensive use and by the time you’ve bought an external keyboard (and you will) any savings in terms of weight, space or money may become negligible. So buyer beware!
If you do decide a Tablet’s for you, their are numerous types for sale by many different manufacturer’s – even Tesco! They tend to fall into 3 categories:
Apple iPad, this is generally seen as the most complete Tablet, with the best software and regular updates adding new features and software possibilities. As it uses the same basic operating system as an iPhone, if you use one, you can use the other. Also the annual IOS updates often work on devices 3/4/5 years old. The major downside is the price, especially if you go for a large storage model.
Android, Google’s free operating system, is the most common OS on just about every non-Microsoft or Apple tablet. It does the vast majority of things and has the same or similar programmes an iPad does, but often at 2/3 the cost or less. The major downside is that because they are all made by different manufacturer’s, no two Android tablets are the same.
This can cause a problem in terms of software and means that the Tablet you buy today, may not be upgradeable to the latest Android software version in 6 months time. This is as true of Android Phones as Tablets and means that using one Android device, doesn’t necessarily mean you can use another with ease.
‘Surface‘ is the final main variety. It is Microsoft’s Tablet Running Windows RT / 8. In theory, if you use a Windows 8 Computer, these devices should be very straight-forward and familiar to you. The downside is that, dependent on which model you buy, they can be very limited in terms of software availability, can be as problematic as their Windows 8 Laptop brethren and are not as cheap as Android devices.
The best way to judge which one is for you, is to test drive all three and see which feel’s right for you, bearing in mind the above – especially whether the device can do what you want it too.
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