A Tablet, Desktop, or Laptop â€“ Whatâ€™s Your Best Fit?
Should you buy a desktop, laptop, or a tablet? Even within these three device categories the options are mind-boggling.
14:24 05 July 2018
Two key questions you need to ask yourself are – What do I need it for? How much am I willing to spend?
Are you always on the move and travel for work, or do you spend most of your working hours fixed at your desk? Do you need a device for quick work on the move yet prefer not to carry a laptop?
Your decision will trickle down to what best suits your need and your budget. But let’s talk more about these devices and understand their functions, pros, and cons.
Difference between a desktop and a laptop
A desktop and a laptop have exact functionality. You can access the Internet through a browser on both; you can download the software and run various programs.
You have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse for desktops and a monitor, keyboard, and track pad for laptops. Both desktops and laptops can be connected to external devices such as a printer or a hard drive.
The main difference between the two is that a laptop is portable while a desktop is not. Laptops operate on a battery and can be used even when not plugged into a power source. The battery lasts for around six hours which is enough time to binge-watch your favorite movies and TV shows.
Desktops will only function when connected to a power source or a UPS. Desktops are ideal for movie lovers and gamers. They are good for multitasking and a second monitor screen can easily be added.
Desktops can be upgraded easily – the SSD, video card, hard drive, or RAM can be changed and upgraded at will. This is not so easy with laptops. However, laptops are priced higher than desktops. As in all technology, the smaller it goes the higher you pay.
Comparing a tablet to a laptop or desktop
A tablet is also a computer. It uses touchscreen technology and most often comprises of a single panel. The keyboard is part of the touch screen, and you don’t need a mouse to navigate. Tablets don’t have a DVD or CD drive, and the only way you can add software to it is by downloading apps from the Internet.
They function in the same way as laptops or desktops in terms of accessing the Internet and editing documents, creating files, and so on.
Navigation is done mostly through swiping, tapping, flicking or pinching with your fingers. Some tabs have cellular service and Wi-Fi connectivity just like a smartphone. They come with high end dual cameras; locations-based services and are great companions on the go.
Since they are slim, light and small, tablets are extremely portable and easy to carry in your handbag or a large pocket. If you like reading eBooks or articles and news online, then these are for you. For some people accustomed to desktops, viewing things on a tablet screen or a laptop screen for that matter might be quite irksome.
It’s a matter of habit and ease of use. Continuous use of the touchscreen especially to type might be uncomfortable for those who do a lot of writing. But if carrying your technology everywhere you go is important to you then tables might be your best friend.
Desktop: Pros and Cons
- Better performance on a desktop while running parallel processes. Multitasking on a desktop is better than on a laptop.
- A desktop can run for days while being switched on and not cause any problems. Try the same with a laptop and it will drain its battery after 7-8 hours unless connected to a power source.
- The whole desktop system can be upgraded part by part for a moderate cost.
- Desktops take up a lot of space.
- They are not portable, and you have to be careful while transporting it. Once installed and set up, a desktop stays put.
Laptop: Pros and Cons
- They are lightweight, compact, and easily portable.
- Easy to connect to Wi-Fi spots (Starbucks, your nearby supermarket).
- Can be used without a mouse since there is a trackpad.
- Easily usable with hosted desktops or cloud solutions.
- Laptops have bigger screen space, 14-15 inches, as compared to 7-10 inches of tablet screens.
- Clamshell design protects the screen when it is not being used.
- You can’t use it on battery for extended periods of time or else it will completely drain out. You have to find a power source and connect to continue use.
- They are all-in-one devices and cannot easily be upgraded.
- They are not viable for multitasking, the disk space, RAM and CPU would be less than that of a desktop.
Tablets: Pros and Cons
- Even more lightweight and portable than laptops.
- Have a longer battery life than laptops (12-15 hours on moderate usage – plenty of time to watch a full season of your favorite TV show).
- Some can be enabled with cellular service and can be used just like a smartphone.
- Location services are available, and GPS navigation can be used.
- Same functionality as a desktop/laptop to run programs and software but through apps.
- Smaller screen size compared to laptops and desktops.
- Hardware is delicate and prone to external damage.
- Could be uncomfortable for those used to traditional keyboards, extended typing gets tedious.
- Weaker capabilities and higher costs.
- Processing and input speed slower than laptops.
- Can’t handle massive amounts of data or connect to multiple external devices.
Laptops, netbooks, and tablets do have some overlapping features as well. For example, there are laptops (and even desktops) that come with a touch screen feature and some tablets come with detachable keyboards. Hybrids like notebooks, lap-tabs, lap books and phablets are all the craze.
Do your share of research and look at what people like you have to say about their device of choice. Study laptop reviews, tablet, and desktop reviews and by them, measure your objectives.
So, when it comes down to picking the best option for you, the main factors are your ea
se of usage, your comfort, purpose and of course your budget. If you’re a programmer or graphic designer, you will need a powerful machine with high CPU power and RAM. In that case, you should opt for a desktop.
A laptop is suitable for a professional or student who is constantly on the move and needs to work from different locations. You can also consider pairing up the usage of a laptop and a tablet or a desktop and a tablet to give you more freedom to use technology and live digital whenever, wherever.