Laptop vs Tablet | Which one is best for you?

Laptop vs Tablets

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Table of Contents

If you are confused about whether to buy a laptop or tablet, then we don’t blame you. 


Both laptops and tablets have similarities. Both allow you to take them with you and do basic tasks on the go like web browsing and working word documents.


However, despite such similarities, both laptops and tablets have some stark differences, which might make the purchasing decision difficult.


So to help you make the right decision, we have laid down the differences between laptops and tablets. By the end of this, you will know whether a laptop or a tablet is best for you.


Reasons why you should get a laptop


You can’t go wrong with laptops if performance is on your mind. Most tablets on the market are equipped with power-efficient SOCs that can never offer performance anywhere near to a laptop processor.


Laptops have tons of horsepower in terms of multi-core processors, powerful GPUs, high-speed storage, and tons of RAM. All of which is mostly absent on tablets. You would need this sort of horsepower to do anything hardware intensive. This could include gaming, video editing, code compiling, and so on.


And though recently we did manage to get a powerful tablet like the new iPad Pro that is equipped with the Apple M2 chip, we still have yet to see Apple utilize and take full advantage of the M1’s horsepower. 


The most you can do workload related is use Davinci Resolve on the iPad but still, compared to a laptop, it doesn’t have enough work apps to justify the switch for many people.


So if your use case requires demanding hardware, then you have to choose a laptop over a tablet.

Great Software Availability

Tablets tend to be limited in terms of the software that is available to them, typically only offering apps that can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play Store. 


Many of these apps lack utility and may not be suitable for professional use. Additionally, tablets running on iPad or Android operating systems may not provide support for legacy software, unlike laptops running Windows, which are capable of running older programs.


 If your work requires the use of older software, it may be necessary to use a laptop rather than a tablet.

Wide range of I/O ports

Apart from a single USB C port and perhaps a headphone jack, there is not much available on a tablet in terms of I/O. 


Laptops, on the other hand, have a wide range of ports. From full type A USB ports and HDMI ports to Gigabit ethernet Thunderbolt ports. Laptops have enough ports that you could build a desktop-like setup with them.


Connecting multiple wire peripherals like wires USB keyboard and mouse to a tablet is a lot of hassle.


 Sure, you can connect a USB dongle and try to use these peripherals that way, though it’s simply not that practical. Especially considering that tablets are not that optimized for keyboard and mouse inputs.

Bigger Screens

If you value screen real estate a lot, then you would be better off with a laptop. This is because most tablets max out at 11 inches, while laptops start at 14 inches and can go up to 17 inches in screen size.


Furthermore, connecting an external bigger and better display is much easier on a laptop than on a tablet. So there is no better option than a laptop when it comes to having larger screens.


There are little to no expandability options on a tablet. Tablets used to have the option to expand the storage by putting in a microSD card, but that option has also been removed in modem tablets.


Laptops, on the other hand, though being criticized for not being as upgradable as a desktop PC, still manage to have the option to upgrade the storage and RAM, which can significantly help with increasing the lifespan of the device. 


So if you want the option to upgrade your portable device down the line with little hassle, then there is no better option than a laptop.


Built-in Physical Keyboard

Most people prefer to use a physical keyboard rather than an on-screen keyboard. Though iPad OS has also been quite optimized for keyboard shortcuts, Windows is far more optimized for keyboard and mouse input.


As for actually connecting and using a keyboard, a laptop is much better. 


First off, laptops have a built-in keyboard, and to acquire the same functionality on an iPad, you might have to buy an addon keyboard. 


And these keyboards mostly have a subpar typing experience with short travel. 


And even if you are willing to buy an external keyboard, the hassle of carrying an external keyboard is not something that everyone will be willing to go through.  A laptop simply takes the win with its physical built-in keyboard.

Reasons why you should get a tablet

Lightweight and quite portable

No matter how slim and lightweight laptops get, they can come nowhere near a tablet in terms of weight. Even the latest iPad Pro weighs under a kg. The lightweight nature of tablets make them the best choice for someone who is always on the go and can not afford to carry a relatively big machine with them.


Tablets also tend to be a great choice for kids, as it may be difficult for them to hold a heavy device in their hand. The lightweight design of a tablet makes it perfect for kids.


Great battery life

Unlike a laptop, laptops are quite efficient. Some tablets can last up to two days on a single charge. This is thanks to the power-efficient SOCs that basically sip power unless you do some gaming. 


But for the most part, If you want a device that lasts long on a single charge, then you can’t go wrong with a tablet.

Tablets don’t require active cooling

One of the best things about tablets is that since they are so efficient, they don’t even need an active cooling pad. Tablets SOCs unlike laptop processors run much cooler. 


This allows manufacturers to make tablets really thin. Furthermore, not having a fan eliminates the need to clean the laptop internally or replace a broken cooling fan. 


Manufacturers also take advantage of this by making these tablets splash/waterproof, further making these tablets more durable.


If you want to give a device to someone who is clumsy and careless, then a tablet should be the way to go.

Ease of use

Unlike Windows or Mac OS, Android and iOS is simple and quite straightforward. There is no need to boot up the tablet every time you want to use it, and there is no waiting for updates on a tablet.


All you have to do is simply unlock the tablet and open your desired app. Such straightforward UI makes tablets perfect for seniors who may not be well-versed in technology. At the same time, tablets are also perfect for kids with their simple UI, making it hassle-free.

Relatively cheaper

Unless you are buying a Chromebook, you need to spend at least $400 to get a decent laptop. On the other hand, you can get a tablet for as cheap as $50, something like the Amazon Kindle Tablet.


Though they are not great in terms of performance, cheap tablets make it accessible to many people. So even if you are not willing to spend a lot of money, you can still get a decent tablet that fulfills your basic needs.

Less likely to get attacked by malware

Compared to windows, iPad OS and Android are secure. This means that hackers or anyone with malicious intent are less likely to target tablet users. Apple makes sure that every app on the app store goes through its checks and is secure, and Google also uses checks like Google Play Protect to ensure the apps you are downloading are not malicious.


So if you are concerned about accidentally downloading viruses, then we recommend buying a tablet, preferably an iPad.

Great cameras for video conferencing

Laptops have always gotten slack for having awful webcams that look grainy and lack quality. Such a problem is relatively absent on tablets, especially if you opt for higher-end ones such as the Galaxy Tab S7 or the iPad Mini.


These tablets have cameras that provide great camera quality with great detail, accurate colors, and great sharpness, which is hard to find on a laptop. You would need to spend atleast more than a grand to get a good webcam quality out of a laptop.


A good camera can help you stand out on every zoom meeting, and if you are someone ho regularly has to show up in a meeting, then you can’t go wrong with a decent tablet.”

2 in-1 Laptops: Best of both worlds?

A 2-in-1 laptop is the best compromise between a traditional laptop and a tablet. Like everything, 2 in 1 laptop have some qualities that might make them a compelling option. 


First off, these laptops have a bigger screen than a traditional tablet which means more screen real estate when working and watching content. Moreover, you get more horsepower with a laptop processor in a tablet form factor.


2 in 1 not only gives you access to a touchscreen along with traditional mouse and keyboard input, it also allows you to use a stylus too. And most importantly, it would be much cheaper to own a 2-in-1 than to buy a laptop and tablet separately. 


Though it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, one of the main problems with 2 in 1 laptop is that they are relatively thicker and heavier than compared to something like a tablet. Secondly, 2 in 1 laptops also are expensive, unsurprisingly. For the same price, you might be able to get a significantly powerful traditional laptop.


Also, due to the different form factor, a 2-in-1 laptop may not have the same level of upgradability as a traditional laptop. This means that the laptop might have soldered RAM or fewer storage expansion options.


Can a tablet replace a laptop in 2023?

No, a tablet will not replace a laptop in 2023. This is because there is very little development done on the tablet side. Though Apple has been making moves to make iPad somewhat of a laptop replacement, there is still a long way to go.

Can you print from a tablet?

Yes you can print from a tablet. Just make sure that the printer you are using supports WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity.

Is a laptop or tablet better for seniors?

A tablet is much more better than a laptop for seniors. This is because of the straightforward nature of tablets that just require you to tap once on your desire app and open it.

Can we use Windows on a tablet?

No, you can not use Windows on a tablet. Unlike laptops, tablets don’t allow you to install a different OS. Especially on the iPad, where Apple makes sure that no one messes with their iPad OS.

Can an iPad fully replace a laptop?

No, iPad can not fully replace a laptop. Though Apple is somewhat making advancements towards making this dream happen by installing powerful hardware like the M2 processor.


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