Did You Know?Windows 8 hybrid tablets combine full-size keyboards and touchscreens to give you a feel of both, laptops and tablets, in one device.
Laptops and tablets are different. Their functionality is different and so is their utility. There are people who consider a tablet to be the next best invention after wine and cheese, and then there are others who think of it as a frivolous waste of technology. Laptops and tablets may look similar, but are worlds apart. They are two different devices running two different systems.
A point-to-point comparison may yield no winner as such, but it will at least give you a fair idea of what is similar and different between the two. This will eventually affect your evaluation of your device requirement and your final decision as to what you will be opting for. Read the comparison below and choose wisely.
Essentially, a one-piece computer device, a tablet is portable, lightweight, and can be operated by gesture control, viz. stylus, finger-touch, accelerated movements, etc. A tablet screen comes in sizes varying from 7 inches to 11 inches, with a resolution that varies from 1280×800 to 2560×1600. Input options are limited to touch gestures. Typing on a touch screen is not always as accurate, speedy, and easy as a keyboard though. Of course, there's the option to connect external keyboard devices to a tablet, but that only ends up denting the wallet a fair amount.
A portable computer, heavier than a tablet and accompanied by an attached keypad, a laptop is truly a personal computer. Modern laptops come with gesture input functionality, although a traditional keypad at its base is still the most popular form factor. A laptop should be the first choice for users who will be typing heavily. A touchpad, used like a mouse is also available, putting the user in his 'PC-comfort-zone'. A laptop screen comes in sizes varying from 11 inches to 17 inches, and a resolution that varies from 1280×800 to 1680×1050.
Tablets use light hardware components and hence are battery-efficient. A tablet's battery assembly may not be as powerful as a laptop's, but its usage is enough to carry it slightly beyond 6-7 hours.
Although a laptop's battery assembly is more powerful than that of a tablet's, its overall efficiency does not go beyond 4 hours (even lesser in some cases). This is because laptops carry heavy hardware that uses the battery far more intensely.
Tablets are built for low-utility usage. They consist of a low-power processor and deliver decent performance for tasks like web browsing, playing movies and music, etc. More complicated tasks like heavy games, multitasking, graphics, etc., slow down the device considerably. Tablets are the most inappropriate devices to run loaded programming and computing tasks.
A laptop's processor is a full-fledged, high-performance processor. It can not only handle heavy tasks, but also multitask 2 or 3 heavy tasks at the same time. Laptops also deliver better and more efficient performance.
Tablets are typically used for light tasks such as browsing, playing small games, playing music, etc. That a tablet can be controlled by your own hand gives a more personal feel to the operating experience. However, the small and static screen is a disadvantage. Multiple people cannot see the screen at the same time. This, indeed is the essence of a tablet, but sharing something quickly with people around you need not always be a Bluetooth operation. A tablet's bar-form shape means that a user has to adjust his position according to the screen. A tablet cannot be used as a stand-alone device since it cannot deliver on all tasks.
A laptop is strong and sturdy and hence heavier to carry around, but it still is portable and that counts. Its powerful hardware assembly allows for heavy-duty operations to be carried off with ease and speed. Everything you do on a PC is possible on a laptop; only, it is more personal. A laptop's screen can be tilted to the user's advantage. The keyboard and keypad allow relatively easy navigation as compared to a tablet. A laptop can be a user's standalone device.
Tablets are fancy devices and carry fancy price tags with them. If fancy tasks is what you are buying a device for, this is your device. The price of a tablet averages around $500.
Laptop prices are flexible. Depending upon your need, laptop prices range from around $300-$1500.
Tablets are limited by their ability to function. While it is lighter and more portable than a laptop, if performance is your criteria, tablets are a disappointment. If light use coupled with longer battery life is what you are looking for, tablets make a great buy.
A laptop is a system in itself. If you are looking for a replacement to your old computer, a laptop is your best bet.
Choosing which of these two to buy could be an overwhelming decision to make . Both come with their pros and cons. It depends on what you really need to have. There are also hybrid tablet PCs available in the market today, which are basically tablet PCs, but you can attach a keyboard and mouse to them, and use them in a vertical position just as you would use a traditional laptop. These devices are worth a look, but they are more on the expensive side, so one would have to take into account that as well.