Laptops, tablets, and Ultrabooks are perfect examples of how personal computers have evolved over the years. While Ultrabooks are the latest of the lot, continuous improvements in laptops keeps them at par with the latest devices launching almost everyday.
Intel’s Ultrabook 2 in 1 Convertible, has the mobility of a tablet and power of a laptop. The screen can be detached to turn it into a tablet.
New devices with advanced features are launched almost everyday. However, before you decide to upgrade to these new devices, it is necessary to analyze your requirements, and ascertain if the device in question will be able to fulfill it. For instance, if you already own a laptop and an iPad mini, it is unlikely that you may want to invest in an Ultrabook. Likewise, if you are a frequent business traveler, you may buy an Ultrabook for of its portability, even though you might own a laptop. Thus, it is necessary to know the strengths and weaknesses of these devices, before you decide to pick one.
Here are the basic differences between the three devices.
|13 – 15 inches||7 – 13 inches||10 – 20 inches|
|Yes||Definitely yes||No *|
|External drive||Micro SD card||External drive|
|Present in few models||Definitely absent||Available|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi + 3G/4G||Wi-Fi as well as wired|
|5-6 hours||9-10 hours||1-6 hours|
|Few models||On special devices||All models|
|Costliest of the lot||Most affordable||Affordable|
|Ethernet port absent
(Present in high end models)
|USB port absent||All ports present|
|On few models||All models||On few models|
* – Laptops are portable but when you consider the size to weight ratio, they lag behind tablets and Ultrabooks.
Now that you know the key features and performance parameters of the three devices, it will be easy to evaluate the right one for you. If you are an ardent gadget lover, you will surely want to buy (or at least get your hands on) every new gadget in town. For others, it is necessary to evaluate his/her needs. Let us see how build and performance parameters, play an important role in making the right decision.
The build parameter includes display size and weight of the device. If we consider any home user, he will be thrilled to use laptops with huge displays. This will give him freedom to use the device not only for work or business, but also for entertainment purposes that includes playing games.
However, if you need a lightweight device that can be easily carried around, and yet, has the required muscle to carry out all the basic tasks, an Ultrabook is the most suitable option. Besides, a decent screen size of 15-inch won’t pinch the Ultrabook user.
For casual users who want a big screen device that will fit in their pockets or handbags, and still allow them to watch movies and read e-books, tablets are the best choice to make.
Irrespective of the device you choose, it must effectively perform to its full capacity. Tablets, like iPads, have all the high-end features needed for fast computing. They are equipped with mobile processors that have fast processing speeds. There are thousands of apps available on iTunes and Google Play which increases productivity of tablets. These devices have Wi-Fi as well as mobile connectivity, which provides the freedom to use the Internet on the go. For gamers who can’t get enough of games, there are special graphics tablets with integrated graphic cards.
Laptops are loaded with all the features of a desktop, some are even better. These are equipped with all the ports and also contain optical drives. You can upgrade the RAM and storage of the device to enhance its performance. There are innumerable software available on Mac and Windows platform that increase their productivity. Laptops are equipped with Wi-Fi (even Ethernet port for wired connectivity) so that you can surf the Internet while you relax on the couch. Even for gamers, there are special laptops that have integrated, high-end, 3D graphics.
Ultrabooks have the best start-up and wake up from sleep time amongst the lot. Generally, these devices have a better battery life than laptops, and some models can even give tablets a run for their money. Thus, Ultrabooks can be used on long-distance trips or in long meetings. The solid state drive (SSD) improves the system’s performance, and reduces the age-related storage issues. Also usage of SSDs eliminates the noise that the HDD makes while booting up. These devices are not great at handling processor-heavy or intense tasks in comparison to laptops, but are a worthy combination of tablet-like screens and laptop-like specifications.
Though there is a huge list of popular products in each category, we have listed a few models that we include in our ‘favs’ list.
◆ iPad Air
◆ iPad Mini 2 with Retina Display
◆ Google Nexus 7
◆ LG G Pad
◆ Sony Xperia Tablet Z
◆ Acer C720 Chromebook
◆ Lenovo Yoga 11S (Hybrid)
◆ Fujitsu Lifebook E743 (High-end)
◆ MacBook Air
◆ Alienware 14 (Gaming)
◆ Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Touch
◆ Samsung Series 7 Ultra
◆ Acer Aspire P3
◆ Dell XPS 13
◆ ASUS Transformer Book TX300
Which to Choose?
If you already have a desktop/laptop and simply need a portable device with laptop-like features, you might want to check out the best tablets in the market.
If you are using a desktop and wish to be mobile around the house/workplace, but won’t comprise on the build quality and features of desktop, you are better off buying a laptop.
If you are a frequent traveler and want a device which allows you to work on the go and keep you hooked up to the Internet all times, you should get yourself an Ultrabook.