Laptop Vs Tablet Computers (iPad), Advantages and Disadvantages

When it comes to choosing a brand new computer, there will be confusion. It is not just because of the range of laptop/PC brands available in the market, but also because of the different types of computing devices that have been launched. With devices like the Apple iPad (iPad 2 also) launched in the market, which is a tablet pc. So, an average consumer’s questions would be, “Should I buy a laptop or tablet pc?” I decided to make some pros and cons of a Laptop and Tablet PC in this article.

Use this as a guide, if you are really a confused consumer. I took iPad as an example of tablet pc, because almost TABs come with the similar configurations.

You will find the difference between iPad and iPad 2 here

So, which one is better, iPad or Laptop?

Here are the main features of the Apple iPad. iPad has completely revolutionized the tablet pc range of devices, but it won’t be a laptop killer. With around 1Ghz Apple A4 processor and 256 MB DRAM (512 RAM in iPad2)and a maximum of 64 GB storage space, battery life offering 10 hours of video, 9.7 inch multi touch screen and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi + 3G connectivity, iPad works best as a media player and as an ebook reader, but you can’t use TABs for serious computing works. For people who are addicted to operating keyboards on laptops, the switching to a touch screen keyboard cannot be comfortable. A laptop computer costs less than half the price of the Apple iPad or iPad 2.

Update: Now there are plenty of keyboard options available for tablets, which includes USB Keyboards as well as Keyboard docks as in Asus Eee Pad Transformer Tablet.

LAPTOP-VS-TABLET-PC

What is in a Tablet PC (here iPad)

iPad is a tablet PC, with the size and weight roughly between smartphones and laptops. It uses the same OS as the Apple’s iPhone and the iPod Touch. The iPad can be a mobile gadget, equipped with an e-reader, gaming device, digital photo frame and iPod (music). Apple and other tablet pc manufacturers has small application programs designed for all ‘above said’ uses, which is called as Apps, you can install them using the App Store or other app marketplaces. The touch screen is easy to clean and Apple users will adapt easily to the iPad look and feel. Some Tabs use android operating systems, which is growing quickly. You can find android apps in android marketplace (Google Play) for android based tablets.

What is in a Laptop?

A Laptop is a combined the functionality of a desktop with the portability of a mobile phone. You can take laptop everywhere and desktops are not. In business, entertainment, gaming, networking, name the sphere of use, there is a laptop for it. Laptops have Wi-Fi, bluetooth, USB connectivity, web cameras and many more features can additionally be added in a less cost. Each manufacturer has something unique to offer, and you can install everything and anything onto a laptop.

Comparing iPad with a Laptop:

Size

The average laptop weighs around 5 to 7 pounds and the iPad weighs 1.5 pounds. The iPad (Tab PC) is easier to carry around and you get through security checks in airports a lot faster. There are smaller Tablet (7-Inches) and smaller Laptops (10-Inches or 11-Inches Notebooks) available in the market. A laptop needs to be opened up, plugged in, and booted up to be used. iPad can be quick booted and no need to unpack and repack a bag.  The iPad dimensions are equivalent to a book, but it’s made of glass. It’s also more expensive than a book. Just because it’s portable, that doesn’t mean you should pack it in a bag without a protective case.

Battery Life

iPad has up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. The charger fits easily in a purse or pocket. A laptop lasts at a maximum of 3 hours and life decreases with applications like games or video. Laptop chargers are heavier than iPad chargers

Productivity

Laptop is more productive than Tablet PCs. But with additional keyboards and accessories, a tablet PC also converted into a serious machine!

Hardware Connectivity

There are huge peripherals support to laptops and Tablet devices are yet to come to standard ports and connectors. For laptops, you may find these ports and connectors less costly than tablet PCs

Navigation

It is difficult to compare a touch screen with standard mouse and keyboard. They are 2 completely different input devices. The touch screen is responsive and more natural to use than a mouse. It boots up very quickly. The keyboard is on-screen, so you have to look down on the screen to type. Also, you have to hold the TAB in one hand and type, unless you get a dock. With an USB keyboard, it will be easy to use Tablets.

Others

Laptops can have any OS, even the MacBook Pro allows you to have Windows as a secondary OS. But you can’t change OS of a TAB. You can only use apps from the App Store/ marketplace. There are ways to download and install other software on your iPad, but that affects TAB’s warranty issue. The TAB PC is a good e-reader. It’s more comfortable and easier to use the TAB, when just reading. The maximum hard disk capacity currently available in an iPad or any other TAB is 64 GB. Now that’s nothing in hard disk land. Laptops have an advantage over here, since the average laptop has at least 200 GB.

Finally, choosing between a TAB and a Laptop should be based on your usage and needs. If you are looking for a portable, efficient and smart device, then you should go for a tablet PC, with good handy apps and easy wireless connectivity, it will be a great addition to any household. If you like a lot into heavy-duty gaming, some serious programming and similar other works, need software and hardware support, then laptop will suit you. Newer laptops models are lighter and more portable than old laptops.

Now, you can decide what you will buy. Do let me know in the comments field below, what do you think? Go through my Smartphone Vs Netbook article, if interested.

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Comments

  1. Nadine Landis says:

    What tablet should I buy? Samsung or iPOD?

  2. Akshata Jaiswal says:

    i am already having PC. So now for my further studies i will be out off town so for BE studies should i go for laptop or ipad?
    Please reply….

    • Musthafa Ullal says:

      Dear Akshata,
      If you are going to study BE, then definitely you need a Laptop than a Tablet because you may need to do more accurate drawings, browsing, learnings and more. You may buy a cheap and best tablet for quicker internet browsing, social media and leisure time pass games, which might cost you $200 approx. Better, buy a cheap and best tablet along with a good and reliable Laptop, which should not give you trouble for at least 3 years, until you complete your studies. All the best.

  3. Mariaangelica Egana says:

    love it

  4. sumit kumar yadav says:

    i am already having a pc, so now my further studies. So which device is best hp pavillion laptop or a samsung tab.

  5. Mohameed Hameed says:

    This is the best article wich sincerely put the matter in a most effective way.

  6. sathish says:

    Hi!Musthafa Ullal.I am working at Photographer.I need Adobe premiere cs3,4,5 etc.So,Which is best for me Tablet PC or Laptop ?Please reply me.My Mail id is **************.

    • Musthafa Ullal says:

      Hi, Although you can get many quick photo editing android and iOS apps, you will not able to give quality and unique touch to the photos by using a tablet. Hence, I recommend you to buy a mid-level Laptop rather than a tablet for the same.

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