Tablets have become quite popular thanks to their extreme portability, easy to use interfaces and the wide range of functions they can be used for. In many ways, the best tablets can almost replace a laptop for someone on the go. But is a tablet really a better choice for someone over a more traditional laptop?
Input Method. The most obvious difference between a tablet and a laptop is the lack of a keyboard. Tablets rely solely on a touchscreen interface for all input. This is fine when it involves mainly pointing, dragging or tapping to navigate around a program. The problems come in when you have to input text into a program such as an email or document.
Size. This is probably the biggest reason to go with a tablet compared to a laptop. Tablets have the size roughly of a small pad of paper and a weight that is under two pounds. Most laptops are far larger and heavier.
Battery Life. Tablets are designed for efficiency because of the low power requirements of their hardware components. In comparison, laptops use more powerful hardware. The battery component of the laptop is a far smaller percentage of the laptops internal components.
Storage Capacity. In order to keep their size and costs down, tablets have had to rely on new solid-state storage memory. Most tablets come with configurations that allow between 16 and 128 gigabytes of storage. The average budget laptop comes with a 500GB hard drive.
Performance. Since most tablets are based on extremely low powered processors, they will generally fall behind a laptop when it comes to computing tasks. Of course, a lot of this will depend on how the tablet or laptop is being used. For tasks like email, web browsing, playing video or audio, both platforms will typically work just as well as none requires much performance. Things get more complicated once you start doing more demanding tasks.
Software. The software that runs on a laptop or tablet can be vastly different in terms of capabilities. Now if the tablet PC is running Windows it can theoretically run the same software as a laptop but will likely be slower. The two other major tablet platforms right now are Android and iOS.
Cost. The majority of the tablets are budget models that cost under $100. The middle tier runs from around $200 to $400. Then you get the primary tablets that start around $500 and go to over $1000. These may provide the performance but at the prices, they tend to start falling behind what the laptops can achieve at the same price point. So it really depends upon the type of tablet and computer that you are going to be comparing.