Laptop vs. tablet: Which should you choose?

Choosing a new piece of technology can be really confusing. There are things like RAM and ROM to have to puzzle about, USB, mini USB, and USB-C to choose from, and so much more. So let’s strip it back to basics. Your friend Sue has been saying how magic her new tablet is, but Dan down the road is saying that you need a laptop. So which is it? Which should you choose?

In this article, we run through the most important questions you need to ask yourself before you make the decision between buying a laptop or a tablet.

Are you replacing a laptop or desktop computer?

If you are going to replace a laptop or desktop computer and someone has recommended that you get a tablet instead, then this is actually fairly lousy advice. While it is true that some tablets are indeed quite powerful, it all depends on what you are using your current computer for. If you are using it for things like doing photo editing, lots of writing, or using special programs, then you will need a laptop. If you mainly watch movies, browse the internet, check email, and play games a tablet may suffice.

Is there another laptop or desktop in the home you can use if you need it?

If you are replacing a computer, will you have another one accessible at home if you run into a task that you can only do on a computer? If so, then you may be able to get away with buying a tablet.

Do you like using your phone to do tasks instead of a computer?

If you spend a lot of time using your phone and using various different apps, then you might be more suited to having a tablet. You don’t need a new laptop to be gathering dust in the corner while you’re still playing about on your phone – that defeats the purpose!

Do you know how to use your iPhone/Windows/Mac really well already?

Familiarity is also a very big factor in the decision that you make. What are you most comfortable with? Your iPhone? Samsung phone? The Windows computer at work? Your old Macbook? The learning curve for picking up a different type of technology can be steep. Many of us struggle with learning different technologies, so if you are very comfortable with one of them it can pay to stick with the same thing for your next purchase.

Remember that if you like the feeling and use of the keyboard and mouse that you can buy extra attachments for a tablet, including a stand – however it won’t have the full range of applications available and power that a laptop will.