Tablets vs. Laptops
I am writing this article on a newly purchased 64 GB Windows RT Tablet by Microsoft. It cost me a total of $813.82 and comes with a simple ac adapter and touch cover keypad which I am using to type out this article. I bought this device because my current computer (a Hewlett Packard) is running an outdated operating system and has lost significant battery charge over the last 3 years. I have also experienced frequent problems with my HP laptop’s screen that constantly flickers because of a loose connection. I decided to buy the Windows Surface because it came with a word processor and many other features which makes it more of a pc than an actual tablet. However there are still some differences between the two types of devices that need to be addressed. Consider this a guide to the differences between a tablet computer and a laptop computer.
The first major difference is that a tablet has a lot less processing power than a computer and is thus incapable of running complex programs and software. If you are looking for it to play a complex game like the Minecraft PC version then you will be sorely disappointed. While they have developed a version of Minecraft that can run on Android and IOS devices it still does not have all the features of the PC version. Despite this tablets can run much simpler mobile games (like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja) because they are much simpler to design and easier to run on mobile devices. This also extends to popular services like Facebook, Skype, and Twitter as the internet browser cannot run these applications in browser. It doesn’t have the power of a PC browser so there has to be dedicated applications for those services. Even after there are dedicated applications made for these services there are significant design changes made to how the apps look and operate. Certain features may be missing and may not appear until future updates of the applications software. So in reality you are only getting part of the features of a laptop computer and not the complete set of features.
The next major difference is that tablets have fewer input options for certain devices. Most tablets and mobile devices come with a simple docking station where you can plug in some form of USB input. This differs from a Laptop which (depending on the design) can fit multiple USB inputs along with compact discs, HDMI plugs an AC adaptor plugin, and an Ethernet port connection. Of course with wireless technology being what it is most mobile devices don’t need multiple input options as most files can be transferred wirelessly. There also isn’t a need to store files and documents to a local hard drive as online file storage systems like Microsoft’s Skydive allow users to store on a remote server. While the mass adoption of new technologies will eventually happen it is a slow process. Also by design a tablet cannot fit multiple ports into one machine. To compensate for this tablet manufacturers have allowed for third party developers to create accessories and adaptors for tablets that give the user more options for how they store and present their information. If you can’t use Wi-Fi than you could just as easily plug your tablet in with a third party accessories.
The final major difference is tablets is that you will find a greater variety of applications from third party developers. Ever wanted a translation for Newfoundland words and phrases that you can’t understand? There’s an app for that. Ever need to search for information on your favourite sports team immediately? There’s an app for that. There are multiple applications from developers that help you interact with your gaming console. There are apps for ordering movie tickets online as well as accepting credit card and debit card transactions. That’s because mobile devices are portable, easy and ready to do anything their users need them to. Even though a laptop is almost as powerful as a desktop computer it is still big and stationary. Developers create these apps for convenient usage that give results accurately and immediately.
Whether you buy a laptop or a tablet is up to you. There are clear differences to the two types of devices and doing research is essential for finding what’s right for you. I choose the windows surface because I can still do typing and other documents while having the convenience and portability of a mobile device. If that’s what you are looking for in a computer than the windows surface may be for you.
Clifford Taylor Hofferd is a university graduate living in Prince George. You can follow his blog at thengpblog.blogspot.ca