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Tablet vs laptop: Which one is better for you in 2020?

Tablet vs laptop, if you’re new to the market and are wondering whether you should choose between the two, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

What is the difference between a laptop and a tablet?

Whether it be for personal use, or a job requirement, buying a new device can be a pretty confusing period. This is especially true if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

CategoryLaptopsTablets
1PortabilityWeigh more and are bulkier, being less portable than tablets.Being less bulky means they’re more portable.
2DisplayHave larger screens with higher DPI’s.Smaller screens with lower resolutions.
3InterfaceUses a mouse and keyboard combination.Uses a touch and virtual keyboard system.
4CameraLow resolution camera (usually front only). Intended for video chatting.Higher resolution camera (both front and back), plus paired with great portability you take pictures on the go.
5SoftwareSoftware has more functionality.Software is more streamlined.
6SecurityHigher risks of being attacked.Lower risk of being attacked.
7StorageLarge amount of initial storage. Adding more storage is expensive, however.Low initial storage available, but it is relatively cheap to add more storage.
8PerformanceGreater functionality means greater performance…..More streamlined Software leads to inferior performance.
9BatteryDemanding on energy, lasting maybe 8-12 hours.More efficient with energy, last 12+hours.
10ConnectivityHave a Plethora of connectivity options. (HDMI, USB, Bluetooth…)Have limited connection options due to fewer ports embedded in. the device.
11PricePricier than Tablets.Generally Cheaper than laptops.
Tablet VS Laptop at a glance

However, with this article, we’re gonna show you the key differences between laptops and tablets. Making the choice just that much easier for you.

1) Portability

First and foremost, there’s the question of portability between tablets and laptops. And generally speaking, tablets win hands down.

Size-wise, tablets generally range from 7 to 13 inches, not including some larger tablet devices geared towards professional users.

For the most part, 8-inch and 10-inch screens are the most popular in tablets because they manage to strike the perfect balance between screen size and ergonomics.

When it comes to weight, they tend to weigh anywhere from around 300 grams (about 10 oz) to up to 700 grams (about 1.5 lb) in the cases of larger devices such as the 13-inch iPad Pro.

In contrast, laptop screens cover a wider range. They can start as low as 12 inches and go as high as 21 inches.

Additionally, the average 15-inch laptop weighs about 2 kg (around 5 lb). This is quite a bit heavier than a tablet, but just like with screen size, laptops cover a wide range when weight is concerned.

Some notebooks and can easily weigh under 1 kg. While some gaming laptops can even go over 4 kg, going up to 8 kg in some extreme cases.

In any case, tablets are smaller and lighter than even the most compact laptops that are currently available, so they win in the portability department, in tablet vs laptop.

2) Display

That being said, the decreased screen sizes in portability means that tablets generally suffer in display quality when comparing a laptop and tablet.

A laptop’s large screen allows for a larger display with more detail shown as compared to tablets. So you can view more on a laptop at any given time.

Tablets do, however, tend to have higher pixel densities due to their smaller screen sizes. This just means tablets produce crisper, more detailed images in the display when comparing laptops and tablets.

This means for cheaper prices you can get tablets that outperform laptops in the display.

However, much like with anything else, it all comes down to the price. A more expensive laptop with the same resolution as a cheaper tablet will have a better display.

3) Interface

In terms of interfacing between laptop vs tablet, laptops are again, much superior.

You see Laptops usually come ready with a touchpad and an inbuilt keyboard. Thus completely removing the hassle of having to keep a mouse and keyboard around. Although a touchpad does tend to be a tad bit slower than an actual mouse.

Some laptops may also come with touch screen capability.

On the other hand, most tablets focus mainly on their touch screen technology and contain virtual keyboards for ASCII inputs.

Although this technology can be much more intuitive, it is not as precise as just having actual physical components.

Having to type out on a virtual keyboard in itself tends to involve a lot of hassle. The words are placed closely together and it can be hard to touch those little “keys”. This leads to this method being a very unreliable one.

That being said, the touch-screen is a faster method to point and click, rather than using a mouse. You can immediately interact with your device without having to move the mouse around all the time.

Additional options for laptops and tablets

Any peripherals that are compatible with laptops and tablets can be attached to them. Anything from optical mice to Bluetooth keyboards can be attached to your device of choice.

However, it should be kept in mind, if you are trying to add additional input devices to either tablet or a laptop you’ll have to bring those with you too. Hindering some of the portability you may have originally wanted.

4) Camera

Both tablets and laptops are equipped with built-in cameras. Although, tablets generally tend to have the upper hand in this regard.

You see, since tablets borrow a majority of their characteristics from smartphones, it’s no wonder they would have a greater set of cameras available.

Tablets come with two cameras, one rear and one back. These cameras also have a very decent resolution. This, paired with the superior portability of tablet cameras mean that you can take amazing pictures on the fly.

Also read: Affordable Tablets to consider in 2020

Laptops, on the other hand, really only have one camera on the front. Sure you might find one or two laptops with a rear camera, but that is usually the exception.

These front cameras found in laptops aren’t that spectacular either. These cameras are usually meant to barely pass off as video chat cameras. Which means the camera resolution isn’t that great.

When choosing between a laptop or tablet, you find yourself wanting a decent camera, then tablets are the way to go. Tablet cameras completely overshadow the competition.

5) Software

Sure the hardware aspect of tablet and laptop is important and all, but we shouldn’t ignore the rest either.

Tablets run on very different operating software compared to its competitor. Instead of the usual Windows, Linux, or Mac, tablets run on mobile operating services such as Apple iOS and Android.

This tends to be more streamlined compared to laptops. Meaning it not only works faster and smoother but also takes up less memory when doing so.

Tasks are extremely optimized and it’ll be a long time before you even see your tablet warm up.

On the other hand, laptop software is much more demanding. They run numerous programs simultaneously on a device. These routines tend to be much more tasking on the processor.

That being said, they are extremely powerful. Meaning you can do a larger number of more demanding tasks on your laptop than your tablet.

Also read: Best Laptop deals this year

This is also one of the primary reasons why people prefer laptops when choosing between a laptop or a tablet. Laptop programs have wider functionality.

Even if you were to find the same application for both a laptop and a tablet, they won’t be an exact match.

It is more than likely that the tablet version of the application will have a few key features missing that would be found on the desktop version of the same app.

Meaning for this round of laptop vs tablet, the laptop has to take the win for it’s higher functionality. Take this with a grain of salt, however. Depending on your requirements, that might not be too appealing.

6) Security

However, having a higher functionality isn’t always a desirable quality to have.

Having a streamlined system means that you have a closed system. Making it extremely difficult for any malicious software to find itself into your tablet device.

Chromebooks also benefit from a similar approach, making them a good choice for people who don’t feel confident when dealing with anti-spyware or virus protection software.

On the other hand, having a very demanding operating system attracts more malicious software to attack.

As of now, Windows is the most popular target for attacks. And Mac users are starting to encounter the same problem

It would generally be for the best to install some form of anti-virus software in place if you plan on purchasing these laptops.

Of course, viruses aren’t the only form of attacks you should vary of. Many people have their data corrupted or stolen through many different forms of attacks, such as phishing, pharming, etc.

As such, it would be very beneficial to keep yourself updated with these kinds of threats and keep yourself, and your information, safe from those who want it.

7) Storage

If we’re talking existing storage when comparing a tablet vs laptop. Laptops have to take the cake.

To maintain the portability and relatively low prices of tablets, companies needed to use Solid State Drives (SSD). While SSD storage is, in fact, cheaper, it comes with a trade-off.

SSD’s don’t store as much as Dynamic State Drives. This just means the average tablet will only have about 16 to 128 GB’s of initial storage.

This doesn’t produce a large problem for most tablet users. Applications are already well optimized and don’t take up much space.

Meaning most tablet users are content with the current amount of space they are provided.

In-contrast most budget laptops have exceedingly high storage, with even the cheaper ones being able to store more than 500 GB worth of data in their hard-drives.

More space…

However, if we talk about whether it’s easier to increase the storage of either your laptop or tablet, then tablets win. No questions asked.

Tablet companies already know people might want to increase the total storage available to them. As a result, tablets are generally equipped with one or more SSD card slots.

SSD cards are very cheap and can normally provide you with a comfortable additional 128 GB of space. The higher-end SSD card can even add a whopping 1 TB to your maximum storage.

Finding extra storage for your laptop, however, may not be as simple.

The best way to do this would be to attach an external hard drive. External hard drives can add anywhere from 250 GB to 1 TB of total storage to your laptop and provide the best price to GB ratio.

BUT, and that’s a big but, they are extremely expensive on the whole. Being too costly of a buy to even consider.

That’s the reason why tablets win this round of tablet vs laptop.

8) Performance

The performance of tablets and laptops depends largely on the price point and what the device is being used for. In the lower price ranges, tablets are on par with similarly-priced laptops when it comes to performance.

However, as the price gap increases so does the performance. You see, since laptops are bulkier the have more space for hardware and thus have a higher amount of RAM. This amount of RAM increases drastically as the price goes up.

Additionally, the aforementioned operating systems come into play as well. The higher functionality of the software boosts the performance of the laptop to an extreme extent.

Making outperforming tablet’s in this tablet vs laptop war a breeze.

9) Battery

Now, let’s examine the available batteries of a laptop and a tablet.

Tablets can generally last 8 to 12 hours of active use, while laptops tend to be more power-hungry, usually lasting anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, based on what the laptop is being used for.

Well, there are a few reasons for a longer battery life of tablets. First, there’s the fact that they use ARM CPUs that are simpler and less power-hungry than even the mobile versions of desktop CPUs found in laptops.

These CPUs generate less heat, too, making them ideal for devices like phones and tablets that have no active cooling. On top of that, mobile operating systems tend to be fairly well optimized, especially iOS.

On the other hand, Laptop CPU’s are extremely demanding. This is compounded by the fact that laptop operating systems usually run many processes and tasks at once. Using the CPU to a much higher degree than a tablet would.

This means that CPUs not only draw constant power but essential tasks to keep the CPU running, like an internal cooling system also drain energy from the battery.

So when comparing a laptop or a tablet, the laptop tends to always draw more power from its battery. Making the tablet the winner for this round of tablets vs laptops.

10) Connectivity

Now, we’ll take a look at tablet and laptop connectivity options. both when it comes to physical ports and wireless connectivity.

Laptops and tablets each tend to be equipped with Bluetooth and Wifi services. Making most wireless connections relatively easy for both these devices.

Whether it be sharing a screen with a T.V, or just wanting to attach a Bluetooth keyboard for ease of typing. With either of the two devices that would be a relatively simple task.

So, what is the difference between a laptop and a tablet? Well, it all comes down to the number of ports.

Regarding tablet vs laptop, tablets have a fewer number of ports, and so, fewer types of physical connections available. With most tablets only providing a charging port, and a headphone jack.

The charging port can be additionally used to connect your tablet to other devices via a USB connection, making the transfer of information possible between the two.

In contrast to this, laptops tend to have multiple ports for physical connections. Including HDMI, analog sound connection, headphone jacks, multiple USB, etc.

This allows laptops to have a wider range of physical connections available. The connections, in turn, can be done with multiple devices.

The HDMI jack can be used to connect with projectors and displays. The audio jacks can be used for speakers or headphones, and so forth.

So laptops win this round, with the sheer number of connections one can achieve with them.

11) Price

Of course, finally, let’s talk about price points when it comes to comparing Laptops and tablets.

Right of the bat, tablets are much much cheaper than their competition. The cheapest ones start at only $50, which is an incredible price for all things considered. With the higher-end tablets being around $1000.

Moreover, laptops, on the other hand, can start at about anywhere from $150 to $200. However, the more common price range for laptops can be anywhere around $700-$800.

Higher-end laptops start from $1000 and can go up to $4000. There are even laptops that are sold for an astounding 5 digit values.

Regardless, if you’re on a tight budget you might want to consider tablets. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, tablets tend to outperform laptops substantially.

The Verdict

As you can see, tablets and laptops are very different devices, which is no wonder considering that they were designed for very different things.

Even Steve Jobs said when he introduced the original iPad, tablets are intended to fill the space between smartphones and laptops and they are supposed to do certain things better than either of the two.

So which one should you buy, tablet or laptop?

Well, it all depends on you. If you would want a device for media streaming, i.e YouTube, light gaming, browsing, etc. We would wholeheartedly recommend using a tablet.

Their higher portability, low power consumption, and simple interface just fit in for the job.

In contrast, if you have more demanding tasks at hand, such as office work, video editing, and jobs with just generally more demanding workloads. Then you should look into the laptop.

Additionally, not only is it more powerful than the competition, but it also provides more functionality. Making it extremely effective in doing demanding tasks that require you to have your work with you at all times.

We hope this insight will serve you well. However, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which device won more rounds, as long as you found the device that you needed.

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