Tablets vs Laptops – Which would suit you better?

Trying to decide on the right device for you isn’t always easy. Much of the decision will come down to what you’re actually doing when you’re online, as different devices are better suited to different activities.

And although in the modern day most people have a laptop at home, that isn’t always necessary. This is especially true if you have a desktop computer at home as well, as this completely gets rid of the need for a laptop to use.

And with tablets increasing in popularity through the last decade, they may seem like the better choice of the two. We’re going to check out a few reasons why you may prefer to opt for a tablet over a laptop.

Tablets vs Laptops

The truth is that if you spend the majority of your time browsing on the internet, then you may be better off with a tablet. If a large amount of your time consists of scrolling through social media, well.. a tablet is the perfect device to do this with.

It can take a little getting used to, using the touchscreen of a tablet as opposed to your laptop. But really, a tablet is very similar to a phone in terms of design, except it’s larger and better for your eyes. Let’s look at the case for both devices.

Reasons to go for a tablet


Tablets have actually been around for a long time. But, it’s only in the last decade or so with the release of the first iPad that they’ve become really popular.

They’re not quite as commonly purchased as your phone or a laptop. They tend to make pretty good devices for small tasks, and I recommend tablets for university students who want to stay organized. There are a few reasons to opt for a tablet instead of getting yourself a new laptop.

Easy to take anywhere

The whole point of a laptop is that you can take it with you anywhere you go. But with most laptops being 13 inch, this can make it a little difficult to carry around with you.

Some laptops going up to 17 inches in size, and as well as being large, they can also be quite heavy too. This makes it difficult to carry around with you.

This isn’t really something that you need to worry about with a tablet. Most tablets range from being a little as 7 inches in size to around 10 inches. You can get larger than this, but most of them fit somewhere in this range.

It’s pretty clear to understand that you’d rather carry a 300g iPad Mini around with you over a Macbook, which is closer to 1.3KG (the larger 16 inch models are even more than this).

They’re generally cheaper


It’s not a hard rule that a tablet is going to be cheaper than a laptop. But if we compare them within the same brands, then this can show us how you can save money by opting for a tablet instead.

A good example of this can be seen by looking at Apple’s products. The new Macbook Air is the cheapest laptop that Apple offer, and it starts out at a minimum of £999. By the time you’ve added in all the extras you need (or just want), you can be spending much more than this.

If we compare this to the base model of the iPad, it’s much more expensive. You can actually pick up the cheapest iPad for around £330, so it’s literally a third of the price. But, will you have all of the usability you’ll get with a laptop?

They can do most things a laptop can

Though you may think that you need a laptop, there’s a good amount of users out there that actually probably don’t need one.

So, you can actually do a lot of what you need to on a tablet. Whilst you won’t have all of the functionality of a laptop, many of your most needed programs do have a tablet version too. This includes Microsoft Office and much of the Adobe suite too.

And when you want to get some word done in Microsoft Word, then you can easily find an external keyboard to use with your tablet too. Sure, the screen is smaller – but if you’re only typing up an email or document every now and then, it’s not really going to make much of a difference.

I should also mention that if you want the ability to do this, it’s often worth going for a more expensive tablet. The cheaper ones only come with minimal RAM, and therefore aren’t really great for running programs.

Why a laptop may be better


Though a tablet may be fine for some, they’re not going to be suitable for everyone. Though tablets can also make use of cloud storage, a laptop is capable of having a GB or more of space. But this is just one difference between them.

There are some people that are definitely going to need the increased processing power and memory that only a laptop can offer. Here’s a couple of reasons why a laptop may be more suited to your circumstance.

More power, more programs

The key reason why you may need a laptop is that as yet, tablets aren’t capable of delivering the same performance as a laptop.

The newer generations of iPad may seem a lot more powerful than in the past, and the truth is, they are. They’ve increased all the way up to 6GB of RAM, which is definitely pretty powerful for a tablet.

But, this still pales in comparison to what I’d advise you look for in a laptop, which is a minimum of 8GB of RAM. This is for the average user bear in mind – if you intend to play games or edit videos on your laptop, you’ll likely want 16GB of RAM or more.

There are some programs that you actually won’t be able to get on a tablet. This covers quite a lot of software, whether it be for design or other purposes. More RAM and faster processors means that a tablet can deal with several things at the same time. Though tablets are catching up to laptops in terms of power, they’re still not in the same league.

The built-in keyboard


As someone who always tries to use an external wireless keyboard even with their laptop, this isn’t the biggest bonus. Using your laptop all the time whilst hunched over it isn’t the best for your posture, so a laptop stand can be a good idea.

But if you’re travelling or need to get some work done quickly, then taking your laptop out and using it is very easy. The trackpad and keyboard are part of the laptop, which is definitely convenient.

You’ll don’t need to worry about connecting a wireless keyboard to your laptop to use it. For many people, this is a key reason why a laptop is needed.

Better display

Though most people would argue that the display on a tablet doesn’t need a high resolution, it’s still true that you can get a much higher resolution on a laptop.

Generally, laptops tend to have better displays than tablets. Now, you might go and look at the new iPad Pro display and say that it’s better than most laptops out there. And you’d be 100% right. But when you compare it to its direct equivalent – a Retina Macbook Pro – you’ll clearly see the difference.

Either way, this isn’t really a big deal in my opinion. Often, large resolutions like 4K are just used as a selling point. There will probably be 4K tablets out there one day, but when you’re looking at a screen so small, it’ll be impossible to tell the difference.

Battery life

When it comes to tablets and laptops, there are various different things that can differ between them. One of the most obvious ones is the battery life of each device. The battery life of a laptop will, more often than not, be much better than a tablet.

Though you can get models of tablet that have a good battery life, many will last a limited amount of time before you need to recharge them. This is especially true if you’re opting for a fairly cheap one. In comparison, a high end tablet like the iPad Pro or Samsung Galaxy S7 may be able to match a laptop when it comes to battery.

In the newest laptops, they can last as long as 15 or 16 hours before you need to recharge them. The tablet technology just can’t keep up with this, especially when you have many different programs running at the same time. For many people, this is a big factor in the decision between the two.

A good compromise


Now, if you really can’t decide between the two, then it may pay to look at a 2-in-1 laptop. This is essentially a hybrid between the two devices; a lightweight and thin laptop that can be folded into a tablet.

You can use this style of laptop just as you would with any other regular laptop. But, you can also flip the screen back completely, and then use it as you would an iPad. You can also prop it up into tent mode too, which is convenient if you want to watch movies or YouTube.

You can also find fully detachable models that you can completely separate from the display from a detachable keyboard. This truly does give you the best of both worlds, with the Microsoft Surface Book 3 being a great example.

In recent years, pretty much every big laptop maker outside of Apple have released their own convertible or 2-in-1 laptop. This shows that there’s definitely the market for people looking for a device that can do everything, as opposed to having separate devices for each activity.

The only reason Apple aren’t doing it is likely because their Macbooks and iPads are so popular and expensive on their own, they don’t want to jeopardise that. But, that’s another story anyway.


So overall, the decision between going for a laptop or a tablet shouldn’t actually be that difficult. It all really depends on what you need to do on a daily basis.

For most people, actually a tablet is probably all that you need. For Facebook browsing and email answering, it definitely does the trick. The fact that tablets weigh as little as a few hundred grams makes them much more portable.

But for work purposes or more advanced needs, a laptop is a better choice. They have more power and much greater storage capabilities, and in certain circumstances, they’re going to be a must.

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About Nathan

Hello! I'm Nate. I work for an internet company during the week, so you'll probably see me on here jabbering about the internet and building websites, which is my main side hobby.

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