The 1st tablet was launched 7 years after the 1st ever laptop was introduced. Although they are a decade old computing devices, tablets and laptops are still widely used and purchased. Is a tablet better than a laptop or vice versa? What features do these two devices share in common? Below, we’ve compared the two computing devices:
Laptops vs tablets
Size, portability, and weight
Laptops are available for purchase with 14, 10, 15.6-inch screens. They weigh above 1 kilogram. Tablets are available in one of these screen sizes – 7 or 10-inch. Their weight is within 400 to 900 grams. You can carry a 7-inch tablet in your pocket. Although laptops are portable, you can’t carry them in your pocket.
Should you buy a 7-inch tablet?
No, in the last 2 years, many companies have launched phones with 6.0+ inch screens. Instead of a 7-inch tablet, you can buy one of these smartphones.
Tablets with 7-inch or 10-inch screens are available for purchase with one of these two operating systems – Android or iOS. Android is an open-source OS whereas iOS is a closed source OS. iOS devices are launched only by Apple. The laptops run on Linux, Windows, Chrome, or Mac OS. Macbooks, laptops running on the Mac OS are expensive compared to Windows/DOS laptops. In addition to Macbooks, Apple has launched tablets too. Its tablets are called iPads. iPads are not as expensive as Macbooks and are better compared to tablets launched by other companies. Chromebook is a laptop that runs on the Google Chrome OS. The Windows Phone OS was introduced in 2010 but it didn’t survive for a long time. From 2011 to 2014, many firms had launched Windows tablets. In 2014, Microsoft announced that it will halt work on the Windows Phone OS. Companies stopped manufacturing the Windows tablets thereafter. Thus, Windows tablets have disappeared from the markets.
Android/iOS vs Windows/Mac/Chrome OS
Android and iOS operating systems come pre-installed with a software called App Store. Once you start the tablet and log in to your Google/iOS account, Google/Apple will give you full access to all applications and games published on their App Stores. The Google Play Store and Apple App Store have a massive collection of apps. According to Statista, Play Store currently hosts more than 2.9 million applications and Apple’s App Store has around 2 million applications. The number is huge. Isn’t it? What about the Windows and Mac apps? Microsoft and Apple have also launched a platform where third-party developers can publish their Windows/Mac apps but there’s a huge difference between the number of software available on the Microsoft/Apple App Store and mobile apps published on the App Store and Play Store. Many Chromebooks support Chrome as well as Android apps. Chromebook users can download applications from the Chrome Web Store. The apps available for download on the Web Store are launched by third-party developers.
Tablets can function for 12 to 15 hours after 1 full battery charge. Laptops can work 4 to 8 hours once you charge their battery by 100%. If you play a game on a gaming laptop, the battery might drain within 2 hours. If you play a similar game on a tablet, the battery will last for 6 to 7 hours.
The size of storage hardware has decreased significantly in the last 3 decades. Thus, computing devices launched these days offer abundant storage memory. In 2016/2017, manufacturers introduced tablets with up to 64GB storage memory. Tablets launched these days have up to 256GB storage memory. Laptops are available with 1 terabyte HDD. Low-budget laptops ship with 256 to 512GB storage hardware.
Capabilities and RAM upgrades
Phones with Qualcomm Snapdragon processor cost within 30000 to 40000 Rs. You can buy a Ryzen 5 laptop in the same price range. According to benchmark tests, the Snapdragon 855 processor outperforms the Ryzen 5 processor. So the performance of a phone equipped with a Snapdragon 855 processor would be better than that of a laptop with a Ryzen 5 processor. Forget about Ryzen 5, even the Core i7 processor has lower benchmark scores than the Snapdragon 855 processor. You can upgrade the RAM in laptops if it has a memory expansion slot. You cannot upgrade or downgrade a tablet’s RAM.
Google Android, Apple iOS, and Apple Macintosh are three of the most secure operating systems to date. These three operating systems are closely related to Unix/Linux OS. Unix/Linux has a solid architecture but it doesn’t have a security module/tool/app that analyzes the code of the applications and blocks the execution of malicious functions. Applications published on the Play Store and iTunes are scanned for security issues on regular basis. If Google/Apple finds a malicious app on their App Stores, they will remove it. In the case of Windows OS, people may download software from various sites. This software may install ransomware or malware on your laptop or PC or might contain malicious functions written to corrupt the files on your computer. Although Windows OS ships with Microsoft Defender security software, Defender isn’t as sophisticated as antivirus/security software introduced by companies that specialize in building security apps.
Let’s forget about the Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity options for a moment as they are found in each mobile device or laptop launched these days. Microsoft Corporation was one of the first companies to introduce a laptop with a SIM slot. Enevthough this concept is great, not many organizations have launched laptops with SIM card slots. As of now, HP is the only firm that is selling notebooks with dedicated SIM slots in various countries.
Why SIM slot? Well, SIM slot is very important these days as the price of mobile data has decreased a lot since 2020. If you buy a laptop equipped with a SIM slot, you won’t have to buy a 4G dongle or broadband connection if the mobile data plans in your country/state are cheap. Tablets are available with or without SIM slots. Unless you don’t need access to the internet or you have access to a nearby hotspot, you may not want to purchase a WiFi-only tablet.
Tablet or laptop…what you should buy?
If you want to own a tablet as well as a laptop, you can purchase a convertible laptop or a laptop with a detachable keyboard. The convertible laptops have a 360-degree hinge so that you can use it as a tablet when required.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t buy a 7-inch tablet. If you don’t use complex software such as Photoshop, AutoCAD, Eclipse, Android Studio, etc, and you’re looking for a device that will help you in improving your productivity, browsing the internet, playing games, etc, buy a tablet with a SIM slot and large screen size.
If you are looking for a computer that lets you install Android apps and allows you to browse the internet, watch videos, etc, Chromebook is a great option for you.