With the iPad, Google Nexus, and Kindle Fire getting so much marketing attention, and machines like the Microsoft Surface, Asus Transformer, and HP Envy blurring the line between laptop and tablet, it’s time for consumers to start asking the question—are tablets the new laptops? Is it time to trash your old portable laptop and trade it in for a touch-screen tablet? Is the era of the laptop computer ending?
Yes—but the laptop’s not dead yet. While tablets are quickly catching up to laptop computers in terms of multitasking and processing power, their niche is still the casual user. (Or, occasionally, the specialized artist.) The average tablet still has only half—sometimes even a quarter—of the RAM and memory a proper laptop or Macbook has. Still, with most laptops only lasting 5-7 years, the gap between their capabilities could be completely closed by the next time you’re ready to purchase a new computer.
If tablets can’t match laptops for sheer power, then why have they become the market’s technological darling? While they might not be ready to replace the workstations of small businesses everywhere, tablets reign in the home. While they might not be able to match laptops in power, they have them outclassed in price, portability, and ease of use. These three points are what keep the tablet so competitive, and will declare it the clear winner as their capabilities become stronger.
When it comes to price, most normal laptops start at $500— $300 if you’re lucky or want one with less memory. If you want a computer that is specialized for heavy audio/video editing, gaming, or heavy program running, that price can top $1,000. Tablet users on the other hand, usually only want to be able to run Microsoft Office, check their email, watch video presentations and, maybe, do a bit of light gaming. When only being used for basic everyday functions, the tablets offer the same capabilities at half the price range: say, $200.
As for portability, the average laptop weighs about three kilograms. Even the Macbook Air, designed to be lightweight and portable, weighs 1.5kg. That’s not very heavy, especially when you consider how laptops are the portable upgrade from desktop PCs. But portability can still be very dangerous for laptops, whose design is meant to be used mainly while sitting at a desk, and which can be badly damaged by impact during travel.
Tablets, on the other hand, tend to weigh less than a kilogram even at their largest screen dimensions, and are designed for increased portability. You don’t risk damaging your tablet by improperly sitting with it on the couch, out under a tree, or even upside down. With tablets you can bring and use them anywhere, without worrying that your friends or colleagues will accidentally lift them up by their screens and break them; not to mention that their typically longer battery life means you can be away from a socket much longer.
The easy to use, icon-based interface also makes learning to use a tablet much easier for new owners. The touch screen and app-centered operating systems like Windows 8 function very similarly to a smartphone, which makes it a snap to learn. With extra, easily downloaded apps or accessories they can also become adaptable and easy to use Point of Sale centers, sketch pads, and more.
If you are considering buying a tablet, let us help you set it up. BuzzAGeek offers both home network services and network services for small businesses, to help you get your new device up and functioning as soon as possible. Drop us a line to learn more!