For those looking for portable computing device that is larger than a smartphone and more portable than a laptop, tablets have become an increasingly appealing and popular option. However, while tablets do offer many of the same features you would find in a laptop, there are several important considerations to keep in mind before shelling out the money for one.
An immediate advantage that many tablets have lies in their portability. Most tablets have a screen size between 7 and 10 inches, which makes them much more portable than many laptops. Tablets typically weigh less than laptops as well, and the fact that they don’t have a physical keyboard (unless one is purchased separately) means that they can be used in many situations where a traditional laptop would be less convenient. However, the smaller screen size of a tablet does mean that it might not be well suited for tasks requiring large amounts of screen space.
Tablets typically run simpler, more streamlined operating systems than those found on a traditional laptop. This means that tasks such as checking email, browsing the Web and launching apps are more immediately accessible on a tablet than on a laptop. However, while there are many apps and functionalities that are possible with tablets, they are limited by their hardware from doing some of the things a laptop can do. For instance, most tablets aren’t able to run large applications for tasks like video editing, graphic editing, music composition and the like; any available options are usually much simpler versions of the apps you would find on a traditional laptop. Additionally, tablets don’t have as much storage space as laptops. If you have a lot of songs, photos, documents, or applications, you may run out of storage space quickly on a tablet.
Tablets employ virtual keyboards, which means that a keyboard will appear on the screen every time you tap on an area where you can type. If you plan to do a lot of typing on a tablet, you may get frustrated by the smaller keyboard size and lack of physical keys. There are many brands of wireless physical keyboards that can be paired with a tablet, but this usually makes the tablet heavier and less portable.
Tablets, for the most part, are devices best suited for media consumption rather than creation. If you’re looking for a device with which to browse the Web, read e-books, stream videos, check email or play games, a tablet may be the best option. This, coupled with a typically cheaper price and better battery life than laptops, makes them well suited for light users looking for something especially portable.
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