As technology gets better and more advanced, consumers are have a lot of options when deciding which gadgets to buy and use in their daily lives. Two of the main contenders in the computer market are the tablet and the laptop. So which of these two should the buyer purchase? It actually depends on what the buyer needs the computer for. In this guide, the features and pros and cons of both tablets and laptops are explored, so that the buyer can decide which would make the better computer purchase.
Laptops are the original form of the mobilized desktop computer, and have been around since the 1970s. Of course, since then the design of laptops has improved dramatically, and laptops have become lighter and better performing. There are many different kinds of laptops including the full-size laptop, the netbook, the rugged laptop, the subnotebook, the desktop replacement laptop, and so on. For ease of understanding this guide will talk about the most popular kind, which is the full-size regular laptop.
Definition and Components of a Laptop
A full-sized laptop is a portable personal computer that is large enough to possess a full QWERTY keyboard. This kind of laptop usually has:
A central processing unit (CPU) that has better power-saving options and produces less heat than desktop computers
Memory modules (RAM) that can be expanded on most models
Expansion cards to give it the various features it needs such as Internet connectivity
A power supply to charge the battery and/or provide direct power to the laptop
A battery that can hold power for differing amounts of time depending on what the laptop is used for
Video display controller to process graphics
LED or CCFL display with varying resolutions
Internal storage to store data
Removable media drives to read discs
Input components such as a touchpad and keyboard
Ports for connecting USB devices, network devices, or external display devices
Cooling components that remove excess heat from the laptop
The features and operating mechanisms of laptops and tablet computer are quite similar; this may be due to the fact that tablets were derived from laptops to start with. Later on in this guide, the buyer will learn of the advantages of laptops when compared to tablets, and also their shortcomings.
Tablets have only become popular since the year 2000, and especially after the Apple iPad was released in 2010. There are two distinct types of tablets: the traditional tablet PCs that run on desktop-based operating systems, and the post-PC tablets that use operating systems that were designed for mobile devices. Both types of tablets offer almost the same kind of advantages and disadvantages over the laptop; therefore in this guide general information on tablet PCs will be provided as opposed to type-specific information.
Definition and Components of a Tablet
A tablet computer is a mobile computer that is larger than a mobile phone or personal digital assistant, but is significantly smaller and lighter than a laptop computer. Tablet computers use touchscreen displays, and input into tablets are performed by tapping on this display rather than through a physical keyboard or mouse. Tablets usually come with a stylus pen that is used for input. While having most of the components of a laptop, they are usually miniaturized versions. These components include:
A microprocessor known as the CPU
Typically 1 to 2 GB of RAM, but this can be expanded just like on laptops
Hard drive that is restricted compared to laptops (around 16 GB to 32 GB maximum)
Memory card slots to hold SD or microSD cards that add extra internal storage
Graphic and audio controllers that are less powerful than laptops
Battery and power supply
Additionally, a tablet contains an accelerometer to help detect the movements of the tablet, ambient light and proximity sensors, and some tablets even support 3D viewing.