Can a tablet replace your laptop? A comparison of smart tablets and laptops

The best tablets are more powerful than some budget laptops, but is a tablet a suitable replacement for a traditional portable computer? Or is it better to buy a laptop? Learn about the differences between tablets and laptops to help you decide which one is best for your needs.

The information in this article is broadly applicable to most devices. Check out individual product specifications for a more direct comparison.
Typing: Laptops Type Easier
Tablets rely solely on a touchscreen interface for input, which can be inconvenient if you need to type a lot of text. You could purchase a bluetooth keyboard for this, but that is of course not convenient and removes many practical advantages of a tablet. Today, there are 2-in-1 tablets that come with a detachable keyboard, but these models still fall short of the laptop experience due to their smaller size and more limited design. Laptops are better for people who type a lot.

Size: tablets are more portable
Most tablets usually weigh about half a kilo. Even the smallest laptops, such as the latest Apple MacBook Air, weigh more and are larger than most tablets. The main reason for the size difference is that the keyboard and trackpad take up extra space. Laptops with more powerful components also require additional cooling, making them even bigger. The smaller size and weight make a tablet much easier to carry than a laptop, especially for travel.

Battery life: tablets last longer
Because their hardware components require little energy, tablets are efficient when it comes to battery life. Laptops, on the other hand, use more powerful hardware. Many tablets can use the internet for up to ten hours on average before they need to be charged. The average laptop only lasts four to eight hours.

Performance: aptops are more powerful
Both devices work equally well for tasks such as email, web browsing, or playing video or listening to music. It gets more complicated once you want to perform heavier tasks like multitasking. In these cases, laptops typically perform better. There are of course exceptions. Some high-end tablets can outperform laptops thanks to specialized hardware.

Software and OS: Tablet apps are limited
The largest operating systems for tablets are Android, iPadOS and Windows. There are many apps available for every platform and most will therefore be able to perform all the basic tasks like a laptop can. But the same software on a laptop and a tablet can differ greatly in terms of usage. If a tablet runs on Windows, it can theoretically run the same software as a Windows laptop, but it will likely run slower. There are certainly some exceptions to this rule, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro.

Cost
If you can only afford one device, you’ll probably prefer a laptop. A cheap laptop costs the same as a medium-sized tablet, but can do the same and more than a tablet. Tablets are the most useful if you mainly want to surf the web, read an e-book, or stream music. Online you will find one tablet offer after another if you still want a cheap tablet for it.
When productivity is important to you, such as working on documents or sending emails, a laptop is the best choice. There are also hybrids, or convertible laptops, that you can use in tablet mode to have the best of both worlds.

The final verdict
Laptops Offer the Most Usability They may not have the same level of portability, battery life, or ease of use as a tablet, but there are still many technical limitations that tablets must overcome before replacing laptops. If you already have a laptop, a tablet can be an excellent addition if, for example, you want to read, play games or use the internet on the couch or on the go.

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