I get asked the question a lot, which is the better purchase between a laptop or tablet. I think it’s a valid question, considering the price points are similar and tablets are advertised as laptop replacement. The answer really depends on what you plan on using it for.
Of course the quick answer is, if you have the money then get both. The truth of the matter is that, while they both provide the same functionality, they serve two different purposes. If you have the ability and desire to purchase both, then you will have your bases covered. But that’s not how I would do it…
Whenever I am asked it is usually by someone that doesn’t have the cash to blow frivolously on gadgets. Cost plays a big part in the deciding factor. For these people, the answer depends on two words: Creation vs Consumption. Are you creating or just consuming content?
Consuming content means playing videos/ music, reading e-books, and browsing the internet. Tablets are great for this! They are small enough to travel with but have enough storage space to store hours of movies and music, with great battery life. If you are sitting on the couch and want to check your email or Wikipedia something, it’s conveniently sitting next to you. Convenience and portability are the key’s here.
On the other side, if you need to create content then you really need to get a laptop. Don’t let the commercials fool you. If creating content is anything more than a hobby, or you make money creating content, you need the proper input capabilities that a laptop gives you. That means, keyboard and mouse. Sure, some tablets have keyboard attachments but you’ve really defeated the purpose of getting a tablet in the first place.
Comparing hardware specs, tablets are comparable to laptop’s that cost about half the price. But for the same price of high-end tablets (think iPad), you can get a very well spec’d laptop.
So the answer depends on whether you are cooking up content or just eating.
Now, don’t ask me which tablet you should get. That’s a different post.