Tablet vs Laptop: Which Is Best for a Buyer on a Budget?

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Tablet vs Laptop

Did you know that according to the Pew Research Center, almost half of adults in the U.S. own a tablet device? Even more eye-opening, three-quarters of adults own a laptop. If you’re considering purchasing a portable device with a larger screen than a cell phone, the question of tablet vs laptop can be a tough one. 

We’re here to make your buying decision easier. For instance, the best tablets can last you long amounts of time and are easy on your shoulders for carrying around, but they may not be as feature-rich as laptops.

Read on to learn our laptop vs tablet pros and cons so you can make the best choice for yourself!   

Input Method

One significant difference between tablets and laptops is the input method. If you prefer touchscreen technology, tablets may be the best choice for you as this is the primary way you’ll be interacting with the tablet. However, it’s important to remember that you can also connect Bluetooth devices such as keyboards and mice to your tablet.

Some of the best laptops you can buy today also come with touchscreen technology. This is especially beneficial for artists who are used to working with Wacom drawing tablets.

Size

If you travel often or like working at coffee shops and libraries, size is one of the most important aspects of your device shopping. Tablets win in this category, as the majority of them weigh under two pounds and include a thin profile. Laptops, on the other hand, weigh between three to five pounds depending on the size of their batteries and screens. 

Battery Life

Just like size, battery life is also another important factor if you want to travel with your device without worrying about charging it throughout the day. This can be hard to measure, as battery life can fluctuate depending on the software you’re using, the brightness of your screen, the size of your screen, and more. 

However, you’ll find that the average laptop battery lasts about six hours. In comparison, an average tablet battery lasts about 10 hours. 

Internal Storage

The more internal storage you have for your device, the more photos, files, videos, and more you can keep on it. Today, tablets come with between 16 to 64 GB of space. However, laptops can come with over 1000 GB of storage at an affordable price point. 

If you have lots of files and photos you want to store on your device, then laptops are the clear winner. However, it’s important to remember that cloud storage options are becoming more popular. This gives you the ability to store thousands of GB of data in the Cloud, enabling you to access files across multiple devices. 

This makes your access to internal storage less important, especially if storage isn’t your priority. 

RAM

RAM is short for random access memory, and you can think of it as the short-term memory of your device. If you don’t have enough RAM, you’ll find that the device you’re using is slow and sluggish. You may have issues switching between apps, as it takes longer to close and open windows.

On the other hand, devices with enough RAM feel “snappier” and easier to use. Overall, you’ll find that laptops have far more RAM than tablets. With 4 to 8 GB of RAM, laptops are capable of running multiple different programs at once without slowing down.

Tablets usually have 1 GB of RAM or less, meaning that you may experience some chugging if you want to browse the web, write an email, and watch a Netflix episode all at once. If you want to run Windows on a Mac with this tutorial https://setapp.com/how-to/run-windows-on-mac this is something you just can’t do on a tablet with less RAM. 

Display

The way your display looks is especially important for artists and photographers. When you’re editing photos or art, it’s important that you’re able to trust the color accuracy and brightness of your display.

Overall, tablets are able to give you a better-looking display without needing to pay thousands of dollars. The reason for this is because they contain 218 pixels per inch (PPI), resulting in a crisp and clear screen. Laptops have an average of 116 pixels per inch. 

Cost

When it comes to a laptop vs tablet, the cost oftentimes tells the value of the technology. Overall, you’ll find that budget tier tablets cost significantly less than a budget laptop at around $100 – $200. However, they won’t be able to perform nearly as well, and you’ll be giving up a lot of accessibility and use. 

On the other hand, middle-tier to high-end tablets can cost anywhere between $400 to over $1000. If you purchased a laptop at the same price, you’ll benefit from better features such as longer battery life, the ability to play higher-end games, and more. 

Tablet vs Laptop: Consider Your Lifestyle

You can see that when it comes to tablet vs laptop, there is no “best” decision. For instance, some may say that laptops are the better options because they come with features that you’d have to pay thousands for on a tablet. However, they’re not nearly as portable as tablets, and you may not be interested in using a laptop for photo editing or video games. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a device that can do the most on a budget, we recommend shopping for a laptop. Although tablets win when it comes to portability and battery life, laptops have too many features to ignore. Tablet technology is catching up, but it still has a ways to go to come close to a laptop’s overall flexibility and feature-rich options. 

Ready to learn about more tech that’s best for your budget? Keep reading our blog for more tips that can save you money!