Since the first tablets hit the market in 2010, we have seen dramatic improvements in every aspect of these sleek devices. As more companies get into the tablet market, we have watched developers try to find the “sweet spot” in terms of size, price and capabilities, and it is likely that we will continue to see changes to all of these in the years to come. One trend that has emerged recently is the move away from stand-alone tablets to hybrid or “2 in 1” devices, as clear in the fact that the larger IPad Pro is being increasingly pitched as a solid alternative to a traditional laptop. In this context, the tablet PC is emerging as device that potentially offers something to everyone with its ability to combine some of the functionality of a laptop with the usability of the stand-alone tablet.
If you are currently working on an aging laptop, you might be wondering about whether your next purchase should be a new laptop or a tablet PC. There are lots of options already, with new entrants to the market sure to come – you can check to get a sense of the different options. In the meantime, here are a few things to consider that might tip the scales in favour of a tablet PC.
The whole reason you got your laptop in the first place was because you wanted to be able to work on the go. While traditional laptops have certainly become smaller and lighter over the last number of years, they typically cannot compete with the slim and light design of most tablet PCs. It is still the case that on average laptops are twice as thick and 3-5 times as heavy as the average tablet PC. If you are looking for something that can most easily slip into a briefcase or shoulder bag, there is no comparison.
The early tablets were definitely cool and even then they offered a wide range of apps that were not available on laptops. But they were also relatively limited in the sort of work that could be done on them. Great for games and media, no question. But for the heavy lifting required to do work with spreadsheets, word processing or pdf files, laptops were the reigning device. However that is beginning to change as Word, Excel and Powerpoint are available for tables, keyboard peripherals have improved, and multi-tasking/split screen functionality is increasingly available for tablets. It is not yet the case that the tablet can take on all of the functions of a laptop, but if you use your current laptop as your secondary work device on the go rather than as your only device, it may be possible that a tablet can take over.
Battery Life and Storage
Tablets definitely are able to free you from the desk for a longer period of time without needing to be charged, while laptops will have a shorter battery life. For work on the go, this can be a real advantage. And, while laptops have a greater capacity for storage, the growing use of cloud-based storage solutions means that as long as you have access to internet, storage becomes less of a concern.
Overall, the key to deciding whether you will replace your laptop with a tablet PC is going to come down to how you plan to use it. The best advice is to carefully consider how you have used your laptop in the past year or two – you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that a tablet PC is a suitable option able to do what you need it to, while also bringing some exciting new functionality to the table as well!