Since old-school science fiction movies, the idea of a magical tablet that enables you to control the space around you have been played with frequently. With technology advancing faster than ever before will tablets ever become more mainstream than laptops?
One of the main selling points of tablets was their size. Whilst most tablets are considerably smaller than laptops, most still require a bag of some kind if you want to take them on-the-go for anything from business trips to keeping your children entertained on long train journeys. Tablets are often better for jobs that may require a lot of movement around an office as smaller models can be held in one hand as a user walks around.
One key feature of a tablet where it does beat its laptop competitors is down to ease of use for the user. With most tablets only having a home, power and lock button as well as volume control, they are a lot less complex than using the condensed and compacted keyboards often found on laptops. This being said, most professionals prefer the feel of a physical keyboard for typing as risen keys allow the user to navigate through letters easier. Whilst this is a big selling point of laptops over tablets, there is a wide range of keyboard accessories now available for tablets at a cheaper price point making them a more common sighting in the workplace.
Through cheaper pieces of hardware, we see the gap being narrowed between the technical specification of laptops and tablets. You will still get more “bang for your buck” with a laptop in most cases as their larger size allows for more components to be packed into the casing, however we are seeing a rise on tablets and even mobile phones with higher specification designed for gaming. Many tablet operating systems are optimised, so for simple tasks such as word processing and surfing the web, smooth performance will often be at the tip of a users fingers.
Laptops often have a larger display which has its pros and cons. The bigger screen allows for higher resolution images to be displayed however this often drains the battery faster than on a tablet screen. Some of the main deciding factors for many people is if the device will be fit for purpose though and existing software. If you work for a company and you are using dedicated software, it may be costly and time consuming to make a version that is compatible cross platform. Whilst app stores can have a large selection of applications available, sometimes the vast variety of software available online for desktops and laptops mean that they win in business environments.
Ultimately we can see the divide between both platforms narrowing very quickly but our advice would be to always try out a system before making a big purchase and thinking through it carefully. You should also consider hybrid systems such as the surface laptop (see our write up here!). Perhaps in a few years both will be redundant and we will be talking to holograms like the space movies of old, but for now both have their own use in the workplace and home.