Should I Get a Tablet or a Laptop?
Tablets and laptops both offer portable solutions for connecting to the internet in college. You can use these devices to create documents, research information, send emails, pay bills, and so much more. If you are working with a limited budget like most college students, you may only have enough money for one of the two of these. So, which one should you invest in – a laptop or a tablet? Let’s do a quick comparison to figure that out.
While tablets and laptops are both portable, tablets are smaller and thus easier to carry around. Most laptops are heavy and bulky, even if they are made to be moved around. Laptops also require big chargers for long-term use, which add to the bulk in transport. Tablets are more convenient all the way around.
In general, laptops are more versatile than tablets because they have more memory and storage space. It is sometimes difficult to see a website properly on a tablet because it shows up as a mobile version, not the full site. You get a watered down version of whatever you want to see. It can also be difficult to open zip folders and view large files on a tablet due to its size. Laptops have more options in that regard.
Both tablets and laptops can be expensive, depending on what you buy. A new iPad may run $400+, and a small Acer laptop could cost about the same. With that in mind, there are a lot more expensive laptops on the market than there are expensive tablets. You will have to do some comparison shopping to see what you can buy based on your budget.
It’s easy to assume that laptops are better than tablets because they come with optical drives (CD trays). However, you can get USB-powered optical drives that just plug into your tablet. These will not work well on all tablets, so you have to be careful about compatibility. Nevertheless, you can get the same basic function out of a tablet if you convert it the right way.
Finding a Compromise
If you like the convenience of a tablet and the storage options of a laptop, you could consider getting a 2-in-1 device. This will combine the best of both worlds. Several companies make these devices nowadays, so you can pick one up pretty easily.
You may also consider getting a small netbook for college. This will be shaped like a laptop, but it will most likely have a 10 inch screen. Netbooks are not built with huge processors or large hard drives, but they are nice to use if you want something quick and light to carry around.
If you get into a position where you can invest in both a laptop and a tablet, go for it. Otherwise, determine what you actually need the device for and make your purchases accordingly.