Laptop, Netbook, or iPad/ Tablet?

Image via Wikipedia

Mobile Office Options 
 People often ask me whether they should get a laptop, a netbook or an iPad/ Tablet so here's something I quickly came up with.  This might help you also.  Just bear in mind that I am thinking of readers who want a device that can help them with mobile productivity.  If you have other needs such as gaming and multi-media then this is not the post for you.   

            The following is a comparison between 3 mobile computing options that I just wrote to answer the query of a military officer who is looking for a device that may suit his needs.  There are of course more than meets the eye in all these devices and there are hybrid options and other OS and hardware out there but for the sake of simplicity this is what I quickly came up with.

Processing Power
n       most powerful
n       can perform all your computer needs (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.)
n       can edit videos and large photos
n       on average, can play high definition (HD) videos
n       less powerful than laptop
n       can perform all your computer needs (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.)
n       cannot edit videos and large photos
n       cannot watch HD videos
n       least powerful option
n       can perform toned down computer needs (has simple versions of word processors and spreadsheets, etc.)
n       cannot edit videos and large photos
n       cannot watch HD videos
Screen Size
n       average 13 to 18 inches
n       ave. 10-11 inches
n       7 to 10 inches
n       my Samsung galaxy tab is 7 inches while the ipad and other android tablets are 9 to 10 inches
n       least portable, heavy, bulky
n       more portable than laptop, can be carried in a small bag
n       most portable, galaxy tab can be carried inside a male pocket; 10 inch versions can be carried in small pouches
Operating System
n       Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
n       Windows, Linux
n       Android (like Samsung galaxy tab), Mac (iPad),
n       Android was built by Google from a Linux system
n       some tablets are running on a full-featured Windows 7 OS
Hard Drive
n       160 to 350 Gb ave
n       150 Gb ave.
n       Samsung Galaxy tab = built-in 16Gb
n       iPad 16 to 64 Gb
Wireless connectivity
n       Wi-Fi
n       Most have bluetooth
n       Wi-Fi
n       Most have bluetooth
n       Wi-Fi
n       Bluetooth
n       Samsung Galaxy Tab & iPad 2 have cellphone connectivity
Touch Screen
n       no
n       no
n       yes
Virus Issues
n       big problem
n       virtually inexistent
n       theoretically existent but no real known problems
Stability Issues
n       big problem
n       minimal
n       minimal, expecially the iPad 2
Presentation Options
n       direct connectivity to LCD projector
n       direct connectivity to LCD projector
n       no direct connectivity to LCD projector; can theoretically connect to LCD via Wi-Fi
Battery Life
n       2 to 4 hours ave.
n       6 hours ave
n       10 hours with heavy Wi-Fi use
n       Samsung Galaxy tab almost two days if phone only and minimal wi-fi use
Extra Features
n        longest boot-up. Can’t be used when you need to quickly write something
n        same to longer boot-up time than laptop.
n        no boot-up time. Turns on immediately. Excellent when you want to write down something that you might forget quickly
Special Consideration
n       no DVD drives compared to laptops
n       not intended to be a replacement for laptops/ netbooks
n       no built-in keyboard.  That's why this cannot be a primary device.
n       à I have a folding wireless keyboard for my galaxy tab
n       from P30K to as much as you can imagine
n       from P18K to mid P30K
n       from P6K (really cheap low quality) to mid (P30K)
n       some on sale in the low to mid P20Ks.

A cross between a LAPTOP and NETBOOK is the Ultra-Slim laptop.  It runs longer than a laptop and netbook (6 to 10 hours).  Weighs lighter than a laptop but have screens bigger than netbooks (ave. 13”).  Some are also as powerful as laptops.  They just don’t have built-in DVD drives.  I’m using an Acer Ultra-Thin laptop that cost P34K last year.  Still working great.  It still runs  5 hours longer even at 68% battery life.

If you don’t have a laptop or PC at home then you should get an Ultra-Thin Laptop.  If you could afford a Mac and the other software that you will have to eventually buy, then do yourself a favor and get a Mac.  If you’re looking for a laptop and you don’t want a Mac then go for brands like Toshiba and Lenovo.  However, among Ultra-Thin laptops last year Acer and Asus came ahead of Toshiba in reviews I have read.

If you still want a touch screen (tablet) then I recommend the iPad 2, mainly because of screen size and stability.  You may wonder then why I got a 7” Samsung Galaxy tab instead of the iPad 1?  It’s because of MY PRIMARY USE.  I need a device that turns on in a second.  One that I can carry where ever I go around work and I can carry when I travel and when I commute.  You can read how I decided on buying the galaxy tab here.

I hope this helps you make your choice, or at least it would start clearing up some basic questions.  Please feel free to drop your questions in the comments or send me a private message.  It's always a pleasure seeing people matched with productivity devices worth their hard-earned money. 
Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. There is an accessory for iPad where you can connect it to LCD.

  2. Yup, that's true, that's why i wrote "directly connect", meaning you can connect it to a projector out of the box - without buying an extra peripheral device. Even the galaxy tab can be connected to a projector but via an RCA adaptor, not RGB/DVI.

    Thanks for the comment. That will help clarify things for some readers.

  3. I'm glad you find this useful, Sarah. Are you out shopping? ;-)


Thanks for respecting other readers.

Copyright © 2005-2013 - voyageR-3 - All Rights Reserved. Powered by Blogger.