Laptop or Tablet? Five Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Very first, Time

By the way Microsoft is marketing the Surface Voor Three, you&rsquo,d think tablets and laptops were practically interchangeable: just a matter of private preference. Wij&rsquo,re not coaxed.

Using a mix of product testing and gegevens crunching, wij&rsquo,ve come up with five key questions to ask yourself before you commit to one device overheen the other for yourself or for a holiday bounty.

1. Precise control or display quality?

Unless you&rsquo,re talking about tablet-specific apps (which wij&rsquo,ll get to below), the laptop is still the king of control. Whether you&rsquo,re writing a document or crafting a presentation, the tablet has yet to ritme the precision of a point-and-click mouse or the convenience of a shortcut-rich keyboard. Don&rsquo,t loser yourself with a flashy tablet demo, even the simplest spreadsheet will become a chore after weeks of taps and swipes.

On the roll side, however, tablets have a sneaky advantage: display quality. Typically measured te pixels vanaf inch (PPI), a device&rsquo,s pixel density determines how acute your content looks, and after several hours of use, how much your eyes will (or won&rsquo,t) hurt.

According to our gegevens, the average 2014 tablet has a pixel density of about 260 ppi (pixels vanaf inch)&mdash,fairly solid for a 10-inch device. That&rsquo,s not to mention flagship models like the Galaxy Tabulator S 8.Four, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX and iPad Mini Three, which each have pixel densities well overheen 300.

For laptops, the 2014 average drops below 200 PPI, scarcely better than the pixel density on the original iPhone (163 PPI). Yes, top models like the Yoga Three Voor (276 PPI) and 2014 Razer Blade (262 PPI) are notable standouts, but even thesis products don&rsquo,t match the best tablets on the market.

The bottom line is that most tablets will be lighter on the eyes, and thus, better for extended viewing.* The question is just whether you&rsquo,ll have enough control to get everything done.

*If you want to get technical, you can factor te &ldquo,typical viewing distance&rdquo, to make the comparison more apples-to-apples. On average, tablets still win handily.

Two. Screen size or portability?

Yes, you can find just about any screen size on either device thesis days. The Planar Helium (a tablet) has a 27-inch display. The Acer Aspire One (a laptop) sports a diminutive Ten.1-inch display.

But thesis are the outliers. Generally speaking, tablets are 7-11 inches, while laptops are 12-16 inches. Within each device category, if you wander outside those ranges, your selection tends to druppel prompt.

So let&rsquo,s concede that the laptop will usually get you more screen real estate. Instead, consider portability, a feature that both tablets and laptops like to advertise. Once again, wij crunched the numbers to see just how lean and strenuous the average device te each category tends to be.

The average 2014 tablet is less than half the thickness (0.42 inches) of the average 2014 laptop (1.09 inches, folded). What&rsquo,s more, with Sony and Apple pruning off inches on the iPad and Xperia every year, the gap may grow even broader.

The comparison looks even worse for laptops when you turn to weight. The average 2014 laptop still weighs about five pounds (Four.99 lbs), overheen five times spil much spil the average 2014 tablet (0.95 lbs). Those reserve inches and pounds will add up during commutes, presentations and vacations, so choose cautiously.

Three. Show or simpleness?

Glance at a tablet&rsquo,s spec sheet and you&rsquo,ll see a few misleading numbers, like processor cores and clock speeds. Numbers like thesis tend to look comparable next to today&rsquo,s mid-to-high range laptops, but they don&rsquo,t tell the utter story.

Take Geekbench, which stress tests all sorts of products to give you a fair comparison inbetween device categories&mdash,a better reflection of real-world spectacle. Here, even some three-year-old laptops outperform today&rsquo,s most powerful tablets. When looking at the table below, consider that the late 2011 MacBook Professional (13-inch) scored a Five,119. (The latest 13-inch MacBook Professional scored a 6,373.)

The silver lining for tablet buyers is that they may not need any of that power to start with. If you&rsquo,re just browsing the web, checking email, and downloading Angry Bird spinoffs, you&rsquo,ll never need the processing power to edit a movie or run a high-end movie spel. Ter fact, most tablets are built from the ground up to do one elementary thing at a time, and do it well. If this is all you need, the simpleness of a tablet will more than make up for its lack of power.

Four. Web browsing or apps?

Both laptops and tablets can browse the web. Both laptops and tablets can run apps. But each device excels where the other is merely satisfactory.

Take web browsing. To this day, tapping your way around the mobile Internet is an onbestendig practice. Flash is still buggy, text sizes unpredictable, and menus sometimes unusable. Granted, most modern websites work fine on a tablet, but there are still enough unpleasant surprises to send users back to their laptops, particularly with activities like buying gifts, managing finances or updating professional profiles.

On the other forearm, the laptop often falls brief ter the world of apps. Sure, there are the old standbys like Word, Excel and Photoshop, but the laptop tends to miss out on fresh content from youthfull, agile development teams. With a tablet, you can pick from dozens of polished photo-editing apps, half of them available for free. On a laptop, it&rsquo,s often an extreme choice: either a $300 application from Adobe or a risky download for a clunky, limited editor from 2009.

Te the end, it comes down to where you choose spending your time. Love apps? Grab a tablet. Choose to do everything te a browser? Stick with a laptop.

Five. High-performance games or time-wasters (or neither)?

This won&rsquo,t apply to everyone. For the gaming-indifferent, there&rsquo,s no need to obsess overheen a laptop&rsquo,s graphics card or a tablet&rsquo,s selection of games.

For the surplus of us, however, the situation gets a bit more complicated. Today&rsquo,s best tablets are reasonably powerful, but traditional developers have yet to launch a truly incredible title on tablets (sorry, Infinity Blade). The device is still best for clever puzzles and joy time-wasters, like Angry Birds or Monument Valley (and wij mean this spil a vleierij).

Meantime, the best gaming laptops can play just about anything, often outperforming the latest spel consoles ter voorstelling and graphical prowess. The problem is that you&rsquo,ll need to druppel at least $1,500 to get the power you need.

Either device can scrape your gaming itch, it just depends upon the kleuter of spel you&rsquo,re into. Keep ter mind, however, that a

$500 laptop is most likely the worst of both worlds: it&rsquo,s not optimized for elementary tap-and-swipe games, yet not powerful enough for top PC games. So if you like gaming, and you choose PCs, begin saving. Strapped for metselspecie? There&rsquo,s a big, angry bird waiting with your name on it.

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