Friday, February 21, 2014

Laptops vs Tablets

Today i wanted to touch on one of the subjects that has been near and dear to my heart for the last month or so, and that is the discussion of whether laptops or tablets are a more fiscally sound purchase option. And to be honest, the short answer to that question is very much like my answer to whether i prefer Windows or Mac: it depends on the application that you plan to use it for. Now i just want to preface this with a little tip of the hat to the fact that i am aware there are laptop/tablet hybrids that are starting to surface on the market (Microsoft Surface 2, i'm looking at you) but the real question is whether those thrive well at all when being used for either application when compared to a dedicated unit from either side. I think it would be safe to say that the surface 2 performs much better as a tablet compared to other tablets of the same caliber than it does as a laptop compared to other netbooks and ultrabooks of the same caliber. So what exactly are the applications that make these two platforms thrive? lets start with Tablets. Tablets thrive on being hand-portable. Given the average size is only marginally bigger than phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note series most of these items will fit comfortably into the pocket of a good pair of cargo pants/shorts and with the utilization of Solid state memory they work well with being portable as there's no spinning parts to accidentally scratch the shit out of when you accidentally drop it while reading your free copy of Aesop's Fables from Amazon Kindle going down the stairs. Which leads me to the next thing they're really good at: Reading. For those of us who can accept digital books with open arms and recognize within ourselves a viable use for digital books, these items are fantastic. Pretty much any tablet out there can be readily converted into an e-reader with software such as Amazon's Kindle reader, Barne's and Noble's Nook reader and Adobe reader for PDF files. Tablets also succeed well with modern casual games since the smart phone industry has made it their sole duty to monopolize on that market as much as possible. With casual games spanning every conceivable genre there is they've all been pretty much ported to the Android and Iphone systems which makes them readily available on 90% of tablets seeing as There are more makes and models of Android tablets out there than any other platform to date. Apple is the most readily accepted and Windows is quickly creeping up to Android in the tablet market. Where do Laptop's Stand? they also excel in the realm of portability and that world is quickly becoming more readily accessible. It is no longer the case where Apple produces the one and only solid-body aluminum chasis laptop on the market anymore. Almost every primary laptop manufacturer in existence has now jumped on the band wagon and made a solid metal-body chasis of some form or another. These laptops come in all shapes and sizes, the most lightweight of them all being the Samsung Series 9 ultrabooks which come in at an astounding .4 inches in thickness or something crazy thin like that and go as large and traditional as some of the new HP's which come in at the HP standard 1.5 inches or thereabouts. So what do these excel in besides being much more durable than they ever were a year ago? well, they perform better than tablets at most gaming applications because they don't run off of what is called the ARM architecture for their CPU's(Central Processing Units) or GPU's(Graphics Processing Units). ARM Architecture is the same type of processing power that has been built into every smart phone you have ever known, it is a miniaturized processor that emits minimal heat under light to medium load and processes things at almost the same speeds as regular processors but do to their size restrictions generally yield less effective throughputs. Laptops from netbooks all the way up to premium gaming laptops all utilize real processors with regular outputs which allow them to work on difficult information much more readily. Primarily though, these guys are word processing and internet browsing first and gaming second. Unless you buy extra peripherals like a game pad or a mouse to go with it you'd be hard pressed to play Call of Duty on a track pad. So where does this put us in the grand scheme of things? Well tablets have a lower price point than anything laptop that runs on windows and has a screen larger than 10.1 inches, which is a big selling point, and if you're just going to be using it for possible some very brief note taking and reading of textbooks for example. or possibly as a device to store all of your recipes so you have something to look at while you're cooking in the kitchen, the lower price point is going to make this the system for you. If you want high end gaming on your tablet you're going to end up spending a bit more on your tablet than you'd probably care to do so and at that point it might be worth it just to look into a low end gaming laptop as companies like Dell offer a laptop with one of the higher-end GeForce 700 series graphics cards (the really nice ones) for $650 before shipping and handling. That will come with a 14 inch screen and a decent resolution for your enjoyment. But if you're not planning on using this in the kitchen, if you work in a business environment and travel a lot, or go to school and need something that you can take notes on quickly and naturally, chances are an ultrabook or a regular old laptop would probably be the choice for you, and you can decide on the degree of sturdyness you need for that system depending on the average level of abuse you see it going through. Anywhere from 100% plastic shell (for those who use their laptop as a stationary computer for around the house and don't move it around much or if at all). all the way up to solid metal body ones that are coming out which will probably withstand some of the harsher rigors of being moved around a lot cross country, or to and from school. So, once again, i would like to reiterate, whether you should buy a tablet or a laptop is purely dependent on what you expect the system to do or how durable you want the system to be. Right now is a better time than there ever was before to buy into the computer market, because there are more options than ever before, and with all of these options, you can really purchase the system that is not only right for you, but is also inside your budget range.

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