It’s one of the most common dilemmas new students face. What do you need for your studies, a laptop or a tablet? Getting the piece of equipment which best suits your needs is vital. It’ll be your best friend when it comes to studying as well as your media centre (think streaming videos, music in your chill out time and so on). With all that said we’ve decided to compare some of the differences, hopefully they’ll help you make the right choice!
Unless you’re buying a state-of-the-art laptop then prices are generally fairly similar. Tablets may come in slightly cheaper (especially those from lesser known brands) however models at the lower end of the scale are unlikely be suitable for purpose, the same applies for budget laptops.
Due to the cheaper price range and competitive value, we’re awarding the first points to tablet.
Laptop 0 – Tablet 1
This one is a biggy… Does your course require specific software? We’re talking about specialist software, think; CAD, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, etc. If so, you’ll need a compatible device right? Then laptop is the way to go for you.
Laptop 1 – Tablet 1
Functionality is mainly personal preference (excluding specialist software requirements). Laptops do have more scope for additional functions, but if these aren’t a requirement for you, the cheaper tablets will certainly do the job.
Laptop 1 – Tablet 2
Whilst you can indeed get larger tablets and smaller laptops, the general rule is laptops have bigger screens. The thing to consider here is what you need for educational needs… do you need to work with images, art, design, etc? If so, maybe a laptop would be best.
On the other hand if you’re after something which can quickly and easily display literature, a cheaper tablet may suffice. Whilst both have advantages, we’re going to have to go for laptops due to their superior size.
Laptop 2 – Tablet 2
The differences between laptops and tablets are decreasing by the day, mainly due to cross functionality, for example touchscreen is now present on both devices, along with physical keyboards. However there’s still a fundamental difference. Do you need that added power which comes with a laptop, coupled with the flexibility of a wider range of compatible software? Alternatively tablets are lighter, easier to use on the move and often come with better battery life.
The ultimate decisions sits with you and your personal preference. However we would stress, make your decision with your course in mind and choose an appropriate device!