It seems that in the new millennium, computers are essential to how we live, both at home and in the office. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 83.8% of U.S. households have computers. With desktops, and laptops, and tablets, there seem to be many ways to do the same tasks.
So, which electronic device is best for you? It depends on your career and lifestyle. About 79% of Americans have desktops or laptops and 64% have tablets or handheld computers. With constant progress and improvements, the functions and options associated with each device are highly similar, but currently there are still some distinctions that can help when making your choice. Before you head to the store, look at functions such as speed, adaptability, mobility, and more to decide on the device most suited to your needs.
Based on what is most important to you, here are some advantages of each device to help you make a decision.
For those constantly on the move, tablets are a great way to stay connected. The best attribute of tablets is their mobility. Being smaller and lighter than laptops certainly has its advantages, and the ability to just throw a tablet in your bag and go is one of them.
Because their operating systems are designed for mobile use, tablets support a number of apps specifically designed to provide functionality similar to that available on laptops.
For anyone who spends a ton of time on trains, planes, or any other transportation, tablets can provide entertainment on long trips. According to PCWorld, the average tablet display has about 218 pixels per inch compared to a laptop, which has half the pixel density, making tablets great for viewing and reading, eliminating the need for an e-reader.
In addition to the ability to read a book, watch movies, or play games, the simple user interface of tablets also allows for productivity while on the go. Because their operating systems are designed for mobile use, they support a number of apps specifically designed to provide functionality similar to that available on laptops.
Battery life is also better on tablets. For traveling and working on planes where there’s nowhere to plug in, tablets often have an average battery life of 10 hours, while laptops last only about 6 hours. This attribute makes tablets a great option for long international flights.
If you’re on the move but need to work with more programs than just those needed for basic writing and presentations, laptops are the way to go. Laptops can travel with you from meeting to meeting, but still have the capability to hold whatever daily programs you need.
In addition to the programs that are only available for computers, programs like Google Drive have much more robust efficiency on computers than on tablets. They move faster, and many have more functions than their mobile app counterparts. Other web-based software programs such as WordPress also work better on computers, so when your work is primarily concentrated in those areas, a laptop can help you complete your tasks much more efficiently.
Compared to tablets, laptops also have more RAM, which allows you to work in multiple programs at once. Tablets generally have 1GB of RAM or less, which is much less than the 4 to 8GB of RAM on laptops.
Although they aren’t portable, there are still many reasons why a desktop may be better for your lifestyle. A desktop is perfect for setting up an area in your home where your family can use it, and they are also ideal for professionals in creative fields such as graphic design, videography, and others that require detailed visibility.
Ergonomically, desktops force you to sit correctly with your screen at eye level and with arms, back, and wrists aligned. This leads to better long-term health for people who work at computers for hours every day.
Their large graphics and wide screens not only look great and improve visibility, but also help you be more productive, allowing you to view multiple programs and documents at once with ease. Their monitors are also better for games, which comes in handy with family members of all ages.
Overall, desktops have a better price-to-performance ratio than laptops—you get more bang for your buck. With laptops, you may have to supplement storage space and connectors with external hard drives and docking stations, but desktops generally include everything you need. Speed and efficiency are included. Desktops are more powerful machines and are less likely to overheat, and because they are designed to run directly from a power source instead of from a battery, they often run faster. And they have more RAM than the average laptop, so programs can often run even faster on desktops.
Because of their physical design, desktops are also much easier to repair and upgrade, making them great for families and for household use. Younger members of your family can use desktops to gain a great deal of knowledge, and if they just happen to have an accident, it’s more likely that the family computer can be taken apart and repaired if it’s a desktop.