As tablets become more powerful and helpful, it’s tough to say if they can replace your laptop. In the end, it all comes down to your requirements.
The distinction between tablets and laptop computers is becoming increasingly hazy.
Year by year, the worlds of tablets and laptops are gradually merging. Microsoft’s Surface tablets run Windows, while the new iPad Pro outperforms 92% of all computers. Simultaneously, newer computers feature touchscreens, and some 2-in-1 laptops promise the power of a laptop with the portability of a tablet.
With all of this in mind, it’s difficult to determine whether a tablet is worthwhile to purchase, especially if you’re contemplating a tablet as an alternative to a laptop.
First and foremost, you should consider why you use a laptop. Do you use it for fun or do you use it for work? Do you prefer to use software such as Photoshop, or do you want to do everything on the browser? While some tablets are well-suited to resource-intensive professional work, others are better suited to leisure work and enjoyment.
You should also consider how much money you are willing to invest. Tablets often have fewer capabilities than comparable-priced laptops, and you’ll need to spend at least $700 to get one that can run Photoshop, professional video applications, or resource-intensive games.
Of course, if you’re simply trying to watch Netflix or perform browser-based work on a tablet, you could always pay less.
The Surface Tablet is a laptop disguised as a tablet
Surface tablets are essentially laptops with a detachable keyboard and a touchscreen. They run Windows 10, are compatible with all Windows applications and devices (mice, keyboards, and so on), and can even connect to an external monitor to provide a desktop-like experience.
As a result, for Photoshop geeks, PC gamers, Netflix junkies, or devoted Windows users, a Surface tablet is the go-to laptop option. The problem is that most Surface tablets are low-spec computers that may not be suitable for some users. If you want a Surface tablet that can run resource-intensive apps (such as Photoshop), you’ll have to pay a premium.
For example, the $700 Surface Pro tablet (without the $100 Surface pen) only has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of solid-state storage. These are not great specifications for video editing, picture editing, or gaming. In comparison, the similarly priced (but frequently reduced) Lenovo S145-15IWL laptop boasts 12GB of RAM and 256GB of solid-state storage, as well as a larger screen. On the other hand, the bigger screen and beefier specifications make it less portable.
Now, the price difference is only significant if you want a tablet that can function as a straight substitute for a high-spec laptop. If all you want to do is surf the web, write, watch movies, or work with Google Docs, a low-spec Surface tablet (such as the Surface Go or an earlier Surface tablet) would suffice.
The iPad is ideal for artists and Apple fans alike
Apple’s iPads, unlike Microsoft’s Surface tablets, are powered by iOS, a mobile operating system (for now, at least). And, contrary to popular belief, while this limits the iPad’s capacity to replace a laptop, it is really one of the iPad’s greatest features.
iPads cannot execute applications in the same way that a MacBook or a Windows laptop can. However, the Apple App Store is brimming with professional software that is suited for iOS devices. These software include everything from Microsoft Word to Google Docs, as well as a host of Photoshop rivals and video editing suites. Just bear in mind that these resource-intensive apps are ideally suited to the iPad Pro, but they will still run on the iPad Air and normal iPad.
Is it safe to utilize these applications for full-time job now? It all depends on what you’re up to. Because the iPad lacks a specific “desktop mode,” navigating between apps may be cumbersome. While Apple sells an official iPad keyboard, it does not include a trackpad. In fact, mice do not operate on the iPad at all (again, for the time being), making document editing and online browsing impossible.
If you’re an Apple enthusiast, a casual document editor, or a graphic artist, the iPad may effectively replace a laptop computer. And, of course, the iPad is fantastic for streaming movies and playing mobile games. Just bear in mind that the iPad lacks a “desktop mode” and isn’t yet compatible with a mouse. When iPadOS is launched later this year, it will boost the iPad’s ability to replace your laptop, but we won’t know how big of a gamechanger it will be until we see how it works in regular use. Still, it’s something to think about.
Android Tablets: Not Ideal for Work, but Fine for Web Browsing
If you don’t need to perform a lot of computer-based work, an Android tablet can be a decent substitute for a laptop. Android tablets are constrained by its mobile operating system and the Google Play store, and switching between Android apps is more complex than switching between windows on a laptop. While there have been reports of a planned “desktop mode” for Android Q, it is unlikely that the interface will be available on smartphones anytime soon.
If you want to utilize an Android tablet as a laptop replacement right now, I recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 or Tab S5. These tablets include a DeX interface, which basically transforms the Android UI into something more comparable to a desktop, complete with windows, a toolbar, desktop icons, and other features. Just bear in mind that DeX just makes working on an Android tablet simpler; it does not include any additional apps or software. Another tablet worth considering is the Simbans TangoTab XL.
TangoTab Xl is one of the most economical Android tablets on the market with exceptional performance. It features an 11.6-inch IPS HD brilliant display that allows you to enjoy entertainment with vibrant colors from any angle. It seeks to improve your movie-watching (YouTube, Netflix, and other services!) and gaming experiences.
That being said, Android tablets are best suited for fun rather than work. While DeX can make informal writing or browser-based work more pleasant, it isn’t a straight replacement for utilizing a laptop.
In the end, tablets and laptops are two distinct platforms with distinct capabilities. However, such distinctions aren’t as obvious as they formerly were. If you find that a tablet meets your demands for work or play, it may be time to retire your cumbersome old laptop in favor of a lean, mean, touchscreen computer.