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Jan 12, 2011 03:20 PM EDT

Tablet PCs vs. Laptops

For those that need the power of a desktop on the go, often a notebook, netbook, or a tablet PC is the way to go. Even just a few years ago, laptops cost several thousand dollars, but prices have fallen rapidly with the advent of smart phones and tablet PCs, which has opened the market up to a much larger audience.  Those always on the go, IT admins, college students, and road warrior  salespeople are among those that benefit from mobile technology.

So, which is better?  A laptop or a tablet PC?  Tablet PCs are often smaller, have touch screen, and fit in a backpack easier than a laptop. This is great for simple applications such as receiving email, showing sales figures in PowerPoint, browsing the web, playing simple games, or other tasks. 

For more powerful applications such as photo manipulation software like Photoshop or development software like MySQL, Eclipse, or Apache, the laptop is still the preferred way to go.  The laptop is bulkier and takes a little bit longer to set up, but it generally has a larger screen and keyboard to work with.  Often the other resources are greater as well such as processor speed, memory, and hard drive space.

Another benefit to using a laptop is that it's easier to fix and replace an individual part such as the laptop screen.  If a tablet PC has a problem, the entire device often has to be replaced.

To summarize, if size and convenience is your primary objective, a tablet PC or netbook may be the right thing for you.  If processing power and a larger screen size is more important, then stick with the laptop.

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Brian computers | technology
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