tablet vs laptopLaptops and tablets have become two incredibly popular personal items that both young and older adults use on a daily basis, and for good reasons. Both are very.

Laptops and tablets have become two incredibly popular personal items that both young and older adults use on a daily basis, and for good reasons. Both are very convenient to have; unlike the desktop PC, where you have to sit upright in a chair to work on it, laptops and tablets can be operated by a person lounging in an easy chair or reclining in bed. For their ease of use and portability, they are quite valuable for any average person, as well as for elderly people and individuals with disabilities as well. What’s even more exciting is that there are laptops and tablets designed specifically for different kinds of users.

However, given so many options, deciding whether to purchase one or the other can be difficult. This article should help to simplify the problem for you.

When to choose a laptop

Laptops and tablets can be used for many of the same things, such as surfing the Web, listening to music, watching movies and TV shows, making and storing word files, playing games and so on. There are, however, many times when you will find it more convenient to have just one or the other. For example, if you will be spending much of your time in bed, then a laptop is probably the better choice for you. Laptops are also useful for business purposes because of their larger screens, greater storage capacity, higher processing speed and a variety of other factors. Making a presentation is much more practical with a laptop because the larger screen makes it easier to see, particularly for those who are seated at the back of the room.

One major difference between a tablet and a laptop is the absence of a physical keyboard on the latter, which has only a touchscreen. This is good enough if you will be using the tablet mainly for navigating your way around a program, dragging or pointing, but it can be rather cumbersome when it comes to entering text, although it does not have to be that way, as you will see in the following section.

When to choose a tablet

On the other hand, tablets are much lighter than laptops and hence much easier to carry around. They are therefore the more logical choice if you want to have your data handy to work on wherever you go in the house.

Another thing for which tablets are great is the innumerable apps designed specially for them, most of which are not really meant for the larger computer. Apps can help you check the local weather, put together a shopping list, track your weight loss, set up a fitness program, put together a recipe, plan your next vacation and much, much more.

As we mentioned in the previous section, the virtual keyboard of a tablet can be cumbersome for entering text. Many users do find it more difficult to use than a physical keyboard. However, I can tell you from personal experience that it can be quite easy to type on, once you get the hang of it (I use a BlackBerry PlayBook). In one important way, a virtual keyboard is actually easier to operate than a physical one: It has an autotype feature whereby as you type, you see a series of suggestions as to which word you intend to write, and you can select the one you want rather than have to punch in each letter one by one. This can save you a great deal of typing, particularly with very long words. You may even get the impression that the tablet, in a sense, does your thinking for you.

Perhaps a hybrid device would be best

If you can’t decide between a laptop and tablet there are also machines, called hybrid laptops or convertible laptops, that can be switched back and forth between laptop and tablet functions, enabling you to “get the best of both worlds.” Some popular models are the HP Slatebook, Acer Aspire P Series, and Microsoft Surface Pro.

Carol Thomas is a lifestyle and technology writer, and writes about helpful topics such as laptop and tablet reviews and where to find laptops for seniors.