In this age of technology, we need to make sure that we buy the perfect device for our needs. Are you finding it hard to choose between a smartphone, tablet or laptop? we don’t blame you. With high price tags and so many options available on the market it’s easy to see why people are often struggling to choose the perfect device for their needs.
If this sounds like you then fear not, we’ve got you covered. This guide aims to break down the age old argument between choosing a smartphone, tablet or laptop and will help you explore the perfect device for you.
We appreciate that a text heavy article might be slightly overwhelming for our less “Tech Savvy” readers. That’s absolutely fine, in order to give a more general idea of who should use what kind of device we’ve created the table below. This aims to give you some idea of each device can be used for, and also the profile of person that this may be suited to.
Now, moving on to our slightly more in depth take on each of the devices. At the end of each explanation we have put a few devices into a comparison table. These devices are ones that we believe to be suited to all different levels of user with varying price tags to match.
The days of mobile phones being used purely for telephony purposes are long gone. When you buy a smartphone these days you’re buying so much more than a telephone. These days’ smartphones act as a multimedia centre with access to your favourite movies, music and photos all at your fingertips.
Not to forget, the higher end smartphones such as the iPhone 7 are equipped with cameras capable of producing images worthy of digital cameras. Financial management is something that is made a lot easier using a smartphone.
Mobile banking means that financial information is accessible securely at the push of a button. Furthermore, apps such as Apple Pay mean that you don’t need to worry if you forget your wallet.
If you’re out and about a lot, you’ll be impressed how well smartphones work as satellite navigation substitutes these days. Most smartphones come equipped with Google maps or an equivalent.
This means that finding your way around be it on foot, driving or cycling should never be a problem again for you. On the subject of being out and about, exercising is now something that can be enhanced with the use of a smartphone. Apps such as ‘Samsung Health’ allow you to track your steps, distance travelled and other measurements such as heart rate.
This functionality is perfect for you if you’re into your cardio but don’t like being constrained to the 4 walls of a gym. Thanks to such features, you don’t need to buy an expensive smart watch to track your exercise progress.
The invention of mobile phones allowed us to stay connected when on the go. This is still very much the case with the modern day smartphone. However, with social media apps like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, staying in touch with one another now feels a lot more effortless.
Modern mobile phones are no longer text and call only devices. Be it via Video Call, Email, Instant Messaging or the traditional SMS message or phone call, smartphones are devices that allow you to stay connected via whichever avenue you prefer.
Tablets are still (in terms of computing) a relatively new concept. For those of you who are unfamiliar with tablets, these are wireless and portable miniature lightweight computers with a touch screen interface.
In the context of this article these devices can be considered the middle ground; typically larger than smartphones but smaller than laptops. The fact that tablets often are considered a middle ground between smartphones and laptops often acts as a blessing and a curse. On one hand, a common query is “Why would I need a tablet if I have a smartphone?” and this is a fair question.
Admittedly most functionality on a tablet can be carried out on a smartphone. However, on the other hand for many tablet consumers it seems size matters. Watching movies on a tablet compared to a smartphone is a much better experience. Furthermore, e-reading is much easier on a bigger screen when compared to that of a smartphone.
With more room onscreen comes more advanced capabilities. Despite the fact that smartphones can be used to make notes, a larger screen makes tablets the perfect device for taking notes. Whether in a corporate or educational environment, many tablets now come with attachable keyboards.
The fact that tablets are much lighter than laptops give them a slight edge in portability. With many tablets operating using Office 365, users can use popular applications such as Microsoft Word, with the capability of saving work on the cloud. This means that unlike pen and paper, if lost or damaged you could still access your notes from another device.
Tablets are a great ‘in-between’ option as they come with the vast majority of smartphone functionality and even have some capabilities of laptops in the form of word processing and spreadsheets. They are a happy medium in terms of price, and size. Speaking from experience you will find tablets are a great gift to buy for someone if they are not so “tech savvy” but want to learn the basics such as using email and browsing the web.
Laptops are the pinnacle of the three devices generally in terms of price but also in computing power. These have as much capability as a desktop computer, but are lightweight and portable with a long battery life. So in terms of actual computing ability, laptops step it up a level. While tablet gaming is done by many consumers, tables can’t touch the level of graphic processing that laptops can.
Another advantage of laptops in terms of technical specification is storage. Where 128GB would be considered a large amount of storage space for a tablet, for laptops this is considered very little. With higher end laptops such as the ThinkPad Edge boasting a 1TB Solid State Drive, tablet storage barely compares. With 1TB able to store literally millions of photographs, you may never take enough photos to fill your drive.
On the subject of photographs, one of the real benefits of having a laptop (especially one with a high resolution display such as the Macbook Pro Retina) is photo editing. Running high end Image manipulation software such as Adobe Photoshop, is best done on a laptop.
Laptops also come with more ports and peripheral options. Inputs such as HDMI ports built into laptops allows you to stream content directly from your laptop to a big screen TV. Furthermore, if you wish to utilize your laptops computing power, you can hook up multiple screens, keyboards and a mouse to provide a desktop PC environment. This would be perfect for using multiple spreadsheets simultaneously, something you couldn’t do on your smartphone or tablet.
Smartphone, Tablet or Laptop?
Each of the options will be suited to different people, depending on their day to day use of the devices. Depending on your lifestyle, you may find that it benefits you to own more than just one of these devices. On the other hand, if you’re not interested in smart features or computing then you might find yourself more suited to a standard mobile phone.
Smartphones are perfect for people who need that little bit extra, in terms of functionality that doesn’t come with a standard mobile phone. This could be tasks such as sending Tweets and holding video calls on on the go.
Tablets don’t offer any real extra functionality when compared to smart phones. However, what they are great for is carrying out these functions on a larger screen. With tablets such as Apples iPad coming with mobile data options, they are no longer limited to use purely within areas with Wi-Fi. If you’re looking for a balance between smartphone and laptop then these are the perfect solution for you.
Laptops are the best out of these solutions for raw computing power, able to offer so much more than a smartphone and tablet in terms of functionality. However, these are often more expensive and the least portable of the 3 options.
Of course each of the options will be suited to different people, depending on their day to day use of the devices. Hopefully this guide has given you some help in deciding which type of device you need, whether this is a smartphone, tablet or laptop we hope you get the most out of your device.