Saturday, April 7, 2012

Laptop 'bye bye', Tablet 'come hither' ?

Till a couple of years ago, there were predictions that the desk-top computers were a vanishing breed and the Laptop computers were the future. Part of the prediction has already come true. Desk-tops are being bought less and less. But the other half of the prediction is increasingly being questioned. The arrival of the sleek Tablet computer has queered the pitch for the Laptops.

People graduating from a desk-top face the formidable question. Graduate to what? Laptop? Or, Tablet? What is the difference between the two, Laptop and Tablet?

A laptop is a mobile computing device. But the Tablet is even more mobile since it is far lighter than a Laptop. But this extra mobility of the Tablet comes with a disadvantage. A Tablet can have roughly one-tenth of the storage capability of a Laptop. So, there is a limitation with regard to what it can process. Some one with needs for business computing would find the Tablet grossly inadequate. He has to depend on a Laptop for the heavier tasks.

But every one does not use a computer for business. Many use it for sending e-mails and surfing the net. They want to play music. They want to watch videos. These people account for the bulk of Computer users. For these, Tablet is ideal. Its storage capacity is sufficient. Besides, the Tablet battery lasts far longer, almost 10 hours before needing a recharge. A Laptop battery lasts half this duration. So, if some one's use of computer is more while travelling, then the Tablet with its powerful battery is more suited. Besides, while the Laptop can be used for surfing the net only through Wi-fi during travel,the Tablet can have 3G connectivity. Finding a Wi-fi connection while on-the-go (except in Hotels and Airports)is not easy in India.So,3G on Tablet is a boon.

If you have a lot to type, then Tablet is not for you. It does not have a physical keyboard. It has only a virtual keyboard.With such a keyboard,your finger often hits the character adjacent to what you had instructed it to. You are better off with a Laptop, if you want to write pages and pages. If you are a Twitter user, Tablet is just fine.

There is no simple printing solution available for Tablets. Laptops are just like desk-tops and any printer can be used.

Many wonder whether the term 'Apps' refer only to applications developed specially for Tablets. Of course, since the adevent of smartphones, the word 'Apps' has come to mean application softwares developed for smartphones and tablets. Originally, apps meant any piece of application software. For example, Word, Excel, Skype etc. But since these softwares suitable for desk-tops and laptops can not be used for Tablets or Smartphones because of the difference in the system software, special versions had to be developed so that they could be used in the ambience of the mobile operating systems such as Android.These softwares developed specially for mobile operating systems began to be called Apps. The Android apps can be used only in Tablets that have Android operating system and Apple apps can be used only for iPads manufactured by Apple.

Laptops permit only Skype video chats. But many Tablets permit net-independent video-calling since they have front cameras and phoning facility.

With Tablets, you can have GPS navigation just as in smartphones. This feature has excellent practical value.

You can use Tablets to read e-books. 7" or 10" inch screen is good enough for strain-free reading.

To sum up, if you use a computer for fun and entertainment rather than for heavy information processing and business applications, then the Tablet computer is ideal for you.

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