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Tablets vs Laptops: Which Is Better?

Tablet vs Laptop

If you are in the market for a new computer, you may be considering a tablet PC over a traditional laptop. Many tech analysts predicted that tablets would phase out netbooks and that seems to be the case. A bigger question now is, would it kill off laptops? As an owner of a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop computer, this is a legitimate scenario. What are the roles of these devices, where do tablets fit in, and which is better? To better aswer these questions, lets go though the basics of these 2 and their pros and cons.

Filling the gap

Most people already have a smartphone in their pockets. With all major carriers pushing them over the past 10 years, its almost rare to find someone with a dumb phone. Even prepaid carriers like Virgin Mobile offer smartphones at an affordable price. Smartphones are filling the communications gap not just with calling, but with email and social networking. You can do a lot with a smartphone but the primary role is still communications whether its call or text messages.

PlayBook and Torch

Desktop PCs have been the workhorse for consumers and professionals since the invention of the personal computer. That title isnt likely to change any time soon. A desktop computer can do nearly everything you can imagine from editing videos, browsing the web, or simply chatting with friends. A desktop is best suited for graphic designers, musicians, or gamers. Theres one disadvantage of desktops that will likely remain. Portability. While you have production power with a desktop, you cant take it with you on the road. Laptops and tablets fill this gap but which is best?


Are laptops dying?

Laptops solved this problem by offering portability without sacrificing much power. Over the years, laptops evolved and specialized into different niches from gaming laptops, ultraportables, to the very small netbook. For the average consumer, a laptop could fulfill about 95% of their needs. Some of the best laptops on the market areВ advertised as desktop replacements. Laptops can connect to most hardware devices from all-in-one printers, portable hard drives, PMP(Portable Music Players), smartphones, and third-party peripherals such as keyboards/mice.

Pros: Portable yet still relatively powerful. Cheap. Price has drop considerably. Hardware keyboard. Full desktop OS. Connectivity
Cons: Not portable enough to take everywhere. Heat.


Tablet PCs are newcomers to the game but theyve proven over the years that they are not just a fad. These touchscreen computers have been criticized for being no more than oversized smartphones yet theyve proven to be capable consumer devices that are more portable than laptops, and in some cases, more practical. An unavoidable example is Apple and the iPad.


All play and no work?

New iPadThe iPad is more portable than a laptop and can be used to consume media easier as well. There have been internal reports from Apple that the iPad is cannibalizing their laptops(macbooks). This points us to a trend that most consumers are more aimed at consuming media rather than being productive. The iPad has gone through 3 generations(so far) and has shown staying power. Other tablets(Android and RIM) have entered the market to claim their piece of the pie. I use my tablet to listen to internet radio, read magazines, books, and do quick web browsing. All of which seems easier compared toВ a laptop while taking up less space. One inherent flaw of tablets is the proprietary nature. They dont have to be compatible with all printers, keyboards/mice, etc like their laptop rivals. This initial flaw looks like it will be phased out with time as newer printers and accessories adopt standard technologies like WiFi printing and Bluetooth 4.

Pros: More portable than laptops. Great for consuming media. Easier to pick up and use.
Cons: No hardware keyboard. Poor for production work. Hardware connectivity.


Needs and preferences

One of the biggest factor in determining which is better is recognizing your needs. Do you need a tablet or a laptop? Do you already have a Desktop? If so, then a laptop wouldnt be a good choice. A tablet would be a better choice that fills a larger gap. In that scenario, a laptop would just be a less powerful, slightly more portable desktop replacement. The next question you should ask yourself is what do you plan to use it for? If you just want a new gadget and dont critically need it, then a tablet is the likely choice. On the other hand, if you were starting university and had a choice between a laptop or a tablet, get a laptop without question. That would fit your needs better.


Another factor is portability. When you are out, do you find yourself hunting for a computer? Is your smartphone not cutting it for extending web browsing? Laptops revolutionized computing because they offered mobility. Tablets take it a step further. Laptops, although portable, are still too big. Tablets take up the same footprint as a textbook and are relatively lighter in comparison. Now, trendy hipsters can pretend to do work in coffee shops instead of being cooped up in homes. I kid. рџ?›


If you are debating between a laptop and a tablet, considerВ portability. If you find yourself in need to do quick tasks like checking your bank account online or just killing time, then a tablet would be a better choice. If you find yourself trying to edit office documents or doing more critical tasks on the go, then a laptop would be a better choice.


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If you look at the size of these devices, there seems to be a correlation between size and function. The smaller touchscreen devices tend to be more popular for media consumption and leisure gaming while the larger laptops and desktops are more geared towards work, production, and serious gaming. This doesnt equal causation but its interesting to point out.


The Winner?

So which is better? A tablet or a laptop? The final answer is, it depends. For pure capability and power, a tablet cannot match aВ laptop. Theres just no comparison. A laptop with a true desktop OS can do more than a tablet which is highly dependant on apps. For most consumers, this isnt a major issue. Most people spend their computing time browsing the web, not editing images/video. The trend for a more capable mobile PC is growing and the tablet does a noble job fulfilling this role. Though not nearly as capable as laptops(yet), tablets definitely wins in terms of portability. The touchscreen interface not only adds novelty to the experience, but it also opens the door to some interesting and refreshing UI changes. Some professionals are critical of tablets calling them toys and distractions. Is the tablet craze a result of marketing or is it a practical tool in todays tech world? Personally, I have to agree with the critics. You can use tablets for work but every time I see someone using them, 99% of the time, theyre using it to consume media or playing games. Not saying thats a bad thing, it just doesnt seem useful. I already own a desktop and I love my tablet. If I didnt have a main computer, I wouldnt buy a tablet. Id probably opt for a laptop instead. Most people do own a main computer so buying a tablet as a supplementary device may make sense but to say that theyre better than laptops is a stretch. Are they portable? Yes. Are they powerful? Yes. Are they useful? Productive? Meh. But it has a touchscreen and thats cool right?!


It will be interesting to see how tablets evolve. As it stands, tablets are luxury electronics and laptops are tools. When technology became status symbols, keeping up with the Joneses means spending half a grand on an electronic slate that runs Angry Birds. Theyll sell regardless.


What Is An Ultrabook? A New Breed Of Laptops Or Marketing Hype?

When it comes to thin and light laptops, Apples Mackbook line is what first comes to mind. The new Mackbook Air is setting the standard for portable, powerful, and premium laptops. Not only is it extremely portable, but the second generation Macbook Air actually has good specs under the hood. Sporting either an i5 or an i7, this littleВ ultra portableВ is claimed to be up to 2.5 time faster than the previous Air. Speaking of ultra, Intel has campaigned for a new line of thin and light laptops called Ultrabooks. Some people may already figured out that this new class of laptops, the Ultrabook, is going to be a Windows version of the Macbook. Intel has figured out that people are willing to pay a premium for style and form factor. There have always been a few companies that made premium laptops like Sony and Lenovo but Intel wants manufacturers to follow a standard, their standards. Why now and why give premium laptops a new name? Lets try to figure that out.



Asus UX31
Asus UX31

Ultrabooks will be released in three phases. Each phase will correspond with the three upcoming Intel processor architectures. Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, and Haswell. The first, and most important phase has already started with many hardware manufacturers already on board including Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba, and of course, Apple. This first phase will focus on thin profiles, lightweight bodies, long battery life, SSDs instead of HDDs, no optical drive, Intels Core i5-i7 Sandy Bridge processors, and mainstream pricing(around $1,000). The second phase, scheduled for 2012, will aim to boost performance by 20-30% over the first generation of ultrabooks and make USB 3.0 standard. The third phase, scheduled for 2013, aims at halving the power consumption of the first phase ultrabooks.


A Better Standard?

So why is Intel trying to set a standard for laptops? Why not just leave hardware manufacturers alone? Profits? When you supply both sides of the war with В your CPUs, you make money. I dont see AMDs APUs mentioned in any of these phases. The Macbook Air has been out for years. They didnt need a special name. Why now call these laptops Ultrabooks? Its marketing. Think about it. You dont want to go to the store and buy a crappy netbook or a generic laptop. You want to tell all your friends that you got an ultrabook. The ultra means its better, right?

Aspire S3
Aspire S3

Maybe Intel is trying to make amends for the years they dominated the netbook market with their anemic single core Atom N4XX netbooks. A few years later, Intel upgrades with dual core Atom N5XXВ processors but the damage was done. The name netbook now means(to the masses), any small laptop that is only good for light web browsing and word processing. Even former Apple CEO Steve Jobs called netbooks cheap with the release of the Macbook Air. He knew about the negative reputation of netbooksВ and putting it in the same sentence with his Macbook Air was marketing suicide. Intel learned from their mistake. They realized the need for premium laptops and Ultrabooks is their answer.

$300 Million Fund

Intel revealed last month that they will open a $300 million fund that will help accelerate development of ultrabooks by rewarding companies that enhances them with sensors and touch interface. Intel wants companies to make the already existing tablet-notebook fusion market, mainstream. They want manufacturers to focus on sleek designs, thin profiles, lightweight portability, and affordable pricing. This initial investment, if successful, will give Intel a foothold in a billion dollar market. A pretty good investment if you ask me.


Possible Competitors

AMD is probably the most famous competitor to Intel and their new fusion of CPU and GPU, called the APU, will be a force to be reckon with. Scheduled to be released this month, AMDs Bulldozer is rumored to be on par with Intels Sandy Bridge i7 2600. While all eyes are on AMD to respond, ARM will eventually enterВ the notebook market becoming a competitor. They have some of their chips on a few Linux netbooks. Famous for their tablet and smartphone processors, ARM will most likely enter the market by either continuing to power high-end tablets, low-end notebooks, or both. ARM is nowhere near a threat to Intels Ultrabook market however, if they continue to improve their system on a chip(SoC), they will be a company to look out for.


If Intel succeeds, there will be a new niche market of fashionable high-end laptops once exclusive to Apple users. In this case, having more options is a good thing. Personally, I dont think there is anything ultra about ultrabooks. A thin i7 laptop with integrated graphics is not something I consider ultra. Intels second generation core i7 processors are in todays laptops. This is simply Intels way of marketing the prestige of the Macbook to Windows user. There is no dedicate GPU. The price is still high at around $1k, and USB 3.0 will not be standard until the second phase. On paper, the only thing ultra about these ultrabooks is the slim form factor but to those familiar with the Macbook Air, thats nothing new. I still believe they will be successful. For most people, the measure of a laptops performance is how well it handles YouTube and if itВ can log into Facebook. No doubt, Windows users who have been waiting for a slick Macbook Air-like laptop will be happy this fourth quarter. Lets see what the future holds for ultrabooks.


Samsung QX410-JO1 First Impressions

Samsung QX410-jo1

New Technology in the morning is the right way to start off your day! And IВ literallyВ justВ got my package containing the Samsung QX410 from Amazon yesterday morning. I went to Best Buy to find the Samsung QX410 S02 and fell in love with the design. Sadly, it was 900 bucks and out of my budget. I did some research and found that the previous generation, QX410-JO1, was pretty much the exact same machine but with last gens processor. Everything else, from design to display were exactly the same. I then did some more research to find that the processor update from the two wasnt a huge update. And to my advantage, I was able to find the Samsung QX410-Jo1 refurbished on amazon for 580 bucks. Considering I had 140 bucks in amazon credit, I couldnt help but buy it. Ive only been using this machine for 2 day, but I must say, my Macbook Pro hasnt been touched once since because of this beast Samsung Machine. I wont be covering every spec and detail yet. These are just my first impressions. Keep an eye out however for my full review that should be coming along after Ive had some more time with it. Lets begin.




The machine boast Intels i5 at 2.53ghz, 4gbs of ram, 640gb HDD and В nNidias 310m respectively.


To be blunt, I thought this 14 screen was very nice. The screen (I suppose the entire machine!) reminds me of the Macbook Pro, which if you know me well enough, is a great thing. The Edge to edge glass makes this screen feel veryВ professional. However, the pixel density at 1366768 isnt anything mind boggling. But even then, I really do like this display.

My only gripe, would be that if you turn the brightness down, the screen is extremely reflective: Almost mirror like. I guess thats the price you pay with a glossy screen.




Fantastic. When I use a new keyboard, it usually takes me a few days to get used to. However, these chiclet keys were just comfortable and easy to use right off the back. I typed this article on it with zero complaints. I really loved that Samsung spaced out each key nicely to prevent accidental clicks. Each key feels extremely responsive and Ive notice no flex. While it is no mechanical keyboard, I really do think that this keyboard, as well as the beloved Lenovo X100es key, is in my top 5 favorite keyboards. At the end of the day you really do have to ask yourself, does the keyboard just work seamlessly. And my answer, yes.



Errr I suppose the trackpad as a whole is pretty good. However, I did not like the actual buttons for your right and left click. It felt like the right and left button slows down or renders theВ trackpadВ to be useless; as soon as I click the buttons I notice the trackpad slows down. Ill try to explain more in my full review. I use this machine mainly as a desktop replacement so my Razer Deathadder mouse compliments it nicely. So, I personally dont even use the trackpad anymore! Go figure! haha



They are nice, crisp and loud enough for me. Ive read a few reviews that suggested deep crackling with these speakers. But to my liking, Ive experienced none. They are loud enough to understand vocals from my music playlist, В while having a ton of noise В in the background.


Features and Ports

This laptop does indeed have a DVD drive so have no fear, they havent been completely taken out of the marketyet. 3 Usb 2.0s, headphone and speaker jack, an HDMI output, and of course an SD slot to top it all off. For my personal usage, these are exactly what I need. Nothing more and nothing less. Thanks Samsung!It also does have a webcam, which isnt too impressive, but hey, its there right?



I saved this for last because I think Samsung really nailed this one right on the head. I think this machine is absolutely georgous. I would personally say, that this machine (And maybe the Sony Vaio S) was the best looking machine Best Buy had to offer. Everything from the display, to the keyboard all the way to its ports, this machine just looks sleek and proffesional. Samsung loves to add curves to their machines and the qx410 is no exception. Youll notice there are small curves on machine, which just adds a nice look to it. Its a nice aluminum feel that just makes the machine feel tough and reliable.


That is all I have to say about this machine for now. Please Stay tuned for the full review!

Sandy Bridge Macbook Airs Coming?


Current Macbook Air

The Macbook Air! Its Sexy, slim, snappy but still a tad underpowered at the moment. If youre looking to get a Macbook Air and dont currently NEED one I would suggest you wait a month or so. If youve been keeping up with the latest mac news then youve probably heard about the new Macbook Airs that are to be released soon with intels sandy bridge processors! Many anticipate that they will skip the i3sВ and come with i5В and i7В Sandy Bridge processors. Rumors started months back but many rumors are now narrowing down to late May and early June. Though these are still rumors, one source comes from CNET in which they correctly, out of the very few, were able to predict the right dates that the current Macbook Pros were to be released with Sandy Bridge. While the current Macbook Airs are a beast of a machine, the Sandy Bridge update is exactly what this machine needs! (Maybe a low price tag of course but thats another story!)

Why Wait?


The answer is simple.POWER! В While the actual aesthetics of the machine will not change, sandy bride will haul a huge improvement compared to the current Macbook Airs core 2 duo. While the Macbook Airs are snappy because they come stocked with SSD memory, I believe a bump in their cpu will give it that extra kick. I without question loved my Macbook Air and I would have kept it if it had that extra horsepower. Of course at the end of the day with or without sandy bridge it is still a MacbookВ Air and youre not going to edit a HD 1080pВ award-winning film as you would on a Mac Pro; but even then I believe that the current Macbook Airs cater perfectly to most users and with the sandy bridge update it will suffice to many more who are a tad more tech savvy.

How much did the Macbook Pros Benefit from Sandy Bridge?

The current generation Macbook Pros comes with intels Sandy Bridge processor and they have made a huge difference in performance. В (Im currently typing on the machine and I love it!) On paper the current baseline Macbook Pros benchmark beat out the last generation Top spec Macbook Pros. So in summary. Sandy bridge in Macbook Airs = Huge performance update.

The Downsides.

The downsides that comes with sandy bridge are simply: gaming. While I hope youre not buying a Macbook Air to solemnly game in the first place, I do know some people who are not gaming fiends and are contempt with the current 320m that the airs come with. You know! That moderate gaming! В Sadly the rumors suggest that the new Macbook Airs will come intels integrated HD 3000 graphics which has been constantly debated in many forums to have lowered their gaming frame rates (Comparing current generation Macbook Pros with the HD 3000 and last generation Macbook Pros.)

So wait or buy now?

2 months areВ a long tech time. But that two months may give you a great deal. Around that time frame Apple will be doing their back to school iPod promotion. On top of that Lion should be releasing soon and hopefully Apple will release the Macbook Airs with lion pre-installed. В And of course the main reason. an updated Macbook Air!

However at the end of the day is it up to you of course. If you need the graphics that the current Airs have, and are fine with the current speeds they offer (Because that SSD still gives many machine a run for their money!) THEN WAIT NO LONGER!