By Chris Messenger | Published 20/09/2012
So, the new kids on the block (by which I mean Tablet PCs, not the dodgy 80’s boyband) are coming to blows with the established veterans (by which I mean laptop computers, not survivors of WW2 – if The New Kids really were having a pop at the vets, it would make for one mother of a weird news day). With families divided and casualties on both sides, the latest technological civil war pitches tablet vs laptop. Lets take a tour of the battlefield:
I’ve spent the last few evenings cuddled up with my girlfriend watching videos. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s a capital crime in techie town to extol the virtues of a ‘dead’ technology, but there you have it. The last time we had a car boot sale, I found a VHS copy of ‘The Magnificent Seven’ in a box of leftover rubbish. It works fine, so I kept it. VHS may not be the best way to enjoy movies, but it’s certainly the cheapest, and money as a factor simply can’t be ignored. Just the other day I got several VHS episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine for free. For free. For that price, format be damned, I don’t care if they’re tattooed on theinside of your eyelids so you can watch them as you sleep, DS9 for free? SOLD!
Why did I tell you that? Well, it actually pertains to the tablet vs laptop debate in a very real way. If functionality and price are your greatest concerns, then for now, I’d stick with a laptop. There’s very little that a Tablet can do that a laptop can’t (in fact, laptops generally have more options and bigger memory), and the difference in price is considerable. What I mean by that is this; new laptops are a lot pricier than new tablet PCs, but second hand laptops still offer better value for money. The secondary market for used tablets has yet to boom, as they haven’t been around long enough yet, but, comparatively, the market for used laptops is actually bigger than the demand for new ones.
Of course, once tablets have been around for a couple more years, the tablet vs laptop scales are likely to tip in the tablet’s favour and, as the initial price of the tablet is that much cheaper, I’d say that the future of the tablet vs laptop debate definitely looks tablet-shaped.
Once technology improves and tablet PCs can store as much as laptops, most laptops are likely to go the way of the VHS, but until then, you'll be OK. Tablet technology is moving really, really fast and new models are out all the time whereas laptops are much slower developmentally, so, for now, if price is your motivating factor then I recommend a laptop. However, I do believe that while laptops have won this battle, the tablet vs laptop war will ultimately end in victory for the tablet.
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