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Buying a New Computer: Tablets vs Laptops vs Desktop Computers

When it comes to buying a new computer, it’s no longer about choosing between Windows and Mac. Tablets and laptops have opened up a whole new world of portability, versatility and convenience. Add to that the sheer number of operating systems, web browsers and computer programs to choose from, and it can seem like there’s no way to know exactly what you should be looking for. When your computer fails you and all of a sudden needs replacing, it can be a daunting process to try and sift through all the new technology to find a replacement which suits your specific needs.

In today’s blog we’re going to give you a quick overview between the three different types of computer you can purchase — tablets, laptops and desktop computers — to help you decide which is the most suitable for your lifestyle. Not very computer savvy? You might find it helpful to read our post on common computer definitions before you go any further.

The Portable, Affordable Option: Tablets

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Tablets are very portable and easy to use.

One of the biggest changes to the technology world over the last decade is the rise in popularity of the tablet. If you own a smartphone then you’ll be familiar with the way these slim touch-screen computers work. Light and easy to transport, they’re probably the easiest to use of the three options, allowing you to navigate by tapping, swiping, pinching and flicking your fingers on the screen. Good models will have responsive touch-screens, but if you know you aren’t the most dexterous with your hands (perhaps due to arthritis) then you might struggle.

Like smartphones, tablets turn on straight away so you don’t need to wait for the device to boot. They also often offer in-built cameras, and more expensive models will offer a battery life of 10 to 12 hours, which is great for those who spend lots of time out of the house. All tablets offer internet connectivity, but some will also have the capacity to connect to 4G, just like smartphones. Reading e-books and digital magazines is certainly easier on a tablet, and although their slender size leaves them vulnerable to damage, you’ll easily find a protective cover.

Summary: The most portable option, tablets are ideal for the user looking for a simple web-browsing device.

The Option for Those Still Working: Laptops

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Laptops suit those looking for a computer to work on, as they have extra memory and a built-in keyboard.

With a physical keyboard that’s much more comfortable than the touch-screen of a tablet will suit students and others looking for a computer to write on, edit photos or enter data. The majority of designs are still lightweight and portable (you’ll find a big difference in price between heavier and lighter models), but they offer screens about twice the size of a tablet. The clamshell design of laptops also offers greater protection to the screen.

In terms of components, laptops offer much greater storage space as well as more powerful processors, which can handle web browsing, media streaming and Office tasks such as Word and Excel at the same time.

Summary: A more powerful option for those who want to do more, while still being portable and convenient.

The Powerful Option for Stationary Use: Desktop Computer

This is probably the option you are the most familiar with, and while they are still a relatively popular choice they don’t offer much more in the way of benefits when compared to modern-day tablets and laptops.

Perhaps the biggest advantage desktop computers have over their counterparts is that they are less likely to be damaged or stolen. If you like to watch movies or play games on your computer, a desktop will provide a larger processor and more power to enable you to do so. However, as they need to be plugged in constantly they can be a drain on your electricity.

Summary: Powerful but still relatively affordable, a desktop computer could be ideal if you aren’t looking for a portable device.

Do you own a tablet? Our new Smart USB Adaptor & Charger is a really clever little device to keep your computer charged while you’re out and about on your mobility scooter. Simply plug it into the charging port of your scooter while you’re travelling.