Recent media reports have stated that tablets are expected to outsell laptops by 2015. However, back in 2013, reports were claiming that tablets had outsold PCs for the first time during that year. There’s no doubt that tablets have grown rapidly in popularity and you can either thank or blame Apple’s iPad for this. As tablets strive to match the capabilities of a laptop will we soon be living in a tablet-only world?
Price is an incentive
Tablets are the inexpensive option compared to a laptop unless you’re splashing out on the latest iPad. Budget tablets can now be purchased for around a quarter of the price of the average laptop and this is a good incentive for consumers. Of course laptops are incrementally decreasing in price but a model such as the Macbook Pro is still around seven times the price of a budget tablet. The tech world is hugely competitive and the bottom line is sales; customers want an affordable product and sales figures are swaying in favour of tablets, which could mean a downturn in laptop production.
Usage determines your choice
It’s not all bad news for laptop lovers because as of yet the tablet cannot really match the processing power of a laptop. Your Macbook Pro or Sony Vaio will have faster performance, more memory (although Cloud storage does solve this issue for tablet users) and will offer better multi-tasking capabilities than the average tablet. Gaming is another reason why laptops are still going strong as the capabilities of a tablet in this respect just don’t match up. However, if you simply want to watch films, browse the internet, read emails and play Angry Birds then a tablet will meet your needs.
The keyboard issue
Yes, tablets do have an onscreen keyboard but try writing your next novel using a touchscreen keyboard - nimble fingers will be required for that task. Tablets are all about the touch screen and this feature is not as user friendly as a physical keyboard and mouse. Hybrid laptops can now be purchased with the option of a detachable touchscreen, which does give consumers the best of both worlds. In the business world a physical keyboard is pretty much essential for entering large portions of text, and laptops are still a vital part of everyday corporate use.
The mobile option
Tablets do of course win the day when it comes to being a truly portable computer. Laptops are designed to be portable but they cannot really match that little slate when it comes to sticking it in a bag and getting out and about. Laptops are pretty much designed to be used while stationery, whereas tablets are small and portable enough to be used in almost any situation. The train commute to work can be a lot less hassle with a tablet in your hand rather than the balancing act a laptop requires.
The laptop’s death does seem to have been greatly exaggerated and the advantages when compared to a tablet should ensure its existence for some time to come.
Image by Siddartha Thota, used under the Creative Commons license.