For Seniors:Know the Difference between Laptops and Tablets PCs
Laptops and netbooks, however similar, are quite different than tablets. The most popular tablet is the Apple iPad, although companies such as Dell, Acer, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, and Motorola have brought out their own tablets. If you want a side-by-side comparison of tablets, visit Tablet PC Comparison.
- Input device: Tablets take their primary input from their touchscreens. With a tablet, there is no keyboard and no mouse (although you can purchase a wireless keyboard to use with your tablet if you like). Instead, you tap the screen to make choices and enter text.REMEMBER: Tablets do not typically have a keyboard, mouse, or DVD drive. Their screens are their primary input device. They may have a camera that takes photos and video, however.
- Outside connection:Tablets connect to the Internet using either Wi-Fi or 3G technologies (3G is what your cellphone uses to connect virtually anywhere). 3G models require that you pay for your connection time through some kind of cellphone carrier.
- Primary function: Tablets were first designed as devices for consuming media — ebooks, movies, and music — and for playing games, browsing the Internet, or retrieving e-mail.Although you can do moderate word processing and number crunching with a tablet, they were not designed for that and you’ll probably find a laptop much better suited to the task. However, if you want a super lightweight device to browse the Internet, send and receive e-mail, and peruse content like ebooks, music, or movies, a tablet might be just right.
- Operating system:Desktops, laptops, and netbooks use computer operating systems; tablets typically use smartphone operating systems, so they work differently.
- Size and weight: Tablets come in different sizes such as 7 inch or 10 inch and weigh far less than a laptop.
- Screen resolution and processing speed: As with a laptop, tablet screens have different resolutions, meaning that some have crisper-looking graphics than others; they have their own processors (different from those used in laptops), some being faster than others; their memory capacity will almost always be smaller than a laptop and can range from 8 GB to 64 GB; and their battery life is typically longer than most laptops.