If you’re in the market for a new mobile computer, choosing between a laptop and a tablet is becoming an increasingly difficult decision.
Mobility, apps and design are all serious considerations when parting with your hard-earned cash. Or maybe it’s your company’s cash, and it has a BYOD policy, in which case security is also a serious consideration. And the question your stakeholders will want answering is: can you be as productive on an iPad as you can on a ThinkPad?
In this new series, we hope to help you decide, by comparing the apps, design and mobility of laptops and tablets.
Comparing laptop and tablet apps
On Windows and Mac laptops, you’ll find all the software you already know, love and/or live with – Microsoft Word, Outlook, Adobe Photoshop, etc.
On a tablet, you’ll find yourself making do with alternatives, including:
- QuickOffice HD (iPad, Android) in place of Microsoft Office
- Adobe Photoshop Express (iPad, Android) in place of Photoshop
- Dropbox (iPad, Android) in place of a decent file manager
So, while these alternatives aren’t quite as feature-packed as the originals, they’re only a fraction of the price.
Furthermore, there are apps for things you can do on a tablet that you can’t do easily on a laptop. Take notes using your finger, for example, with Penultimate (iPad) or PenSupremecy (Android), flip your screen and read an industry magazine you put together with Flipboard (iPad, Android), or accept credit cards on the move with Square (iPad, Android).
If you’re tempted to choose a tablet over a laptop for those reasons, or others, think carefully about your workflow. How will it be compromised with these make-do tablet apps? Is there something crucial that you can’t do easily on a tablet?
Winner: Round 1
For the ultimate no-compromise experience, the laptop wins the Apps round of our Laptop vs Tablet battle. Next time: Design – who will win round 2? It’s touch screens vs clam shells…