This is an argument that is taking place all over the internet, and here is a fresh perspective on it. Most of the people making the arguments come from two camps; office workers such as lawyers or accountants, and people who like to read. Both parties have some great points, but this argument is missing out on a vital member of the buying public: students. College and university students use just about every kind of software and apps available for their computers and smart phones. Like office workers, they need the flexibility of the word documents to create assignments, and the need to be able to send their finished works to teachers or other members in their group. They also like to have their text books in a digital format, as well as books that they read for leisure. Taking all of this into account, which is best for the tertiary education student: a laptop or a smart pad?
First of all, smart pads aren’t just the iPad from Apple. Many other companies are now coming out with their own tablet pc that works in a similar vein to the iPad. While some may think this is just a way to reap the rewards for Apple’s hard work, some critics of the iPad say that the other companies like HP, Lenovo, and Dell have all taken note of the gaps in Apple software and filled these in their new device. While Apple came out first, waiting meant that these companies could see where they went wrong and have avoided making the same mistakes.
One of the main benefits of a tablet over a laptop is weight. A decent laptop with a respectable screen and keyboard size and great battery life weighs a lot, and lugging it around campus can be downright annoying. Tablets weight next to nothing, so you can fit in your purse or satchel bag without noticing the extra weight. Sure, some companies make compact laptops, but the keyboard size alone stops you from doing any real work on it. Tablets win here because they are compact and weigh less.
However, when it comes to doing actual work, it looks like the laptops win. Laptops are ergonomically designed with the keyboard flat and the screen at an angle. This makes it faster for people to type, because they don’t have to be looking where their fingers are, they just have to concentrate on the screen. With a tablet, the screen is a decent size, but when you get to doing real typing the keyboard takes up a huge chunk of space. This means that you lose either viewing space or keyboard space, and when you’re writing an assignment you don’t want to lose anything.
People claim that tablets have the advantage when it comes to e-readers, but you can download books in PDF format and read them on your laptop. In fact, having your books on your laptop will cut down weight when you’re carrying it around.
This hasn’t really answered the question, but it should make tablet makers sit up and take notice of a niche of customers they haven’t really thought of yet.
This article has been contributed by David Ritchie. David is a software developer and technical writer with over 10 years of professional experience. He is currently interested in Mac scan software.