Here are 8 things you should consider before deciding between a desktop, laptop, or tablet as your next device.
Which of your devices is in the best condition?
Sometimes choosing your next device can be as simple as replacing the one in the worst condition. If your desktop or laptop is hopelessly outdated, you might be better off simply replacing it rather than adding the expense of a tablet to your refresh cycle.
Do you need portability?
If you need portability, a desktop is essentially out of the question. Laptops are increasingly used as a desktop replacement, but for the cutting edge in lightweight portability, there is nothing better than a tablet.
What applications do you use?
Certain applications have limited or zero functionality on tablet operating systems. Before investing hundreds of dollars in a tablet, make sure it will be able to run the software you use on a regular basis.
How much do you type on a typical day?
Although tablets have touchscreen keyboards and an increasing number of third-party peripheral keyboards, they are still less effective than a traditional keyboard. If you regularly type lots of documents or e-mails, you’re probably better off going with a laptop or desktop as your primary device.
Are you comfortable using only a touch screen?
For some, the touch screen is a revolutionary interface. For others, it is still a frustrating and clumsy way to control a device. If you love the ease and speed of a touch screen, using a tablet as your daily device might make sense.
However, if you still get apprehension using the screen on your smartphone, it might be better to wait another year or two before going fully touchscreen.
How much hard drive space do you need?
Cloud-based storage is making it easier to do without massive amounts of local hard drive space. If you can do without hundreds of Gigabytes of local data, a tablet might work for you. If you prefer access to all of your data without an internet connection, a laptop or desktop is the only way to go.
Are you typically out of the office/classroom?
If you typically need access to your computer away from your desk, a desktop is out of the question. The other factors listed here should provide guidance when deciding between a tablet and a laptop.
How much are you planning to spend?
Desktops still offer the best bang for the buck in terms of processor power, RAM, hard drive space, etc. If you are on a budget and can do without portability, a desktop is a way to go.