Tablet PC vs. laptop

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Tablet PC vs. laptop
Tablet computers are a relatively new technology with a much different interface than previous computers. (Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Tablet PC's and laptop computers perform many of the same functions. They both run a full operating system, they are both portable, and they can both run the same programs. However, there are many differences between laptops and tablet PCs as well.

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The Keyboard

The first thing that you will notice about tablet PC's is that they do not feature a physical keyboard. Instead, table PC's use built-in software that allows for on-screen typing. One thing to note about on-screen keyboards is that you cannot feel the keys individually. You will need to look down much more when typing, to see which keys you are hitting. On screen typing does have a learning curve. Also, many on-screen keyboards take up the bottom half of the screen, when being used and will give you some loss in usable screen size.

The keyboards on laptops are much better for anyone who does a lot of typing, and they do not take up any room on the screen. However, they do take up additional physical space. Touch, stroke and feel are better on laptop computer keyboards.

The Trackpad

The trackpad on laptop computers is a touch sensitive area about 3 inches by 2 inches in size. It is normally located directly below the keyboard, in the centre of the laptop. Directly below the trackpad are two small buttons used for right and left click.

Tablet PCs feature full-touch screens. Navigating the cursor is simple - you just drag your finger across the screen. To initiate a click on tablet PCs, all you do is tap the screen or tap twice for double click.

Viewing Angle

Viewing angle is much different on Tablet PCs compared with laptops. Laptop screens can be tilted to many different angles for easy viewing. An open laptop screen, by default, will sit straight up forming a 90 degree angle with the base of the laptop. This is considered an ideal viewing angle.

Tablet PCs sit flat. Because they require full use of the screen to operate, a tablet PC user must constantly look down on the screen. There are no angle adjustments on tablet PCs.

Cost

Tablet PCs are a newer technology then laptop computers. In turn, they generally are more expensive. When comparing a tablet PC vs. a laptop with similar specs, you can expect to pay at least £97 more for the tablet.

Uses

Tablet PCs are best for artists and graphic designers. Many tablet PCs even feature a digital pen for further ease of use. Because they have a touch screen, tablet PCs can be controlled by the freedom of your hand. This gives you a much more versatile and controlling feel.

Laptop computers are best for general computer users and people who do a lot of typing. The full-sized keyboard and wrist rest allow for comfortable navigation; and the screen is positioned ideally for straightforward view.

Notebook/Tablet PCs

Laptop/tablet PC combos are available. These computers feature the normal set-up and physical keyboard of a notebook with the touchscreen capabilities of a tablet PC. They are dual-function. When in notebook mode, they can be used just like a laptop computer. In tablet mode, the screen the screen rotates 180 degrees and folds down. This gives you the functionality of a tablet. However, this is typically the most expensive of the available options.

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