You’ve probably see or heard a bit about the main differences between the two such as the PC having more computing power, a “real” keyboard, and a bigger screen. But if you dig a little deeper, there’s much more to consider:
- Will you be doing a lot of typing such as writing long e-mails or working with documents? If so, be sure to try out the touch screens to make sure you’re comfortable with them. Depending on the size of the tablet screen, as well as its responsiveness, you may find typing somewhat cumbersome. Also, consider that some tablets have an optional keyboard that can be attached.
- Don’t completely rule out a tablet because of its lack of computing power. Free software is available that will allow you to connect your tablet to your desktop or laptop computer and use it from your tablet. An example of such software is called Splashtop. This permits you to have full computing power for occasional usage.
- Take a look at Nook Color, Kindle Fire, and similarly sized and priced tablets, as these are significantly lower in price than most of the better tablets. The main differences are a smaller screen and no webcam, but the price difference may easily offset the absence of these benefits for many people.
- Think about the different usages for the tablet and what software you might need. Most tablets operate on the same or similar system to a smartphone, and there are usually a lot of free or very inexpensive applications that can be easily downloaded and installed. In general, PC software is a bit more costly and not as easy to install.
- Portability is an issue for many. If you are highly mobile, a tablet is much smaller and lighter than a notebook, and usually thinner than a netbook. The smaller tablets can fit into most purses or briefcases with no problems. If you’re going to use the tablet in only one location, a PC may be desirable for the computing power and keyboard.
You can also ask friends and co-workers how their tablet works for them. If you do as much research as you can before purchasing one item over the other, you can avoid ending up with a tablet or PC that turns out to be a disappointment, made even more so given the cost of these devices.
Have you recently researched or purchased a tablet or PC? What resources did you use? What helped you make your decision? I’d like to hear what advice you can offer others in this situation!