Laptops vs Tablets: Comparing Mobility on Each Device

The bell has rung on the first two rounds of our Laptops vs Tablets match, in which we help you decide which is the best device for you and the way you work.

Mature contender the laptop won on apps, whereas newcomer the tablet won on design. It’s the third and final round – and we’re looking at mobility: which is the best device for working on the move? And which will be crowned best mobile computer overall – the laptop or the tablet?

Comparing laptop and tablet mobility

For years, the laptop has been the underpowered cousin of the desktop computer – a secondary device for many, towered over by much more capable tower PCs.

However, as processors have improved, laptops have caught up with desktops, and can be considered as powerful, primary devices in their own right. At the same time, they’ve got smaller, thinner and, crucially, lighter. It’s now possible to carry a laptop around all day without contracting sore shoulder syndrome.

But mobility is about more than just portability. Lift a laptop in one hand and a tablet in the other, and you’ll tip like scales. It’s easy to tell which is the more portable. But which is better in terms of battery life?

In our business of helping people find public places, like coffee shops in which to work, the second most-popular question we get (after “where can we find free Wi-Fi?”) is “where can we find a power supply?”.

Winner: Round 3

Running out of power in the middle of a mobile working day can be devastating for business people. Thanks to the usually longer-life of tablet batteries that’s less likely to happen, and for that reason the tablet wins this third and final round of our Laptop vs Tablet battle.

In Conclusion

Laptops win on apps – for “ultimate, no-compromise experience” when it comes to running software. Tablets win on design and on mobility, which should make tablet computers the best devices for mobile working.

However, choosing the tools you use in your everyday life is a deeply personal thing, and it does, indeed, depend on the kind of work you do and, of course, what is most important to you.

It may be that your work is reliant on software that tablets, currently, don’t run; or design isn’t important to you; or you travel very little with your work.

Our advice to you is not just to weigh up tablets and laptops in your hands, but to weigh up the pros and cons of each device. Take a look at the winners and losers in each category – and let us know what is your ultimate mobile computer in the comments below.

San Sharma (@sansharma) is a blogger for WorkSnug (@WorkSnug), a mobile app and website that helps you find laptop-friendly workspaces near you.

Photo Credit: striatic via Compfight cc


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