Laptop or Tablet? Which is best for what?

Innovations from pioneers like Toshiba continue making laptops thinner and lighter, yet more versatile and powerful than ever, while advancements in form factor have given the world devices like the tablet PC. Between laptops and tablets, which is right for you? It depends on your lifestyle, personal tastes, where you go and what you want to do.

Click below to compare the strengths of each.

Tablets Laptops
Form Factor and Design
Factoring size and weight, battery life, plus durability.
5 out of 5
  • Their extra small size and light weight let you take them places you might not take a laptop
  • Great for traveling
  • Slip easily in a purse, briefcase or backpack
  • Long battery life
  • Provide a range of virtual or “soft” keyboards
  • Must rest on your lap, or be held in hand
  • Power up very fast
4 out of 5
  • A range of portable sizes and weights offer a great alternative to desktop computing
  • A broader array of features lets you do things on the go you can’t always do with a tablet
  • Their hard keyboard is often preferred for productivity
  • More mobile protection thanks to our exclusive EasyGuard® Technology and PC Health Monitor
  • Can take longer to power up
Connecting and Communicating
Emailing, surfing the Internet, chatting, videoconferencing and more.
4 out of 5
  • Ideal if you’re looking to chat, email, browse and do social networking
  • Good for keeping your kids entertained in the car, on vacation, or at home
  • 4G and Wi-Fi® available on select models
5 out of 5
  • More communication choices, versatility and workspace make laptops better for extensive downloading, videoconferencing and Web research
  • You can expand your connectivity with Wireless-N and 3G broadband on some of our laptop models
Including everything from extreme 3D action to casual or online play.
3 out of 5
  • Suitable for light, Web-based gaming
4 out of 5
  • If you’re a serious mobile gamer, a laptop is what you need
  • Many of our models have integrated graphics offering economical gaming power
  • Diehard 3D gamers will want models with brawnier dedicated (discrete) graphics
Getting Things Done
At home or the office, in school, or anywhere in between.
2 out of 5
Tablets are great for simply:
  • checking emails and newsfeeds
  • sharing and enjoying videos, photos and playlists
  • searching and browsing the Web
  • updating your online calendar or social networking accounts
  • blogging
5 out of 5
When it’s time to use serious software for work, school or home finances, look to a laptop for:
  • crunching numbers, or performing major accounting tasks
  • producing big presentations
  • working with large documents
  • editing movies and slideshows
  • developing graphic designs, websites and other media-rich creations
Expanding What You Can Do
Working with other devices to share, scale up and build out your mobile computing.
3 out of 5
You’ll be surprised at how versatile and expandable tablets can be. They enable you to:
  • download apps and widgets that broaden what you can do and enjoy
  • dock to take advantage of big displays and external speakers—for entertainment, presentations or productivity
  • use digital pens and wireless keyboards for added comfort and efficiency
5 out of 5
Laptops let you expand and share just as you would with a tablet, but with a far wider range of options, like:
  • enjoying HD entertainment on a home theater
  • docking to build out a constructive desk-based computing system with printers, scanners, monitors and more
  • doing high-speed back-ups
Enjoying Digital Entertainment
Including photos, TV music, HD movies, videos and more.
3 out of 5
A tablet is great for looking at or playing back multimedia on the go. That includes:
  • viewing or posting pictures and videos
  • listening to music
  • watching online clips
  • enjoying Web-based movies
5 out of 5
You’ll need a laptop if you want to:
  • consume 3D content
  • create photo albums
  • watch DVD movies
  • edit home video
  • enjoy RPG, 3D or FPS gaming
  • build playlists
  • schedule and record TV
Storing It All
Keeping your critical work and personal files, your school assignments, multimedia and more.
2 out of 5
Though small, some of our tablets do offer various types of storage capacity.
5 out of 5
If you’re looking for a place to hold everything in your growing digital life, think laptop
  • Our models offer up to 1.5TB of storage
  • Faster and even more reliable solid state drives are available, too
4 out of 5
Tablets are very affordable, but can be more expensive than some entry-level laptops.
5 out of 5
Depending on features and performance, laptops are offered with variety of price points to fit even the strictest budget.

Our Advice

Both laptops and tablets greatly expand what you can do and enjoy, and how far you can venture, in today’s fast-growing digital world.
For the utmost in freedom—connecting, browsing, sharing, communicating or consuming media on the go, the tablet gets our vote.

But as a main PC, mobile entertainment center, or replacement for your desktop computer, the laptop is our front runner. Built-in optical drives, larger displays and stereo speakers make them best for movies, music, gaming and multitasking. Plus, you’ll have the power to accomplish virtually anything you want to do.

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