With the vast selection of mobile computing devices, choosing the right computer can be intimidating.   The following are some guidelines that will narrow down your selection to help you choose the right device.  

Tablet or Laptop?

Tablet or Laptop?

 

Tablet PCs have become increasingly popular because they are lightweight and easy to use.  However because of their small screen size, small storage capacity and lack of a physical standard keyboard, they haven’t yet been able to become a full time replacement for a laptop or desktop computer. 

 

Consider a tablet if you plan on doing light web use and don’t spend much time working on documents.

 

Laptops are much more versatile than tablets and desktop computers. They are available in many different configurations and with touch screens fast becoming the norm; they should be considered even when entertaining the purchase of a tablet.

Now that you have a better idea of which mobile platform you are interested in, read through the following important factors to help narrow down your decision:


Price

The first question I ask people when they are trying to choose a new computer is what their budget is. This immediately helps narrow down several factors to try and get our client the best value for their money.


Screen Size

Devices come in many different screen sizes ranging from 8” to 17.3”. Naturally this large range caters to different people with different needs.  The typical screen size on a tablet is about 10” whereas on a laptop it ranges between 15 to 15.6”.   The size of screen you choose will have a direct impact on other factors such as weight and price.  Choose a screen size that best suits your needs.


Weight

Tablets have an obvious edge over laptops; however laptop weight has dropped dramatically. The average weight for a laptop today is between 3 to 7 lbs.  The lighter the laptop, the more likely the price will increase and screen size will decrease.


Storage

Another important factor when looking into a new tablet or laptop is the amount of space it has to store your files such as music, videos and pictures.  Determine how much you require by taking quick inventory of your current computer. Storage space is measured in gigabytes or terabytes.  There are two types of main storage for laptop computers: Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and/or Solid State Drives (SSD).

HDD’s have larger capacity’s because they are less expensive to manufacturer, however because they have many components they are also heavier.

SSD’s have smaller capacity’s because they are costly to manufacturer, however they are considerably lighter than a HDD and have faster read times as they have no moving parts.


Processor

There are many types of processors on the market today, all coming from the two biggest manufacturers: Intel and AMD.  

The speed and manufacturer of the processor will impact performance and price. Because this is a large topic we will cover this in the upcoming weeks, note that the Intel processors are typically more expensive and have better performance numbers where as AMD is more cost effective but less powerful in most cases.



Memory / RAM

Memory or RAM (Random Access Memory) is another important component to the operation of your device. This will also influence the price and performance, however it should be noted that performance will only increase to a point depending on your usage. 4GB to 6GB of memory is more than enough for the average person.


Choosing the right computer doesn’t have to be a difficult or intimidating process.  By using the information we’ve provided and placing your priorities in order, you will select the right device at the right price.

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