You’re finally ready to buy a new device (or buy your first one!).
All excited, you go to the store to pick one out.
You see all the different desktops and laptops and tablets & don’t even know where to begin.
The sales associate even tries to help.
You feel completely overwhelmed with confusion and fear that you will spend so much money and choose the wrong device.
Here we provide for you Tech Tutors Onsite’s Hardware Buying Guide to assist you in selecting the right device for your specific technology needs.
There are many types of computers and many types of tablets so your first question should be:
Computer or Tablet?
For simplicity (we all like simplicity when we are new to things), we have outlined the differences in chart form.
|Screen Size||Large. Usually starts at 17”||Small. Usually ranges from 6-10”|
|Portability||Desktops are not portable.
Laptops are portable but heavier and bulkier than tablets.
|Very portable and light. Can fit in purse or small bag.|
|Ease of Use||For those new at technology, computers have a steeper learning curve than tablets.||Simplified. Apps are pretty simple to use.|
|Processing Power||Powerful enough for high end gaming or design software (i.e. photoshop, autoCAD).||Enough for everyday tasks such as news, email, searching, youTube, games, etc.|
|Battery||Laptop-Moderate||Good (almost double that of a laptop)|
|Typing||External keyboard so typing is simple for those who feel comfortable with a keyboard.||Many don’t have an external keyboard so if you type large amounts of data, difficult to do on a tablet touchscreen keyboard. External keyboard available on some tablets.|
|Security||Need antivirus software||Pretty secure|
|Touch Screen||Some monitors are available with a touch screen.||Yes|
|Cost||Starting at $350||Starting at $99|
Once you decide if a computer or tablet is better for you, a deeper dive is required to figure out which computer or which tablet will fit your needs.
If you decided on computer, let’s now compare desktops vs laptops. These are available with either Windows, Chrome or Mac Operating Systems. We will save the comparison of Operating Systems for another article!
|Screen Size||Many options. Monitor usually 17” +||Many options. Usually 15”+|
|Portability||Not portable.||Very portable. Choose a lighter weight and smaller screen device for better portability.|
|Ease of Use||Same as Laptop||Same as Desktop|
|Processing Power||Higher processing power for those using it for high end gaming, coding, special purpose programs such as Photoshop, AutoCAD, etc||Great for most people but desktop has better processing power for special purpose users.|
|Battery||Must be plugged in||Fair-If you charge it properly can last up to 4 hours|
|Typing||Keyboard (touchscreen available)||Keyboard (touchscreen available)|
|Security||Need antivirus||Need antivirus|
|Cost||Starting at $350||Starting at $350|
If you had decided on a tablet, we have outlined the differences between iPads and other tablets with Android or Windows Operating Systems. In many ways they are similar, so we will outline below where they differ.
|Apps||Great apps||Good apps- more developer friendly so need to filter out unworthy apps. Less expensive than iPad apps.|
|Video Chat||Facetime or Skype||Skype. Facetime not available|
|Synchronization||Easily syncs with other Apple devices (share photos, apps)||There are workarounds to synchronize but not simple like with iPad|
|Customization||Not very customizable except for colors and order of apps||Very customizable (change look and feel, locations of menu items, shortcuts) . Customizing requires a bit of skill.|
|Ease of Use||Simple, Intuitive||Pretty easy but not quite as intuitive as iPad|
|Security||Apple scans all apps before going into app store. Very secure.||Secure but more vulnerable than iPad because not as restricted.|
|Cost||Starting at $350||$99-$599|
If from this you are still unsure what you would best benefit from, know that tablets are mainly for ‘consumption’ of information and data such as reading, searching, watching and small amounts of typing.
A computer is better for ‘creating’ such as creating documents, photo & video editing, development, etc.
Good luck with your search and stay safe out there.