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Is It Better to Have a Tablet, a Laptop or a Desktop?

PCs are useful for several tasks: they can be used in offices in order for employees to work in a digital environment and reduce paperwork on their desk, in schools in lieu of paper and in order to support didactics with also audio and video material, finally, they can be used merely to surf the internet and play games, without forgetting special situations in which PCs are used as specialistic tools (like by architects, lawyers or medical personnel). In many situations, having a PC is mandatory, especially if specialistic software is used, still, in other cases, also tablets may be suitable for common needs. This article is going to analyze the main differences among desktops, laptops and tablets in order to provide a support for those who are undecided about what to get for their job or entertainment.

A laptop used at a cafe

A laptop used at a cafe

Desktops Are Good as Workstations

The main characteristic of desktop is that is it meant to be installed and used in a single place. This means desktops are good as workstations in offices or as a play area to be installed in a house. Desktops are good, in general:

  • for people who need to perform tasks on a PC in a specific location;
  • for schools in order to equip their IT lab;
  • for offices in order to set specific workstations for employees.

The most obvious con of desktops is that they are not portable, while the pro about them is that they tend do be a stable device that can offer a very good experience of use, especially if one considers desktops can be equipped with large monitors and high quality speakers, providing an overall experience that may be better than what achieved with portable devices.

Laptops: Portable & Performant

Laptops can achieve to serve basic needs like surfing the internet and doing office tasks, while they can even provide professional gaming performances: ranges of prices vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars, so also performances and destinations of use are consequently variable. Laptops achieve to be a great portable solution suiting most needs and are perfect for people who regularly travel and need to work in several places, but also students can benefit from using them in order to write notes during lessons. The main con of laptops is that, being portable devices, they are eventually lighter in equipment if compared to desktops, so one has to deal with generally smaller displays and speakers, that are directly integrated: moreover, components like CD and DVD player may not be installed on every laptop and, in general, desktops tend to support more components, having surely more space and no need of pack as much as possible in a portable tool.

Tablets: The Highest Level of Portability

Tablets usage has been exploded with the first release of iPad: the reason why they have got such a huge success is that these devices are very small to carry in any place, being, at the fact, a middle step between a smartphone (which may be too small to do every task one would may do with a PC, as even basic internet surfing may be very different on smartphones and bigger devices) and a PC. Tablets are good for users who need to perform just everyday activities like surfing the internet, checking email, using social networks and keep in touch with other people; in addition, thanks to the vast availability of apps that can be downloaded from places like Apple App Store or Google Play Store, tablets allow to perform different tasks, making them more similar to PCs. Of course, apps for tablets are less complex than those made for a PC and very specialistic software usually available on laptops and desktops may not be even available for these small devices, still, tablets are good for basic uses and for performing most of the common tasks one can do with a PC, still in a very small space, making these devices good for people who are always moving and want something very comfortable to carry everywhere: even laptops are not as comfortable as tablets, being these PCs still heavy and requiring at least a bag to carry them, while a tablet can be easily kept even in a shoulder bag, if it is big enough.

A tablet with Microsoft Outlook welcome screen

A tablet with Microsoft Outlook welcome screen

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An overview of the main differences among desktops, laptops and tablets.







For personal and professional purposes, plus, highly specialistic usage too

For personal and professional purposes, plus, highly specialistic usage too

For general personal and professional purposes

Available Software

Very high availability of software

Very high availability of software

High availability of apps, still not generally as complex as those made for PCs


One needing the maximum power, scalability and a virtually unlimited way to perform tasks with a PC without the need of portability can definitely choose a desktop for their needs. Tablets are instead great for those people looking for the maximum portability and who need to perform generally basic tasks, without the need of running specialistic software or making particular special usages of their device. Laptops are the "man-in-the-middle" solution and are great for those needing most of the advanced opportunities a PC can offer, still, with at least a bit of portability. Of course, having more than one kind of device for different usages is also another great solution that may work for many people.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Alessio Ganci

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