Laptops vs Tablets: What will you buy in 2023?

Laptops are better than tablets for me, but I understand why people are drawn to tablets. They're useful to some of you, but a laptop is just a better fit for some of us. I want to type on a physical keyboard when I want to type and I don't want to use the touch screen if I'm not on my phone. The best tablets are the iPads, but even they don't compare to a good laptop in my opinion. Relax, I'll explain.

iPads are better than Chromebooks as far as capability. Chromebooks are popular in schools because they're an affordable way for students to access the educational software they need, but they're not as good as traditional laptops. It goes right back to capability.

When deciding whether to purchase a tablet or a laptop, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each option before you shell out the money. Tablets boast efficient battery life, a user-friendly operating system, they're more portable and lightweight, and the camera is usually better on something like an iPad. However, the touch keyboard uses screen space, external accessories can be costly, and the device can overheat with overuse. Laptops, on the other hand, offer a physical keyboard, more processing power, and a larger screen. To the credit of tablets, laptops are typically heavier and bulkier.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and what type of tasks you will be using the device for.

If you need a larger screen? Laptop

Need something more portable for taking notes? Tablet

Need to type more often than not? Laptop

Need a lightweight device to mount and control devices from? Tablet

Need to work on multiple things at once? Laptop

Need a lightweight device to do your artwork? Tablet

Gaming? Both! Streaming has made it easy for us to access our favorite console-quality games from any device, but you're paying more if you want to hardwire a tablet.

If you want to settle for something in the middle, both roads cross at a good lightweight 2-in-1 but be prepared to pay. A good 2-in-1 can easily cost you over $1,200 unless you score a factory refurbished option, which on a side note are the laptops that you end up with anyway if you have a warranty and you're outside of a particular window. 

If the system is a brick out of the box, they owe you a brand-spanking new replacement. If the system is past a certain period, you're getting a factory-refurbished replacement. You can't go wrong because any issues are no longer an issue due to the part(s) being fully replaced with a new one. The exterior is usually pre-existing, but little to no marks may appear on the product. Companies won't tell you this, but that gives you an idea of what goes on behind the scenes.

I'm a traditional laptop guy, but another member of the team prefers a good 2-in-1 as long as he can actually draw on the screen. So that's where the benefit for tablet users comes in. If you can't use a pen on the screen, you're better off sticking with tablets like the iPad, but if a 2-in-1 can marry the things you need from both devices you have the best of both. 

I think Microsoft comes the closest with the Surface Pro because you can detach the keyboard, it runs standard Windows, and it has a pen.

Here are the specs for the Surface Pro 9's $1,399.99 option:

  • 12th Gen Intel Core i7
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • Windows 11 Home
  • WiFi
  • 13" Display (2880 X 1920)
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • 2 USB-C Thunderbolt 4 Ports
  • No Microsoft Office, although I prefer a one-time purchase over 365
  • Weight 1.95lbs
  • 15.5 Hour Battery
  • 1 Month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

  • Surface Pro Signature Keyboard - $107.99 (Additional)
  • Surface Slim Pen 2 - $92.99 (Additional)

You're looking at $1,600.97 if you want to get the true 2-in-1 experience.

What we know as the traditional 2-in-1 is usually a laptop that cannot detach the keyboard, and one that I've identified in a similar price range is from Lenovo.

Here are the specs for the Yoga 7i's $1,399.99 option:

  • 12th Gen Intel Core i7
  • Intel Arc A370M 4GB GDDR6 Graphics
  • Windows 11 Home 64
  • WiFi
  • 16" Display (2560 X 1600)
  • 32GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD
  • HDMI
  • 2 USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 Ports
  • 2 USB-C Thunderbolt 4 Ports
  • SD Card Reader
  • Weight 4.19lbs
  • 65W Power Supply, 4-Cell 71 WHr Battery (Is my guess since that's the one in a lesser unit)
  • 3 Months Xbox Game Pass

  • Lenovo Active Pen 2 - $44.99 (Additional)

You're looking at $1,444.98 if you want to add the pen and make it worth it.

I don't want to crap on other tablets, but I don't want to serve up any fluff either. So I'll acknowledge some other tablets worth considering:

Galaxy Tab S7 FE, delivers a very nice Android experience with an S Pen included at no extra charge. This tablet has a good 12.4" LTPS 60Hz display, a Qualcomm SDM778G Octa-core processor, up to 8GB RAM, and a Li-Ion 10090mAh battery. This tablet weighs in at 1.34lbs, which is $552.16 before taxes. If I needed a tablet, I would go for something like this if I couldn't score an iPad.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus (2021), is an affordable tablet that gives you a pretty good battery life to enjoy eBooks, web browsing, enjoying shows, gaming through Luna, mobile games, and notable apps at $179.99. You can't use an active pen on these tablets, but Amazon needs to get with the program if they want to make the device even better. The Fire HD 10 Plus has a 9.73" X 6.53" screen and weighs in at 16.5oz.

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