Tablets vs. Laptops

With the newer, lighter, sleeker iPad 2 billboards and advertisements planted all over the city, we can't deny the spark of interest in this new tablet craze. Although it's made with similar intentions and functions, is it really safe to say a tablet can qualify as a replacement to a laptop? Not entirely.

 Both are made to serve the same purpose as mobile Internet devices. As an owner of both an iPad 2 and a laptop, I believe they both share similar functions with subtle differences, which come with various advantages and disadvantages.

 The Apple iPad 2, for instance, has a maximum storage space of 64GB. It's the same maximum amount as the highest iPod touch. Therefore, if one has intentions of using their tablet for more then just their entire music library, that will be a problem since that is the maximum amount of space and memory available on an iPad 2.

 As an iPad owner, the biggest disadvantage is that a tablet lacks a USB and a CD rom drive. A student might not find this device useful because any work saved on a USB drive cannot be accessed on an iPad. There are external cords and extensions sold but who would want to go through that trouble when three separate USB ports are available on a laptop?

 "An iPad isn't a laptop and never will be, it doesn't hold the same amount of things as a laptop," said SMC student La Shane Jones. "Yeah it looks nice when you're sitting there with your compact little screen of a computer but what am I supposed to do when I need to finish typing up my essay and can't seem to access Microsoft Word or plug my USB in?"

 The weight difference is one thing that stands out about a tablet, compared to a laptop. It feels like a book, not a computer, which is great for a students who need to bring it to school every day.

 Although both feature WiFi capabilities, a laptop is able to connect with Bluetooth while a tablet isn't. You need an Internet connection to use most of the applications on a tablet just as you would on a laptop.

 Both devices allow you to load your entire music library onto the device. An iPad gives you the ability to sync your entire iTunes library and listen to it with headphones plugged in. However, you can only sync your music library on your iPad2 if you're connected to a computer or laptop.

 Another huge disadvantage of a tablet is that it's a touchscreen device. Sure it's lovely to have no keyboard and just a flat screen, but for a student who needs to type up a ten-page essay, it isn't the easiest or the most convenient task to accomplish on a tablet.

 According to a Los Angeles Times article, "tablets, with their limited screen size and lack of a keyboard, are not yet as effective for tasks that involve a great deal of typing or creative work. They are still a rare sight on college campuses, where students need the versatility of laptops to crunch numbers and write long papers,"

 Tablets such as the iPad 2 are becoming more popular and common because of its publicity, size, smooth appearance, but not its actual capabilities. When choosing between the two, it doesn't really come down to which one is better, but what it might be used for. As a student, or anyone who uses their computer for more then just music, quick Internet, posting new photos on Facebook, or updating their Twitter feed; the safer bet would be going with a laptop. Think of the iPad as a jumbo iPhone, without the phone capability. It's a great gadget but it cannot substitute a laptop.