Should I go for a netbook or a tablet?

Today, there is a plethora of mobile computing devices out there. There are smartphones, PDAs (personal digital assistant), notebooks, hand held computers, netbooks, tablets and of course laptops. We seem to be presented with an overwhelming array of differing portable computing devices which can be confusing if you are not a geek at heart and all you are looking for is something to fulfill a business or personal need. The latest addition to the mobile computing family is of course, the tablet. Apple have led the way by introducing the iPad in 2010 prompting other manufacturers such as Samsung to follow suit with their own offerings to the tablet table. However, many may be wondering just what the reason would be in purchasing a tablet over say a netbook, which is significantly cheaper.

Well to begin with, a tablet computer is around double the price of a netbook computer, so if you are on a limited budget, a netbook is your answer. For the average computer user, a netbook would provide all the required functionality at half the price. Where a tablet comes into its own I feel, is the fact that it doesn’t have a keyboard, but has a touch screen instead. I think this difference makes the tablet a lot more ‘mobile’ as one doesn’t require a flat surface on which to use the keyboard. With a tablet, one hand can be used to balance the device while the other can be used for typing. This is great for those working in the field and don’t necessarily have a flat surface on which to operate a keyboard.

The biggest advantage that a tablet has over a netbook is with respect to the operating systems each use.  A tablet such as the iPad for example, uses an operating system which was designed specifically for mobile computing whereas netbooks tend to use Windows, which was originally designed for desktop computing. Whereas a netbook is simply a scaled down version of a laptop which borrows the same operating system from a desktop computer , a tablet has been designed from the ground up to be a  mobile computing device.

Apart from price and operating system, the two devices serve the same purpose in terms of ability to have access to a computer while on the move. The question of whether to buy one or the other really boils down to whether or not you can justify the expense of purchasing a tablet.

Meursault works for Novatech netbook and notebook and likes to write for technology related blogs in his spare time.

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  • Brad

    Great points. I prefer a tablet over a netbook as they are more mobile and the apps provide great and powerful functionality on the go.