Going off to college is a huge deal. And deciding what to bring with you? Well that’s near impossible. Taking notes and typing up assignments is an inevitable part of every college student’s life, so it’s critical that you have a device you’re happy with. If you’re unsure whether a laptop or a tablet is right for you, read the article below and take into consideration the pros and cons listed.

Laptop

Pros:

  • Laptops have larger screens. This makes it easier to type and work on assignments on a laptop as you’ll never be frustrated by the small size of your screen. In addition, if you plan on watching television or movies on your laptop, then having a larger screen may improve your viewing experience.
  • Laptops have more memory. If you are someone that likes to store everything on your electronic device, including movies, pictures, documents, and lots of apps, then you may require a laptop. Laptops are larger and therefore have more memory.

Cons:

  • Laptops are heavier and bulkier meaning they are harder to carry around with you. If you know that you have a long commute, perhaps bringing along a heavy laptop may not be the best option.
  • Laptops have poor battery longevity. A widely expressed concern with laptops is that after only a few months, your laptop battery will be so fried that your computer will barely be able to keep charge beyond a few hours. This is a legitimate concern and if you don’t take proper care of your laptop, you can end up with a laptop that needs to be re-charged every two hours or less. This is a major problem if you have a class that spans 2 hours or more.
 

 

Tablet

Pros:

  • Tablets are lighter and easier to carry. They will fit into purses, tote bags, as well as backpacks, and they weigh almost nothing, meaning even if you have a long commute between campus and your house, a tablet won’t weigh you down.
  • Tablets have excellent audio and visual recording quality which will allow you to record class lectures and play them back with ease. This can be a great study tool and is something that is simply not possible with a laptop.

Cons:

  • A tablet’s screen is smaller which can be frustrating when trying to work on assignments. For taking notes, a tablet will serve its purpose, but if you’re writing a paper or trying to work on a powerpoint it can be a bit difficult at times.
  • Tablets may not give you access to the best apps. When you have a laptop, you can download programs you’ve used for years like Microsoft Word. However, on a tablet you have to rely on the apps available, many of which may not be what you want. You also may have to pay a higher price for the app than if you had downloaded it on a laptop.
  • Tablets are expensive. The gap on this is quickly closing, however, the average tablet costs far more than the average laptop. A lower end laptop that is of comparable quality to a good quality tablet will cost an average of $300-400, while the tablet of equal quality will set you back $500-600.

 

The takeaway: It’s all about what’s right for you. Think about how much time you spend on the computer, how many hours of class you have a day, and what you need your computer for. For example, if you’re an art or graphic design student that needs to be using apps like Photoshop on a regular basis, then a laptop’s larger screen may be preferable. However, if you have a long commute and only need the device for taking notes and sending emails, then a tablet may be right up your alley.