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Smart Phones vs Tablets vs Laptops vs Desktops

Smart Phones vs Tablets vs Laptops vs Desktops

Technology has been advancing at an incredible rate over the years. It seems as though the second you buy a piece of tech, something new comes out the next day.

With so many devices that can do similar things, the question is where should you invest your tech budget? In this article I will cover what each device is good for and where it stands in the market.

Remember the Desktop?

Desktop computers have been around since 1960 but didn’t gain traction until the 1980’s when prices became more reasonable. The beauty of a desktop is that so much technology can be filled in a case that would be almost impossible in other form factors.

Desktops can allow a person to operate almost every type of application or piece of software as long as the operating system supports it. There are 3 types of operating systems that are widely used. Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

What can you do on a desktop?

You can do the very simple daily tasks to highly complex projects. If you want to catch up with friends on your favorite social media site, its easy to do. If you want to produce a video or create a 3D Animation, then the desktop is your best bet.

Desktops allow you to have powerful graphic cards, processors, the fastest ram and storage options. Obviously prices will vary.

The Pro’s

  • Very Powerful with the potential to expand on internal tech
  • The tech can last longer based on the amount of time before it becomes obsolete

The Con’s

  • You will need to by extra components like a keyboard, mouse and Computer Monitor
  • It is not meant to be mobile

Introducing the Laptop

Like the desktop, laptops have been in existence since the 1970’s but were not widely used by the public till much later. Obviously technology needed to advance and battery life was and still remains an issue.

Laptops have come along way and allow you to do many of the same things that desktops can do but in an easier to transport form factor..

Today’s laptops can now be found with extremely powerful internals that previously would only be found in desktops. This made the laptop very popular since adding a larger external screen is relatively simple.

Productivity is a major plus with laptops since you can do almost as much as you could do on a desktop. The laptop fills the needs of 99% of people. The 1% are those who need extreme processing and graphical power. Typically meant for Science, Graphic Designers and Hollywood.

The Pro’s

  • Can be very powerful
  • Mobile

The Con’s

  • Battery Life is still an issue for some
  • Tends to suffer from a faster rate of techological obsolescences


On January 27 of 2010, Steve Jobs announced the iPad. A revolutionary piece of technology that allows for great mobility and an attempt at productivity. Since then tablets are a dime a dozen with various brands all competing for the dwindling market.

Tablets have now lost there innitial luster with the public. Since being productive on a tablet is difficult to do unless you start adding other peripherals like a bluetooth keyboard and mouse which makes it like a laptop.

Some tablets have tried to combine the tablet and laptop into one but adoption has been limited. Consider Microsoft Surface and now the iPad Pro.

People tend to use Tablets for consuming information and not really for producing it. That doesn’t mean that you can’t produce quality content on a tablet, it’s just not as fluid for those who grew up with a keyboard form factor. Maybe the next generation will see the benefits as technology advances and touch or voice technology gets better.

The Pro’s

  • Reading Email is easy
  • Reading Books
  • Playing games is a breeze
  • Checking up on your friends via social media is fluid
  • Apps for everything, Almost

The Con’s

  • Mostly for consumption purposes
  • Hard to produce quality content
  • The need for extra peripherals to make the form factor part of a productive workflow
  • Storage is limited.
  • Price is expensive

Smart Phones

Thank Apple for this as well. On January 9, 2007 Steve Jobs announced the iPhone. This started the end of Blackberry. Touchscreen devices were quickly adopted by the public for their ease of use. Again, they are great at consuming information.

Smart Phones have become the computer in a pocket piece of technology. Capable of taking pictures, video, voice notes, write and read emails, listen to music, watch videos and check up on your friends via social media, it is the piece of tech that everyone craves. Ohh, I forgot, you can make and receive phonecalls aswell.

Now that Smartphones are as large as 5.5 inches, they have become known as phablets. Phablets have taken away market share from Tablets since they are easier to carry in your pocket or bag. You can do almost everything you could do on a tablet, on your smartphone and with a data connection, you are always online.

The Pro’s

  • Extremely mobile
  • Email, Social, Video and pictures are the norm on these devices
  • Apps for everything, Almost

The Con’s

  • Like tablets, mostly used for consumption
  • Battery Life
  • Expensive

The Takeaway

Desktops are for hardcore gamers and those who need the strongest technology. Laptops are for those looking to be highly productive on the go. Tablets are becoming less useful since large Smartphones are becoming the normal form factor.

Where should you spend your tech dollars?

It all depends on what you are looking to do with your tech. For the average person, a laptop and a large smartphone is the way to go.

“The laptop is to the desktop what the smart phone is to the tablet.”

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