Taking IT seriously
Heather Webb and Jane Turner examine the complex ethics behind our laptops and tablets.
This guide cover hybrid laptop-tablets which are sometimes called convertibles or 2-in-1s. They are tablets with detachable thin keyboards.
In 2014, 52% of homes in the UK has a tablet, with sales of hybrids expected to double over the next two years.1 Apple is the notable exception of laptop and tablet companies that don't also make hybrids.
In the guide to laptops:
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Laptop, tablet or hybrid - which is for you?
A laptop’s larger screen, full-sized keyboard and large hard drive make many tasks easier, and they’re great for browsing the web.
Laptops are better if you:
- want to work on them, write long emails, organise files, and edit text documents, photos and spreadsheets
- want to store files and photos on the device and access them without an internet connection
- play DVDs.
A tablet is a gadget that’s slim and lightweight, and easy to use.
Tablets are better if you:
- want to play – browse the web, read ebooks, watch videos, shop online, and stay in touch with family and friends.
- want it to be more portable
- only need to type short emails, do internet searches and simple forms for online shopping
- don’t need it as your main storage device and are happy to keep some files online.
A laptop-tablet hybrid offers the best of both worlds. With touch-screens that rotate and flip and keyboards that detach or can be hidden away, they can be as powerful or portable as you want.
When choosing a brand of tablet or laptop you may also want to bear in mind the operating system that runs it. The operating systems are owned by three companies which all feature in this report – Apple, Google and Microsoft.
- Apple iOS – all Apple products
- Google Android – most non-Apple tablets.
- Google Chrome – Chromebook laptops.
- Microsoft Windows – most laptops and hybrids
You can also use an open source operating system such as Linux. Beginner’s guide to open source.
1 MINTEL – Desktop and Laptop Computers, August 2014
2 MINTEL – Tablet computers November 2013
For more information see our product guide to Laptops.