By November 4, 2012 Read More →

Laptop or tablet? Which one is right for mobile working?

Work from Home Wisdom - mobile working - laptop or tablet?

by Francesca Geens

Do you have a main computer at home but need something to take out and about so you can be more productive while mobile working? Should you get a tablet or an ultrabook? Its easy to ‘want’ the latest iPad or Nexus tablet but depending on what you plan on doing you may well be better off investing in a laptop.

Before you make any decisions have a good think the kind of tasks you want to do while mobile working. Here are some handy tips to help you choose the right one:

You’ll love a tablet for mobile working if you…

  • are processing emails (as opposed to composing long replies)
  • like to catch up on your reading – via RSS feeds or ebooks
  • want to watch movies whilst commuting
  • spend time surfing the internet
  • do a lot of social media on your phone that you want to do on a bigger screen
  • don’t need any full version applications
  • are happy to work on one thing at a time
  • want to showcase your work at client meetings
  • are happy typing via a Bluetooth keyboard in a case
  • like to play games (and so do your kids)

You’ll want a laptop for mobile working if you…

  • need to do a lot of writing
  • want full functionality of Outlook or Word
  • need access to other full applications
  • need to multitask with various applications open at the same time
  • want to be able to do everything you do at home on your main computer

Still can’t decide? Want both? Check out the Windows Surface Pro (due in the UK in the New Year) which combines the best of a tablet with all the functionality and keyboard of a laptop. Not to be confused with the Windows Surface RT which has just been released and which does not have full version of Windows 8.

But one size doesn’t fit all…

Don’t forget to consider the size and weight. If you are planning on getting a laptop there is nothing worse than having to carry it around in a separate bag (or it being too heavy so invest in the lightest model you can afford). And make sure it fits in your usual bag – go to the shop and try it out before you buy!

When it comes to tablets there wasn’t much competition for the iPad until recently but the newly released Nexus 10 is likely to become its first true competitor with a lower price tag, better screen and latest version of Android OS.

The tablet market is also starting to shift to the smaller sizes so consider the Nexus 7 (I have one and have to admit to now preferring this to the iPad) or the iPad mini. There is a lot to say about the smaller size tablet which sits comfortably in one hand and which makes the full size iPad feel very heavy in comparison.

What do you use when you’re out mobile working? Does it work for you or are you saving up for a new bit of kit?

Enjoyed this? Read more by Francesca Geens on using technology in your home office.

Posted in: Technology

11 Comments on "Laptop or tablet? Which one is right for mobile working?"

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  1. Laptop all the way for me. Typing on a tablet is a nightmare. That said, the tablet was a Godsend during the Olympics. I set it up in the corner of the room and worked as I watched for 12 hours a day.

  2. Jonathan says:

    I switch between a laptop and tablet, (Blackberry Playbook), laptop gets used when traveling, and the playbook for day to day use whilst out and about.

  3. Polly says:

    I only have a laptop for my work at home and was considering if getting an iPad could also be of help but thanks to your review I am enlightened now. I agree that the tablet is more of just a viewing device and not really for work unless your job doesn’t really involved a lot of typing.

  4. Jose says:

    I have an iPad, but found in recent times I have migrated towards a laptop as a secondary machine. The touch screen is great, but it’s the keyboard that has pulled me to the laptop for working. There is probably room for both, for different things if funds allow.

  5. Yes there is nothing like a proper keyboard for full productivity. Agree that in an ideal world you get to use a selection of devices depending on what you are doing where you are….desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone essentials!