How Is a Computer Tablet Different From a Laptop or Notebook?


Quick Answer

Tablets lack keyboards and track pads or similar input devices, but their smaller sizes make them more portable. Tablets function well for reading, browsing the web and watching video, but are not as adept for creating content.

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Full Answer

Almost all tablets use a touch screen, which works by detecting taps and gestures. While these screens are capable of detecting a wide range of inputs, virtual keyboards lack the precision, and often the size, of physical keyboards. This imprecision, coupled with the lack of tactile feedback, makes a touch screen slower to type on.

Similarly, touch screens typically lack the resolution of cursor-based input devices. Even though touch screen technology regularly improves, fingers are far larger that the point of a cursor on a screen, making fine inputs difficult to detect on tablets. Styluses, which are supported on some tablets, offer better precision but require two-handed operation. Most tablets support keyboards and input devices, which brings them on par with laptops but sacrifices their portability and low weight. Some tablets come with custom-designed input devices and are sold as "convertible" devices.

The slate-like design of tablets and designers' emphasis on thin-form factors also limits their volume. Tablets typically have less RAM, storage space and processing power when compared to laptops.

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