Tablet Vs. Laptop Vs. Netbook – What’s The Difference?

Tablet Vs. Laptop Vs. Netbook – What’s The Difference?

Tablets Vs. Laptops Vs. Netbooks

As you’ve probably noticed, technology moves at a crazy fast pace. In the past few years we’ve been hit with a wave of new gadgets and devices: smartphones, netbooks, and tablets.

With the emergence of all this cool stuff – what should you buy?

Let’s do some detective work with the 3 most popular devices to find out which new gadget you need: tablets, laptops, and netbooks. Read on now to find out who wins the Tablet Vs. Laptop Vs. Netbook battle.

Why Should I Buy a Laptop?

Fun Fact: The first laptop was the “Osborne 1“, released in 1981. This “portable” computer weighed 24 pounds and would set you back $1,795.

Laptops are the original portable computer. Now a days, laptops can handle 99% of tasks previously reserved for bulky desktop computers, they’re just about even.

When compared to tablets and netbooks, laptops are able to claim first place for speed. Because they are bigger than both tablets and netbooks, they are able to house larger, more powerful components.

However – unless you’re playing 3D PC games (such as StarCraft, Call of Duty, or Skyrim) the extra power laptops can provide aren’t necessary for your personal needs.

Check out the list below; if you need a computer to perform any of the following tasks, you should consider a laptop over a tablet or netbook.

  • Playing the latest video games
  • Encoding large videos
  • Running virtual machines

If you don’t plan on doing any of those listed actions – or better yet you don’t know what they are – then you don’t need to buy a laptop for the extra power.

Feel free to choose a laptop out of preference though, some people just like the look of laptops better, this test just checks to see if a laptop is a necessity.

Conclusion: You should buy a laptop if you are a power user who plays the latest video games, runs virtual machines and encodes large video files OR if you just prefer the look of laptops.

Why Should I Buy a Netbook?

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If you don’t know: Netbooks are exactly the same as laptops – just smaller. Because of the smaller size, they are also less powerful.

Netbooks serve as the perfect middle ground in between the laptops and tablets. If you prefer to use a keyboard and touchpad, rather than a touch screen, a netbook is the perfect purchase for you.

The second difference between a tablet and a netbook is the Operating System. You’re probably most familiar with Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7, etc.) – this is the main application which runs underneath all the other programs you install (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Media Player etc.).

Most Netbooks today run Windows 7, the same operating system most laptops and desktops also run, whereas tablets are equipped with custom operating systems designed around a touchscreen.

This may sound like really complicated geeky stuff, but if you test out a tablet, a laptop, and a netbook at your local electronics store, you’ll spot these differences pretty quickly.

If you’ve had enough geek speak for today, skip on ahead to the next page: How Much Should I Spend?

Conclusion: If you like the design of a laptop, but are looking for something cheaper, and smaller, while still feature a physical keyboard and touchpad – buy a netbook.

Why Should I Buy a Tablet?


If you’ve been following along from the top of this page, by now you can probably fill in the last few remaining blanks.

Here’s a clear and simple list to reward you for coming this far:

You should buy a tablet if…

  • You have kids (great learning tool, very easy to use, etc.)
  • You want an entertainment device that does it all
  • You want to spend under $600
  • You’re a big reader (tablets make excellent e-readers)
  • You want an easy to use device to use the internet with
  • You are NOT a power user who requires the speed of a laptop
  • You do NOT need a physical keyboard


Now you know the differences between tablets, laptops, and netbooks. This newly acquired knowledge will no doubt help you make your next gadget purchase!

Now that you understand the differences, it’s time to cover one of the most important questions: how much should you spend on a tablet?