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Do I really need a Tablet if I have a Laptop or a Smartphone? [the Truth]

Do I really need a Tablet if I have a Laptop or a Smartphone? [the Truth]

Do you really need an Tablet if you already have a Laptop or a smart phone? We polled over 5,000 thousand users from our audience and found those that have both a laptop and a tablet are satisfied with the second tablet device in addition to their laptop.

Like most people, I always used ask: “doesn’t a tablet and a laptop do the same thing? I also used to ask “Why do I need both?”

Can an iPad Replace a Laptop for a College Student? (Hint: yes)

  • I personally use the iPad mini; it’s bigger than a phone and accomplishes most of my tasks. It’s also significantly less expensive than the iPad Air.

In this post I will uncover if you really need both a laptop and a tablet (or iPad), what the benefits and drawbacks are, and reveal the results of our surveys and tests on this topic. I also cover why someone would use a tablet in addition to a smartphone.

Key Takeaways

Key takeaways between laptop and tablet usage

A bulky laptop is terribly exhausting for simple tasks such as watching movies, but excels at work, gaming, and research related topics that require a keyboard.

This is where a more portable device excels and why so many people are using a tablet over a laptop:

  • 67.5% of users admitted that they ended up using the Tablet over their Laptop when they owned both devices
  • We decided poll the users that said they didn’t need their laptop anymore and only used a tablet – 83% of them claimed they did not use the Tablet for work and were casual users.
  • 32% of the users in the “tablet only” group were mothers and used the tablet for simple tasks, such as: bill paying, seeking nearby stores, watching movies and shows on the couch, and making grocery shopping lists.

Keep in mind if you plan on using an iPad, you’ll want to understand the core drawbacks and benefits.

Do you really need both laptop and an iPad?

Using both a tablet and a laptop can be a wise choice, as it depends on the individual’s needs and preferences.

the iPad was more similar to laptops compared to other tablets I tested

An iPad works a bit different than many tablets and laptop: I compared the pros and cons between using an iPad and a laptops.

For those who prioritize portability and a slim, lightweight design, a tablet such as an Android or iPad may seem like a suitable replacement for a laptop.

Do you really need both laptop and an iPad

Tablets offer the added benefit of a touch screen, allowing for faster browsing and easier access to information while on the go.

However, for professionals or those who prefer the power and capabilities of a traditional laptop, surveys indicate that the laptop will remain a staple device.

I used to get asked: why you need an iPad if you have an iPhone – while my research surprised me, I found the answer is a bit different for laptops and tablets…

Should I switch from a laptop to a tablet

Should I switch from a laptop to a tablet

If you are always on the move, then making the switch from a laptop to a tablet may be a good choice. It is extremely easy to use while still being able to harness the power of a laptop.

Compared to previous years models, today’s tablets are very strong and can handle similar tasks as a laptop.

I use a tablet when I’m shopping, on the couch, and in the car because I’m always on the go. Anywhere you are you can pull it out of your purse, briefcase, or even a kids backpack and turn it on for immediate use.

Strolls to the grocery store to use as a shopping list become much easier by writing your list before and as you are shopping just checking off items as you go with one click of a button. Its extremely diverse with all of the capabilities that a laptop may not provide.

You’ll also want to see how to connect a tablet to a monitor – This is useful for those who want to use the tablet like you would a laptop. Keep in mind you’ll also want a bluetooth keyboard if you’re doing this.

The battery life of a tablet is extremely long lasting, so even on roadtrips your children could watch movies while an adult or student can get some work done in the car as well. A tablet can provide all of that to you from the comfort of your lap any where you are.

I also cover how long an iPad lasts based on extensive testing.

Benefits of using a tablet as your primary device

Benefits of using a tablet as your primary device

Tablets are lightweight and easy to take with you anywhere you go, they can also be purchased at a lower cost and can be used while roadtripping, as a navigation device, and even in the classroom as they are extremely efficient for students.

Some students find it easier to learn right from the click of a button rather than searching through multiple books. When a child goes home to do homework, also easier to transport then a ton of books. For example, my nephews love doing homework on their tablets.

Related: Where is the calculator app on iPad?

They bring not only a trendy factor to them, but with a click of a button again once homework is completed they can conveniently transfer it to their teacher which helps to eliminate the forgetting of homework at home.

The greatest benefit could also make it more cost effective for schools being that books must be purchased each year with different content where as a tablet can simply be updated.

Taking photos is easier on a tablet than a laptop

Taking photos is easier on a tablet than a laptop

A Tablet allows for photos on a larger display than a smartphone and is far more convenient than a laptop. This can be a great way to capture special moments, but it’s not always easy to take out your camera and snap away on a laptop and it’s just one reason why Tablets are used over a laptop.

  • You can also combine the tablet and laptop with a 2-in-1 touchscreen device: With the advent of 2 in 1 laptops, however, it has become much easier to take photos on the go. You never know when something photo-worthy will occur, so having a laptop that can quickly transform into a tablet is invaluable.

You’ll also want to see the 11 Best Minimalist Phones [Simple Phones].

Reading can be more convenient on a tablet

Reading can be more convenient on a tablet

Reading can be more convenient on a tablet because it is more mobile. For example, you can lay on a couch and read a book on your tablet without having to lug around a bulky laptop.

Tablets are also great for traveling, reading magazines, comics, newspapers, and other digital content that can be difficult to read on a laptop (not to mention tablets are ideal for watching youtube due to its large screen.).

Reading in bed or by the pool is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Whether it’s a classic novel, a gripping thriller, or an informative non-fiction book, there’s nothing quite like getting lost in a good story.

With the advent of tablets like the Fire HD 8, Kindle Paperwhite, iPad, and Samsung galaxy, reading has become even more accessible and enjoyable. An Internet-connected device gives you an almost unlimited amount of books to choose from, so you can always find something new and exciting to read.

It really depends on what you need the device for. If you are looking for something more lightweight and portable, then a tablet is the ideal choice over the Laptop when it comes to reading and annotating. You can use an iPad with the Apple Pencil 2, which makes it worth the purchase when annotating or scribbling over a document is required.

Disadvantages of switching to a Tablet

Disadvantages of switching to a Tablet

The screens of a tablet are more fragile where as a laptop screen is heavier duty. This makes a tablet screen easier to break.

Tablets do not have keyboards except for the touch screen ones, unless you were to purchase a tablet with a detachable keyboard. However, if you were to do that they aren’t always the most reliable.

A tangible keyboard is already installed into a laptop and is very reliable – it’s highly unlikely to have malfunctions if any at all.

Note: When using a budget tablet, do not be surprised if the screen periodically freezes or stutters. If you own a tablet without a tangible bluetooth keyboard accessory connected, then repair may cost you a pretty penny.

One thing I noticed users are doing is jailbreaking the fire hd tablet in order to get the features they lacked. This is not the best workaround method, but it is commonly done to combat some disadvantages.

For something like note taking, you’re options are between a laptop for notes or a tablet for note taking.

Does a tablet do the same thing as a laptop?

Does a tablet do the same thing as a laptop

A tablet may allows for you to download certain apps that are tablet specific, meaning you are unable to on your laptop. All the apps that you have on your smart phone are easily accessible to you through your tablet as for a laptop that is not always the case.

For example, you can jump on your tablet, download any app you would like, and then sign into it right from the device with the same username and password as your app on your smart phone which makes it super convenient and quickly accessible.

One thing tablets are more convenient for is drawing. However, there are several different ways you can draw on a Laptop through the use of a stylus. On the other hand, you should keep in mind tablets like the iPad and surface pro can use an apple pencil or a surface pen which is certainly more convenient than using a drawing tablet on a laptop.

I see many teachers using a drawing pad for their laptop but this is because they use the laptop as their primary work device.

If you were to forget your phone at home and only have your tablet on you. Turn around the scenario and you’ve left your phone at home having a laptop only on you, you would have no way to connect to your apps and the laptop therefore would be unable to do the same thing as a tablet.

One thing is for sure, a mouse will work on both devices if they are modern laptops and tablets. If you’re using a Logitech mouse on a laptop or tablet and it’s not working, see our post on How to Fix a Logitech Mx Master 3 Mouse Not working on Mac

Do I need a Tablet if I have a smartphone

There are several benefits to owning both a tablet and a smartphone. A tablet allows you to access your entire music collection while on the go, so music fanatic may favor the benefits.

One thing is for sure, if you’re using a flip phone rather than a smartphone, a tablet will be necessary at home if you don’t have a laptop.

A smart phone can do this as well, but calls and texts sometimes cause interruptions during music or youtube usage-so a tablet has this key advantage.

If you are looking for something smaller, that will fit in all pockets and not bring a purse or bag at all, a smart phone would be much easier to fit into front pockets, back pockets, coat front pockets and more. A tablet you may have trouble fitting in those smaller areas of your clothing if thats all you plan to bring.

A tablets resolution depending on the tablet may also make a better picture or video for you. In comparison to the smart phone, some smart phones as well have a very high resolution and could in fact do the same as a tablet.

The convenience of having both is nice, but when they tend to have very many similar functionalities as listed above things can get pricey.

Whats the point of having both an iPad and iPhone?

Having both an iPad and iPhone comes in handy in many ways. For example, a writer or student may utilize both for researching and writing sin d you can use a tablet as a second screen.

I wrote a full guide on this topic: Do I Need an iPad if I Have an iPhone? (Is it Necessary)

If you have a iPad and an iPhone, not only do they integrate well with each other, but you can save battery on your iPhone by browsing youtube or social media.

This way, your phone won’t die when you need it most. Other benefits of using both together include utilizing the internet from your iPhone to your iPad with a hotspot.

Finally, you can use an iPad as a GPS without distractions from notifications from your iPhone.

As far as comfort and design, users may find it to be  easier to use a iPad in bed with a case that converts into a pillow, you’ll find that searching the web or reading your favorite book straight from the comfort of your own bed is much more convenient then holding the iPhone in your hand.

Related: Smartphone Alternatives: Best Non Smart Phones

You’re also able to sync almost any app to your iCloud which makes having both super efficient and last but not least, on the iPad you’re able to answer both calls and messages.

Do I need a iPad or tablet if I have a Macbook

Its not a necessity that you need all three, however have a laptop, phone, and tablet, allows you to do research while writing.

One thing to note is that the iPad and tablet are clearly more portable then a Macbook. If you are able to afford all three then I would say go for it, but if you are on a budget I’d suggest that you choose based on priority of use cases.

Related: How Long does the battery in a MacBook Pro Last?

For example, If you choose to do most of your work at home and are looking for a indefinite power source, then a laptop is ideal because its not needed for you to have something more portable as the iPad or tablet.

However, if you are someone who loves convenience, simplicity, and the more portable aspect of how easy it is to carry around the tablet or iPad then that would be your best bet.

Having all three is beneficial, but not necessary for most. It can help simplify everyday tasks if you have all three devices. In a meeting its nice to have a tablet or iPad knowing that when you return home in a touch of a button you can transfer over all the information and quickly right to your Macbook, with just one click.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ