Tech Tuesday: What mobile device fits my needs?

So you want to buy a mobile device, but what should you get? Let’s compare tablets, e-readers and laptops. Here are the main differences between them that will help you decide:

Laptop

The laptop is a light and compact computer meant for more heavy-duty use than a tablet. Laptops have the full capacity of a computer without the bulk. This offers full internet access as well as many programs that you can add to suit your needs, from word processing to image editing. If you’re someone who plays a lot on the computer, then the laptop is your choice. Unlike the tablet, you can do a lot on your laptop while it is offline. Having said this, there are some laptops that largely require a connection to the internet, such as the Chromebook. These devices tend to be less expensive than a classic laptop, but have less storage as they rely on storing files and documents on the cloud.

The laptop has an actual keyboard for typing

Tablet

Featuring a touch screen and a virtual keyboard, tablets allow you to email, surf the web, play games, listen to music, and watch videos. For all of these functions, you will need an internet connection. Online or offline, you can enjoy taking pictures and videos. It has some storage space so that you can save pictures or download movies through services like Hoopla. The larger the tablet, the better it is for watching videos and reading. The smaller the tablet, the lighter it will be for easy use or travel.

The tablet has a camera that can take pictures and videos.

E-Reader

The e-reader is like a tablet but it is meant for reading e-books. There are some e-readers that are basically tablets, but we’re going talk about the ones designed to focus on reading. These are generally smaller and lighter than tablets, featuring different display technology called e-ink. E-ink displays are easier to read for long periods of time with less eye strain and you can easily change things like the size of the lettering, making any book large print. Its low battery usage also means that the e-reader works for much longer than a tablet before it needs re-charging. E-readers can use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet for downloading e-books, be it purchasing or borrowing, but they’re not meant for surfing the web. If you love borrowing library e-books, be sure to look at a Kobo as new models come with Overdrive installed.

The e-reader uses e-ink display technology

Let’s Compare!

E-readerTabletLaptop
SizeSmallMediumLarge
WifiYes*YesYes
OfflineYesNoYes
KeyboardVirtualVirtualActual
*E-readers have an internet connection, but they are not really designed for browsing the internet.

This gives you some basics to start looking for a new device. There is much more to each of the these options, so reach out to your TNR Library branch for more info.