It seems like every new consumer tech product, with the exception of some smartphones that hardware manufacturers produce, is smaller than previous generations.
Devices are largely becoming lighter, faster and stronger than they have ever been, leaving consumers to wonder which lightweight gadgets are the best.
Smaller devices can be more convenient to use on-the-go without losing functionality.
Tablets and ultrabooks, for example, offer increased portability, while mostly retaining the computing power found in other, larger machines. The two gadgets overlap even further with the release of Windows 8, the first operating system optimized for tablet and notebook use.
Tablets, to a certain extent, bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops. The devices are similar to e-readers in that they use touchscreen technology and are similarly sized and shaped. People commonly use tablets for leisure activities, such as reading, streaming content and updating their social network profiles.
The newer form of laptop breeds—ultrabook laptops can be considered direct competitors to the portable sized tablets. Sold in many online retailers like Newegg, these computers usually weigh less than 4 pounds and run on Intel Core processors. Unlike bulkier machines, ultrabooks boast speedy response times – many boot up from powerless states in less than 30 seconds and wake from idle periods in less than 5 seconds.
The two most notable differences between the two machines are keyboards and sizes.
Tablets don’t have built-in keyboards, though accessories of that kind can be attached to the devices. As InformationWeek notes, this lack of hardware may be convenient for some, as it allows users to bring their tablets in tight spots where ultrabooks won’t fit. However, this also means that typing isn’t as easy on a tablet as it is on a notebook. Onscreen keys are sometimes difficult to use and while detachable keyboards are improving, they still lack the functionality of their built-in counterparts.
As far as size goes, tablets will always be the smaller of the two devices. Ultrabooks are designed to be desktop and laptop replacements, so they require a certain amount of space for internal hardware. Tablets, like smartphones and e-readers, run on software optimized for mobile use, so the devices don’t require as many additional components.
Because of their smaller dimensions, tablets can’t offer the same computing power as ultrabooks. Notebooks with Intel processors offer fast performances, which are only speedier when combined with solid-state drives. Ultrabooks also offer longer battery lives, as some models can last over seven hours on a single charge.
As far as operating systems go, users have to decide based on their individual preferences. Ultrabooks run on Windows 7 and 8, while tablets feature Android, Windows and Apple iOS platforms.
Both devices offer convenient use on-the-go and in static locations.
Tablets and ultrabooks are lighter than standard laptops, and have greater functionality than tools like e-readers. With Windows 8, the line between these two devices is becoming increasingly blurred, as users can cycle between mobile interfaces and menus similar to those on Windows 7.
Before manufacturers began producing tablets and ultrabooks, consumers were limited to laptops and desktops for their computing needs.
There are more options currently available than there have ever been, and a wider range of choices is never a bad thing.