Bob Rankin: Should I Buy a Netbook, Ultrabook or a Tablet?

Should I Buy a Netbook, Ultrabook or a Tablet?

By Bob Rankin

Should I Buy a Netbook, Ultrabook or a Tablet?

My old laptop finally died, and I need to replace it with something lighter and very portable. But it still needs to be powerful enough to handle email, web and typical office software. For someone with my requirements, would you suggest a netbook, an Ultrabook, the iPad or an Android-based tablet?

Which Portable Device Should I Buy?
If you are in the market for a portable computer, you have four options: a traditional notebook laptop, a tiny netbook, one of the new Ultrabooks, or a tablet. Which one you should choose depends on your mobile computing needs.

The great dividing line is whether you mainly consume or create content while on the go. Tablets and netbooks are fine if you are a consumer. You can check email, watch movies, listen to music, read e-books, and so on. If you need to answer email briefly, you can. There are word processing and other business apps available for iPad and Android. But the cramped keyboard of a netbook, or the touch screen of a tablet, are not the ideal input devices for heavy writing, spreadsheeting, or precision drawing.

Sure, you can buy an optional keyboard for a tablet. But then you’re walking around with what looks like a broken laptop. Better to just get a real laptop!

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This excerpt is shared with permission from Bob Rankin.

Bob Rankin

Bob Rankin is a translator for the technology impaired -- a writer and computer programmer who enjoys exploring the Internet and explaining technology in plain English.His work has appeared in Computer World, NY Newsday, and other publications. Bob is also publisher of Internet TOURBUS, author of several computer books, and creator of the Lowfat Linux tutorial.

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