I get asked all the time what should I buy to cover all of my computer or technology needs. Should I buy a Tablet, Smart phone, Desktop computer, Laptop.
First we need to know what are your needs and expectations, what is your budget. Here is listing of what to think about when considering each device…
Desktops used to be tucked away some place in the house, and now they are more out in the open for everyone to use. If your computer is tucked away, I would recommend putting it near the kitchen or living room. You can get a nice small desk or stand for it about 3 foot wide so you can find a spot to easily fit it in the room. Having the computer out in the open like this you will tend to use it more often and it’s easier to keep an eye on what the kids are doing. Desktop computers are cheaper than laptops, repairs don’t cost as much, upgrades are less expensive too. With a head phone mic you can even make phone calls with it using Skype. This is one device that can do it all except be portable. We make our own Desktop computers at D.C. Computers. If you need tech support, repair you will find that we are local in town. Typically when you buy a Desktop computer from a big box store, your support is in another country, and the repair center is deep in the city. Used Desktop computers are around $199 – $400, new Desktop computers are around $ 599 -$ 999.
They cost more than a desktop computer but you can take them with you. Most of them have a built in mic so you can make phone calls using Skype as long as you have an internet connection using the WIFI or a Turbo Stick ( turbo sticks are a portable internet modem that plugs into the laptop ). The screens, keyboard, and mouse are not as nice as a desktop, so if you spend a lot of time on a computer I would not recommend just a laptop, I would recommend a desktop first and a laptop, if needed later. Laptops are good for entertaining kids in the car with movies and headphones, bring them in the kitchen and play a You Tube video on how to make soup while you are cooking. Bring it to bed and play card games or use it like an E-reader until you get sleepy. Most laptop owners also have a desktop computer. If space is tight in your home, or you are a student then perhaps a laptop is better over a desktop. If you have a family and there are many users that need to be on a computer, get a desktop, not a laptop. Good quality used laptops start around $ 299 to $ 399. Good new ones start around $ 575 and up.
They can’t replace a computer like a desktop or laptop. Some people I know got rid of their laptop and desktop computers for an iPhone. They say that’s all they need it to check email and the internet. Smart phones have a very small screen compared to computer desktops and laptops. Most of the internet is designed to work on big screens not small screens so it’s hard to use the internet on a smart phone. To fix this problem apps are made, they are little programs to make it easy to view certain websites. I use one for McDonalds. When I’m on the road I click on the McDonalds app to find the closest restaurant to me. Works good, but this app just replaces McDonalds website, most websites don’t have apps so they are hard to use on Smartphones. On iPhones you can’t open most attachments besides pictures. You can’t send attachments either that are not pictures or videos. We got a hockey registration letter, I could not open it on my phone. I got a bill from another company, can’t open it on my phone. I do my taxes on my computer, not my phone. Smart phones are most of all – a phone, and you can keep tabs on Facebook, Twitter and email. Most wait till they get home and jump on the laptop or desktop computer to answer most of the email that requires a paragraph or more and to interact with the social media side. Doing it on the Smartphone requires using the touch screen for lots of typing, it’s no treat – stick to a keyboard. I would recommend the a Smartphone over a regular cell phone. The difference between a regular cell phone and Smartphone is this.. Cell phone is for phone calls and text, that’s all. Smartphone does what a cell phone can do but gives you the internet and email access for about $ 10 or $ 15 more a month.
They are mainly toys. There are two kinds.
Smartphone style tablets: iPad and Android tablets are just like the Smartphones. Same software and programs but on a bigger screen. You can’t make phone calls like you would on a smartphone. You can get keyboards for them but if you do that you may as well have laptop because the point of having something ultra-portable is defeated. A sales person came in the other day and opened a small leather case and out flipped an iPad with a keyboard. It was thicker than a laptop. She then had to pick up her iPhone to make a call. The iPhone and iPad are identical except for the screen size and the iPhone you can make calls. The main reason why I would see anyone buying a tablet is for amusement only. If you try to save a lot of info on it and try to use it like a computer, make sure it’s always backed up. Tablets for some reason get dropped easy, they are delicate and when they bust almost everything is gone, so make sure the stuff on its backed up, most down know how to back up – it’s not easy…. Cheaper Android style laptops sell as cheap as $99, but they are awful. Any tablet around $300 is a good starting price, the better ones go up to $600 and more. Kind of expensive for a toy. Most who buy a tablet already own a desktop or laptop computer. The tablet is just something to take on the road for fun, or to let the kids play Angry Birds on….
Windows 8 style tablets: Most know how to use Windows, so if you have a Windows 8 tablet you will already know how to use it. There are a few different kinds. Some work with Windows 8 RT, these tablets have the same hardware that work with the Android tablets. Windows 8 RT is made to work on this kind of hardware. Windows 8 RT is a cut back version of regular Windows 8 so it will work on slower equipment. This brings down the price and competes with the Android and iPad market. Not all Windows related programs with work with Windows 8 RT. Now there are other tablets that take the computer muscle of a desktop computer and squishes into a tablet using regular Windows 8. So now you have a full fledge computer into a small tablet form, this is the best of both worlds but expensive. Some in between models are half laptop, half tablet and are lower priced. If you want a tablet that does the basics and you don’t want to learn how to use it, and you already know how to use windows, get a Windows 8 RT tablet. If you want the size of a tablet but still need a computer, check out the Lenovo Helix – it’s a laptop squished into a tablet, or the Lenovo Twist – half laptop and half tablet.
I would recommend a laptop or desktop computer first. Smartphones if needed to make calls on the go and stay instantly in touch with email. Tablets for fun except for the Lenovo Twist and Helix – they are serious. But don’t kid yourself, Smartphones and Tablets do not replace computer based desktops and laptops, and they were not intended too either. If you would like a tablet, laptop, desktop please give us a call and we can help you in making an informed decision. Candace, please put contact link here.