Tesco Tech Support Blog

Tablet, netbook or Ultrabook: Which one is right for you?

It used to be so easy. Once upon a time if you wanted a PC to use at home, you chose an old-fashioned desktop. If you wanted one you could take out with you, you chose a laptop.

Now, there are so many choices it’s hard to know what you should buy. Laptops are often as good as traditional PCs for every day use, and then there was the sudden rise of tablets and netbooks to content with. Now, there’s a whole new kind of laptop to take account of too: the Ultrabook. What is it, and which one’s right for you?

Ultrabooks are as powerful as they are portable

Ultrabooks

An Ultrabook is basically just a very thin laptop. They usually, but not always, have a 13inch screen and a very long battery life of six hours or more. Crucially, they are designed to start up almost as quickly as a mobile phone so that they’re always ready for use no matter how quickly you need them. They are the ultimate ‘go anywhere, do anything’ machine but do have their limitations. For a start, they tend to be a little more expensive than traditional, larger laptops, as engineering the cooling system in a thin chassis costs more, and aren’t so good for games. They also tend to have very small hard drives compared to what you may be used to.

Netbooks

The alternative to an Ultrabook or a laptop is a netbook. These are generally very cheap, less than £400, and have 10inch screens so they’re very portable too. The latest netbooks are just as fast as traditional laptops for low intensity desktop applications, but they can struggle with multitasking and even webpages with a lot of Flash elements and the like. They aren’t as thin or as stylish as an Ultrabook, but the small screen size means they’re just as light to carry around. They also tend to have exceptional battery life, capable of 10 hours or more in some circumstances.

Tablets

If you’ve already got a laptop or an Ultrabook, what’s a tablet for? After all, they aren’t as powerful, and can’t really be used for photo or video editing, and in the case of the iPad can’t even run Flash websites like CBeebies games. They are exceptionally convenient, though, being the lightest of computers and always on, plus they tend to have big battery life too, thanks to power efficiency. Don’t be fooled into thinking they’re just for surfing the web or playing simple games, though. With a Bluetooth keyboard and the right app they’re powerful work tools as well. Just remember you can’t look at two windows at the same time, and you won’t be disappointed with your productivity.

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