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What Should You Buy: Chromebook or Tablet?

Chromebooks and tablets are great alternatives to laptops. This Buzzle article brings you all the information you need to help you choose between Chromebooks and tablets.
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Reason Chromebook is not preferable over Tablet
Chromebooks vs. Tablets
Chromebooks rely on cloud computing to carry out most of their tasks, whereas tablets turn to their on-board processor to handle all their operations.
If you're out to buy a portable 'mini computer', and search the Internet for information, you're bound to be bombarded with options. If you aren't quite looking for the power of a laptop but still want a capable device without paying a fortune, chances are you'll probably be left with one of two options―tablets or Chromebooks.

Both devices are rather capable in their own fields. While tablets excel when it comes to handling most gaming and computing needs, Chromebooks rule the charts when it comes to simple cloud computing. If you find yourself torn between these two devices, do not fret, help is at hand. Here's taking a look how tablets match up to Chromebooks.

Screen real estate
This might be stating the obvious, but Chromebooks definitely have a much larger display than that on tablets. What isn't so obvious though, is that a larger screen does not necessarily mean a better display. In fact, other than for a couple of Chromebooks, tablets have a much higher screen resolution and pixel density. In simple terms, images appear larger on Chromebooks, while they seem a lot more detailed and saturated on tablets. So, if you wanna watch a video or two, play games, or simply want to scroll through some images, tablets would be a great choice. For handling most documents and spreadsheets, a Chromebook would be a better buy.

Portability
Tablets are more portable than Chromebooks, but only just. Tablet screens usually measure from 7 - 13 inches, while most Chromebooks have screen sizes between 11 - 15 inches. Having said that though, a regular tablet will not fit into your pocket (unless of course, you have trousers on your pockets rather than the other way round!), nor will a Chromebook. If you are traveling with a sling bag, a regular tablet would easily slip into it, while you would probably need a slightly larger bag to carry a Chromebook around.

Hardware
Once again, tablets have an upper hand when it comes to internal hardware. Chromebooks are meant to handle simple tasks, while tablets are capable of handling some rather complex tasks. If, however, you need to handle hardcore graphics editing or other more memory-intensive tasks, a laptop or PC would serve you well. Another factor that you might want to consider here is that tablets have plenty of internal storage, and most offer a Micro SD card slot to further expand the memory. Chromebooks, on the other hand, have very little on board storage space and rely on Cloud storage for most of their memory needs. Unlike tablets though, you can plug in and use a USB thumb drive on a Chromebook.

Peripherals
Here, Chromebooks clearly have an advantage over tablets, as they are extremely convenient to input data. If you need to constantly send and receive emails, and work on presentations, then you would appreciate the ample real estate and the full-sized keyboard on a Chromebook. It even comes with USB ports, so you can plug in a mouse to your Chromebook if you aren't too happy using its touchpad. Tablets, these days, do come with some real impressive on-screen keyboards, but these are far from ideal when it comes to intensive text input. Besides, most tablets are a tad too big to type on comfortably.

Apps
Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, while most tablets work on Android, iOS, or Windows Phone. Also, Chrome OS is relatively new and not as popular as the more established OSs that power tablets. The number of developers working on Chrome OS blurs out in comparison to those developing apps for tablets. The biggest body blow to the Chromebook is the fact that most apps are never installed on the device itself, but on Cloud servers, which renders the Chromebook almost useless without an active Internet connection. Almost all apps on tablets can work offline.

Battery Life
Ironically, the battery on the smaller-sized tablet packs a greater punch than the larger Chromebook. Tablets, in general, have a more power-efficient processor than that on Chromebooks. Also, the comparatively smaller screen on tablets consume lesser power than that on their larger-screened counterparts. Chromebooks require an Internet connection for most of their operations, which takes a toll on its battery life.

Price
Now, this is a real tough one to call. Tablets come in different price ranges, right from those that are just about the price of a regular smartphone to those that cost almost as much as a regular laptop. Most Chromebooks cost just about the same as a mid-range tablet. In the larger scheme of things though, Chromebooks seem to just edge past tablets when it comes to value for money, as they offer a very functional physical keyboard. You can, of course, buy a wireless keyboard for your tablet, but this would turn out to be a lot more expensive than a regular Chromebook. Once again, we would like to reiterate that things ultimately boil down to what you would like to use the device for.

To sum it up, tablets would make for a great companion for someone who wants to play games, occasionally update his/her Facebook status, access mails, and listen to music while he/she puts his feet up and relaxes on his day off from work. Chromebooks are better suited for someone who needs to access his spreadsheets and Excel sheets, while a track plays in the background, and play Angry Birds while he waits for a reply to an email, sipping some coffee at a bistro. Cheers.
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Published: March 15, 2014
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