Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Smartphones or Tablets versus Laptops or Desktop Computers

As many of us know Smartphones and tablets like Apple's iPad, Samsung Galaxy tab, etc., can almost replace the desktops and laptop computers in terms of the number of different things you can do with them, not entirely though. They are mostly handy when you are on the go.

Further they can even do few other things which the stand alone computers can't do directly (being static/non-movable), like the capturing of photos and small video clips, etc. They have some unique features like GPS (Global Positioning Systems), Geotagging of photos and finally that feature for which the smartphone is primarily in your hands - Voice calls & SMS. These can't be available in any computer except by having some attached auxiliaries. Even then the size matters when you want to go fully mobile.

For mobility reasons we have evolved from using Desktop computers to laptops, to palmtops and recently to tablets and smartphones.

But have you ever thought or wondered as why there are still the new models of desktops, laptops and palmtops still coming up? The numbers in terms of sales and prices may be entirely different now but the need of those devices still exists!

With a little common sense and a little technical knowledge, it is easy to decide if a prospective buyer can go for a tablet PC or a Smartphone or a traditional laptop or a desktop computer.

Many of us are non-IT personnel and so we maynot clearly understand if what we see in the new ads on the TV or on the internet, is actually the way of the whole world to adopt the new technologies and to discard the old ones.

For the dummies, this post might be useful so that they decide what to buy based on their need rather going by the trend.

Despite the popularity of the social networking sites and the amount of information available from various sources, there are many people among us who are always confused to decide what they want and they need some advice.

To help such people, we make an attempt to give some guidelines for buying these gadgets:

Pros:

1. The Smartphones & Tablets consume less power

The Smartphones like Apple's iPhones, Samsung Galaxy series, Nokia N-Series, E-Series and newly launched Lumina, HTC Android phones, Blackberry Curve and Bold series of phones, and many others all running on latest OSs and high end devices have smart processors which consume less power while providing you immense satisfaction for your money spent.

You can buy something like a 'Solar Monkey' kind of solar chargers and can keep using your mobile devices running. So you go green. That is not possible with traditional desktop computers and even with laptops.

2. You can take photos and shoot videos

Obviously we don't need to think too much about this point. Nowadays, the Smartphones and tablets are like "all-in-ones" without even compromising on the features. Compared to yesteryears, you now have great cameras with resolutions of more than 5 megapixel (not on low end devices though) and up to 8 MP or more for still photos, while the video resolutions are also improving fast.

3. You already have a music player in your Smartphone and also in tablets (though heavy)

You can always enjoy the music players in your Smartphones and not that comforably on tablets, but yes, when you are traveling in a bus or a train, why not on tablet? Only when you feel like going for a running session, you may need to think about having an iPod Shuffle.

4. You can work while having breaks as you wish

The long tedious jobs of mailing to so many clients or customers, or some important decisions need not be done sitting in the office cabin or in nervous environments. You may need to send some personal mails to your friends or family. You need not use the office resources to do that. You can sit in a garden and can do these jobs while relaxing. You work better when you relax and feel refreshed.

5. Social Networking is more fun on smartphones and tablets

Social Networking is a must these days though you need not be addicted to it. This is because our hectic work schedules make it difficult for personally meeting our friends and well wishers on a regular basis. While we can also do Social Networking accessing the sites like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter on your desktop computers, there are certain features which are more fun to use only on mobiles.

For example you go to a restaurant or a pub or to a picnic spot, you can checkin on your Social networking applications like Facebook so that your friends can find you and can actually meet you.

6. You have Maps and GPS on many mobile devices these days

Something is better than Nothing. With Google maps, you can be spotted anywhere in the world except where there is no mobile signal. In the Nokia phones, Nokia maps is an excellent tool, and the best thing with that is for all important locations and cities and countries, you can download once the full map into your mobile through the desktop or using a broadband internet connection, and then it won't even need the 3G or GPRS internet to navigate the routes for you.

7. You spend less money

With mobile devices you spend substantially less amount of money than you would if you go for a desktop or a laptop, and you keep spending additionally on accessories for them. With smartphones or tablets, it is a bundled pack.

Cons:

For all the good things regarding the technology out there in this world, there are also negatives associated with them.

1. The smaller the screen size, the greater the strain on your eyes

You can go for a tablet or a smartphone thinking that you don't need an expensive laptop for reading your mails and for accessing the internet. This is true but if you work a lot, due to the nature of the job, beyond 20 hours a week (as Safety standards suggest), it is an extremely tiring thing for your eyes even if you work on a computer with a big screen of 17''. Now think about doing all that on your tablet or on a smartphone.

Probably a CEO doesn't need to spend so much time reading content on the computers or smartphones or tablets, because they have lot of appointments or meetings on their schedule and they automatically spend less time on electronic devices compared to a low level staff like a CAD draftsman, or a secretary who need to spend most of their office time on computers. So they need big screens and more comfort.

2. Many advanced software applications won't work or fit on the Smartphones or tablets

If you are a person working in an industrial environment, where it is necessary for you to use high quality softwares like AutoCAD, Catia, ProE, Solid Works, or Animation softwares for your work, the same applications can't run on the Smartphones or tablets. Even if they run, it is highly impractical to think about actually working on the mobile devices. You can't draw an AutoCAD drawing even if you have a full touch screen on a Smartphone or tablet even in your dreams because, not only the ability to give the input is important here but also the bigger preview of your task is equally important.

3. Radiation is dangerous for health

Though the recent smartphones and tablets have extremely less amounts of radiation (electromagnetic/radio waves), again we have to think that it is better not to expose ourselves too much, as we can't work without holding these mobile devices.

Except if you are working most of the time typing emails, or using the applications that won't use so much of the network data access, there is always the data transfer and so the radiation to your mobile device from the network towers. And never use your mobile devices for talking when the signal strength is too low.

4. Problem of theft

Though anything can be stolen in this world, the frequency and probability is more for any mobile device. It may seem to you that this point is immaterial here, but beware, you have put our life on your mobile device. Just think that you have your emails and passwords remembered on your device by various applications, and you may have your personal and confidential information on these devices and in case you lose your smartphone or a tablet, it is not just the mobile device you lose. The loss is manifold.

We hope that you have got various insights for you to think well before you carefully evaluate your requirements and then proceed to buy the needed devices. Or if you can afford to have both kinds of devices, stand alone and mobile, you can well do it. But the care has to be taken to be aware of the pros and cons with any of your choices.
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