In many ways, laptops and tablets are very similar. Both are designed with convenience and practicality in mind, rather than longevity or power like their desktop counterparts. But how to tell them apart when it comes to making a new purchase? Well, to look at it in the simplest comparative terms, the tablet represents a step down the power ladder from laptops, and another step up in terms of portability.

The advantages of a tablet are fairly obvious: they are light, thin and small, making them more portable than anything else on the market. They are stylish devices designed to make your life that little bit more futuristic while, perhaps surprisingly, their battery life is also typically longer than that of a laptop. Indeed, as technological engineers devote an increasing amount of time to innovative products like tablets, the micro-processing capabilities of what some consider to be yesterday’s inventions – like the laptop – are likely to diminish even further.

However, tablets also have their detractors. Unlike a laptop, they are not fitted with full keyboards or a mouse and, while these peripherals can be bought for them as add-ons, a number of consumers are not as enamoured with touch screen technology as some brands predicted. Furthermore, additions detract from the product’s inherent selling point as a highly portable piece of equipment, so although their battery power is impressive, their often cumbersome web navigation and word-processing can undermine tablets’ practical benefits.

Laptops, on the other hand, are more powerful than tablets. For raw processing tasks, a laptop will win hands down every time. What’s more, the sheer breadth of software available for laptops far outweighs what is available for tablets right now, creating layers of functionality that tablets can only one day hope to match. Added to that is the fact that, while some apps and programs have definitely enriched our daily routines, some tablet software simply doesn’t live up to all the hype.

The main conclusion that can be drawn from the comparison between tablets and laptops is that the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive of each other. Indeed, the former complement the latter, taking capacity on the road for long periods of time. Ultimately, where one is strong, the other appears weak – by having both it seems you’ll be covering all the bases.