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Tablets, Ultrabooks, Laptops, Netbooks…confused?

The mobile technology market is certainly booming at the moment, with hardware suppliers promoting their latest innovations for technology-on-the-move. There are so many names for all these devices though – so who should buy which one, and what are they all for?  Interested? Read on…

Back in ‘the day’, a laptop was a portable computer – one you could travel with, and use without an electricity supply (until the battery runs low, at least). Nowadays, it is looked upon as the same thing, but variations are now further categorized to distinguish the differences between them all…some are smaller, lighter, faster and they have flooded the market with a boom. Its no wonder people are confused…

Take the example of a netbook – a small, less powerful type of laptop which is designed for surfing the net and basic word processing…essentially, its still a laptop, but its categorized as a netbook to further identify what it is designed to do. Having a simpler set of components (techie speak: form-factor), it is cheaper than a laptop, and perfectly good as long as you don’t want to do anything too ‘resource-intensive’ (thats running powerful applications, to you and I).

Ultrabooks – these are fairly new on the hardware scene and are highly powerful laptops, defined by Intel, but still a lot smaller. They are intended mainly for people who travel a lot, who don’t want to lug 3kg of laptop with them every week but still need the same performance and useability.

Ultrabooks have a sophisticated set of components – a powerful processor, meaning it is better at multi tasking and taking on meatier tasks, it also will have a larger amount of storage than a netbook and possibly a better display quality. So why would we buy anything else, I hear you ask…? Ultrabooks understandably come at a price…fitting in all those powerful components into something not much bigger than a magazine, isn’t easy!

Lets not forget the other names that have cropped up in recent times…Macbook, Probook, iBook…these are examples of product lines that various manufacturers use to promote their latest products. Apple have used the suffix ‘-book’ for years, as have the likes of HP…so don’t let these fool you into thinking its another strand of laptop – they are all categorized as mobile technology, but the subtle differences are in the share of the market at which they are aimed.

So…the other alternative is a tablet device – examples are iPads or the Samsung Galaxy…these are all highly innovative products and its no illusion that in the not-to-distant future, tablets will form a large percentage of personal computing devices…they’ve taken the world by storm already. Tablets are designed as the ultra fast and convenient mobile computing. They are not without their limitations at present, but are fantastic for web surfing, emailing, taking and managing your photos/videos and also social networking. There is a bit of work to do before they could replace laptops completly…but I don’t think they’re far away!

Come back soon for our article on Laptop vs Tablet.



About theithandbook

Reaching every day people and businesses with simple, effective and modern IT advice.


4 thoughts on “Tablets, Ultrabooks, Laptops, Netbooks…confused?

  1. Great job! I did not know the differences. Thank you! I am looking forward to your article Tablets versus Laptops. I am attempting my doctorate online and use ebooks. It is labor intensive. I spend a minimum of two to four hours each day of reading, writing, and researching online. I use a laptop but it is not portable enough. I don’t know exactly what I need but this was a great start. Thank you.

    Posted by Pamela M. | August 18, 2012, 12:06 pm


  1. Pingback: Laptop vs Tablet vs Smartphone « The IT Handbook - August 21, 2012

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