Choosing technology: laptops vs. tablets

By Byron Harwell

Since the invention of the laptop, students have had the advantage of computing on the go.

This new technology took the computing world by storm by making computer use portable.

But now, a new device has entered the portable computer scene: the tablet.

Fresno State students are debating whether to buy the laptop or go  with the convenience of a tablet.

“If I had to choose, I would go with the iPad [tablet] and I will get a wireless keyboard,” said Sara Zamora, a student assistant in the computer department at the Kennel Bookstore.
She said she has a 15-inch MacBook Pro laptop, but rarely brings it to school.

“It’s super heavy, I don’t want to bring it. If I don’t have to bring it, I don’t bring it,” Zamora said.

While portability of the tablet beckons to users, the price tag can also attract the attention of potential buyers.

“I did not want to spend a lot of money for a computer, so I went and I bought an iPad,” said Sarita Lopez, a Fresno State student.

Lopez said she is happy with her decision and encourages her friends to do the same if they need a computer and want to save money.

At the Kennel Bookstore, the popularity of the laptop shows that most students are not yet ready to touch the tablet.

“Students are still buying a laptop over a tablet,” said Humberto Yeverino, the computer department manager.

He said he thinks they are still learning the various uses for a tablet and thus, are more reluctant to buy, especially when they have access to laptop sales.

“Most students were raised on a Mac or a computer with a keyboard,” Yeverino said.

Some students find an alternative by using a smart phone.

Fresno State student Grant Miller has a heavy Dell laptop and does not need to buy a tablet because he uses his iPhone.

“I am not a big fan of tablets because I have my phone, I want to keep a computer and have my phone for mobile Internet on the go,” Miller said.

Biology and nursing student Edwinisha Bynum uses the Dropbox and BlackBoard applications on her iPhone.

“I can view and listen to all of my PowerPoints and look at my paperwork on my phone,” said Bynum.

However, for some students the tablet is the perfect tool for school.

“I bought the iPad because I wanted to put all of my textbooks on it,” said Fresno State student Cynthia Barrantes. “I wanted e-books instead of textbooks. I have a lot of classes this year and it would have been too many books to carry.”

It might to be awhile before tablets take the place of the laptop computer with a number of students.

“Once a tablet can do everything that a computer can do, then that’s when people or students will lean toward it,” said Yeverino.

  • Mark

    Every single person who isn’t an Apple-crazed jackass would, and should choose a laptop.

    Tablets are pretty, useless, expensive toys so you can play Angry Birds on the toilet (which, if you really wanted to, could do on a laptop). Laptops are fully-functioning computers, many of them designed with enhanced security options for business, computing, graphic modeling, all sorts of professional applications. And don’t give me that “tablets have dual core processors and stuff!” nonsense, because a fully-fledged computer with programs coded for it is a billion times more efficient than an enlarged smartphone, and your pretty 1.1 ghz dual core processor has got all of absolutely nothing on the latest Ivy Bridges.

    So buy a tablet if you’re a tool and you want people to think you look cool in history class. Buy a laptop if you’re a GD adult and ready to move up in the world.

    • Sean

      I agree with you Mark in that you will need a laptop instead of a tablet in this world. But a tablet is cool and more for entertainment.