Laptop Or Tablet For College? 8 Things To Ask

Updated on June 11, 2020
tablet or laptop for college

Laptops can do everything the tablet does and not vice versa, as college students you may write long essays or articles which tablet cannot suffice but laptops can.

And even if you manage to write an article on a tablet you still need to use a college laptop for finishing touches, tablets may seem convenient but it has limited functions compared to laptops.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Laptop Or Tablet For College Students: 8 Things To Consider


Tablets may get the job done using external devices but the process is much slower than using a laptop, how about printing? Yeah, we know nowadays it’s almost paperless but what if you need to print something?

You may find yourself in trouble looking for printers that are compatible with your tablet, unlike laptops that just need drivers and you’re good to go.


In terms of multitasking, it’s pretty obvious that you can do more in a laptop at the same time, using a laptop for spreadsheets and presentations is easy in terms of navigation and shortcut keys which takes time if you’re using a tablet, tablets are good for portability and to take to class but when it comes to real work you will need a better arrangement, sadly, we are still not in the time where tablets can replace laptops, YET.

Many schools were giving their students tablets upon enrolling. Those same schools have stopped that practice and have, in fact, taken the tablets back and replaced them with laptops.

According to a new Harris Poll conducted for Pearson, 52 percent of college students now own tablets. That is up from 45 percent in 2014. However, only one in 12 (8 percent) college students aged 18 and 19 (typically freshmen and sophomores) said they use a tablet every day for their school work, while two-thirds (66 percent) use a laptop every day for school.

You can watch this video as to why tablets can’t replace laptops yet.

The Work You Do

What apps, platform will you mainly be working on. Is this applicable on the tablet.

If you re unsure about this, then going for a laptop will be your safe bet.

Pros of using a tablet

They’re so light and portable.
Whether you like getting work done or getting entertained on the go, tablets offer one clear advantage: they’re portable.

Excellent audio and video quality.
Tablets have excellent audio and visual recording quality which will allow you to record class lectures and play them back with ease. This can be a great study tool and is something that is simply not possible with a laptop.

Cons of using a tablet

No keyboard and mouse.
One of the major drawbacks of a tablet over a PC is the lack of a physical keyboard and mouse. The touch screen is okay for web browsing or using apps, but it can be quite painful to type long emails or text documents.

Low processor speeds for work.
Although tablet devices can be very helpful for making presentations, they do have processor speed limitations when compared to laptop computers.

Tablets tend to lack ports.
Many tablet computers do not contain basic ports such as USB or HDMI which means you can’t use a cable to connect your tablet to another PC or TV.

Pros of using a laptop

Laptops have larger screens.
This makes it easier to type and work on assignments on a laptop as you’ll never be frustrated by the small size of your screen.

Laptops have more memory.
If you are someone that likes to store everything on your electronic device, including movies, pictures, documents, and lots of apps, then you may require a laptop. Laptops are larger and therefore have more memory.

Cons of using a laptop

Laptops are heavier and bulkier.
They are harder to carry around with you. If you know that you have a long commute, perhaps bringing along a heavy laptop may not be the best option.

Laptops have poor battery longevity.
A widely expressed concern with laptops is that after only a few months, your laptop battery will be so fried that your computer will barely be able to keep charge beyond a few hours. This is a legitimate concern and if you don’t take proper care of your laptop, you can end up with a laptop that needs to be re-charged every two hours or less.

Your Preferences and Budget

As time goes on, the hardware and software of a tablet comes really close to a laptop. If everything comes equally. Then your preferences and budget are the only thing that matter.


Having said the reasons as to why tablets can’t replace laptops yet, and as a college student who had many things to do that the tablet cannot suffice, laptops surpasses tablet in many aspects, so its a NO, tablets can’t replace laptops for now.

We’ve given you the essential information but it’s up to you if you follow it or go on your way, after all, we have the freedom to think for ourselves and make decisions that would satisfy our needs.

Article by:
Kenny Trinh
While he’s not editing articles on the latest tech trends, he likes to discuss business and entrepreneur. His writing has been featured in national publications such as Forbes, RD, Yahoo Finance, HackerNoon among others.

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