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Laptops are known for their robust performance and versatility, making them an excellent choice for those who need a powerful device for multitasking, running complex applications and working with larger files. They typically come with a larger screen, full-sized keyboard and a wide range of ports for easy connectivity. However, laptops can be heavier and bulkier compared to tablets, and their battery life may not always be as long-lasting.
Tablets, on the other hand, are designed for portability and convenience. They are lightweight, easy to carry around, and offer a more intuitive touchscreen interface. Tablets are ideal for casual web browsing, reading, streaming media and running basic applications. While they may not have the same processing power as laptops, their battery life is often longer. However, the smaller screen and lack of a built-in keyboard may make them less suitable for productivity tasks and long-form typing.
When shopping for a laptop, factor the type of processor the laptop comes with. You'll want to pick a laptop with enough power and speed to complete the tasks you need to accomplish. The two main processor brands are Intel and AMD. Budget or entry level laptops tend to feature Intel Core 3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processors. Such laptops are great for general purpose use such as surfing the web, emails, social media or watching TV/films. AMD Ryzen 5 or Core i5 laptop models pack a bit more power and can also run basic software applications such as photo and video editing programs. For high end, demanding applications that need a lot of processing power such as 3D modelling, CAD, gaming and advanced photo/video editing consider a Core i7 or Core i9 laptop (or AMD Ryzen 7 or 9).
If you're looking for a gaming laptop or need to run professional CAD or CGI applications, look for a laptop that features a superior, branded graphics card from AMD, Intel or Nvidia rather than a standard integrated card. These will offer superior performance and provide the best visuals and frame rates possible.
Most laptops currently ship with the popular Windows 10 operating system which is available in both Home and Pro editions. There are alternative operating systems on some laptops however - Chromebooks run on Chrome OS and Apple MacBooks use the macOS operating system.
The quantity and type of connectivity options will be important if you plan to connect your laptop to other devices. An HDMI or DisplayPort port makes it easy to connect to TVs and monitors, an ethernet port is great if you need to connect to a wired office network. Most laptops come with USB ports - the standard port to plug nearly anything into a computer. There are different USB port types, the latest is USB-C which allows you to both transfer data and charge your device.
As for storage, think about the volume and type of files you need to save. Laptops with 256Gb or 512Gb storage are most common but hi res image or video files can quickly swallow up your disk's storage capacity so you either need to choose a model with a higher capacity drive or invest in external storage instead.
All laptops sold by The IT Bay are covered by a warranty. New laptops are typically protected by a 1 or 3 year manufacturer warranty. In many cases warranties can be upgraded (e.g. to on-site rather than return to base) or extended. Contact us to discuss the options available.
Finally, we offer a range of flexible payment options including credit/debit card, PayPal and finance plans which allow you to spread the cost over a period of time to suit your budget.
Ready to start laptop shopping? Vist our laptops page where you can browse our current stock range and filter down based on the specs you need.
There are three main operating systems to pick from; Android, iOS and Windows. Android is Google’s OS and is found on a wide variety of tablets from a range of manufacturers. Android tablets come with some preinstalled apps and you can access thousands more via the Google Play store. iOS is Apple’s operating system and is only found on iPad tablets. It’s a slick, easy to use operating system and there’s a huge range of apps to choose from in Apple’s iTunes store. If you want to use your tablet as a work computer, look for a tablet with Windows as you’ll get a device that works just like your PC or laptop allowing you to work on apps and transfer data across all your Windows devices. Whichever OS you choose, free software updates should be available as standard so you can stay up to date with the latest version available.
As well as traditional ‘screen only’ tablets, you can also buy 2-in-1 devices which come with detachable or rotatable keyboards. This feature effectively makes them a hybrid laptop since you can use them as either a tablet or a laptop. If you know you’ll need to do a lot of typing or use the keyboard regularly for input, a 2-in-1 will be easier to use than a conventional tablet but the trade off is you’ll end up with a bulkier, heavier device.
Size and weight might be important considerations for you, especially if you’re a frequent traveller and you want something thin and lightweight you can easily tuck into your hand luggage. Most tablets are lighter and thinner than a typical laptop but dimensions and weight do vary considerably. As a general rule, the thinnest and lightest models tend to be found at the premium end of the market mainly due to the use of more expensive, high grade materials.
Don’t overlook battery life, particularly if you’ll be spending a lot of time away from a power socket. Naturally battery life will vary based on usage but most tablets advertise run times of 7 hours or more which is about enough to last you for a full day. If you envisage using your tablet frequently during the day or if you plan to run draining apps like gaming or watching high definition videos, look for models with 9-10 hours or higher. Charge time might also be worth looking at. Some manufacturers offer tablets with rapid charging batteries that can charge the battery up to 80% capacity in under an hour.
Another important feature to assess is the screen. Look at both screen size and image quality. Screen sizes range from under 7” to over 11”. Smaller screen tablets are compact and light but you might find them too small and cramped if you do a lot of reading, movie watching or web surfing. We’d recommend a tablet with a 10” screen or above if you plan on using it for work such as word processing or photo editing. The pixel density is important too and determines how crisp your images are displayed. You want a tablet with at least 200 pixels per inch for a sharp, detailed picture but there are plenty of tablets available with superior resolutions as well. If you want to use your tablet outdoors in bright sunlight, look at the screen’s brightness (we’d recommend 400 nits or higher).
The tablet’s built-in storage determines how much space you have available to store your field, images, videos, music and other data on your device. Refer to the specs to see the listed storage capacity but keep in mind that some of the space will be used up by the operating system plus any preinstalled apps that the manufacturer chose to add by default. If you need more storage than the tablet has available, you can sign up to a web based storage service such as Apple’s iCloud, Google’s Drive or Microsoft’s OneDrive. If your tablet features a memory card slot, you can invest in an SD card to boost the local storage capacity as well.
Performance will largely be dictated by a combination of the tablet’s processor and memory (RAM). Low level tasks like web surfing, streaming music and video or word processing don’t require much power and even low spec budget tablets should handle such tasks comfortably. More demanding apps such as photo or video editing or more advanced games will require more horsepower. If you plan on serious multitasking, you’ll need plenty of RAM to keep things running smoothly. It’s hard to give specifics for CPU and RAM but you can refer to the recommended guidelines issued for the apps you want to use. As a rough guide, a budget tablet with 2GB of RAM and a basic processor should suffice for casual use. For moderate multitasking, consider a tablet with at least 4GB of RAM and a mid-range processor. For heavy multitasking and demanding applications, look for a tablet with 8GB of RAM or more and a high-end processor. Keep in mind that higher performance tablets will typically cost more.
If taking photos or recording videos with your tablet is important to you, pay attention to the camera specifications. Most tablets come with both front and rear cameras. The rear camera is typically the higher quality one, but the front camera is essential for video calls and selfies. Check the megapixel count (higher is better) and look for features like optical image stabilization, autofocus, and low-light capabilities for better image quality.
Some tablets have optional accessories available to enhance your experience. These can include styluses for drawing or note-taking, protective cases, and keyboard attachments for easier typing. Consider the available accessories when making your decision, especially if you have specific needs or requirements that might be met with these add-ons.
Like laptops, tablets sold by The IT Bay are covered by a warranty. New tablets are typically protected by a 1 or 3 year manufacturer warranty. In many cases, warranties can be upgraded (e.g., to on-site rather than return to base) or extended. Contact us to discuss the options available.
We offer a range of flexible payment options for tablets, including credit/debit card, PayPal, and finance plans, which allow you to spread the cost over a period of time to suit your budget.
Check out our current stock of tablets in our store. We've provided a number of helpful filters to allow you to narrow down the range based on brand price and a number of other key specs.