Laptops, Tablets or E-Readers: Which Should I Choose?

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By: Stephanie Petrashko

If you’re in the market for a new portable electronic device, there seems to be an increasingly overwhelming amount of information to consider. Laptops are versatile. Tablets are popular. E-readers are inexpensive. So how do you know what the best fit is for you? In the end, it depends on your needs and on your budget.

Over the next couple of blog entries, we’ll be highlighting the pros and cons of each of these devices to help you make the right decision. Let’s begin with laptops:




Laptops have the most functionality and versatility compared to tablets and e-readers.

They’re ideal for frequent web browsing, e-mailing, research, document and presentation creation, audio/video playback, gaming and/or keyboard use.

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Laptops come with full keyboards, allowing you to type much faster and more accurately compared to a touch screen device.

Laptops have back-lit, LCD screens that are great for web browsing, viewing photos and audio/video playback.

Laptops also have large screens and high screen resolution, which is ideal for viewing photos, browsing the web or enjoying entertainment content.

Laptops are also more durable than tablets, and you won’t have to worry about scratching or damaging the touchscreen display.


Laptops are generally more expensive than tablets and e-readers and are not as simple to use.

Their back-lit, LCD screens are not ideal for reading e-books on, as they don’t use the same “e-ink” displays that e-readers have. Prolonged reading can lead to eye strain.

Laptop screens also tend to be reflective, and are not ideal for reading in bright sunlight or under certain types of artificial light.

Laptops require a boot-up sequence.

Laptops are heavy (typically 3 to 6 lbs) and relatively large (typically 13 – 15” screen sizes) compared to tablets and e-readers.


Choose a laptop if you…

  • Are shopping for a primary computer
  • Need a device that requires high performance (e.g., for work, school, data entry, research, document or presentation creation, photo editing, design or games)
  • Type a lot (e.g., to compose e-mails or create documents)
  • Frequently browse the web
  • Read for short periods at a time
  • Read material that uses a lot of colour and/or graphics
  • Are not on a tight budget and are happy to spend a fairly large amount on a device with full functionality

In our next blog entry, we’ll be covering the pros and cons of tablet devices. Stay tuned!