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Is It Finally Time To Swap My Laptop With A Tablet?

Thursday, January 1st, 2015 by | Filed Under: Android, iOS, Windows 8

Nancy asks:

Should I think about replacing my laptop with a tablet?

Nancy, I’ve addressed this question before, but there have been some changes out there that can make ditching the laptop for a tablet even more attractive.

If you are a happy Windows user, there’s been a flood of very affordable Windows 8.1 tablets. The transition from a laptop to a Windows 8.1 tablet is less of a transition than switching from a laptop to an Android Tablet or iPad, because these tablets can run the full version of Windows 8.1. They are full Windows computers.


I made the transition from traditional laptop to a Surface Pro nearly two years ago and I have not regretted it. Do get the full Windows version and not a Windows RT tablet, though. They don’t cost much more and it makes a huge difference.

Recently the prices have fallen significantly on these full Windows tablets. You can now purchase one for less than $200 and some of them even come with a year of Office 365.  Even without that year of Office 365, you can still use Office Apps Online for free with one of these tablets.

As long as you don’t require heavy-duty computing power, these will work fine for you.

Windows tablets will run Flash Player, something Android and iPads tablets will not do. You can pick up a detachable keyboard for when you need to do some heavy-duty typing and you are good to go. These tablets already have built in cameras and microphones for things like video conferencing.

If you plan to switch to a tablet, and that’s any tablet, you’ll need to get comfortable with the cloud. Tablets don’t have big hard drives, unless you get an expensive model. It is expected that you’ll save things like documents and photos to your cloud storage service.

nexus 10

The switch to Android or iPad can be a big change for a Windows user.  If you plan on using your device for e-mail, web browsing, social media and games, you’ll find most of the same options available on a tablet. If there’s a particular app that you use on your PC that you absolutely need for your tablet, make sure that that app or a comparable one is available for the device you plan on switching to.


Microsoft Office users got good news when the company made its Office Apps free for iPad users. Those apps are currently being tested for Android and expected to be available soon. In the meantime, there are several good office suite options available for Android.

Nancy, it’s possible to replace your laptop with a tablet, but only you can answer the question if you should. Do you like touch screens? I know from a previous question that you purchased a tablet for your husband. I’d suggest using it for a bit for the tasks you need and finding out if you like it.

And there’s no reason you can’t have both a tablet and a laptop while you get adjusted to the tablet. Have any of our readers made the switch from laptop or desktop PC to tablet? Share your experiences in the comments.

 ~ Cynthia


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4 Responses to “Is It Finally Time To Swap My Laptop With A Tablet?”

  1. George Jackson says:

    The above article(Should I switch to a tablet) as interesting and helpful, but one question I have(that I haven’t seen addressed, is how to load anti-virus protection on a tablet. Can this be done in any way other than ordering it online then downloading it?

    • cynthia says:

      Anti-virus protection for tablets is available in the app store for that tablet. You’ll find free options as well as paid options. If you are paying for an anti-virus with multiple licenses for your PC, you may find that you can activate a tablet version of that license at no additional cost.

      Here’s a link with some options for Android users.

      If you are using a Windows Pro tablet, you would download and install your protection in the same way you would for a laptop or desktop.

  2. Jo says:

    Does this tablet have USB ports, and if so how many?

    • cynthia says:


      It would depend on the tablet. Android and iPad tablets do not have USB ports. Some Windows tablets, especially if you go with the Pro versions, do offer USB ports. The number of ports will depend on the tablet. A first- gen Surface, for example, offers a USB port in the tablet and one in the power cord.

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