Netbook vs Notebook vs Tablet, which one is the best for you?


Choosing the right device can be a really tough decison if you want to achieve different type of goals. It’s possbile that the best solution is to have multiple, similar devices.
I wanted to buy a portable device. After reading opinions, hardware reviews and blogs for weeks I came to a final decision: I’ll buy an 9.7″ android based tablet with an external keyboard, or a cover with a built in keyboard. But this is not the whole story, jump to the end, to hear the end of it.

Key factors:

– Portability
– Hardware power
– External connectivity
– Price
– Battery time
– Operating system

– Ultra portable
– Good enough for 90% of your daily work
– Touch gestures
– Free or cheap (2-5$) apps for most goals
– Usually longer battery time than netbooks, notebooks

– No physical keyboard
– No full-scale OS

Choose if: you don’t need a full-scale OS, only use browse the net, social apps, writing

– Ultra portable
– Full-scale OS (Choose windows 8, not RT)

– Small screen

Choose if: you need a full-scale OS, but don?t need a powerful device.

Notebook, Ultrabook:
– Good for work, can run more powerful software
– Full-scale OS

– A bit heavier, but still portable
– Expensive
– Small screen or more weight if screen is bigger

Choose if: you want to use this as a portable device and a home computer with external monitor, gaming and powerful applications can work if you choose a powerful enough configuration (at least core i5, 4-8 Gbs of RAM, SSD preferably)

– Netbook / Tablet 2 in 1
– Usually full-scale OS
– I think this category will be the most commonly used device in the next 2-3 years

– Ultra expensive, but prices will get lower in 1-2 years

Choose if: Money doesn?t matter, you want to try the new wave of technology


My goals: writing (distraction free editor is a must), social media, reading digital content, (later added drawing)

Possible solutions:

– buying a netbook
– buying a tablet with external keyboard
– buying a so called “convertible” which is basicly a netbook which could flip to tablet usage, or from the better ones you could detach the LCD and use it totally separately as a tablet

I wanted to buy a cheap portable device with IPS screen, keyboard (external okay too). If I wanted to use this device for work, probably I would chosen an ultrabook or a transformer, but given the fact that I won’t do any work (front-end development) on the device it wouldn’t worth spending 2-3 times the money.

I’ve chosen a tablet because it’s really portable, cheaper devices have good price / value ratio. At my workplace we have some mobile and tablet devices for testing purposes, so I had the chance to check a few 7 and 10 inch devices, and I’ve decided that a 10 inch tablet suits my needs better, as it’s bigger screen is a bit better for wirting and consuming digital content.

My choice was to buy a myaudio 916 DCC, which comes with 2 cores, had some good reviews, and some really mixed opinions, so I know I will take some risk when buying this device, but the price tag was really calling, so I’ve jumped in.

After a couple of days it turned out that an android based tablet is a really nice partner to my android phone. On my tablet I started installing the same apps as the ones were on my phone. Of course I needed some new apps, but fortunately I found nice and good apps soon for good price.

This was a really nice feature on the tablet. Lightpaper Pro seems to be just perfect for me: it has a nice dark layout, it can sync to dropbox, and can be switched to full screen, distraction free mode.

The device itself was working a bit too slow sometimes, but it was good otherwise, until I tried drawing. A few weeks ago I ordered a pressure sensitive stylus, the HEX3 jaja which is working based on high-frequency sound. Unfortunately there is only one android app (a few more coming soon) which supports this device: infinite painter. It?s a 5$ app, so I bought it, and tried it…to get really dissapointed. Pressure sensitivity was not working okay. It feels like the tablet doesn?t even use the pressure sensitivity. I thought the reason might be that the device is not powerful enough, so I tried the jaja on a nexus 7, but it wasn?t really better.

I had a chance to try the device on an iPad 2, so I bought procreate for iOS, and voila, the jaja was working pretty good. I don?t say it was 100% perfect, but after calibrating it was really good, the pressure sensitivty was working nicely. This was the point when I?ve decided to sell my Android based tablet and get an iOS based one. There are at least 12 drawing apps on iOS which support the jaja. Procreate is really intuitive so I?ll start experimenting with that.

As you can see it?s really up to you and your desires which is the right device to you. I suggest to think for a few days before buying a device, write down the things which do you want to do on your device and choose accoardingly..

Author: Psysoul

I'm a designer and software engineer. If you want, I will transform your life, make you more joyful and fulfilled.

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