Apple iPad, Tablet, Hybrid, Laptop, Netbook or Notebook?

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An impressive range but which is right for you?

I have always been impressed with the Apple iPad, Tablets and countless other versions put out by the vast spectrum of computer manufactures. There is very much something for everyone, but it is important that you the prospective buyer understands the differences and chooses wisely.

Apple iPad, Tablets:

The iPad and Tablet are very much in a class of their own. A great idea for many, but if you need something that is a little more perky and versatile then there are plenty of options available for you. The main attraction of these is in being compact, light weight, and having a relatively long battery life. On the other hand they have limited hard drive storage with a current maximum of only 64 Gig. These are fine for "Surfing the Net," sending and receiving emails and playing around with a plethora of boutique programs.

The small 64 Gig hard drive renders devices of this nature useless for me in my line of work. To give you some idea, storage of a 1 hour 30 min MP4 movie takes up about 5 Gigabytes alone, while my basic essential programs on my desktop take up just over 85 Gig. If your heart is set on an iPad or Tablet then ensure it has both a USB port and a HDMI socket of some description. These will come in handy, particularly if you plan to take your device with you on your travels. The bigger the hard drive the better. For me a USB port is essential. Prices range from as little as $250.00 up to $1,200.00 AUD/USD.

The Apple iPad 3 at a glance:

Aside from an "Over Charging" issue, I can only recommend a personal appraisal before finalising any purchase, especially if you are considering an iPad or one of the vast arrays of Tablets. Again the new Apple iPad 3 has a limited hard drive 64Gig and no native USB or Video output socket. It does however come with a USB to Apple Dock connector cable, and boasts of battery life of up to 10 hours on a single charge. Do not hesitate to ask questions, It is important to get the details on the iPad 3 charging issue, and more importanly what is being done to address it.

Transformer hybrid tablet with keyboard docking station:

These consist of a tablet with a keyboard docking station. A good idea but the brands I looked at all had one major problem, they were clumsy to use, and in short the "Tablet" component was continually falling off the docking station mount rendering them close to useless for any practical application. Prices range anywhere from $500.00 to $1,500.00 USD/AUD. All those that I have looked at are far too fiddly for my liking.


Nowadays these are quite good value for money, with relatively large hard drive capacity, long battery life, and many now faster and more powerful than some home PC's. These are a great option to have if you do not intend buying a dedicated desktop PC for your everyday home or business use. Prices range anywhere from $600.00 to $3,400.00 USD/AUD depending on your needs. My only concern is that some of these tend to overheat when left on for a while; it is well worth enquiring about that aspect before making any purchasing.

Notebooks and Netbooks:

These are little gems, small, and compact usually with a 10 inch screen, decent hard drives ranging from 120Gig to 500Gig, what sets them apart from the rest is their massive power to weight ratio. Apple iPads and Tablets are very close to the same size and weight, but the added advantage of between 2 to 3 USB Ports puts them way in front. Almost all have a video output of some description, and usually a HDMI Socket. What really surprises me is speed and power of these tiny devices. Although in a slightly different category to the iPads and Tablets, I believe that they are a much better buy than their iPad, and Tablet, counterparts. Prices range from as little as $300.00 up to $1,500.00 USD/AUD.

Specifications Common to Laptops, Netbooks, Notebooks and Hybrids Hardware:

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Hard drive 250 Gig plus, 2 to 4 Gig RAM Plus, USB, HDMI, SD Card slot.


There are an impressive range of "Operating Systems" depending on what type of device you purchase. One that has caught my attention is the OEM "Windows 7 Starter." This is a little ripper and there is no reason why you shouldn't be content with it as your dedicated Operating System, There are two main restrictions between this and Windows 7 Home, one being that you cannot change the desktop background, The other being that the program is 32 bit and as a result will only read up to a little over 2 Gigabytes of RAM.


Small, light, and compact with a long battery life. Wifi is a great asset if you can get that option.


Tablets and iPads generally have a small hard drives of 64 Gig or less. The absence of a native USB port on the Ipad is enough to put me off ever purchasing anything from that range.


Everyone has different needs. There is something for everyone, with plenty of brands, styles and prices to choose from. USB and a HDMI port's are important as is a decent hard drive capacity greater than 120 Gigabytes. Choose carefully, and don't be afraid to ask questions. If you are buying direct from a retailer then there is usually plenty of room to haggle. Retailers will be well aware that you can get a better deal by going online and are usually prepared to fight hard to get your business.

Article by: Brendan Mckenna - Outstanding

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Copyright: Brendan Mckenna 21 March 2012 Warrnambool Australia

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