“A computer is like an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy”

Tuesday, December 15

16. Picking the Right One: Computer Genres

Tablets: This is one of those niche-market devices. While they are full laptops in theory, they're more like over-sized PDA's in practice. You might have seen one at your doctor's office.

These are generally low-end machines, power-wise. They have a screen that allows you to use it as a touch-pad with your fingers or a stylus (imagine a Nintendo DS). Of all the laptops, these are the most limited in options available, probably because there isn't a big market for them. They haven't been as well received as it was hoped by the hardware manufacturers. Apple recently unveiled their own model, so this may be changing.

These models are exceptionally portable. Once setup, the handwriting recognition is a great tool. They are not good for virtually any type of gaming as they have minimal graphics capability. This does lend itself to longer battery life, however.

There are some “convertible” machines that allow you to work ordinarily like a regular laptop, but allow you to flip the screen around and use it like a tablet. Most suffer from the same low processing power and lack of RAM the regular tablets do, though there are some very expensive versions on the market that offer more kick. Even those do not have good gaming graphic cards, so if that's your bag, I wouldn't recommend one.