If you’ve been waiting until the New Year to upgrade your current laptop, now’s the time to bite the bullet and invest in a new system. Customers nowadays are spoiled for choice, with our guide to How to Choose the Best Laptop for Studying showcasing a range of options for all kinds of budgets.

That being said, the current tablets on the market have advanced far beyond their origins, making them almost identical to laptops. Whether you’re looking to treat yourself soon or are in desperate need of an upgrade, here are the top factors to consider before buying a laptop or a tablet:


If you’re a power user, opting for a laptop might be best. Looking back at HP’s roundup of the best laptops in 2019, even budget-friendly options like the Chromebook come with over 8GB of RAM and multicore processors. This makes it the perfect choice for people who tend to use multiple applications in a day and work late into the night. If you’re unsure as to whether or not you need that much space, take a look at your current computing habits. If you find your current laptop slowing down or running out of memory too often, chances are you’re a power user who needs the hardware to match.


The rise of remote work means that many of us now lug our computers around with us wherever we go. This reason is why many people actually prefer tablets, as they’re able to complete simple daily tasks without having to put stress on their back and/or shoulders. BusinessWorld suggests netbooks are a good option for people who travel often and just need to connect to web browsers for work. For those who are looking for more functionality, hybrid laptops have also stepped up to accommodate those who want the portability of a tablet with the processing power of a laptop. That said, these models still tend to be quite bulky—if you’re looking for a portable and functional device, a tablet is your best option.


Battery life is also an important consideration. When you’re lugging a laptop around, chances are you’re also carrying a charging cord (and perhaps even an extension cord) with you. Tablets tend to have longer battery life, with Business News Daily even recommending external battery docks as a quick and portable fix. If your daily tasks consist of editing documents and sending emails, a tablet should be sufficient for a full day’s worth of work. Although most laptops have a bigger battery capacity, having more under the hood means that this power also gets drained fast.


Last but not least, you should have a budget in mind. Thankfully there are lots of great laptops even at lower budgets, so you should still be able to find a good pick even if your starting price point is low. A lot of high-end tablets even cost about the same as a laptop nowadays, so the choice between the two is really up to you. Just remember to be realistic about your expectations: if you’re looking to buy a budget laptop, for example, don’t expect a huge graphics card or state-of-the-art sound.

With the New Year in full flow, it’s time to start figuring out what will help you make 2020 a success. For anyone that is still on the fence, these four considerations should always be at the forefront of your mind when deciding between a laptop or a tablet.