Tablet or Laptop: Which Is Better For College?

Tablet or Laptop: Which Is Better For College?

The college experience today is very different from what it used to be. Technology has played a major role in the many changes we see today and it will continue to affect the life of college students in the future.

One of the biggest changes that can be clearly seen in college lecture halls is the abundance of gadgets. Early on, pens and notebooks were the only way students could take notes.

This evolved into the use of laptops, but today even laptops are being replaced by tablets.

Tablets have not taken the role of the primary gadget for note taking, but they are still worth considering. Tablet vs. laptop for college, which is better?

To get a better understanding of the tablet vs. laptop for college debate, here are some detailed pros and cons of both, starting with the tablet.

The Tablet


  • Lighter and More Portable.

The biggest draw of having a tablet for college is that it is very easy to carry around. Most tablets can fit into any bag and do not weigh more than 3 pounds.

This means college students can bring it wherever they go and they will not feel burdened by carrying a tablet around the whole day.

  • Longer Battery Life.

A tablet can have up to 12 hours of battery life which means you don’t need to be tied to a socket the whole day. Plus, most tablet chargers are as small as a smartphone charger, adding to their portability.

  • Great for Recording Video.

Sometimes the only effective way to take down notes in class is to record it which can easily be done through a tablet instead of a laptop.


  • Smaller Screen, Lower Resolution.

Although tablets record great videos the resolution of isn’t always of the highest quality. Plus, if you need to view something in HD a tablet will not be a good choice of viewing medium.

  • Limited Apps.

Tablets primarily rely on apps for them to be useful. Sadly not all apps are reliable and using certain programs to their full potential like MS Word or Photoshop isn’t possible with a tablet.

  • The best tablets are very expensive.

Plus, if you settle for something cheaper you may not get the best experience with these gadgets.

The Laptop


  • Bigger and Wider Screens.

Laptops have bigger screens capable of HD graphics. This makes viewing videos and editing them easier.

  • Best for Typing and Editing.

Laptops come with their own keyboards making their design ergonomic for typing and editing documents. Plus, most college students are well versed in using computers, which means it takes less time to master a laptop than a tablet.

  • Larger Memory Capacity.

Tablets have a tendency to contain too much bloatware. This occupies too much space and limits the storage for more important files. This is not an issue with laptops which can store a greater amount of files than tablets.

  • 2-in-1 Laptops.

If you are not happy with just a laptop there are now options where you can turn your laptop into a tablet. The Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E-G3 is a great example worth looking into if you want to have both a laptop and a tablet in one gadget.


  • Heavier to Carry.

Laptops are much heavier than tablets, which can take a strain on college students need to carry them from one classroom to another. This is one of the biggest downsides of a bulky laptop.

  • Poor Battery.

Another issue with laptops is that they do not last as long as tablets and will often need to be charged throughout the day. Also, the fact that a laptop’s charger is heavy makes it very inconvenient.

It’s a good thing that there are laptops like the Acer Chromebook 11.6-inch which can last up to 9 hours and other laptops that can last just as long or even longer.


When it comes to the question of which is better for college, tablet vs. laptop, it can only be answered by you, the college student. The debate cannot be settled because everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to their gadgets.

If you are still unsure of which one to choose, just go for the gadget you are most comfortable with. Both gadgets will help enhance your college learning experience one way or another.

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