In the market for a new portable computing device but unsure of which one to get? Take a look at this handy comparison to help guide your next purchase.


Laptops have come a long way since the bulky blocks of yesteryear. They are now powerful PCs that often rival their desktop counterparts in terms of performance.

A laptop is the go-to device for someone who demands the power to handle any and all programs at full functionality on the go. One thing to keep in mind is that laptops, like other portable devices, are not as easily upgradeable as a Desktop. However, with the emergence of lighter, more compact computing solutions, many people are leaving the laptop at home.

Notebooks, Netbooks, and Chromebooks… Oh My!

Over the last few years, many of these terms have become somewhat confusing and interchangeable. At least when searching for options online.

Typically, a notebook is just a smaller, more portable laptop. They are often much cheaper than a high performance laptops, depending on your needs.

Netbooks are designed to be bare bone systems. They usually lack a CD/DVD drive, although you can often attach an external one if need be. They are more useful for people who only want them to check the internet, work on Office programs, and other low demand tasks. The price of these devices are often very attractive, starting at around $200USD.

Chrome Books are small laptop devices made to run Google’s Chrome OS. This gives the user access to the surprisingly powerful Google Drive with the ability to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and so forth. They are fairly useless without an internet connection.


Tablets have grown immensely in popularity over the last few years. Whether it’s an iPad, Kindle Fire, Windows Surface, or any Android tablet, these handy devices have captured much of the portable market. They boast a large selection of tablet specific software, anything from productivity to entertainment.

Some tablets have attached keyboards, and most are readily connectable to a Bluetooth keyboard for substantial productivity. As convenient as tablets are, it’s important to understand what your needs are in a portable device and the limitations of tablets. It is equally recommendable that you demo the various options to see what fits best for you.

It’s all about your Needs

Choosing a portable device is a substantial investment. Make a list of your needs and try to anticipate future needs. Read the Amazon reviews, talk to friends and co-workers who are using different devices, and demo before you buy. With proper preparation and the right knowledge, you will soon be enjoying your new portable device, secure in the fact that you have chosen wisely.