Debbie asked: I am wondering if I really need to have a laptop computer. Someone told me that unless you have a solid state laptop, that when you carry it around and bump it, you might break it. I heard that the tablets are different. I’m wondering if there is a tablet out there with Windows and what you think of it.
It would take more than just a bump to break a laptop, they can take a pretty good beating, otherwise business travelers wouldn’t be able to take them on planes, and traveling sales staff would not be able to drag them along to their appointments.
Typically, any laptop hard drive will be able to handle a decent drop without breaking as long as it’s either off or it’s able to detect the drop and park it’s heads before it hits the ground. Tablets have also been known to suffer from cracked screens far more often that laptops.
Having said that, if you take good care of them, they should be be reasonably durable.
Now, do you need a laptop? it’s hard to say, you may not, if you’re not using it for work, or if you mostly just consume information but don’t have to produce a lot of documents.
You can also look into solid state drive Chromebooks, they will save you a lot of money and they may work for you if your computer use revolves around the internet.
It is true, however, that moving a laptop with the lid open and the computer running can cause problems with a traditional hard drive if you bump it sharply, perhaps by setting it down awkwardly. Powered off, lid closed is one thing, powered on with the lid open is entirely another matter. A laptop using a Solid State Drive, or SSD, would not be subject to this same risk.
Again, if what you really need is Internet access and you don’t need to run any specific Windows apps like Microsoft Office, that Chromebook option might be good.
Finally, are there tablets running Windows? Yes. Quite a few of them. High end products like Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 and the upcoming Surface Pro 4, which are basically a computers in tablet form, all the way down to the Dell Venue 11 or the really low end Lenovo Miix 2. You can pay $240 or as much as $1200, and that’s before you add the optional keyboard.
If you want a fast Windows tablet, it will cost you more than a comparable notebook computer would. Whether you need a laptop or a tablet is really determined by how you’re going to use the device. Tablets are great for consuming content–reading, watching or listening to things–while laptops are better for creating content. High end tablets with detachable keyboards can do both, of course, but you will pay for that flexibility.