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How to Choose Between a Phablet and a Convertible Notebook

Consider the attributes of each type of mobile device and the tasks for which they’re best suited.

Tablets are immensely popular in their own right. But their rapid rise to popularity also demonstrated that people will eagerly embrace new types of mobile devices if those devices offer sufficiently distinctive attributes that meet their particular needs.

Mobile device manufacturers have taken notice and have introduced tablet alternatives that fall into two basic categories. The first is the phablet — a phone and tablet combined. Phablets pack the power of a slate computer into an oversized smartphone such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

The other category is the convertible notebook, which endows the tablet with notebooklike form and features. Popular products in this category include the Acer Aspire Switch 10, ASUS Transformer Book T100TA and the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga S1.

Both of these form factors can be a great fit for users who like tablets but who need something just a little different. The following chart will help IT managers choose the device best suited to their organization based on maximum productivity and value.

Phablet

Convertible

SIZE

5.3-inch to 7.4-inch screen in a smartphone form factor (anything larger than that is considered a “mini-tablet”)

8.7-inch to 12-inch screens with sturdy, detachable keyboards that allow the device to be used as a tablet

PROCESSOR AND MEMORY

Typically a dual-core processor, although newer models sport quad-cores

Typically a quad-core processor, although some less expensive models rely on dual-core

OPERATING SYSTEMS

iOS, Droid, Windows Phone 8.x

Droid, Windows 8.x or 8.x RT

INPUT

Touch screen and stylus

Touch screen, keyboard and trackpad

PORTS

May include a microSD slot and a micro USB for connecting to a computer, but not for attaching a thumb drive or other device

May include full USB, mini USB and mini HDMI, depending on make and model

CAMERA

Often both back and rear, with front cams ranging from relatively modest 8 megapixels to powerful 20MP with many
photo-optimizing features, as well as low-resolution video

Typically relatively low-resolution cameras that are more suited for video capture and chat than for the kind of quality photography that today’s smartphones offer

BATTERY LIFE

Can vary significantly depending on activity and brand, but on average, good for nine to 12 hours of web browsing

Six to 10 hours under normal working conditions, and extended time with an additional battery

Samsung, Lenovo
Jan 07 2015

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