Should You Get a Laplet?
When it comes to computers, there are more choices than ever before: desktop PCs, laptops/notebooks, tablets, “phablets” which fall somewhere between a smartphone and tablet, and “laplets” – a cross between a laptop and a tablet. Let’s take a look at the wonderful world of laplets…
What is a Laplet?
A laplet combines the portability of a tablet with the processing power and productivity features of a laptop. The “guts” of the device reside in the display’s chassis; when you want to travel fast and light, just detach the display from the keyboard and take your tablet on the road. A tablet is great for movies, music, and Web browsing.
But when you need to sit down and work seriously for a while, you need that keyboard. When you need to plug in speakers, a printer, a wireless mouse, and other peripherals, you need the plethora of ports that a laptop provides. Then you just reunite a laplet’s display and keyboard, et voila’ – laptop mode!
A laplet is similar to an Ultrabook in terms of light weight, long battery life, and thinness. Laplets generally contain more powerful CPUs, such as an Intel Core i5, more RAM, and more storage space than tablets. Laplets come with touchscreens, like tablets, as well as keyboards.
Microsoft Windows 8.1 and 10 are the only operating systems pre-installed on laplets at this time. Apple’s OS X does not support touchscreen features, or the laplet concept. Some Linux distributions support touchscreens, but you won’t find them in the aisles of Best Buy.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is probably the best-known laplet. Introduced in May, 2014, it runs 64-bit Windows and features a 12-inch touch screen with 2160x1440 pixels; it also supports up to three external displays. Intel i3 dual-core CPU options range from 1.5 GHz to 3.3 GHz. RAM capacity is either 4 GB or 8 GB, and SSD storage ranges from 64 GB to 512 GB. Battery life is up to 9 hours. The Surface Pro tablet alone weighs only 1.76 pounds.
The price is a bit heavier. Surface Pro starts at about $800 and quickly soars to nearly $2,000 with maximum clock speed, RAM, and storage. Even at the high end, you still don’t have a keyboard. That costs an additional $130. A docking station that supports multiple video inputs, Ethernet, and five USB ports will run $100 to $150.
More Laplets to Consider
Lenovo’s Yoga 3 Pro upstages the Surface Pro in style, size, and price. But reviewers have been disappointed by the new Intel Core M processor’s performance. Starting at $950, the Yoga 3 Pro features a 13.3 inch screen and an ultrathin/ultralight design.
The ASUS Transformer Book is a lot more affordable – about $250 street price. But it has a dinky 10.1 inch screen and commensurately cramped keyboard, only 1 GB of RAM, and just 32 GB of storage. A year’s worth of ASUS WebStorage is included. The Intel Atom CPU runs at 1.83 GHz but is less powerful than the dual-core i3. Bluetooth 4.0 allows wireless connection of compatible peripherals.
Acer’s Aspire Switch 10 E laplet packs a bit more performance than the Transformer Book, with 2 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The Switch also includes a 500 GB hard drive in the detachable keyboard-base. Refurbished units are going for about $200 at Newegg.
Laplets make sense for students, travelers, and other on-the-go users. As prices continue to fall, we should see more laplets replacing separate laptops and tablets. But there will always be trade-offs in a converged product; smaller keyboards and less versatility versus portability and battery life.
Is a laplet right for you? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 24 Aug 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Should You Get a Laplet? (Posted: 24 Aug 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved