The advantages and disadvantages of tablet computers are highly subjective measures. What appeals to one user may be exactly the one that disappoints another.
The following are commonly cited opinions of tablet computers versus laptops:
- Usage in environments not conducive to a keyboard and mouse such standing or handling with a single hand.
- Lighter weight, lower power models can function similarly to dedicated E-book readers like the Amazon Kindle.
- Touch environment makes navigation easier than conventional use of keyboard and mouse or touch pad in certain contexts such as image manipulation, musical, or mouse oriented games.
- Digital painting and image editing are more precise and intuitive than painting or sketching with a mouse.
- The ability for easier or faster entry of diagrams, mathematical notations, and symbols.
- Allows, with the proper software, universal input, independent from different keyboard localizations.
- Some users find it more direct and pleasant to use a stylus, pen or finger to point and tap on objects, rather than use a mouse or touchpad, which are not directly connected to the pointer on screen.
- Current tablets typically have longer battery life than laptops or netbooks.
- Higher price – convertible tablet computers can cost significantly more than non-tablet portable PCs although this premium has been predicted to fall.
- Input speed – handwriting or typing on a virtual keyboard can be significantly slower than typing speed on a conventional keyboard, the latter of which can be as high as 50–150 WPM; however, Slideit, Swype and other technologies are offered in an effort to narrow the gap. Some devices also support external keyboards
- Ergonomics – a tablet computer, or a folded slate PC, does not provide room for a wrist rest. In addition, the user will need to move his or her arm constantly while writing.
- More knowledge of the programs is needed – because information on e.g. icons isn’t obtained by pointing at them.
- Weaker video capabilities – Most tablet computers are equipped with embedded graphics processors instead of discrete graphics cards.
- Business-oriented tablet personal computers have been slow sellers from 2001 to date.
- Screen risk – Tablet computers are handled more than conventional laptops, yet many are built on similar frames; in addition, since their screens also serve as input devices, they run a higher risk of screen damage from impacts and misuse.
- Hinge risk – A convertible tablet computer’s screen hinge is often required to rotate around two axes, unlike a normal laptop screen, subsequently increasing the number of possible mechanical and electrical (digitizer and video cables, embedded WiFi antennas, etc.) failure points.
- Smaller display and lack of keyboard.