Laptop vs. Tablet
Look, there’s some things that having a laptop will make much easier. Typing long blog posts, editing photos and videos, listing on eBay and Etsy– all MUCH easier with a laptop.
If your business requires that you have access to certain functions that only a laptop can provide, then you should stick to having a laptop. However, if your work is based offline, or you only need to access stuff like social media/email/etc., then you could probably use only your phone and a tablet and be perfectly happy.
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For instance: you’re a yoga instructor with an Instagram and a casual blog and you get most of your clients through Meetup and emails. You could probably get away with using a phone for most of your business, and a tablet for the things that need a bigger screen.
On the personal side of things, a tablet is easier to carry around than a laptop, weighs less and stores easier. I’d definitely prefer carrying around my iPad Mini all day than my laptop, and my laptop isn’t even THAT heavy.
Consider your personal needs and the needs of your business, as well as your budget. Most decent tablets cost the same as a semi-decent laptop, and if you go for a really NICE tablet like the iPad Pro, you’d definitely spend as much as you would on a laptop.
That said, there are ways to make it easier to use a tablet for business, if you decide to go that route.
Enter: the bluetooth keyboard
I’m a techy kind of person, and I like to try out different devices, programs, and peripherals in order to see which ones can make my life work better. I’ve been using an iPad Mini as my main traveling companion for several years now. I take it with me to conferences to take notes, watch movies on the plane, and read books.
The ability to take notes directly into my notes app is AWESOME! However, I’ve noticed that after a few minutes, the screen starts to lag a lot. Typing directly onto the screen is fast and easy, but the software can’t keep up with my typing speed.
This past summer I decided to try out a Bluetooth keyboard. I’ve been interested in getting a portable keyboard for some time now, but most of the ones reviewed online don’t have many positive points. Usually, there’s the same lagging issues, or people don’t like the feel of the keys, or some other important part.
I decided to try the Arteck Bluetooth keyboard, which I got off of Amazon. Why? Several reasons:
- It’s a great price, only $20 with free Prime shipping on Amazon. It’s currently on sale for even LESS than that!
- It’s small enough to fit into my purse, or a tote bag. It doesn’t fold or roll up, but it’s about the same length as my iPad Mini, which is super tiny.
- It has real plastic keys, not rubber. I’ve tried roll-up rubber keyboards before, and the pressure you have to use to type on those are really weird and uncomfortable. Sidenote: hearing keyboard clacking helps me write faster! It’s like I’m racing myself, ha.
- Despite being the same length as my iPad Mini, it’s almost a full-sized keyboard. This makes it more comfortable to type on!
- It’s got a rechargeable battery, and the battery life lasts a decent amount (about 2 hours).
- There’s an option for turning on a backlight, which helps when trying to write in gloomy coffee shops.
So far, I’m happy with how light it is, the size of it, and the feel of the keys. I also like how easy it is to use and connect to my different devices– I can also connect it to my phone, which is super neat. And best of all, there is so far NO lagging when typing in Evernote, even after a solid 20-30 minutes of writing.
That said, I do have some downsides to talk about:
Downsides (but not deal breakers)
Because it’s smaller than a standard keyboard, it takes some getting used to. My hands are in a slightly different position than they are on a full size one, and I could feel a bit of strain in my fingers after typing for a while.
The clacking sound of the keys. Though I personally like it, it’s loud and could annoy people near me, and I don’t think I would feel comfortable clacking during a conference panel.
Doesn’t come with a carrying case or bag, so now I have to figure out how to protect it within my purse. I’ve been keeping it in the little cardboard box it comes in, but that can’t be a permanent solution.
My fingerprints are totally visible on all the keys. Because it’s a dark grey color, fingerprints are going to show up very easily and they always will. Ew.
It’s SO lightweight that it tends to move around when I use it, especially since there’s no rubber on the bottom to help stabilize it.
Other keyboard options
So I ended up just buying a keyboard that had decent reviews and an okay price point, but there are tons more available keyboards on Amazon for purchase. Here’s some of the other top-rated bluetooth keyboards that you could check out as potential options:
This Folding Bluetooth Keyboard by Jelly Comb ($25.99) looks more ergonomically comfortable than typical bluetooth keyboards, plus it folds closed for easy storage. Reviews seem split between really enjoying its lightweight design and being worried about getting used to the split/angled keyboard.
Wow! This Bluetooth keyboard by Plugable ($44.95) looks really awesome. Like the previous keyboard, this one folds (into three!) closed. It also comes with a carrying case which doubles as a tablet stand. So useful! It looks really stylish, too, and the reviews really like the form-factor and portability. However, they do mention that it tends to bend at the hinges if used on a soft surface (like your lap).
On the super high-end side of things, this Azio Retro Bluetooth keyboard ($220) looks really, really fancy. It’s got copper edging, rounded keys (like a typewriter!), and a very interesting steampunk vibe. The specs look insane as well– the battery lasts for a year on a single charge, and over a month if you have the backlight turned one. A month!! That would be excellent for boondocking situations where you want to conserve your electricity.
Reviews mention how comfortable the keyboard is to use, rave about the fashionable design, and love the quality of the build. That said, they do mention that ergonomics are not the best, and they keys feel a bit wobbly and cheap.
Do you use a laptop or a tablet on the road? Which do you prefer? Leave a comment below!0