Mobile Gadgets: How do the top contenders stack up?Nick Throlson
As broadband at home becomes a staple part of our tech diets, more and more of us are wanting to take that experience out of the home and onto our commutes, our holidays and our general downtime on the move. But with so many options now, which is the best for you?
The Swiss army smartphone
The simplest way to get online on the move is via a smartphone. And best of all, it’s also the best way to get cheap internet deals too. Smartphones do tend to dumb down the internet experience a little, reducing the quality of images and using more basic versions of websites, but with the small screens this is a blessing, not a curse.
Also, it drastically cuts down on the amount of kit you have to lug around. A smartphone will take your calls, texts and emails, as well as check weather, be a sat nav and give you access to YouTube, Twitter and the rest. If you can handle the small screen and fiddly size, you’re onto a real winner in terms of convenience and cash savings.
The new hotness: tablet PCs
If you’re happy to pay an extra charge on top of your mobile phone bill, but don’t want to hulk around a big laptop, tablet PCs are now a great option. With touchscreens of seven to 10 inches they should still slip into most bags, but the extra screen size makes for a much better internet experience.
They also have the wow factor, perfect for business meetings, while having the simple app-driven interfaces you’ll already be used to from a smartphone. Plus, as their popularity grows, more and more tablet-specific apps are coming along to help differentiate the experience from the simple smartphone apps that have been most common until now.
Good old laptops
For many though, the laptop is still the best option. Bigger and bulkier yes, but the benefit of having your full home PC/Mac experience with you on the move is invaluable to many. With many great broadband deals out there you should find data isn’t really an issue either, while many of us simply can’t live without that full QWERTY keyboard.
You’ll also have much more onboard memory for storage and a better processor, meaning tougher tasks beyond a smartphone or tablet are made simple. And with up to a 20-inch screen, there’s no better way to watch video. Plus, if you need to do some serious computing, the laptop is still the best option.
The future, now: hybrids
Of course, hybrids are hitting the market and making life even more confusing! There are both smartphones and tablet PCs available now that have full QWERTY keyboard accessories, as well as ways to plug into a TV for that big screen experience.
You need to think hard about exactly what you want to do online on the move, consider your budget, then narrow down your search. But look on the bright side – with so much choice, you’re bound to find the right combination that meets your needs in your price range.
About the author: Chris Marling writes on behalf of www.broadbandgenie.co.uk, the online price comparison site for broadband, mobile broadband, smartphones and tablets.