Portable Computers Part 2 – Tablets, Phablets and Smartphones

Welcome back to Part 2 of our portable computer round-up, where we’ll be looking at tablets, phablets and smartphones – that is, if you hadn’t already guessed from the title!

So without further ado, let’s begin!

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Thanks to the Apple iPad, tablets are now the portable computer of choice for many people. Slim, fast-booting and simple to use, how could you not love such sexy beasts?

Examples include: Apple iPad, Motorola Xoom, Microsoft Surface, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Why you should get one

  • Simplicity. No buttons, no complicated menus, just a simple layout and big, pretty pictures to press.
  • Apps. Both the iOS and Android ecosystems (and on a smaller scale, the Windows ecosystem) have a huge range of useful applications that can streamline your day-to-day workflow.
  • Speed. Since tablets use a pared down operating system, they load much faster than your run-of-the-mill laptop. Tablet turns on, tablet turns off, all in a few seconds.
  • Portability. Ultrabooks may be portable, but these don’t even have a keyboard. So if you’re on the move, you won’t need to find a potentially precarious surface to balance it on.

Why you shouldn’t get one

  • Operating System. No, the programs you installed on your PC or Mac will not work on your tablet. This includes Office. Sorry. Have some apps instead.
  • Ports. Tablets surpass ultrabooks splendidly when it comes to lacking in ports. There are some which manage to include a decent number, but they’re the exception rather than the rule.


Smaller tablets, such as the iPad mini or the Kindle Fire. What they lack in screen real estate, they make up in price and the ability to slip into a small handbag.

Ideal for

Those who want to browse the internet, check email and create basic content on the go (or in bed).


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A terrible term for a fantastic idea, phablets are smartphones that are simply too big for most normal people to consider them as a true phone. There’s only a small selection at the moment, but after Samsung’s runaway success in this space, it’s slowly starting to fill out.

Examples include: Samsung Galaxy Note (I & II), LG Optimus Vu, HTC Butterfly

Why you should get one

  • Functionality. Now you don’t have to carry around both a mobile and a tablet!
  • Size. It’s big enough to be idea for content consumption but still small enough to fit into the pockets of baggier pants—or clutch handbags.

Why you shouldn’t get one

  • Size. If you want to create content, they’re fiddly and rather annoying to use, as they lack the tablet OS and screen real estate of a tablet.
  • Size again. If you have small hands, they’re plain awkward when trying to handle them as you would a normal smartphone. And for ladies especially, they tend to stick out of pockets, or not fit at all.
  • Operating System. Like tablets, phablets use a pared-down operating system that will not play nicely with all your business applications on your PC or Mac. Cross your fingers and hope for an equivalent app.


Increasingly larger screens. Phablets are moving away from the phone, and toward the tablet—albeit a tablet that can make and receive calls. Expect sales of Bluetooth headsets to soar if these take off.

Ideal for

Those who want to consume content with (nearly) the same ease as tablets, but don’t want to carry an extra device around for calls.


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What else is there to be said about smartphones? They truly came into their own with the advent of the Apple iPhone, and there is now a wide variety to suit all budgets and needs.

Examples include: Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy III, HTC One X, Nokia Lumia 920, Nexus 4

Why you should get one

  • It makes phone calls. Wasn’t that a surprise? And you can browse the internet, take pictures, obsessively update social media, and all that other good stuff, in a package small enough for your hand!
  • Size. Just like supermodels, smartphones are expected to be unbelievably thin and light. This means that they can slip into most pockets for guys and girls alike.

Why you shouldn’t get one

  • Size. Given the small screen size, you’re generally limited to mobile-specific websites and brief emails when it comes to work. Trying to read documents—spreadsheets, word documents, PDFs, etc.—is a painful process.


Phones with larger screens. The line between smartphones and phablets is quickly blurring—though if it erases the “phablet” name, it’s certainly not a bad thing.

Phones with dual SIMs. As more and more companies provide their employees with smartphones, this is looking to be a better idea by the day. One number for your boss, your clients, and those telemarketers who call during dinner, and the other number for everyone else.

Ideal for

Those who want something they can slip into a pocket, and don’t expect to be doing more than checking emails and light browsing.

So that ends the Leaders In Heels portable computer round-up! These days, there truly are a wide range of devices out there, so there’s bound to be one that best suits the way you work.

Have you found the right kind of portable computer for you? Share it with us in the comments, and let us know why!

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