Tablets vs Laptops: Which one is better for online classes?

Little girl doing her homework tablet

Laptops and tablets are becoming vital tools for students in primary and secondary schools, whether they are doing remote learning or in the classroom.

However, the distinctions between the two devices must be considered while deciding which is best for online learning. In addition, the decision will influence how the user participates and interacts in class.

Tablets, like laptops, have advantages and disadvantages, therefore it’s necessary to assess the benefits and drawbacks as they apply to the user.



Tablets are more suitable for older students than for younger ones. Tablets are often designed and used in the same way as phones and other devices that students are already familiar with.

Furthermore, tablets offer far more user-friendly screens than laptops. Each application has its cell, and navigating the tablet is quite easy.

Furthermore, because younger students have difficulty utilizing keyboards, there isn’t a significant disadvantage to using a tablet. However, as kids approach secondary school age, there are a few crucial factors to ponder.



1. Extremely Portable

Tablets are notable for their ultra-portability when compared to laptops. They’re easy to transport and use when standing due to their low weight and sleek form. Furthermore, working without a keyboard saves a significant amount of room while working in confined or shared locations.


2. Long Battery Life

Tablet batteries last significantly longer than laptop batteries because they have fewer hardware components.


3. Easy to Draw/Annotate

At some point throughout the class, many students are invited to write on their displays. This might be difficult for pupils who use a laptop. It’s difficult to draw clean continuous lines or tidy letters with the trackpad.

When students write on tablets in class, they can use a stylus to write as if they were writing on paper. Although a stylus does not need to be changed, it is quite easy to misplace one.



1. Touch Screen Keyboard

External keyboards are superior to touchscreen keyboards. Although touchscreen keyboards are great for occasional quick typing, students who need to do a lot of key-crunching will be better off getting a laptop or using an external keyboard with their tablet.


2. Small-ish Screen

The average size of a tablet screen is 10 inches. The typical laptop screen is 3-5 inches bigger than the average desktop screen.


3. Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Features May Not Work as Well

Depending on the operating system, virtual learning applications like Zoom may not be available on the tablet you choose.

Zoom, on the other hand, is accessible on Amazon Fire HD tablets, which have excellent screens and speakers, not to mention robust parental controls.

In any case, many of the tools used in online classes are primarily designed for use on a desktop computer. As a result, some features may be more difficult to use on tablets.



Laptops have been a common sight in classrooms for a long time, including private and international schools, but mostly among older students. A laptop is an excellent purchase for older kids, particularly those in high school.

As kids become older, their technological requirements get more complex. Laptops provide high school and college students with all the processing and storage capabilities they will need, as well as a full-size keyboard, which is essential for older students who type a lot.



1. Large Screen

The majority of laptop displays are between 13 and 15 inches in size. As a result, they are quite readable.


2. More Functionality

Except for certain touch screen functions and taking photographs, laptops can accomplish everything a tablet can do and more.

Certain laptops, on the other hand, come with touchscreens, giving you the “best of both worlds.” Laptops are built for more extensive computing than tablets and provide users considerably more flexibility.


3. External keyboard

People have long forgotten how useful non-touchscreen keyboards can be. The external keyboard is tactile and simple to use, with all of the keys displayed in one location. Even better, when your display’s inevitable screen-crack develops, your keyboard will stay fully functioning.



1. Shorter Battery Life

Greater computational power comes at the cost of reduced battery life. Although not a deal-breaker, it might make travel cumbersome.


2. Heavier

If the weight difference between tablets and laptops were the only factor, laptops would win. This is a factor that adults rarely consider, yet it is crucial for younger users.

A heavy laptop may make mobility even more difficult for students, not to mention the increased risk of an unintentional hand-slip.


In a Nutshell

When considering your alternatives, the age of the user is likely to be the most essential factor to consider.

A tablet is great for the younger kids in primary schools, but as they go farther in their schooling, a laptop may make more sense.

Many kids in late elementary and secondary school, on the other hand, could utilize either a laptop or a tablet, so critically weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each is worthwhile.