Computer Or Mobile Device

When considering purchase of a device to use the internet, do email, do online banking or other needs you may wonder what is the best thing to choose?
Is it a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a tablet/ipad or a mobile phone?

As with so many choices the answer is: it depends on your own needs.

The comparison table below lists common tasks for computing devices and compares the performance of devices.

If you look for the the tasks you want to do on your device you can see which device is useful.
This list has a column you can tick to help with your choices. Download and print the list to use it this way.
You can download a copy for printing here Click here to download


Tasks highlighted in bright yellow are usually only used for business but if you have part time employment you may need your device to do this.
The tasks highlighted in pale yellow may not be important to many but those that want to do these tasks must be careful to choose the correct device.
For example, basic video editing is possible on all devices but any serious video editing like a family film or wedding film will probably need a desktop or powerful laptop computer.

It is important to realise that almost all tasks can be done very well by a desktop computer but it is not very portable and it may be more powerful than needed for home based tasks. It has also been suggested that a good mobile phone connected to an external keyboard and a monitor will be adequate for many people for basic computing tasks.

In the comparison the performance descriptions are made comparing all the other devices with the best performing device for that task.

The descriptions have the following meaning:

Excellent - Fast and very flexible, the device is able to carry out the task quickly, effectively and with a range of options and ease of use.
Good - as above but a little limited because of things like keyboard quality, smaller screen, limited control
Poor - small screens, poor keyboard, limited control, small memory, slow speed makes the task more difficult and slow
Very Poor - as above but limited options for control and limitations of viewing much information on a small screen
Acceptable - the task is possible but limited in scope and size but may be OK for basic needs
Just Satisfactory - a little worse than acceptable
Acceptable for some use - there are tasks that are done well but check if it meets your needs

Notes on some tasks:
Internet connection speed is always fastest with a wired connection to the device. Wireless connections can be fast but quite variable.
Choice refers to the choice of brands but also to the level of control of features. For instance, there are many brands of mobile phone but performance is generally linked just to price. Desktop computers are however, able to be customised to closely suit needs.

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