What Is the Difference Between a Tablet PC & a Netbook?


When you need to engage in computing while on the go, you can choose from among several devices that offer capabilities similar to those of a desktop or laptop computer. Two options are the tablet personal computer and the netbook. Although these devices are alike in some ways, they have distinct differences.

Shape and Size

  • A tablet PC is a flat, slim device that does not have a hardware keyboard. Most tablets use touch-screen technology to allow you to navigate and enter information. A netbook is essentially a smaller version of a laptop. It opens to a keyboard paired with a screen. A netbook is thicker and sometimes wider than a tablet, but in a few cases a tablet's screen may be slightly larger.


  • While costs fluctuate, netbooks typically sell for less than tablets. As of the time of publication, you could purchase a netbook for $200 to $300. A tablet PC typically costs $400 to $700. If you are interested in a more affordable choice, the netbook might have the advantage.


  • Many tablet PCs allow you to engage in multimedia activities such as playing games and watching videos more easily than with a netbook, since tablets often have more RAM and a more capable processor. You might typically best use a netbook to surf the Internet or for email.

Basic Functionality

  • While a tablet PC might be compact and offer better video playback quality, many tablets lack basic computing features that a netbook provides. For example, you can easily connect a mouse to a netbook and it already has a keyboard. You can connect USB devices to your netbook and it can also read DVDs and CDs. With a tablet, you often must use another device to access DVDs or CDs and you may not be able to connect a USB device.

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