Tablet/Laptop for Home and Business

  deviltoe 23:18 21 Jan 2013


After regularly being stuck in pointless meetings and conferences I find myself falling more and more behind on work. A number of my colleagues continue to work away on a laptop due to similar problems. So I've decided to get something for myself so I can keep up to date with the workload but have come quite stuck in what to get.

I like the portability of a tablet but worry they may not be up to the tasks required as I will be using a lot of Office documents, excel in particular. So it would need to be good at multitasking and compatible with Office documents without losing functionality, particularly spreadsheets with a high level of formulas and macros. I would also prefer to have the option of a keyboard.

Like the idea of an ultrabook but their a tad expensive for what will primarily be used for business. I would use it for home use as well but mainly internet browsing and music/movies.

Being able to take it out and about is also key as I move around different sites a great deal. Being able to access documents and emails is essential and may not always be able to get WiFi. I looked at the Windows Surface but it has mixed reviews and only WiFi, I think? The iPad looks an option but I can't stop feeling that its directed more towards casual personal users as opposed to business.

Hope you can help, its all quite new ground to me as never even owned a laptop. Any help appreciated,


  Forum Editor 00:11 22 Jan 2013

You have just described the perfect scenario in which to use a netbook. I use one myself in similar circumstances. I have an iPad, but although it's extremely useful, and travels with me wherever I go, it isn't suited to a life that involves working with Microsoft Office.

That's where my Netbook comes into its own. It runs Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 with ease. It has a lovely display, and of course a keyboard. It's small enough to carry in one hand, but it packs enough power to handle the work.

Tablets may stand centre stage at the moment, but for the use you describe a netbook is hard to beat.

Mine is an Acer Aspire One 522.

  Taff™ 09:55 22 Jan 2013

Totally agree that a tablet would tick most of the boxes for you. You would need to budget for buying a full version of MS Office though because I doubt that the MS Office Starter Edition, (If included on the netbook) will cope with "a high level of formulas and macros" - FE may like to comment!

Personally I find that even a 15.6" laptop screen is not ideal for prolonged work of more than a couple of hours - a 10" screen and reduced size keyboard and keys might have it's further limitations. I find that with Excel I rely on the full keyboard and particularly the essential numeric keys.

That said, when back at the home office, I simply plug in a 23" monitor, speakers and wireless keyboard/mouse leaving the laptop closed on one side. Great for working with spreadsheets, listening to music and watching some recorded rugby highlights in the evening!

  deviltoe 23:40 22 Jan 2013

Thanks for the replies guys. I think i've decided to just get a laptop as its more practicable for my needs than a tablet which I think was just me wanting to get the latest fad. Any suggestions on which one? I've been looking at

Although they don't seem to have any of them in stock other than the pink one. Spec' looks good for the price but again, not really sure about any of it.

  wee eddie 00:33 23 Jan 2013

Taking into account that you may be using it during Meetings and unless funds are in short supply, I would examine the range of Ultra Books.

Primarily because they are almost completely silent.

  Taff™ 09:28 23 Jan 2013

For less than £400 that looks like a good i5 third generation (Latest) machine and a very good specification. 1TB Hard Drive and 6gb RAM should be ample for most needs. The Altec Lansing Speakers are usually excellent in my experience.

Here's a different model available in various colours with pretty much the same specification. G6-2293sa Frustratingly That too seems to be generally unavailable in my area but check yours.

  chub_tor 11:38 23 Jan 2013

"Being able to take it out and about is also key" and to me that means light weight and with that in mind it has to be either a 10" netbook such as FE suggests (mine is an HP 210) or an ultrabook (my daughter has a Toshiba Portege that I envy). Regular 15.6" laptops are too heavy to carry around in my opinion, why lug around the weight of a DVD drive into a meeting when all you need is a USB stick?

  deviltoe 20:32 23 Jan 2013

Ultra Books are a bit more expensive than I would like to spend really for what I'll be using it for. A bit of fan noise probably won't be too noticeable with all the hot air in the room!

The portability side of things was more about being able to take from place to place and still be able to access the internet without WiFi. So long as I get a bag for the laptop, it will be fine to carry around between places and I should be able to use tethering through the work mobile when WiFi is not available. Prefer to have a decent size screen rather than a lightweight model as well and find netbooks a bit too small.

Decided to get the HP 'red' (looks more pinkish) one as its the only one in stock. Thanks for the help all.

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