SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

Blog Feed Post

Cheap Laptop or Expensive Smartphone – Which Is Right for You?

Should you buy a cheap laptop or an expensive smartphone? Is that even a choice? They’re not interchangeable, are they? Most business professionals and road warriors know that you can do a lot of business on a smartphone, but to do a deck or a report or a spreadsheet, you really need a … wait. What do you really need?

Smartphones are now owned in 87 percent of U.S. homes, behind only televisions (96 percent), according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Laptops are a fairly distant third (72 percent).

Most flagship smartphones are more powerful and have as much internal storage as low-to-medium-priced laptops. The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9, for example, can have up to 1TB of internal storage, has a very fast processor, and includes Samsung DeX – an app that allows any compatible Samsung Galaxy device to connect to any HDMI-compatible video monitor, connect to any Bluetooth-compatible keyboard and mouse/trackpad, and act as a pretty respectable PC.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/11131245/samsun... 300w, https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/11131245/samsun... 600w, https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/11131245/samsun... 768w, https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/11131245/samsun... 825w" sizes="(max-width: 968px) 100vw, 968px" />

Interestingly, while smartphone sales are on the rise – revenue in 2018 will reach $78 billion, a 13 percent increase from 2017 – so are laptop sales, especially convertible and cloud-based models. The CTA projects laptops sales will reach 50.1 million units (3 percent growth) and earn $28.4 billion in revenue (nearly unchanged from 2017).

While the line between smartphone and laptop specifications continues to blur, many professionals still need (or want) a laptop. But as more programs are outsourced to the cloud (you can get a year of Microsoft Office 365 for $99, or Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite for as little as $9.99/month), how powerful does your laptop need to be? If all you need is a really good monitor, a good graphics card, and a fast internet connection, which should you buy?

Macbook Prohttps://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/18174241/applem... 200w, https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/18174241/applem... 400w, https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/18174241/applem... 768w, https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/18174241/applem... 550w" sizes="(max-width: 1144px) 100vw, 1144px" />

Apple MacBook Pro

Sales Figures: In case you haven’t heard, everything at Apple is selling well. While Apple recently announced that quarterly Mac sales were down 13 percent year over year (YoY), that number is a bit misleading; in 2017, Apple released new MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and iMacs, but the timing didn’t line up the same way in 2018. It’s difficult to distinguish between sales of MacBook Pros and iMacs, but analysts earlier this year were predicting an increase of 13 to 16 percent in MacBooks shipped, which would mean stronger annual growth than either the iPhone or iPad.

Cost: $1,299 to $6,700 (seriously), depending on your configuration

Who’s It For? Once upon a time, every professional in the creative services world had a MacBook. If you made your living using a music or art program, you bought the best computer at the highest price, which was an acceptable price to pay because it’s how you paid the bills. Today, Apple has refocused its aim from professionals to consumers. Rather than giving the select few the best tools, it gave everyone very good tools, blurring the line between pros and amateurs. Now everyone can be creative with a Mac.

Microsoft Surface Prohttps://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/18174421/micros... 356w" sizes="(max-width: 582px) 100vw, 582px" />

Microsoft Surface Pro

Sales Figures: The history of the Microsoft Surface is a rocky one. At the end of its FY2013, Microsoft announced a $900 million write-down after the uber-flop of the Surface RT. Since then, though, the Surface has become increasingly more popular (as opposed to the rest of the stagnant PC market), with revenue booming from $2B in 2014 to $5B in 2018. This year, Microsoft’s Surface business recorded nearly $1.1 billion in revenue, up 32 percent YoY.

Cost: $799 to $2,699, depending on your configuration

Who’s It For? The Surface Pro scratches the itch that the iPad never quite could: it’s the tablet that also doubles as a high-end laptop. While Apple’s tablet offers most (if not all) of the same productivity and creativity software as the Surface Pro, the Surface’s ability to run all Windows 10 apps (in the same style and presentation as a laptop) is a major selling point. The Surface Pro is designed for everyone from newbies to power users. It is Microsoft’s direct answer to the MacBook Pro and, if you’re a Windows person, an obvious high-end choice.

Microsoft Surface Gohttps://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/18174455/micros... 281w, https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/18174455/micros... 561w, https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/18174455/micros... 768w, https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/18174455/micros... 772w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" />

Microsoft Surface Go

Sales Figures: The Surface Go is a brand new device, so sales numbers aren’t available yet. However, its reason to exist is to compete with the iPad in ways the Surface RT could not. The early reviews are in, and they’re glowing, so it looks like Microsoft may finally have a winner on its hands in the low-end computing market.

Cost: $399 to $549, depending on your configuration (+$99 to $129 for the keyboard you’ll buy)

Who’s It For? If you’ve ever owned an iPad and wished it was a bit more like a PC, the Surface Go is for you. Priced to compete with the iPad, you get a solid tablet experience and a solid laptop experience (provided you plunk down the extra hundred bucks for the keyboard) without having to spend a thousand dollars. It’s not meant for gaming or other processing-heavy creative endeavors, but it’s perfect for web browsing, email, light gaming, general productivity … anything you can do on your smartphone you can do here, too.

Ace Chromebook 14https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/18174532/acerch... 200w, https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/2018/08/18174532/acerch... 400w" sizes="(max-width: 536px) 100vw, 536px" />

Acer Chromebook 14

Sales Figures: Chromebook sales pale in comparison with their Windows counterparts, but thanks to a strong showing in schools, Chromebook sales are on the rise. Gartner estimated the number of Chromebooks shipped worldwide in 2015 was 6.8 million, which rose to 9.4 million in 2016 (a boost of 38.2 percent). Late last year, Gartner predicted that Chromebook shipments will continue to grow, to 10.9 million in 2017 and 11.9 million in 2018.

Cost: $219 to $299, depending on your retailer

Who’s It For? If you are in the market for a device like the Surface Go but don’t need its tablet functionality and want to save a few hundred bucks, the Acer Chromebook 14 may be the device for you. Chromebooks are, by their nature, limited in what they can do, but for anyone who only wants to check email, use Google Apps for Business, and watch YouTube videos, devices like the Acer Chromebook 14 are more than capable.

Which Is Right for You?

If you mostly browse online, send a few emails, and watch videos, purchase the device with the best WiFi specifications, fastest graphics card, and best screen resolution you can afford. Don’t worry about processor speed or internal storage (unless you need a lot of internal storage). You will think a PC that has a great modem and a fast graphics card is faster than a PC that has a faster processor but a slower graphics card and low-end WiFi specs.

If you’re a power user (gamer, road warrior, financial analyst, engineer, videographer, etc.), just buy the most horsepower you can afford.

But if you are a “normal” person, who just uses a few apps, chats, spends some time on social media, and watches lots of videos but only occasionally uses office apps (word processing, spreadsheets, presentation tools), you may be a candidate for a flagship smartphone, a Bluetooth keyboard, and a couple of dongles.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

Other Articles You May Enjoy

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review

Apple Is Getting into Original Content, Where Does That Leave Advertisers?

Blockchain: 6 Great Non-Cryptocurrency Use Cases

5 AI Clouds You Can Use Today

5 Popular Non-Bitcoin Cryptocurrencies You Might Find Interesting

5 AI Clouds You Can Use Today

The Current Reality of Augmented Reality

Streaming Sticker Shock

What is a Smart Contract?

What Is Blockchain?

5 Things 5G Should Make You Think About

The Case for Responsible Innovation

I’d Pay You $500,000 a Year, but You Can’t Do the Work

The 5 Jobs Robots Will Take First

How Do You See the Future?

The post Cheap Laptop or Expensive Smartphone – Which Is Right for You? originally appeared here on Shelly Palmer

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

Latest Stories
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. I...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
Kubernetes as a Container Platform is becoming a de facto for every enterprise. In my interactions with enterprises adopting container platform, I come across common questions: - How does application security work on this platform? What all do I need to secure? - How do I implement security in pipelines? - What about vulnerabilities discovered at a later point in time? - What are newer technologies like Istio Service Mesh bring to table?In this session, I will be addressing these commonly asked ...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
Blockchain has shifted from hype to reality across many industries including Financial Services, Supply Chain, Retail, Healthcare and Government. While traditional tech and crypto organizations are generally male dominated, women have embraced blockchain technology from its inception. This is no more evident than at companies where women occupy many of the blockchain roles and leadership positions. Join this panel to hear three women in blockchain share their experience and their POV on the futu...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
Cloud-Native thinking and Serverless Computing are now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that pro...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Docker and Kubernetes are key elements of modern cloud native deployment automations. After building your microservices, common practice is to create docker images and create YAML files to automate the deployment with Docker and Kubernetes. Writing these YAMLs, Dockerfile descriptors are really painful and error prone.Ballerina is a new cloud-native programing language which understands the architecture around it - the compiler is environment aware of microservices directly deployable into infra...