The difference between a tablet and a computer


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The difference between a tablet and a computer

a computer, laptop and tablet

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In this activity, you’ll learn the simple differences between a tablet and a desktop or laptop computer. You’ll find out some of the ways a tablet can be more convenient than a computer, as well as how to control the tablet.

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The onscreen keyboard

One of the first things you’ll notice when you take your tablet out of the box is that it doesn’t come with a physical keyboard. Tablets use an onscreen keyboard that appears when you need to type something. The operating software brings the keyboard up automatically when you tap a box that requires you to type something, such as the address bar in a web browser.

making notes on a tablet
performing a series of gestures on a tablet

Navigating with gestures

A tablet doesn’t come with a mouse or touchpad. Instead, you use your fingers to perform a range of gestures to issue commands to your tablet. These gestures include:

  • Tapping to select an item on screen
  • Swiping to move horizontally or vertically between screens, or to activate certain controls
  • Scrolling to move up and down through a document or a web page
  • Pinching to zoom in and out on something on the screen, such as a photograph.

Battery life

A tablet has a built-in battery, just like a smartphone. You can recharge your tablet in the same way you recharge your phone, by plugging it in to a charger.

charging a tablet
An icon of a padlock

eSafety tip

Most tablets have a much bigger battery than a smartphone, and you might be able to go a few days between charges.

Your tablet will show a message on the screen when the battery is very low and will remind you to plug in to charge.

packing a tablet in a bag

Take your tablet with you

A tablet is designed to be portable. The larger screen size makes it ideal for watching movies, catch-up TV, and viewing photos.

The portable nature of the tablet means you can stay up to date with the news, visit your favourite web sites, and keep in contact with friends and family, from almost anywhere.

Well done!

This is the end of The difference between a tablet and a computer activity and you’ve learned about some of the features that make the tablet different to other devices.

Up next, learn more about using gestures to issue commands in the Using the touchscreen activity.

charging a tablet