Jack from Norcross Georgia writes:

If I have a laptop computer, is there any reason I would consider buying a tablet like the Windows Surface?¬† Isn’t it just a lightweight device that doesn’t do quite as much as my laptop?

Great question Jack. For most casual users a tablet – whether it be an Android or an iPad, will perform most of the functions they would want from a laptop – e-mail, surfing the Internet, watching videos, playing games and reading books. You can even use most tablets for taking pictures and videos and even for basic photo editing.¬† There are also office-style apps available for word processing and simple spreadsheets. The advantage of a tablet is portability. You can easily hold a 7″ tablet in one hand and since it is lightweight, it is easy to take anywhere.

The downside of tablets for many users is that they don’t run Windows programs like Office or Word. But with the introduction of Windows tablets like the Surface, it’s a whole new ballgame.

A Surface tablet isn’t just a lightweight version of a laptop. In fact, if you get the Surface Pro, you have a full-fledged portable computer that will do anything your laptop can and possibly more since it’s a brand new computer. But you pay for those functions, since Surface Pro prices start at start at $799.

The Surface RT is less expensive, starting at $349, but it does come with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT pre-installed. It’s not as fully functional as the Surface Pro, but just as with Android tablets and iPads, it will perform most of the functions of your PC.

If you’re running productivity software, need a full-fledged office suite or something like Photoshop, a Surface Pro or other Windows 8 tablet could be a good option for you if portability is important. And if you’re making the move to Windows 8, I would recommend going with a touchscreen device. You will need to purchase keyboards separately for a Surface. (or most any other tablet)

¬†Despite the fact that I have a Surface Pro, which I use for writing, blogging and photo editing, I also have a 7″ Android tablet that I use more for entertainment. My lighter Android tablet is my first choice for surfing the Internet, social media, games, e-mail and reading eBooks.

~ Cynthia