Laptop, tablet or smartphone? Which device rules the mobile internet?

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Marie-Paule Graham writes on behalf of Broadband Genie, the independent price comparison website for broadband and cheap mobile broadband .

Staying connected to the internet while on the move is important, especially if you make a living online, or are considering venturing into this field. With the ever improving 3G network, it’s possibly to be online literally wherever you want, provided there is signal, of course.

What’s the best device to use? Currently, there are three choices: laptop with dongle, smartphone and tablet computers, like the iPad 2.


Most people are accustomed to carrying laptops with them every day; for work, school or university. Add a dongle to your daily load and you get the internet almost anywhere with the convenience of all the offline computer applications we’re accustomed to using. You also have the added luxury of both working and playing online in any location you like.

Mobile broadbandwith free laptop deals are designed to capitalise on the potential of the remote working lifestyle. Many of the free machines on offer come from the larger end of the computer spectrum, so getting a suitable bag for your laptop is important for your back. And if you’re a UK resident, a waterproof bag is also a good idea. If you’re looking for a smaller machine, seek a netbook, or be prepared to pay the extra in line rental for a fully-fledged laptop under 15”.Dongles allow the habits users have already created to continue: internet and all of the offline applications we know and trust. The laptop is the most cumbersome method of staying online while on the move.


Tablets are mounting a sizable challenge on the personal computer market, with offerings from Samsung with the Galaxy TAB, Blackberry’s Playbook, Streak from Dell, the Motorola Xoom and of course, the iPad 2 are all part of a serious offering to consumers.

Their great advantage is they are small, thin and lightweight, making your daily load much lighter. The internal Micro SIM for 3G enabled tablets means you’re not relying on external hardware to access the internet, minimising the risk of leaving your precious portal on a cafe on the M6.The essential functions of any computer – keyboard and screen – are still best executed by the laptop computer. The market, currently just two years old, recognises this and we are sure to see the improvements that will challenge the conventional PC market.

Currently, the lack of tablet native apps and websites also means some medals don’t give you the full internet. iPad still excludes Flash content making a lot of unavailable. Samsung have opted out of making tablet native sites or apps for the Galaxy TAB, hoping that the internet will simply translate. The result is jerky scrolling and white spaces where pages won’t load properly, something Samsung will have to address if its tablet is to survive the speedy evolution of the market.

The Smartphone

Smartphones are the ultimate on-the-move device for staying online. Their size offers the user privacy whilst in a crowd and the ever growing app market is really putting the smartphones at the centre of our lives. If you’re a blogger at a live event, keeping your followers up to date through social media channels is both easy and discrete with a smartphone.