Laptop vs. Tablet – Pros and Cons for Taking Notes

Laptop vs Tablet

With back to school on the horizon, it’s time to make a decision about the best way for your kids to take notes once class is back in session. While laptops used to be the first choice, improvements in tablets have made these mini computers another popular option. At P.C. Richard & Son, we’ve put together some pros and cons to help you and your child make the best choice.

Laptop Benefits

There’s a lot to like about laptops, which are constantly getting better and better. Here are some good reasons to buy your returning student a laptop:

Simulates a desktop. Laptops come with full keyboards, trackpads and have the option of a wired or wireless mouse. Their large screens have good resolution, which makes taking notes and writing papers easy to do. Unlike the touchscreen pad of a tablet, a laptop’s full keyboard is more accurate. A laptop’s screen at 12-17 inches is also much larger, which makes developing school projects containing photos easier.

Durable. For the most part, laptops are more durable than tablets. You’re less likely to scratch or damage the screen than a touchscreen display.

Substantial storage capacity. Laptops hold significantly more data than tablets. They also possess multiple USB and memory card ports.

tablet vs laptop

Tablet Benefits

Though tablets have only come onto the scene in recent years, they’re quickly catching up to laptops in terms of functionality. Here are the top reasons you may want to choose one for your child:

Lightweight. Most laptops weigh from three to nine pounds, which doesn’t sound like much until you’re lugging the device back and forth in your backpack. The average weight of a tablet is less than a pound, and they are thinner and smaller in size.

Intuitive. Many students enjoy the tapping and swiping of the tablet’s touchscreen rather than always having to rely on a keyboard.

Better for eBooks. Tablets are more conducive to reading virtual books than laptops. They more closely resemble a real book and you can more easily relax with them and read.

Long battery life. We all know that kids forget to charge their hardware and can use that as an excuse for not completing homework. Tablet battery life averages about 10 hours, which is two to three times longer than a laptop.

Best of Both Worlds

If you and your back to school student can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet, there are options that can offer you the benefits of both. They include opting for a wireless keyboard for the tablet, which gives you the benefits of functioning like a laptop. You can also now find 2-in-1 computers that are combining laptops and tablets into one device.

To help you make the best choice for your child, check out our computer and tablet choices online, or stop in to any of our P.C. Richard & Son locations and have one of our expert sales representatives help you make the ideal decision for you and your child.


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Introducing the Samsung Galaxy Tab4


Samsung’s next generation Galaxy Tab4 line releases May 1, 2014 and is perfect for the whole family. This new line offers an exceptional multimedia experience in a more premium and portable design, making it ideal for viewing or sharing content with friends and family.

All three Tab4 models, 7-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch, sport a WXGA display with a 16-by-10 ratio—ideal for watching movies, playing games, or reading digital content. And with the Multi Window function, users can seamlessly move between apps and windows, and drag and drop content to better fit the screen.

The Tab4 line also comes with features like Group Play for sharing music, documents, and games in real time, WatchON and Netflix for watching TV shows and movies on any device, and Samsung Link, which allows content to play across smart gadgets.

All models come in two colors, white and black, featuring 1.5GB of RAM, 1.2GHz quad-core processors, 16GB of storage and would make a great gift for Mother’s Day! You can pre-order a Samsung Galaxy Tab4 here.


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Keeping Your Devices Safe In The Cold


Stepping out into the bitter cold does not only have an effect on you, but the blast of arctic temperatures could put your electronics on thin ice! Smartphones, notebooks, tablets, and laptops can all lose functionality as the temperature drops. Here are some problems that may occur during these chilly days:

Battery Drain: Is the most common and most immediate effects of cold weather. Your device may spontaneously power off with a dead battery in extreme cold. If your smartphone is exposed to cold temperatures for an extended period of time, you risk killing the battery altogether.

Screen Issues: LCD displays on smartphones, Apple iPads or Android tablets are sensitive to the cold. Users may experience delayed touchscreen reactions as well as smudging or ghosting of images. The cold weather makes the panel more rigid, which makes it more likely to shatter if dropped.

Internal Component errors: In extreme cold temperatures, smartphones and mobile devices may begin to register various errors of their internal components. Smartphones may have difficulty reading a SIM card or executing any number of processing  operations.

Physical Damage to Internal/External Components:  Mobile devices that are subjected to extreme cold  can cause both internal/external components to become rigid, which could lead to physical damage such as spontaneous screen shattering. Leaving devices in extreme cold temperatures for an extend ed period of time can cause permanent damage.

Liquid Condensation: When used too quickly after bringing your device in from the the cold, your mobile devices are susceptible to liquid condensation underneath their displays. This can cause various liquid damage issues and make your display screen hard to read.

Now that you are familiar with the problems that can occur with your mobile devices in cold weather, here are tips to help prevent it.

Tip #1

Try not too take your devices out in cold weather, or if you have to, limit the use.  Keep your devices in your jacket pocket, bag or purse to limit exposure to the direct cold.

Tip #2

Protect your devices with a case. For smartphones, use a heavy duty, weatherproof case such as a Lifeproof or Otterbox.  For laptops or tablets, get a well insulated and well padded case.

Tip #3

Never leave your smartphone, notebook, tablet, iPad or any other mobile device in your cold vehicle for extended periods of time. Even with a case, such extended time left in the cold can cause permanent internal and external damage.

Tip #4

In addition to protecting your devices from the cold weather, you should keep your devices out of the snow. Dropping your device in the snow causes it to get wet and this can be extremely damaging. If your device does get wet, you should get indoors (to keep the seeped water from freezing), remove the battery, take out the SIM card (if the device has one), dry the device with a clear microfiber cloth or paper towel and then put the device in an air-tight container with packets of silica gel to absorb the moisture. It has also been said submerging your wet device in a pot or bowl of uncooked rice can help remove moisture from it.

Tip #5

Laptop hard drives can freeze from the cold. It is recommended that you let your laptop warm up to room temperature before using it. This is a good rule a thumb to use for all mobile devices that have spent extended time in cold weather.

Tip #6

NEVER use pocket warmers or other warmers not intended for mobile devices to try and keep them warm.  These warmers  are not designed for that purpose and can create other issues. For example, generating too much heat can cause internal components to melt.

Tip #7

You can keep your laptop warm by changing the power settings to power save mode. This keeps the laptop warm as it continues to run, and instead of shutting down the hard drive, it keeps it spinning. The longer the laptop can be kept running, the warmer it will stay as it generates its own heat.

Tip #8

If you find your smartphone has shut off, don’t start it back up immediately. Condensation can form inside your device if you turn it on while it’s still cold.

Tip #9

Charge your smartphone before going outside. If your battery is fully charged before going into the cold, it is less likely to experience battery drain. For all your mobile devices, keep a mobile charger around for long trips as well as an extra battery for backup.

Tip #10

Make sure to check your manufacturer’s temporal guidelines. For example, Apple products can operate in temperatures between 32 and 95 degrees.

We hope this post will help you keep your devices protected from the cold days ahead. Remember, if you can, avoid or limit use of your electronics in the cold. Stay warm!


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Top 10 Stocking Stuffers Under $50


Have you been looking for some gift ideas to stuff those stockings with? Well, not only do we have great ideas, but we have great prices to match them! We’ve listed our top 10 favorite stocking stuffers that cost under $50… check them out below:

  1. Skull Candy Ink’d 2 Earbud Headphones: Loud, comfortable, affordable, the ability to block surrounding noise, and comes in various colors! What have you got to lose? It makes a great little stocking stuffer. Everybody can use another set of earbuds, even if they already have a pair.
  2. HYPE Mini Capsule Bluetooth Speaker: Small, lightweight, and crystal-clear sound… not only is this Bluetooth speaker the perfect travel accessory, but it fits into a stocking perfectly!
  3. Video Games: Do you have a gamer in the family? We have a huge selection of video games that are under $50, and some are as low as $14.99. You can even get 3 games for $30 if you shop our clearance sale!
  4. Video Game Accessories: Add a little something extra to go along with that video game. There are a bunch of fun game accessories, from game controllers to headsets, that will make the perfect gift for those stockings.
  5. Vivitar Point & Shoot Digital Camera: Let your loved one capture those memories with this perfect little camera at a fabulous price.
  6. Computer Accessories: In this digital age, anybody will appreciate a little something extra to go along with their computer or tablet. From tablet cases to computer speakers, we have a large selection of accessories under $50.
  7. Coffee Pods: You can have a lot of fun choosing from all various flavors of Keurig-K Cups we carry for the coffee lover on your gift list! Rest assured, this stocking stuffer will be much appreciated and keep them warm all winter!
  8. Electric Shavers: Every man appreciates a good shave, and men are always so difficult to shop for… why not upgrade his shave with a new electric shaver and some accessories?
  9. Karaoke CDs: Know somebody who loves karaoke and even has their own machine? Why not help them grow their music collection?
  10. Smart Phone Cases: Everyone can use protection for their phone, and with so many colors and styles to choose from, this gift makes a fun stocking stuffer.

Looking for more ideas? Click here to browse all of our stocking stuffers or check out our “Holiday Gift Ideas” on Pinterest. Happy Shopping!




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Sony Event This Week at P.C. Richard and Son


It’s the perfect week to start your holiday shopping with the Sony event going on now at P.C. Richard and Son! We’re celebrating all that Sony has to offer this week with amazing deals on Sony TVs, laptops, cameras, speakers, and much more.  Work, play, or create – Sony offers an array of products that are great for the office, home, or hobby. 

This week, save up to $1500 on select Sony 4K Ultra HDTVs and experience a picture as real as life itself! Plus, purchase any 55”/65” Sony 4K Ultra HDTV and save $200 on a Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player, which allows you to watch select movies in 4K.  Don’t forget to also check out their first curved LED TV that features a similar curve to that of a movie theater screen, allowing you to experience home theater like never before.

 Also during this week-long event save on 3D Ready LED HDTVs, and instantly save $300 on a Sony 7.1 Channel Surround Sound Bar  when purchased with any Sony TV 55” or larger.

Not looking for a TV right now? Be sure to check out their state-of-the-art cameras, tablets, and computers; many of which feature Sony PlayMemories… a whole new way of having fun with photos and videos. The PlayMemories series lets you easily organize your photos and videos and instantly share them anywhere on all your favorite digital devices. See your local P.C. Richard & Son sales associate for details! Hurry in and save big on select Sony notebooks, tablets, home audio, cameras and more! For more details check out our weekly circular or stop into one of your local P.C. Richard and Son stores to see all the savings on Sony products. See you there!


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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition



The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition will go on sale in the U.S. October 10, 2013, but you can pre-order yours today. With improved S Pen capabilities, vibrant display, and improved multi-tasking features packaged in a sleek polished design, the new Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition delivers a brilliant tablet experience.  Continue reading to see why this tablet is worth the price.

 Worthy Features :

Super Clear LCD

The display offers brighter colors and more lifelike graphics. The 2,560 X 1,600 pixel WQXGA display contains over 4 million pixels, offering users a dynamic viewing experience.

My Magazine

Samsung introduces a new magazine-style user interface called My Magazine. My Magazine allows users to organize the latest news, social feeds and localized content in an easy-to-use personalized dashboard.

Powered by Exynos

The new Galaxy Note 10.1 is powered by an Exynos® 5420 quad-core processor and 3GB RAM for faster web browsing and multitasking with rich HD graphics for the best gaming experience. Enhanced multitasking allows users to seamlessly use two different applications side-by-side and easily drag and drop content from one window to another. What’s more, certain apps such as YouTube and Internet can now be activated simultaneously in both windows.


What’s new with the S Pen?

The updated S Pen provides a more responsive, productive and overall efficient tablet experience. The enhanced S Pen also introduces several shortcuts and productivity tools at the user’s fingertips.

·         Air Command

 Provides instant access to S Pen features which include;  Action Memo, Scrapbooker, Screen Write, S Finder and Pen Window all in a convenient hover and click of the button on the S Pen from any point on the screen.

·         Action Memo

Gives users the ability to take a note and link it to a direct action and instantly perform a task, such as searching the internet or emailing a friend.

·         Scrapbooker

 Allows users to organize interesting content with the S Pen and place it into individualized scrapbooks.  The S Pen makes it easy for users to grab and store videos, photos and clips from web pages. Users have the ability to keep boards private or share content as they choose.

·         Screen Write

Enables the user to easily take a screen capture and edit the shot.

·         S Finder

Users will be able to search the entire device including handwritten notes and settings, connected accounts and the web with the S finder using key words or handwritten symbols.

·         Pen Window

This feature lets users draw a window on screen using the S Pen, and doing this will open a selection of applications.  The user can then minimize it to hover on any screen as the user interface is navigated. This is perfect for opening a calculator on top of a spreadsheet or quickly setting an alarm.

·         Easy Chart

With “S Note”, users still have the ability to use the S Pen to take handwritten notes or use handwriting-to-text with access to both note files and notepads. With Easy Chart, hand-drawn data can be instantly transformed into more formal charts and graphs.

Other Cool Stuff

·         A redesigned Twitter application with limited exclusivity to the Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition, features S Pen integration and Multi-Window capabilities for a unique Twitter tablet experience.

·         Plenty of perks! Samsung is offering over $600 in perks after you buy and register your Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition at You get a $50 credit for Samsung Hub and a $25 credit for Google Play™. New Hulu Plus users get a 3-month membership, and new Boingo users get mobile Wi-Fi access for 12 months. Also, new SiriusXM and Audible users get a 3-month membership, and new Zinio members get a 2-month subscription to 3 digital magazines. All that—plus up to 50GB of Dropbox™ storage—yours for 2 years from the time you set up the app. 

·         A Samsung Apps widget offers users additional content optimized for the new 10.1-inch tablet and other Samsung devices. The new tablet is also equipped with Samsung’s innovative IR remote capability and WatchON, which is a search and recommendation service which makes finding TV shows and on-demand video content faster, easier and more personalized.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition 16GB and 32GB versions are available for pre-order now at P.C. Richard & Son, will you be ordering one? Let us know what you think about Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition in the comments below.



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Top 10 Dorm Room Essentials


Back to school, whether you are preparing to go away for the first time or preparing to go back, it’s time to make a list of what you need.  We did a friendly poll and asked the question “What do you need when you go back to school?” – below are the top 10 answers.

#1 Laptop

 Laptops are essential to campus life.  When looking to purchase a laptop it is good to keep a few things in mind.

  • Size – pick a portable size, something  light that can be stored easily
  • Processors – faster is always better. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a processor either, there are less expensive processors that will easily handle students’ web, email, word processor, and spreadsheet requirements.
  • Memory and Hard Drive – You may want to talk to university about minimum requirements of memory and what size Hard Drive you may need.  Your university may offer shared space on a network server for student files.
  • Battery Life – It may not always be easy to plug in on the go, so you may want to find a battery that can last at least 5 hours.

On a budget, check out Samsung Chromebook 11.6” Exynos Dual Core Processor Chromebook Computer for $229.99.

#2 Printer

You may not have time to stop by the library before class to print out that paper that’s due. Having your own printer can come in handy. You do not need anything fancy, just something reliable. The HP Wireless All-In-One Printer can easily handle printing out papers and other assignments.

#3 TV

Every student enjoys downtime in their dorm room watching their favorite TV shows. Dorm rooms tend to be small so no need for a big screen, a screen between 24” and 39” should be fine. You can get a Proscan 32” Class LED HDTV for under $200. I would suggest, if possible, mounting your TV to the wall instead of buying a TV stand, you will save money and space.

#4 Mini Fridge

Anybody who has lived on campus will tell you, you need a mini fridge. It is perfect for storing drinks and small snacks. A mini fridge will save you a little cash too. Instead of buying an individual drink every day, you can buy a 6 or 12 pack of your favorite drink, buying in bulk is much cheaper. Same goes for small snacks like fruit. When you are on the go and have no time to sit and have breakfast, grabbing an apple or orange from your mini fridge on the way out the door can be a great convenience.

#5 Microwave

So much for home cooking you’re in college now! Don’t be too worried you will be amazed how many recipes you can find for cooking with a microwave online. This is one of my favorite sites for awesome microwave recipes. Just like the mini fridge having a microwave will save you money as well. Going out for meals everyday can be costly, having the option to make a few of your own meals will minimize how much you eat out.

#6 Desk

Sometimes you can’t always get to the library having a place to do your school work is key. When looking for a desk you want to find a size that will easily fit in the space you will be occupying and also room for your laptop to sit. The Bell’O Computer Desk/Workcenter is perfect for the dorm, with a built in shelf you can store some of books as well.

#7 Chair

Well you can’t have a desk without a chair. Besides personal use, an extra sitting area other than the bed can come in handy when you have guests. We have an excellent suggestion for you, Office Star Task Chair, wheels, adjustable height, and on sale right now!

#8 Fan

So it seems even when it’s not summer time a fan is a dorm room essential. You will most likely have no control over the temperature of your dorm room and a fan can help keep a comfortable temperature as well as circulate the air. Fans are inexpensive and take up little room so they are perfect for small spaces.


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Enter For a Chance to Win an HP Back to School Bundle!

You may not be thinking about school while you’re hanging out on the beach, but you know what they say; time flies when you’re having fun! Before you know it you will be heading back to school, and now is the time to start preparing for the year.

P.C. Richard & Son has just what a student needs to make this the best school year ever. We are giving away two HP Back to School Bundles which include; an All-In-One Touchscreen Computer, a Slate 7 Tablet and an All-In-One Wireless Printer – it’s everything you need to make the grade! Two lucky students will be heading back to school in style; one of them could be you!

How to Enter

1 Winner Through Facebook

Enter via our Facebook fan page by filling out the form located here.

1 Winner In-Store

Stop by any of our 66 P.C. Richard & Son Superstore locations and fill in the entry form at our convenient sweepstakes kiosk.


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Samsung Galaxy Tab® 3 Hits July 7th… Pre-Order Yours at P.C. Richard & Son Today!

The 7-inch, 8-inch and 10.1-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablets deliver improved ways of viewing content in highly portable formats. The Samsung Galaxy 3 is packed with features designed to help you relax, keep you entertained, and connect and engage with friends and family, while offering new conveniences in everyday life. Enjoy your favorite apps and activities, search, explore, and buy online with fast web browsing. With Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, it’s fun and easy!

The tablet works a lot like the Galaxy Smartphone, so if you already own a Galaxy Smartphone, you are already a Tab 3 expert. You can comfortably switch back and forth from your Galaxy phone to your Galaxy Tab whenever; all of your content is automatically synced wirelessly.

Make the most of your real estate with the Multi Window feature that enables you to use two applications side-by-side. Do two things at once – look up a restaurant’s menu while you schedule dinner reservations, or watch a YouTube video while you chat with friends on Facebook.

Samsung  Galaxy Tab 3 can be held in one hand and is an optimal device for viewing videos, playing enhanced games, reading e-Books, and can also act as a universal remote for your TV. With a broad collection of video, music and photo software, coupled with the clarity of its display, the Galaxy Tab 3  takes center stage for portable home entertainment.

P.C. Richard & Son is one of the few retailers now accepting pre-orders for this next generation of Samsung Galaxy Tab, and prices start at just $199.97. Pre-order yours today!


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Motorola Xoom and Nintendo 3DS are Redefining Technology

Two highly-anticipated and well-received devices were released this weekend and are available both in-store and online at P.C. Richard & Son: the Motorola Xoom and Nintendo 3DS. These devices are paving the way for new technologies and are certainly worth taking a look at.

Motorola Xoom

The Motorola Xoom won the Best of Show award at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show and sets itself apart from all other tablets with its look and feel. It runs on the Android 3.0 platform which is specifically optimized for large-screen devices and features five customizable home screens that you can easily access your favorite live widgets or application shortcuts. Each screen features a familiar launcher with access to all installed applications, as well as a Search box for universal search of apps, contacts, media files, web content, and more.

This tablet features a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chats over Wi-Fi via Google Talk, as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera (with LED flash for stills) that captures video in 720p HD. The 10.1-inch display delivers console-like gaming performance on its 1280 x 800-pixel display, and it features a built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer, and adaptive lighting for new types of applications.

Other features include a 32 GB internal memory, memory expansion via optional microSD cards (with future software upgrade), 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi networking, Bluetooth for hands-free devices and stereo music streaming, access to personal and corporate e-mail, HD 1080p video playback, HDMI output for connecting to a compatible HDTV or monitor, and a 3250 mAh battery for up to 10 hours of Wi-Fi internet browsing.

Order your Motorola Xoom today and receive free shipping or pick it up from your nearest Superstore to start connecting immediately.

Nintendo 3DS

Play portable games for the first time in 3D without glasses and immerse yourself on a whole new plane. The level of 3D you experience (or playing the traditional 2D) is entirely customizable via a slider on the right-hand side of the top screen.

In addition to the familiar + Control Pad and button controls found on previous Nintendo hand-helds, Nintendo 3DS now also includes a Circle Pad, which provides a full 360 degrees of direction, giving it the freedom and precision needed to play games in 3D worlds. A built-in motion sensor and gyro sensor can react to the motion and tilt of the system, so whether players are twisting their systems side to side or moving them up and down, their motion-compatible Nintendo 3DS games respond instantly.

Each Nintendo 3DS system comes pre-loaded with a variety of fun games, applications and features, such as Nintendo 3DS Camera. One camera points at the user, while two additional cameras point outward. These two outer cameras take photos in 3D. The fun, built-in game “Face Raiders” asks users to shoot at funny depictions of their own faces.

The console also promotes physical activity. When put into Sleep Mode it can act as a pedometer, letting users earn Play Coins for the steps they take that can then be traded in for additional content in compatible games and applications. By accessing the Activity Log, users can check their steps as well as their play time.

The Nintendo 3DS can be picked up in-store or ordered online in your choice of cosmo black or aqua blue . There are a variety of 3D-compatible game titles already available.

Which of these electronics were you looking forward to most? Weigh in in the comments.


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