Lisa Arrington is the SEO and content specialist for Lenovo North America, focusing on ecommerce and merchandising for various industries and verticals, including real estate.
Laptop vs. Tablet: Which Works Best for Real Estate?
Content sponsor Lenovo, a leading tech manufacturer, shares tips and info to help you choose the best computer for you.
April 1, 2019
As a real estate professional, you probably don’t have the luxury of spending your day working peacefully on your computer. Meetings with clients, juggling showings, staging homes—it’s all in a day’s work. A schedule like this requires technology that not only can keep up but also is specially designed for use on the go.
Type of Computer
In order to determine what kind of device you’ll need, take stock of the daily tasks you must perform to generate income. Each device offers different advantages, and one may work better than another depending on what you need it for.
- Tablet: Some real estate professionals find tablets to be versatile and easier to manage while in the field, whether pulling up an online listing or showing a home’s floor plan to a client. However, some use their smartphones much more often, bringing out a tablet only for tasks that require a larger screen. Tablets are great if you’re used to this style of device, but tech advancements have made laptops just as slim and portable as a traditional tablet.
- Laptop: Laptops offer the same portability as a tablet, but with advantages like a physical keyboard and more complex processing capabilities to run specialized programs. Laptop computers are also available at various price points to fit any budget, from the entry-level Chromebook, which starts in the hundred-dollar range, to the premium Ultrabook, which costs around $2,000. The Ultrabook is faster, sleeker, and lighter than the typical laptop, making it a solid contender if you need the lightweight portability of a tablet with the full processing power of a laptop.
- 2-in-1 laptop: Sometimes called a “convertible” laptop, this type of device is a laptop-tablet combination—and it can be the best of both worlds. It’s versatile and can be used in different modes, including laptop, tablet, tent, and stand mode. This can make things easier when reviewing a contract with the client, watching a video tour, or looking up a listing. A 2-in-1 laptop typically has a touchscreen display with stylus pen functionality, which is great if you need to take quick notes. If you’re constantly breaking out your laptop at client meetings and sharing what’s on your screen, this is a great option.
What to Look For
For any real estate professional, there are three main areas to consider when deciding on a new computer:
- Portability. It’s important to find something that accommodates your lifestyle. Do you keep a backpack or purse with you from meeting to meeting? A lightweight laptop or 2-in-1 can slip right into your bag. Do you prefer not to lug around extra objects? A tablet is more compact and can be more affordable than a full-on PC. Don’t forget that battery life is a big factor when determining portability. Anything less than five to six hours per charge will likely hold you back.
- Performance. Don’t forget what’s inside. The CPU (processor), RAM (amount of memory and storage space), and internal parts determine your PC’s performance. At least 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 Core processor are recommended if you’re looking to do anything more than simple file viewing or word processing. Most quality computers can be purchased with upgrade options, even if these requirements aren’t standard for the model you’re eyeing.
- Design. While the internal components are important, you don’t want to pull out a clunky, beat-up laptop in front of a potential client. Look for a device that is thoughtfully designed and that reflects your professionalism. You also need to keep an eye out for a device with ergonomic features, such as a full-sized keyboard with number pad, a TrackPoint (that little red round spot found on most Lenovo ThinkPad laptops), or a blue light reduction mode for long periods of screen time.
Top Picks for Real Estate Pros
If you’re still undecided between a tablet, laptop, or 2-in-1 laptop, there’s no shortage of professional PCs that can stand up to your needs. When researching “the best laptop for real estate agents,” you’ll find that Lenovo has had the honor of being named on multiple top review sites. Here are the top choices:
Best laptop: ThinkPad X1 Carbon. This is the flagship laptop in the premium ThinkPad X1 line-up. Named “the best business laptop” by LaptopMag.com, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the definition of an Ultrabook. Ultraslim, ultraportable, and ultrasleek, it easily checks out in all of the main laptop buying criteria. Weighing less than 2.5 lbs, and with a battery life of 15 hours, this sixth-generation PC is a sure choice for any role in real estate.
Best 2-in-1 laptop: Yoga C930. With so much emphasis on Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 series, it’s an easy guess that the ThinkPad X1 Yoga would be one of the best 2-in-1 laptops out there. But there’s another option: the innovative Yoga C930 laptop. This 2-in-1 computer boasts industry firsts, such as a new sound bar design for optimal audio quality. Similar to the X1 family, the Yoga C930 is also extremely lightweight, sleek, and powerful. It features a garaged pen—meaning there’s a built-in place to store your stylus pen—which has 4,096 points of pressure sensitivity for a true pen-on-paper feel. This razor-thin 2-in-1 can easily move with you throughout your busy day from showing to close.
Best tablet: ThinkPad X1 Tablet and Tab 4. Depending on your price range, there’s the higher-end ThinkPad X1 Tablet and the more affordable Tab 4. Part of the X1 family, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet is held to the same high standards as the X1 Carbon laptop. The difference? The X1 Tablet provides the benefits of a tablet form factor. It also includes a full-sized detachable keyboard, which helps alleviate the frustrating task of typing long documents on a tablet. With a price tag of more than $1,000, the X1 Tablet may cost more than you’re willing to shell out. The Tab 4, with options starting in the $100 range, is both professional and family-friendly, which is great if you plan on using your tablet beyond work.
No matter the computer you choose, there’s no doubting how important having the right technology is to a successful real estate career. Lenovo offers exclusive discounts on its entire product line to members of the National Association of REALTORS® through the REALTOR Benefits® Program. Learn more at nar.realtor/realtorbenefits/lenovo or start shopping now at www.lenovo.com/nar. Personal assistance in finding the right technology is also available by phone; call 1-800-426-7235 ext. 4827.