The ICT Lounge
 
Section 4.6:
Using different computers to access the internet
 

Different computers and devices can be used to access the internet.

In this section we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of accessing the internet using desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Key Concepts of this section:
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Understand that different devices can be used to access the internet.
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Be able to describe the advantages and disadvantages of using each device to access the internet.

Accessing the internet using different devices
Key Words:
Desktop PC , Laptop, Tablet, Smartphone, Internet.
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There are four main devices that we can use to access the internet. These are: We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each device for gaining internet access:
Examples:
The internet can be accessed by several different devices.
Desktop PC
 
Advantages/disadvantages of using desktops to connect to the internet
Examples:
Dektop keyboards are big with large keys. This makes them easy to use.
 
Desktop screens are larger than other devices and offers superior web page viewing.
Most desktop PC's have a wired internet connection which is more stable than Wi-Fi .
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These are summarised in the table below:

Advantages of Desktops
Disadvantages of Desktops
Most websites are designed to be viewed using a desktop.

This means web pages will be displayed fully.

(Web pages viewed through smartphones often have reduced content due to small screen size)
Desktop PC's are not portable so you can only access the internet from the room where the computer is setup.

Desktops have larger keyboards than all other devices which makes it easier to type keywords into search engines.
Desktop screens (monitors) are larger than other devices and give a better web page viewing experience.

(Everything appears larger which makes navigating web pages easier)
Desktops usually use wired internet connections which is more stable and reliable than Wi-Fi.






Laptop
 
Advantages/disadvantages of using laptops to connect to the internet
Examples:
Laptops are more portable than desktops and can access the internet from more locations.
 
Laptop touchpads can be used even when there is no flat surface.
Laptops have larger screens than tablets and smartphones.
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These are summarised in the table below:

Advantages of Laptops
Disadvantages of Laptops
More portable than desktops so you can access the internet from more locations.
Less portable than tablets and smartphones.
Larger screen than tablets and smartphones which makes reading web page content easier.
Screens not as large as desktop PC's and web page content may not appear as clearly.
Keyboards on laptops are larger than those of tablets/smartphones and are easier to enter terms into search engines.
Processors (cpu's) in laptops are not quite as powerful as those in desktops.

(Web pages may not load as smoothly)
Touchpads on a laptop mean that you can still navigate web pages even if you aren't working on a flat surface.

(A desktop's mouse needs a flat surface to operate)






Tablets
Advantages/disadvantages of using tablets to connect to the internet
Examples:
Tablets are smaller than laptops and so are more portable.
 
Tablets have larger screens than smartphones.
Tablet on-screen keyboards are larger and easier to use than smartphone keyboards.
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These are summarised in the table below:

Advantages of Tablets
Disadvantages of Tablets
Smaller and lighter than desktops and laptops. This makes them more portable and much easier to carry.

(Internet can be accessed from any location where it is available)
Larger and less portable than smartphones.

Use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet which is less reliable than a desktops wired connection.
Larger screen than smartphones which makes reading web page content easier.
Screens are smaller than desktop PC's or laptops and web page content may not display as well.

(Modern websites can be designed to change the layout of the page when viewed on smaller screens)
On-screen keyboards are larger than the smartphone version and easier to use.
On-screen keyboards are not as easy to use as the physical keyboards found on desktops and laptops.

(Easy to miss-key words and make mistakes)





Smartphone
Advantages/disadvantages of using smartphones to connect to the internet
Examples:
Smartphones are the most portable of all devices and can access internet anywhere where it is available.
 
Websites viewed on smartphones may look different to those viewed on tablets or laptops.
On-screen keyboards on smartphones are small and difficult to use .
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These are summarised in the table below:

Advantages of Smartphones
Disadvantages of Smartphones
The smallest and most portable of all devices that can access the internet.

(Internet can be accessed from anywhere where there is a Wi-Fi hotspot or mobile data signal)
Websites displayed on a smartphone are often not the full version of the site.

(Web pages viewed on deskops/laptops full sized screen show all content)

People are more likely to have a mobile phone with them wherever they go.

(This means they can have internet access at all times)
Small screen sizes can make viewing web page content difficult.

Much easier to access the internet whilst on the move than laptops or tablets.

Very small keyboards can make it difficult to type in emails or search engine keywords.

Smartphones allow children to access the internet from anywhere. This can leave them vunerable to online predators.

(Parents may find it difficult to check what their children are up to online)

Activity!

Click the above task and answer the questions about
the advantages/disadvantages of accessing the internet using different devices.






Please add your questions/comments below:
 

Links to Theory Units:
 
Links to Practical Units:
Section 11: File Management
Section 12: Images
Section 13: layout
Section 14: Styles
Section 15: Proofing
Section 16: Graphs and Charts
Section 17: Document Production
Section 18: Data Manipulation
Section 19: Presentations
Section 20: Data Analysis
Section 21: Website Authoring