Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

Based on materials from Android central

Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

What is a computer? No, seriously, what is it?

The computers we see today are very different from those that existed just a few years ago. Large, bulky laptops were replaced by tablets with keyboards. In 2019, the two most popular 'computers' on the market are Chromebook and iPad. And even those with a preference for Chromebooks cannot deny that iPad from Apple have their own advantages. Let's take a look at the Chromebooks and iPad comparisons and see the benefits of each 'camp'.

Why is Chromebook better iPad

First, let's talk about the strengths of Chromebooks that make them a better choice than iPad.

Chromebooks are more affordable

Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

Unlike iOS, ChromeOS is an open source operating system. This means that many different companies can use it to create a variety of Chromebooks at a very wide price range.

A good example is the Lenovo Chromebook C330. Despite the extremely affordable price tag, you get a very attractive 'bundle' of features. The C330 has excellent performance, a keyboard that is pleasant to type on, and a generous 64GB of storage, expandable with an SD card, which iPad still lacks.

Basic iPad isn't a waste of money, but keep in mind that you're getting half the storage at 32GB. More importantly, if you want a keyboard, you'll have to spend even more money on a wireless Bluetooth keyboard or an official keyboard from Apple.

Overall, Chromebooks offer significantly better value than iPad. And for many, this will already be reason enough to join the camp of adherents of Chromebooks.

Chromebooks in tablet and laptop versions

Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

Most iPad, including iPad Air, iPad Pro and new base iPad 7th generation, are compatible with official accessories Apple that turn them into a kind of laptop. In the end, however, they remain tablets with the addition of a keyboard rather than being transformed into real laptops. Some may not be upset, but if you plan on typing a lot, the right laptop is probably your best bet. Most Chromebooks are in the traditional laptop form factor, and many are 2-in-1s. You can use them like a laptop when you need to write long text, but when it's time to relax and play games, the touchscreen can be folded down completely. Then the Chromebook will instantly turn into a plump tablet.

Plus, if you're looking to buy a tablet specifically, there are several ChromeOS tablets on board, such as the ASUS Chromebook. As with pricing, Chromebooks offer more flexibility and variety of options over product Apple.

Navigation options – mouse and touch

Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

Another advantage of the Chromebook is the variety of navigation. Since Chromebooks are tablets and laptops, you can interact with them using a trackpad / mouse, or using touchscreen input if available. These alternatives allow you to use the device in the most convenient way. For example, using the mouse is often preferable and more productive for certain tasks, as are the convenient keyboard shortcuts available in Chrome OS. iPad is primarily a purely touchscreen experience. iOS 13 adds mouse support as an available feature, but it is implemented as an enhanced touch experience and does not work like a traditional mouse, making it rather awkward to use on iPad.

Software updates and security patches are installed automatically

Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

ChromeOS has many advantages, but one of the most important is the way it updates the software. Unlike laptops Windows, MacBooks, or even iPad, you don't have to manually download and install updates. They are automatically downloaded in the background, and the next time you turn on your Chromebook, the update is installed during the download process. You will appreciate the magic Chrome OS of downloading and installing the update seamlessly the next time you start your computer and never want to go back to anything else. Google also provides excellent support for Chromebooks, and they are all guaranteed years of updates, so you have access to the latest added features and security patches.

For iPad, updates are also guaranteed for years, but these updates are implemented in a much more traditional way. They need to be downloaded and installed, and depending on their size, it can sometimes take a long wait. While the updates for iOS are not as bad as for Windows or macOS, you have to pay attention to them. On Chromebooks, you don't need to think about them at all.

Chromebooks are stronger and more durable

Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

Maybe you tend to drop everything, or maybe you just want to be calm and confident that your device will survive daily use – in any case, it will make you look towards something durable. Again, in this arena, most Chromebooks will outperform iPad from Apple. Many of them meet some military standard for fall protection and are water resistant and spill-resistant keyboards. An example of such a rugged Chromebook is the Lenovo 300e (2nd generation).

None of the iPad from Apple benefits from water resistance, and while regular iPad and iPad Airs are relatively robust, newer models iPad Pros have quickly gained a reputation as one of the most fragile tablets on the market. For those who value reliability, iPad is probably not the best choice.

Where Chromebooks Can't Beat iPad

As you can see, Chromebook has many advantages over iPad. It tends to be more affordable, durable, more flexible in terms of user scenarios, and updating software on it is as easy as possible. But now it's time for the devil's advocate. After all, there are a number of important points in which iPad wins.

Not all Chromebooks are created equal

Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

As stated above, one of the benefits of the Chromebook world is the variety of choices. They are represented in the low, medium and high segments, and many are well worth the time and money. But not all.

Keeping track of the Chromebook market can be tricky, especially if you're not constantly interested in it. Not all new Chromebooks have enough performance, some have poor displays, and if you take the buying process lightly, you might end up with a device from three years ago that will soon be out of support.

When you buy iPad things are much easier. There is a basic one iPad if you want to spend as little money as possible, iPad Mini for those who want iPad with a small screen, two iPad Pro, promising the best possible experience for the highest possible amount, and something in between iPad Air.

You can't buy a bad one iPad, but you can't say that for Chromebooks.

Applications for Android still have potential problems

Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

When Chromebooks first appeared, you could only really use the Chrome browser and that's it. However, in the past few years, Google has added the ability to download and install apps for Android.

This has greatly expanded the functionality of Chromebooks, allowing you to download and launch applications like Microsoft Word, Netflix and others. Most apps for Android run reasonably well on Chromebooks and can run in full screen mode or as a small window, but it's not uncommon to find apps that aren't very well optimized for use on Chromebooks.

At iPad you have access to a store of apps that look and work great. There are far fewer surprises, and even on the most accessible basic iPad applications work as they should.

Normal work in browser on iPad starting from iOS 13

Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

Over the years, one of the most notable flaws iPad was that it couldn't use a desktop browser on it. Safari from Apple works well, but until recently, only mobile versions of websites were available to you on iPad. Everything changed after iOS 13 was released.

Safari is still the default web browser at iPad since iOS 13, but it now works like a desktop browser – just like it does on a Mac.

Websites are optimized for touch and easy to navigate, now you get the same experience as on a regular computer, rather than a stripped-down mobile version. This makes iPad the ultimate tool for work or study.

Apple Pencil has no analogues

Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

Some Chromebooks come with a stylus, but comparisons with the Apple Pencil don't hold up. This is one of the best stylus options for people who want to easily and efficiently solve creative problems, no matter what they are doing – creating a piece from scratch or just editing something in a photo editor.

When using the Apple Pencil, you experience almost no lag, pressing harder produces thicker lines, and you can tilt the Pencil for shading. There is also a much broader ecosystem of apps that can use Apple Pencil as opposed to Android apps for stylus-enabled Chromebooks.

No matter which iPad current generation you buy, it will work with Apple Pencil.

Many users are more comfortable on iOS

Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

Finally, a few words about iOS as such. In 2017, Apple made a lot of noise with her 'What is a computer' ad, in which a child asked about the meaning of the word, because he did not know it using a tablet. If you think about it, it makes some sense. Many people – especially young people – may be attached to iOS and are great at it, but desktop platforms such as Windows, macOS and ChromeOS are perceived as archaic. And it is for these users that iPad makes more sense than a standard laptop.


Chromebooks vs iPads: which to choose?

Write in the comments what choice seems reasonable and preferable for your use cases, what arguments you agree with and what guided you when choosing between Chromebook and iPad.

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