There are so many different products – and versions of products – on the market that it’s quite easy to get confused and overwhelmed by everything. One of the most frequent questions we receive at Ebuyer is: What’s the difference between an iPad and a tablet. Aren’t they the same thing?
Before we go in to all the finer details, lets explain what exactly an iPad is, and what a tablet is…
What is a Tablet PC?
A tablet PC is a portable computing device with a touch-screen display, and is internet enabled. That means you really need internet access to get the most out of a tablet. Generally smaller than a notebook computer but larger than a smartphone, tablet PCs are designed to be thin and light, and have downloadable apps.
Instead of using a keyboard, tablets are operated by touching the screen. Some tablets have a facility where you can attach a physical keyboard if that’s what you prefer. However, you will have to purchase a keyboard separately as they are not supplied with tablets.
Tablets are known for their speed. They turn on really quickly and provide almost instant access to the internet and apps. They are also capable of running small programs such as Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows and AppleiOS.
Tablets are excellent for anyone who needs to work within a Microsoft-based office environment. If you need to run Windows programs, then tablets are an ideal compromise between a tablet and a laptop.
What is an iPad?
Everyone’s heard of the Apple brand, and an iPad is the name for Apple’s line of handheld computers. Apple has its own Operating System called iOS and all iPads run on this system.
iPads and Android tablets have a lot in common, but they also have crucial differences. Below we’ve put together a list of the key differences.
iPad vs. Tablet PC
Tablet is a common name for a variety of devices which almost always function using a touch screen, though different manufacturers provide different specs. iPad is Apple’s version of a tablet. Most tablets use Google’s Android operating system, while the iPad runs on Apple’s iOS.
Unlike iPads, tablets can use popular software for showing online videos, so you’ll have no problem viewing Flash-based websites, Flash games or watching Flash videos.
An iPad cannot interact with multiple apps at the same time, whilst tablets are versatile – you can use one app whilst other apps are running in the background.
Even though iPads have more features than Android tablets, it doesn’t mean they are the obvious choice as that depends on which features you really need. iPads have a large number of apps whilst the number of compatible apps is quite small for Android tablets.
Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of iPads and tablets:
iPads are generally easier to use and run smoother than tablets, although much of the time the difference is barely noticeable.
In terms of overall user experience, Apple’s iOS is clearly ahead of Google’s Android OS system for the average user. Apple’s operating system is extremely easy to use, powerful and has an intuitive interface.
iPad enables close integration between devices. You can cut and paste between your iPad and Macbook if both are running the latest Operating System. Android tablets are way behind in this area.
Everyone knows that the App Store includes virtually every downloadable app you can think of. It currently has in the region of one million apps specifically designed for the iPad. Another million are capable of running in compatibility modes.
As a company, Apple only officially supports and allows apps to be installed through its own store. It checks and approves every app before it is released for sale through the Apple store. This eliminates the chance of malware and bugs getting into their devices, so provides an extra layer of security.
As iPad has deep integration of Facebook and Twitter it is much easier to post updates and share on social networks using iPad than Andriod tablet.
Most Android tablets make it pretty easy for you to add a more storage if you need to. Many of these devices come with a microSD card slot so you can really add a lot of memory if need be. The iPad, on the other hand, doesn’t give you any way to expand its storage. What you get when you buy it is what you are stuck with, so bear that in mind when making your purchase.
This means if you run out of space on your iPad then you are going to have to delete something in order to make space. It’s easy to buy iPads which have larger storage capacity, but it will cost you. And even those devices still won’t let you add more later should you need it.
The iPad is still light years behind any Windows or Android tablet. Of course, you can move icons around, change your wallpaper, and even specify certain apps to use in certain situations, but that’s nothing when compared to Android and Windows. You can choose whatever type of app you want to use for any task with these devices and you can customise all types of fonts, screen images and much more. Basically, if it can be tweaked, then you can do it on Android and Windows. The same can’t be said for the iPad.
Android tablet PCs: Strengths
- There are thousands of options to customise the device, depending on what you want.
- There are a huge number of products available, from Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy to Kindle Fire. There are literally thousands of different Android tablets to choose from.
- Android’s Google Play marketplace has expanded greatly and now boasts a massive number of apps to choose from.
- The Android OS which tablets run ensures that they have true multitasking: When one application is being used, others can run in the background. iPads can’t do this.
- Storage can be expanded with SSD cards in most Android tablets.
- Android tablets are generally much cheaper than the Apple iPad.
Android tablet PCs: Weaknesses
The Android system is not quite as simple or intuitive as Apple’s iOS to use, but gradually you’ll get the hang of it.
Though Google’s Play Store boasts a large number of apps, it has fewer apps which are optimised for Android tablets. Unlike Apple, Goole allows tablet users to install apps from third-parties.
Security is another area which is a potential weakness of the Google Play app store. As Android devices use a more open system – where anyone can release an app without approval prior to release, this can occasionally leady to malicious app sneaking through the system. However, this open approach also acts as an incentive to developers to create more apps for the Android system.
Frequently asked questions
How do I choose a tablet – iPad or Android?
So, we’ve talked about the strengths and weakness of each, and now it comes to making your final decision – how on earth do you choose?
Just ask yourself what you need from your tablet. Below we’ve put together the most important points of difference to help you decide which one to opt for.
- The iPad gives you an operating system (iOS) with intuitive interface and brilliant display.
- iPads tend to be more stable and easier to use than other tablets.
- The iPad is still in the lead when it comes to the number of available useful apps. Android currently has fewer apps which are optimized for tablets. However, this is increasing all the time.
- In terms of hardware, an Android tablet is a good choice if you want a faster processor, powerful cameras and easily expandable memory.
- If you like to have a lot of options to choose from, check out an Android tablet. With Android tablets, you get more choices in terms of size, features, and price.
- Android tablets are great value and a good choice if you want to customise your tablet to make it look the way you want it to.
- A big plus point for Android tablets is that they are cheaper than Apple iPads.
What is the difference between iPad and iPad air?
Let’s start with the screen sizes: The standard iPad is 9.7 inches and the iPad Air features a 10.5 inch display. When it comes to resolution, there’s not much difference really: the standard iPad is 2,048×1,536, while the iPad Air is 2,224×1,668 pixels.
The iPad Air is powered by Apple’s latest A12 Bionic chip which is more powerful than the older processor used by the iPad. When it comes to storage, the iPad Air has 64GB compared to the 32GB of the base model iPad.
What is the key difference between Kindle and iPad?
The major difference between Kindle Fire and iPad is with the Operating System which runs both devices. While the Kindle Fire operates on Google’s Android OS, the iPad operates on Apple’s iOS.
Can I print from an iPad?
The answer is ‘Yes’, you can! The best way to do this is to use an AirPrint-compatible printer. Firstly, you have to connect your iPad and your printer to the same Wi-Fi network. Then navigate to the item or document you wish to print. Next, click the shared icon button on the top bar of the app screen (this looks like a rectangle with arrow coming out) and tap the Print icon from the menu options. And that’s it!
Is an iPad better than a Kindle?
An iPad has a 10-inch display whereas a Kindle only has a six-inch display, so the text on an iPad is easy to read without you having to zoom in for more detail. More importantly, an iPad is much easier to control than a Kindle, so it wins all-round. Kindle uses e-ink technology for its touch screen technology which gives a noticeable delay to things displayed on it.
Most people who are contemplating buying a tablet usually go for either an iPad or Android tablet. Apple is still the leading vendor but in recent years Android tablets have seen a surge in popularity and are now hot on the heels of the more expensive iPads.
It must be said that even though the iPad and Android tablets are both capable devices, if you’re looking for something which is mainly for work use, then a Windows tablet which is compatible with Microsoft Office could well be a better choice. However, the Windows store lacks the vast selection of apps available for iOS and Android.