What the Tech: What’s better, an iPad or laptop? (2023)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Not long after Apple introduced the iPad, the company began talking about how the tablet could someday replace a laptop computer.

An iPad with the latest operating system allows users to do almost everything they need to do on a computer, here are several reasons you might choose an iPad over a laptop.

It’s lighter, thinner, has a touch screen, and can use apps. But can it really replace a laptop?

For some, yes, but you’ll need some extras.

A keyboard makes an iPad more like using a computer. Apple’s Magic keyboards range from $160 to $300.

Brydge makes Bluetooth keyboards for all iPads with backlit keys and the battery runs for days. A Brydge keyboard with a trackpad is $160 to $190.

The new iPad operating system works with a mouse, just like a computer. You can also have more than one program or app on the screen at the same time.

Just like a MacBook. But, unlike laptops, there are no USB ports on iPads, only the USB-C charging port.

(Video) M2 iPad Pro 2022 vs M2 MacBook Air - The BETTER Laptop?!

There’s a way around this. Anker makes a hub that plugs into the charging port and adds slots for standard USB, SD cards, and HDMI.

Why is this big? You can use the iPad’s files app to move items from a flash drive, or external hard drive just like a laptop.

With the touch screen and an Apple Pencil, graphic artists may prefer the iPad to a MacBook.

You’re not saving money by choosing an iPad.

(Video) iPad Pro vs MacBook Pro - A Winner Emerges

The new iPad Pro costs $800 to $1,100. Add a keyboard and that’s at least another $150 and if you add a hub to use SD cards and USB drives, you’re looking at over $1,000.

Last year’s MacBook Air cost $900 and right now Apple’s offering an extra $150 gift card on MacBook purchases.

So, price-wise comparing a MacBook Air and an iPad Pro is pretty even, but if you’re considering replacing a bulky PC laptop, the iPad will be easier to carry and easier to use, but it’s going to cost a lot more than a basic PC laptop.

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Can an iPad take the place of a laptop? ›

The new Apple iPad Pro 2021 is a solid alternative to a laptop, but you might still want to hold on to your bigger machine. The Apple iPad has been the best tablet on the market for a while now. And Apple has carried that legacy with the 11-inch iPad Pro for 2021.

What can a laptop do that an iPad Cannot? ›

Run Proprietary or Desktop Software

The iPad can't run Windows or Mac software, which means no access to software that requires Windows or macOS, which includes many of the most popular games. Beyond gaming, many people bring their work home with them, and work often involves proprietary software.

Why do I need an iPad if I have a laptop? ›

An iPad offers better portability than a laptop, and their big screens make them better for streaming video, reading websites, and getting work done than a phone. The iPad is also a great e-book reader.

What are disadvantages of iPad? ›

High cost:

The cost of iPad devices is expensive than that of android tablets. You also have to buy apps to use on your device. The accessories of the iPad are also expensive. For example, the external keyboard, touchpad, Apple pencil, card reader are expensive devices.

Can I print from an iPad? ›

Use AirPrint to print wirelessly to an AirPrint-enabled printer from apps such as Mail, Photos, and Safari. Many apps available on the App Store also support AirPrint. iPad and the printer must be on the same Wi-Fi network.

Do people still buy laptops? ›

Over the past few years, laptops have become the de facto computer of choice for nearly everyone. Indeed, 166 million laptops were sold globally in 2019, whereas only 88 million desktops were sold in the same period, and the gap is expected to continue widening until at least 2024.

Which is better a tablet or a laptop? ›

In general, you'll want to choose a laptop vs. a tablet if you need to do more than check email and social networks or watch videos and play games. Laptops are best for real work, even if that work only includes creating Office documents. Most laptops are more powerful than tablets and have larger internal storage.

Can I use Word on an iPad? ›

Download Microsoft Word now and get the best way to create, share and edit documents from your iPhone or iPad. To create or edit documents, sign in with a free Microsoft account on devices with a screen size smaller than 10.1 inches.

How long do ipads last? ›

How Many Years Should an iPad Last? Apple usually supports a new iPad with iPadOS updates for at least five years and often several years longer. Most iPad models hold up well in performance, features, and storage over this timeframe which means that five years is a standard lifespan for any iPad.

Do iPads get viruses easily? ›

iPads are relatively resistant to viruses. That's because of the operating system that your iPad runs. The iOS is a compartmentalized operating system, which means that apps are isolated from each other, making it almost impossible for a computer virus to infect the iOS system and spread within it.

Which is best to buy iPad or tablet? ›

Compared to competing tablets, the iPad is more stable, easier to use, and works more smoothly. In terms of overall user experience for a non-technical user, Apple's iOS has a distinct advantage over Google's Android OS. It's a robust, user-friendly operating system with a simple UI.

Is iPad safer than laptop? ›

The iPad is actually quite secure when compared to a PC. It's almost impossible for a virus to infect an iPad because viruses work by jumping from one app to the next. The architecture of iPadOS puts a wall around each app, which prevents one piece of software from overwriting a portion of another.

Does the iPad have USB ports? ›

The USB-C port on your iPad allows connections to a variety of devices. * For example, you can connect a digital camera or the Apple USB-C to SD Card Reader to import photos. Other USB devices that you can connect to your iPad include these: External storage devices.

How much does word cost for iPad? ›

The Microsoft Office apps are free to download from the App Store ( Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook) to any iPhone or iPad user running iOS 12 or later.

Does iPad work with any printer? ›

The iPad can print to any AirPrint-compatible wireless printer. Many printers include AirPrint, making this an easy option.

Why buy a tablet and not a laptop? ›

Screen Size

Typically laptops tend to have larger screens which are ideal when it comes to multitasking and gaming. If you're looking for the best display technology, tablets tend to win. Tablets tend to have a higher pixel density meaning the images you see on the screen will have greater clarity.

How many years a laptop should last? ›

There are plenty of variables, but you can expect a well-maintained laptop to last for three to five years. The laptop lifespan is shorter than a desktop PC due to its compact stature.

At what age should you replace a laptop? ›

Most experts estimate a laptop's lifespan to be three to five years. It may survive longer than that, but its utility will be limited as the components become less capable of running advanced applications.

Can a tablet do everything a laptop can? ›

If a tablet runs Windows, it can theoretically run the same software as a laptop, but it will likely be slower. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro, a tablet you can deploy as a primary laptop with the same software used in a work environment.

What's the difference between an iPad and a laptop? ›

An iPad with the latest operating system allows users to do almost everything they need to do on a computer, here are several reasons you might choose an iPad over a laptop. It's lighter, thinner, has a touch screen, and can use apps.

Can you print from a tablet? ›

Android tablets often support mobile printing with no need for third-party apps. Android can detect Wi-Fi-enabled printers, so you can send documents to any printer that is on the same Wi-Fi network as your device.

Can I write and print a letter on my iPad? ›

Open the document, tap the document's name in the toolbar, then tap Print. If no printer is selected, tap Select Printer, then choose one. Your device automatically searches for any nearby AirPrint printers. Choose print options (page range, number of copies and so on).

Is Office free on iPad? ›

Q: How much does Office for iPad cost? A: You can visit www.appstore.com/microsoftoffice to download the Office apps for free and read, review and present documents, spreadsheets and presentations. To get the full editing and creation experience, you need an Office 365 subscription.

Can you use a mouse with an iPad? ›

You can connect Magic Mouse, another Bluetooth mouse, or a USB mouse to your iPad. Note: Mouse devices are sold separately. Not all mouse devices are fully compatible with all models of iPad.

What should I do with an old iPad? ›

For free recycling of your old iPad, a prepaid shipping label, and instructions, see the Apple Trade In website. The symbol above means that according to local laws and regulations your product and/or its battery shall be disposed of separately from household waste.

Which iPads are no longer supported? ›

Here's the current list of obsolete iPads.
  • iPad (4th generation) Wi-Fi.
  • iPad (4th generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular.
  • iPad (4th generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular (MM)
  • iPad [original]
  • iPad 3G.
  • iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi.
  • iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular.
  • iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular (VZ)
May 12, 2022

Is 64 GB a lot for iPad? ›

An iPad with 64GB storage or less is suitable if you want to browse the internet, check your email, Facetime, or watch series. It's enough storage capacity to download apps and play some games.

Do I need antivirus on iPad? ›

Do you need antivirus for iPad? As with iPhones, viruses aren't a major threat to iPads. But no device or operating system is completely secure by default. Just like with any other device, there are other security threats than virus on iPad.

Is an iPad safe from hackers? ›

Just because it's difficult for malware to get on your iPad doesn't mean your iPad is completely safe from all intrusion. Hackers are great at finding ways to either disrupt devices or to find their way inside of devices.

Why does my iPad get hot? ›

Leaving your device in direct sunlight for an extended period of time. Using certain features in hot conditions or direct sunlight for an extended period of time, such as GPS tracking or navigation in a car, playing a graphics-intensive game, or using augmented-reality apps.

Is it worth buying iPad now? ›

It's still totally fine to buy the 2021 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but try not to spend more than $600 and $950, respectively. The same goes for the 2020 11-inch iPad Pro and the 2020 12.9 incher, but just try not to spend more than $500 and $700. Anything more and you may as well buy the latest.

Which brand tablet is best? ›

The best tablets you can buy: Does anything beat the iPad?
  • Apple iPad (10th generation) Best tablet overall. View now.
  • Amazon Fire HD 10. Best Amazon Tablet. ...
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. Best Samsung Tablet. ...
  • Microsoft Surface Go 3. Best compact Windows tablet. ...
  • Apple iPad Pro (6th generation) Best laptop replacement tablet.
3 days ago

Why do people use iPad? ›

iPad is so versatile, it's more than up to any task. Whether you're working on a project, expressing your creativity or playing an immersive game, iPad is a fun and powerful way to get it done. Here are just a few of the countless things you can do with iPad.

Is the iPad as powerful as a laptop? ›

We asked the same question about the iPad Air 2022. Though I thought that tablet was a halfway decent laptop replacement when paired with the Magic Keyboard, it still wasn't as capable as the best Windows laptops or best MacBooks. Put another way, the iPad Air 2022 is amazing but it can't replace your laptop.

What cant you do on an iPad that you can on a MacBook? ›

Although Apple brought true multitasking to the iPad, it's not the same experience you'll get on a MacBook. iPadOS will only let you view up to three apps at once, and even then, it can become a cluttered mess where it's hard to keep track of what's going on.

Is iPad a good alternative to MacBook? ›

Apple's latest iPad Pro(2021) and MacBook Air (2020) share some of the same specifications: Apple's impressive M1 chip, up to 16GB of RAM, and 2TB of storage space, so you'll get roughly the same performance out of both devices. Both are also lightweight, portable, and priced very similarly.

Can you replace your MacBook with iPad? ›

Apple's iPad Pro can work well as an alternative to a MacBook, but demanding workloads still require a more capable platform.

Does an iPad do everything a MacBook does? ›

You can use it as a way to get all manner of work done, make the most out of its gorgeous touch display, and have it be your portable companion. But when it comes to using a device to get your work or daily tasks done efficiently, it still can't match the tried-and-tested dynamic of a MacBook.


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