A tablet is an internet enabled mobile computing device with a touch screen display. You need to have access to a steady internet connection either with WiFi or a 3G or 4G data plan to extract the fullest worthiness of a tablet. It is typically smaller than a notebook computer but larger than a smartphone. It is relatively thin and has downloadable apps. Tablet is primarily operated by touching the screen rather than using a physical keyboard. You may have the option to attach a keyboard, but a keyboard generally won’t come with a tablet. A tablet’s screen is its primary input device. Tablets turn on quickly, providing almost instant access to the internet or your apps. It has an operating system capable of running small programs.
What is iPad?
iPad is the brand name for Apple’s line of tablets. iPad runs on Apple’s own Operating System called iOS.
Unlike the iPad, Android tablet is a common name for a variety of products with varying specs from different manufacturers. The most popular operating system for Android tablets is Google’s Android.
Late entry is Windows tablets running on Microsoft’s Windows OS. Windows tablets are compatible with Microsoft Office software and hence are best suited for work use. These tablets are good for anyone who needs full integration with a Microsoft-based office environment. If you need to be able to run Windows programs, these tablets are a good compromise between a tablet and a laptop.
TABLETS VS IPADS: DESIGN
It’s generally accepted that Apple’s iPads about as good as it gets for tablet design in 2018 – they may not be spectacular in their looks, but they’re sleek and thin, and the screens on those two iPad Pro models really catch the eye. For the time being, the Home button remains, but if the iPads eventually follow the iPhone X approach then their aesthetics will be improved even further.
As for Android tablets, it’s a real mixed bag. The aforementioned Samsung Galaxy Tab range of devices certainly look the part, though down in the Android tablet bargain basement the designs are less appealing. If you want to get a tablet that looks good as well as running well, be prepared to spend some money to get it.
We’d have to give this round to the iPads, though it really depends on which Android tablet you’re going for. On the whole, Google-powered slates tend to go for the cheap and cheerful approach, as devices from the likes of Asus and Lenovo prove. The Pixel C was a nice-looking tablet for sure, but Google no longer sells it.
TABLETS VS IPADS: SOFTWARE
Tablets have long been an Achilles heel for Android – the OS just doesn’t look well-optimised for larger screens, try as Google might to get its software scaling well across displays of all sizes. iOS on the iPad, meanwhile, offers users a bunch of handy features that you don’t get on iOS for the iPhone.
Plenty of the big-name apps will still look fine on Android tablets: Netflix, Spotify, Chrome, Microsoft Office, and the like. It tends to be the smaller, more niche apps that haven’t been properly designed with Android tablets in mind. Inside apps and within Android itself, you’ll often find menus in strange places and lots of empty space.
iPads, meanwhile, get plenty of goodies from iOS: a Mac-style dock, the ability to run apps alongside each other, support for dragging and dropping files between windows, and so on. Many iOS apps, from Apple and others, come with interfaces specifically designed for the larger iPad screen too, so the whole experience is much more elegant.
TABLETS VS IPADS: PRICES
Here again you get a lot more choice when it comes to Android tablets than you do with iPads, at least at the budget end of the market – the Amazon Fire 7 starts at £49.99/$39.99 at the time of writing. The cost of an iPad, meanwhile, can go from £319/$329 to £1,249/$1,279 depending on the configuration you pick.
It’s the same story as it is with phones: Android is the route to take if you want to go cheap, but up at the top end of the market, the premium Android slates can set you back as much as an iPad. No one really does premium like Apple though, and those iPad Pros can set you back as much as a very good laptop.
Another way to look at it is whether you’re getting value for money – and in most cases we’d say yes. Spend more money and you’re going to get a better quality tablet, that runs apps faster and has a better quality screen, and that’s true whether you decide to go for a device powered by the OS from Apple or Google.
So, What to Choose?
In the end, you can’t go wrong with either Apple or Android. Nowadays, the competition is so fierce that both have to up their game to stay in it. This is good news for users because major companies will keep trying to push the envelope.
You merely have to choose if you want choice or stability, a hefty price tag or something that fits your budget, and finally, if you want to be able to try before you buy.
If you can answer all these questions, you will be able to make an informed decision, and be on your way to buy your tablet or iPad of choice.