iPad vs. Laptop: Pros and Cons of Each

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iPad vs. Laptop: Pros and Cons of Each

Computers have significantly evolved and become more accessible over the years. We no longer have to deal with bulky PCs, which will keep you confined in one place all day. Modern computers are more lightweight, portable, and have advanced features for better performance. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can choose the one that works for you. iPads and laptops are popular computing devices that bring your world to your fingertips, whether traveling or relaxing on your couch.

Both of these devices have different features, functions, and performances. iPads are exclusively manufactured by Apple, while laptops are offered by different manufacturers. Most people are often stuck when it comes to picking one over the other. While they all offer a level of portability and convenience, there are different things that set them apart.

This guide will comprehensively evaluate the two devices based on their features, performance, ease of use, prices, battery life, and pros and cons to help you make an informed decision. Let’s jump right in!

iPad vs. Laptop: Side-by-Side Comparison

ManufacturerApple, Inc.Various companies such as Lenovo, Dell, HP, Samsung, Acer, Apple, and Asus
DisplaySmaller displaysLarger display than iPads
PortabilityHighly portableSome models are on the bulky side, limiting easy portability
CompatibilityOnly compatible with Apple applicationsWorks with most applications
UpgradabilityCannot be upgradedCan be upgraded to certain levels
Price   Starts at $300Starts at $400
Operating System      iPadOSDifferent OS depending on the manufacturer
BatteryCannot be replacedHas replaceable batteries
Best Budget Apple Tablet
Apple iPad 2022 (10th Generation)
  • Striking 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone
  • A14 Bionic chip with 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU
  • 12MP Wide back camera
  • Landscape 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage
  • Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
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01/16/2024 03:58 pm GMT

iPad vs. Laptop: What’s the Difference?

Many people are probably wondering if they can get away with using a tablet as their main computer, especially if tablet chipsets are comparable to desktop computing power. However, these devices are different and offer a different user experience. The performance, battery life, and portability are among the key differences. Each device has pros and cons, so it will be important to consider that before making a choice.

Here are the key differences between the devices to help you choose based on your preferences.

Battery Life

Battery life is an essential feature for many users. You want a device that can last long hours without running out of juice, especially when traveling. iPads offer better battery life than laptops because they do not carry out CPU-intensive tasks requiring more power. The battery is also bigger and occupies most of the internal space. This means you can enjoy playing video games and streaming your favorite movies without going low on battery. The latest iPad models offer over 10 hours of battery life, making them suitable for travel and outdoor use.

Laptops, on the other hand, use power-intensive processors to perform tasks. Their batteries do not occupy much space because of other internal components. Therefore, a fully charged laptop will only last 4-5 hours. This can make it a challenge to use on the go because you must stay close to a power source to recharge every few hours.


iPads are less pricey than many laptops. If you compare the iPad Pro 12.9 inch and the corresponding  MacBook Pro, the iPad is cheaper by almost half of the MacBook price. Even if you were to buy keyboard extensions and a mouse, the cost would still not match up. However, there are budget laptops in the market, so the decision will depend on whether you want an iPad’s portability or a laptop’s performance.

The price for iPads ranges between $300 to $1,000, while laptops typically range between $400 and $3,000, depending on the model. It is possible to find laptops for under $300, especially during a sale. When shopping for budget options, be sure you don’t compromise on performance and features.

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01/17/2024 03:15 pm GMT


Laptops deliver unrivaled performance because of their robust processor and ample internal storage. The more premium models have a dedicated GPU for gaming, video editing, sharing files, and running other highly demanding applications at faster speeds. The iPad’s performance is limited because it lacks the CPU and large storage capacities. It is, therefore, best suited for more straightforward tasks like listening to music, browsing the internet, social media, and note-taking.

Due to the intensity of its functions, laptops tend to overheat and therefore are fitted with a cooling system that occupies much space. This explains why laptops tend to be bigger than iPads. If you are running high-demand applications or want to multitask, opening multiple applications and sites simultaneously, you are better off with a laptop.


If you are constantly on the move, you will appreciate the portability of an iPad. These devices are light and thin and can fit in small travel bags. The good thing with these devices is that you can use them anywhere in social gatherings, dining tables, or waiting bays without feeling inconvenienced. You can also use them to scribble quick notes, catch up with the news, or reply to messages while on the go.

Laptops, on the other hand, though portable, are not easy to use in all places like iPads and other tablets. Most laptops weigh around 5 pounds compared to the iPad’s 3 pounds.


An iPad can be described as a big phone with added features. This is because they exclusively function on touch, just like phones. However, you can buy a keyboard extension and mouse if you want to use it as a computer. This means you will limit its portability because you will always tag the keyboard along. Laptops come with keyboards attached out of the box, so you will not have separate items or extensions unless you want to use a wireless mouse.

Apple provides a writing tool called Apple Pencil for the iPad, making it unique and more attractive. You can scribble notes and create graphs and draw on advanced apps. This gives it an advantage over laptops because they do not have such features. iPads also have a SIM slot, which is something laptops do not have. This allows you to connect data directly from your iPad and start browsing. With laptops, you must connect to an external Wi-Fi to access content online.

Best for Drawing
Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)
  • Imperceptible lag
  • Tilt and pressure sensitivity
  • Magnetically attaches to the iPad
  • Charges wirelessly
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01/17/2024 12:19 am GMT

Ease of Use

An iPad is easy to use right out of the box. It is user-friendly, so you can get started without any training. It’s not unusual to see kids use iPads to watch and download content (and it’s safe to assume they aren’t techies).

However, the same cannot be said of laptops. Some laptops require a level of skill to operate. They are not as straightforward as iPads and might take you time to figure out, especially if you are not familiar with computers.


Laptops have larger displays compared to iPads. This makes it convenient to use for extended periods without straining your eyes. It is comfortable because you don’t have to hold it close when watching movies or gaming. It also offers better image clarity and high resolutions compared to iPads. Pick a laptop over an iPad if you prefer a bigger screen when working.

HP omen laptop on display
Laptops offer improved performance and graphics when compared to an iPad due to its larger size and more advanced processor.

iPad vs. Laptop: Pros and Cons

There are several reasons one would pick an iPad over a laptop and vice versa. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each of them.


Compact, lightweight, and highly portable, making them ideal for travelNot ideal for multitasking because only one app is visible at a time
Lasts up to 10 hours on a single chargeHas limited internal storage capacity
Has SIM support meaning they can be used as communication gadgets for short texts, social media, and callsTheir processors cannot perform complex tasks such as video editing and graphics
iPads are relatively cheaper than most laptopsHas a smaller display compared to laptops
Has an Apple Pencil for scribbling notes and drawingOnly suitable for simple gaming


Allows users to open multiple apps giving a full desktop experienceThey are heavier and bigger than iPads, so they may not be ideal for people on-the-go
Ideal for professionals and users working on high-demand applicationsTouch screen features are limited to some laptops
High computing power compared to iPadsThey have a shorter battery life compared to iPads
The larger display makes them comfortable for daily use
Has a built-in keyboard for better functioning
High storage capacity allows for storing and transferring large files, installing apps, games, and much more without affecting performance
Some laptops have dedicated graphic cards for heavy-duty gaming
Have multiple HDMI and USB ports for connecting to external hard drives, printers, and other devices

iPad vs. Laptop: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • iPads run on iPadOS while laptops run on different OS, depending on the manufacturer, with the most popular being Android, iOS, and ChromeOS.
  • The first iPad was released in 2010, while laptops have been around since the 1980s.
  • iPad compatibility is only limited to Apple applications, while most laptops except Apples MacBooks are compatible with most applications.
  • iPads are lighter than laptops, making them more portable.
  • iPads have touchscreens, a feature that is only limited to some laptops.
Best Budget Apple Tablet
Apple iPad 2022 (10th Generation)
  • Striking 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone
  • A14 Bionic chip with 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU
  • 12MP Wide back camera
  • Landscape 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage
  • Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 03:58 pm GMT

iPad vs. Laptop: Which One is Better for You?

iPad and laptops are both excellent devices with different designs, builds, features, and uses. Whether you need a laptop or iPad depends on your needs and preferences.

A laptop is the best option if you are an avid gamer or a professional who requires high computing power for highly demanding applications and tasks. On the other hand, if you need to perform simple tasks like browsing, chatting on social media, and streaming music and videos, an iPad will serve you better.

Both devices have different price points. iPads are generally more affordable than most high-end laptops. Although there are budget laptops, check the specifications because different brands offer different features at different price ranges. If you travel a lot, an iPad is ideal for portability and battery life. Whichever device you choose, check whether it fits your specific needs and budget.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is better, using an iPad or a laptop?

An iPad is slimmer, lighter, and more compact for portability. The latest iPads have advanced features that allow you to do most of what computers do. However, they are limited in some aspects, such as storage, computing power, and multitasking capabilities. Laptops have more storage and more computing power for more demanding applications.

Can an iPad do everything a laptop can?

iPads are mostly suited for simple tasks like browsing, chatting on social media, and streaming music. They don’t have the processing capabilities to handle intensive tasks like graphics and heavy-duty gaming.

What is the difference between a laptop, iPad, and a tablet?

iPads run on Apple’s proprietary iOS, while most tablets are powered by Android and therefore are much more compatible with popular apps and software.

What are iPads used for?

iPads can perform different tasks such as making and receiving calls, browsing the internet, managing music files, photos, and videos, and downloading productivity apps from the app store.

Is an iPad worth it?

Yes, an iPad is a worthy investment because it is compact, lightweight, and highly portable, making it ideal for travel. Unlike laptops, iPads can last up to 10 hours on a single charge. They also have SIM cellular capabilities meaning they can be used as communication gadgets for short texts, social media, and calls. They are relatively cheaper than most laptops and have an Apple Pencil for scribbling notes and drawing.

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