Chromebook vs. iPad: Which One Should You Get?

Today, when you think of buying a computer, you have many options to choose from, including desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. However, tablets and laptops are more popular due to their portability and convenience. When making a purchase decision, it gets incredibly hard to figure out which one of these options you should choose. While tablets are super versatile, laptops are super thin and more functional.

The best example of these is an iPad and a Chromebook. Both iPads and Chromebooks are more affordable than traditional laptops, which leaves people wondering which one is the best choice. But before you get into making that decision, you should know that neither of these options is a replacement for each other. They both are the best in what they claim to do.

But if you do have to make that choice, we have created a Chromebook vs. iPad comparison guide for you below. After reading this guide, you will be able to make an informed decision about it.

Chromebook vs. iPad: Which One Should You Get?

The first aspect to consider when comparing a Chromebook and an iPad is their functionality. An iPad is a tablet running iPadOS, while a Chromebook is a laptop powered by Chrome OS. You can think of Chrome OS as a Chrome browser with everything stored in your browser.

On the other hand, iPads are tablets developed by Apple that have local apps in addition to the default Safari browser. You can download these apps for free or for a cost at the Apple Store. While both of these devices have different structures, they both are great for various use cases.  

The Difference in Terms of Price and Models

One of the basic differences between an iPad and a Chromebook is the purchasing choices they come with. There are various iPad models that you can choose from. However, all of them have the same manufacturer (Apple) and the same functionality. On the other hand, Chromebooks come in different specifications and models and are manufactured by various manufacturers, including Google, Samsung, Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, and Lenovo.

If you want to compare the two in terms of price, then there is a huge difference in their prices. A high-end Chromebook would still cost you less than a high-end iPad. You can get a decent Chromebook for less than $200. However, there is not even a single model of iPad that costs $200 or less.

A high-end Chromebook can cost you between $600 – $900. On the other hand, a high-end iPad would cost you between $1,000 – $2,000 for the fully loaded models. Add to that the cost of a keyboard and a mouse, as these devices do not come with a built-in keyboard.

The Difference in Terms of Performance

In addition to the difference in their cost, another important aspect that you should compare these devices against is their performance, as that is what matters the most when it comes to buying gadgets.

Chromebooks are packed with limited RAM, CPU, and storage, which makes them incompatible for heavy workloads, multitasking, and power-heavy apps. Since Chromebooks mostly involve working on the browser, they perform best with apps that are running on a network server or in the cloud. This makes them ideal for people who only want to use their computers for surfing the web, checking their email, or running browser-based apps. This includes elderly people and students.

On the other hand, iPads are ideal for recreational and leisure activities such as playing games, reading books, using social media, or FaceTiming. However, it also proves to be a pretty solid device for professionals who use function-specific apps, such as graphic designers. Even though iPads have lower computational capabilities than a laptop, they cost as much as or more than a traditional laptop due to their portability, premium features, and design.

iPads are actually more convenient in the business world where you require work-heavy devices and portability. Just connect a keyboard with them, and you will have your own portable computer that is lightweight, reliable, and has great battery life.

When comparing the performance of both of these devices, a typical iPad that starts from $329 and comes with an A13 Bionic chip, 64GB storage, and a Neural Engine offers fast speeds for both power-heavy apps and everyday tasks.

On the other hand, an affordable $225 Chromebook with 64GB storage and a MediaTek MTK8173C Processor can easily handle everyday web surfing and productivity apps. However, it cannot power multiple tabs when multitasking or playing power-heavy games, like the iPad. S

Some high-end iPad models by Apple are powered by the fascinating M1 chip by Apple, which is definitely the fastest chip for laptops and tablets. In comparison, there are also some premium models of Chromebooks that are quite fast and quiet, such as the Galaxy Chromebook that costs $999 and comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU. You can even edit your photos or play Android games on this Chromebook, as it comes with Intel UHD Graphics and a built-in media reader.

If all you want to do is surf the web, perform basic computations, check your email, and use Google Suite, a Chromebook would easily get the job done. However, if you want the best performance and value for money, you should consider getting an iPad.

The Difference in Terms of Portability and Lifespan

Another important factor to consider when buying either of these devices is how long they can last you and how portable they are. If you are more of a laptop person, you should get a Chromebook as it is more rugged and can easily withstand rough usage. It is an affordable option that not only offers a traditional laptop-style device but will also last you longer, especially if you are a student. Many Chromebooks are built to withstand humidity, water, sand, vibration, drops, shocks, extreme temperature, and dust.

On the other hand, an iPad has a tablet design and offers lightweight computing with great portability. An iPad mini with an 8.3-inch display is made from 100% aluminum and features an arsenic-free glass display, making it an eco-friendly device. However, it is not built to be as sturdy as a Chromebook. One drop can completely shatter an iPad’s display, resulting in a costly repair.

The Difference in Terms of Accessories and Applications

When it comes to the variety and quality of applications in these devices, iPads definitely have an edge. There are way more applications in an iPad than in a Chromebook. However, Chromebook is rapidly trying to reach the same standard in terms of applications. Apple’s App Store currently has more than 2 million apps, including Zoom, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Google Drive, and more.

On the other hand, Chrome OS usually has web-based apps, such as Google Drive and Chrome. However, you can also download Android apps on a Chromebook by using Google Play Store. That gives you access to a number of productivity and entertainment apps. However, they cannot all run on a laptop.

For functions like video streaming, video conferencing, and online meetings, iPads and Chromebooks both come with a microphone and a camera. You can also connect external devices like monitors, keyboards, and mice to these devices.

However, knowing Apple, you cannot connect all kinds of external devices to an iPad. Some iPad models come with a Lightning connector, some with a USB-C connection, and some with Thunderbolt ports. The latest models can support Apple’s Smart and Magic keyboards. But they can also support peripherals from brands like Logitech and Zagg.

In comparison, nearly all the keyboards are easily compatible with Chromebooks. Moreover, you can easily find a stylus to use with a Chromebook as some Chromebook models are compatible with Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) pens. On the other hand, iPads work with Apple’s stylus, also known as the Apple Pencil. They are only compatible with a handful of other brand styluses.

Bottom Line

Some of the most important factors to consider when getting these devices are their cost, performance, and durability. If you already own a number of Apple devices, such as an iPhone or a MacBook, then you are better off buying an iPad as you will get to enjoy the benefits of the Apple ecosystem. Not only is an iPad more stylish, but it also offers great functionality when used in sync with your other Apple devices. It can easily outperform many laptops. However, you will have to get an Apple keyboard to go along with it if you have to type a lot.

On the other hand, if you don’t own an Apple device and you would rather prefer a computer that offers durability, sturdiness, and long life, you should go for a Chromebook, especially if you are a student. In addition to being incredibly affordable, a Chromebook can easily withstand rough usage.

For more info about Chromebooks, check out our website.

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