As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs. You can read our complete legal information for more details.
When consider an iPad vs Laptop and the pros and cons between the two; its important to consider whether or not you want to replace your laptop with your iPad. Doing so will allow you the capabilities of a laptop when you add a wireless keyboard and mouse as an attachment.
There are a few advantages of using an iPad rather than a MacBook. These include a touch screen that is both super portable and will let you use an Apple Pencil or stylus to draw, write, and enhanced navigation of the screen. It will also provide additional apps you can’t find on traditional devices, and most importantly the extreme portability and durability a tablet provides.
An iPad is more portable than a phone and more convenient than a Laptop. However a iPad is not “upgradable” the same way a laptop is.
However, it is more of a luxury than a necessity for many… That is, until your phone battery dies and you really need another device (and you don’t want to wait)
Unless you’re getting a touchscreen laptop, then an iPad or tablet will provide a number of benefits and disadvantages that are to be considered. In this post I’ll go over the pros and cons, compare the differences, and provide alternative and in-depth knowledge on choosing an iPad versus a laptop.
Advantages of an iPad over a laptop
iPads had apparent advantages over laptops since their appearance, but the number of things they can do better has been enlarged significantly by technology over the years.
If you prefer having an ultimately portable, lightweight but also powerful device that will easily cope with your everyday needs, then the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air are probably the perfect choices.
Let’s dive more deeply into the advantages of the latest iPads over laptops:
Related: Ways to Write and Draw on a Non Touch Screen Laptop
Many models of the iPad are 4x lighter, 3x thinner, and almost half as big as MacBooks; allowing you not only to carry, but also use them almost everywhere.
Any action that you can do on your phone such a shopping on Amazon or writing notes down on a girl can be done in an iPad instantaneously. Compare this to using a laptop for the same scenario and you won’t be able to as quickly or stress free. Opening the laptop and booting it up takes a minute and you have to set it down to use it properly.
See our post: How Often Should I Shut Down my MacBook?
Being able to use an iPad on the couch or at the dinner table or in social gatherings to display a YouTube video, Instagram feed, tick tock and other social apps is extremely convenient because can see the screen on the fly (And you won’t have to use a Bulky laptop or MacBook Pro to do so)
iPads are less expensive than laptops. For example, the iPad Pro 12.9 inch (the most powerful iPad) costs half as much as the corresponding MacBook Pro. even if you were to buy a wireless keyboard and mouse the iPad would still be able to likely cost less than most MacBooks.
Now, if you’re looking to use a cheap laptop versus an iPad, and it’s up to you if you want to trade the portability of a tablet for the performance of the laptop.
The modern design of the iPads for most people, including us, beats the outdated design of most laptops. It’s extremely user-friendly to use an iPad. Navigating the iPad is much more smooth than the standard laptop because it has a touchscreen and is designed for this purpose.
The iPad environment is intuitive, which makes it easy to be used by everyone, no matter their age or tech expertise.
Better Battery life
When it comes to battery, the full-day autonomy an iPad offers, can be competed by only a few laptops on the market. It seems the iPad doesn’t perform as many advanced CPU intensive tasks like a laptop will and perhaps this is why many experts report longer battery duration, as well as battery length per session.
For example the iPad Air offers an all day battery about to 10 1/2 hours.
For more on the iPad battery, see our post: How to Fix iPhone Battery Draining Overnight
Previous models of the iPad was roughly half that; we can be agreed that we technology advancing tablets are catching up to the usefulness in power of laptops, but its not quite complete there just yet.
Apple has developed a vast number of free and paid apps to control all of your regular tasks like safari browser, mails, calendar, alarm clock, notepad, word processors, etc.
In fact most people of any age can use one without too many issues or frustration… The same can’t be said for using a MacBook, which can provide many advanced apps and that the iPad cannot.
If your using the laptop for Autocad, then see our post: 9 Best Laptops for AutoCAD (Designers Guide
You might not be able to play high-end, GPU demanding, PC games but iPads offer numerous games for the whole family, including your pets. After all, what’s more hilarious than watching your cat messing with fish mimicking games or jumping on the screen to grab different graphics.
The Laptop will win vs the iPad or tablet in every scenario when it comes to serious gaming. However, many tables, especially iPad Pro with the M1 chips are becoming much more useful for gaming than previous models. Even so, it’s unlikely for us to expect streamers to be swapping over instantly from laptop to iPad.
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Although laptops also support e-books, reading on an iPad is easier, as an iPad allows you to read everywhere and it feels like holding a real book. While, I still consider a Kindle paperwhite or kobo Clara, a tablet can still be used as an E reader. However if you’re using it only for reading you could consider the Amazon fire HD versus the kindle paper white and weigh out the pros and cons.
Best Cases for Fire HD 8 & 8+ with Stand, Keyboard, Cover
Having access to Apple’s digital assistant is another important advantage of iPads over laptops, as Siri helps you keep track of your schedule, set alarms, text people, and much more without touching the screen of your device.
The iPads’ advantage of having a cellular data connection makes it a great stand-alone, alternative GPS device for your trips. Using an iPad as a GPS replacement can be really useful it is one of the main reasons someone may choose an iPad or a laptop.
Best iPad Hand Holders & iPad Cases with a pencil holder
The ability to write and draw visual notes, and the rest designing capabilities of the apple pencil, is another big advantage of iPads over Laptops. Being able to use an Apple Pencil and iPad over it Wacom, digital pencil, or graphics tablet with a stylus is extremely useful for teachers and benefits both remote learning and students in the classroom.
The latest iPads support extensions that help to transform them into laptops, from keyboards with trackpads and mouses, to multi-port hubs for the connection with external devices. This allows for better capability that more closely matches that of a laptop, but with tablet functionality.
We have a full guide on how to turn your iPad into a laptop that can be followed quite easily depending on your needs.
The alternatives are also using a touchscreen laptop instead if you’d like the best of both worlds. In most cases, this is a bit more pricey for the specs and hardware that come with it.
Advantages of having a laptop over an iPad
On the other hand, laptops also have unique advantages over iPads and these advantages are the main reason why certain categories of people will continue to prefer owning a laptop over an iPad.
If you always put comfort over design and portability and you need devices that can easily handle demanding software or games, then you should definitely consider a laptop or a desktop as your main device.
See our post: How to use iPad as a Phone replacement
Let’s have a look at the core advantages of the laptops over iPads:
Gaming is one of the strongest advantages of laptops over iPads. There is an enormous amount of laptops developed for you to play high-end, modern PC games like PUBG, which are unplayable on an iPad. Laptop simply provide a much more powerful graphics card and they are also a upgradable.
Laptops offer wider displays that are larger by 2-4 inches in many cases. Laptops more comfortable to use than a Tablet or iPad, especially if you use your device for many hours every day.
The only scenario where an iPad would be more ideal is if you value mobility over stationary work. For example, you can use an iPad on your couch or while traveling with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse; the display may be smaller but it may be easier to use compared to a bulky laptop.
If you’r using your Mac for music production, you’ll likely want a larger screen. See more on this on our Top 3 MacBooks for Music Production [Buyers guide]
The display on a laptop can often be useful because you don’t have to hold the laptop up in the same way you do a tablet – it has a built-in stand compared to requiring a additional external accessory.
Although iPads have been improved a lot, laptops still have the advantage of effortless multitasking, especially when you need to open more than 3 windows (two applications + browser for example) at the same time.
The amount of storage a laptop offers is on average larger than a tablet, in most cases upgradable, and thus can’t be compared with the iPad’s smaller SSDs. However, iPads and tablets have become much more technologically advanced and are catching up with the storage capacity of a laptop.
Demanding software – Business use
Along with the benefits of a full keyboard, the faster processors in most laptops make them better than iPads for office work, as laptops will easily handle demanding software, advanced spreadsheets, and word processing.
For more info, see our post: Can an iPad Replace a Laptop for a College Student?
Ipad Air vs laptop: pros and cons
Could everyone use an iPad Air instead of a laptop? The answer is no. However, many people don’t need the high-end CPU and GPU performance of a laptop in their everyday life.
If you are one of those people, then we suggest you take a look at the advantages of an iPad Air over laptops first, and then make your choice by taking into account the pros and cons of each alternative.
If while reading this list, you were thinking that those advantages are actually priorities for you, then the iPad Air is probably the best device for you. The iPad Air offers a high-quality, 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, which might be smaller than most laptop screens but has stunning details and vibrant colors.
To sum up, the new iPad Air is a great option for those in need of an ultimately portable, inexpensive (compared to an iPad Pro and most laptops), and powerful device that will easily cope with all basic everyday tasks like browsing or video streaming, while offering unique features and apps such as apple pencil and Siri, that prove to be really useful.
Ipad Pro vs laptop: pros and cons
The title Apple uses to advertise the new iPad Pro is “Your next computer is not a computer”. With this statement, Apple officially argues that the iPad Pro is faster than most laptops, easily transformed from a tablet to a high-end computer and vice versa, and in overall a better choice for your main device, than most laptops out there.
Let’s have a look at the iPad Pro’s advantages over laptops:
The iPad Pro includes a stunning, 10.9-inch or 12.9 inch (iPad Pro Max) Liquid Retina display, the A12Z CPU which will swallow everything you throw at it without delays, and one of the fastest and most compact SSDs on the market. This build, combined with 6GB RAM, makes the iPad Pro more powerful than all entry-level but also some high-level laptops.
To summarize, the new iPad Pro offers everything an iPad Air contains, plus a bigger display, better CPU performance (can be compared with high-end computing systems), more storage, and a better camera. Thus, it is definitely the right option for those who want to purchase the most powerful portable device out there.
Do I need an iPad if I have a Macbook?
Is it worth to have both a laptop and an iPad? The Touchscreen allows for so many different uses and having both work together quite well. The most important thing to consider for answering this question, is what will an iPad offer that your laptop can’t?
If you will use the iPad, then getting one is beneficial – it will provide a portability and convenience factor that can’t be beaten by a MacBook Air or standard Laptop.
As mentioned, it’s easier to slip your iPad into a purse or briefcase when you’re on the go because they are light and more compact than laptops. Using a laptop while walking or standing can be difficult, but with an iPad, you can literally use it anywhere and any way you want with ease. A few days ago for example, I saw a guy grocery shopping with an iPad in his hands.
How Long Does a MacBook Pro Battery Last? | Updated 2021
Moreover, there are several situations where having an iPad could be really useful. During a discussion in MacRumors, a user argues: “Can I, or do I even want to use an iPad for 100% of my job? No. But, I’ve been in emergent situations where I was ‘off the clock’ and all I had was my tablet and was able to take care of business.”
In a few words, I wouldn’t call purchasing an iPad if you have a Macbook, an absolute necessity. However, most people agree that the differences between an iPad and a Macbook, and the unique features of an iPad, make it a great supportive device that will prove to be useful, even if you already own a MacBook.
Differences between an iPad and a laptop
The differences between an iPad and a laptop are depicted by their Operating System. Although the iPads are, for the first time, really closed to be called real computers, Apple’s iPadOS remind us of their primary use. IPads are, and will continue to be, tablets, but that’s not a bad thing.
By being a tablet, an iPad provides the ultimate portability a laptop will never have, a multi-touch display on which we can draw or write, cellular data and other useful mobile features like Siri or GPS. Accordingly, iPads are the best Hybrid Devices, as you can transform them to laptops, by adding a keyboard with trackpad and a mouse.
The option to do that, combined with the laptop-like environment the iPadOS 14 offers, make the iPads a great option for almost everyone.
And I say almost everyone, as there are tasks that iPads just can’t handle, mainly because of high CPU and GPU demands.
For instance, a MacBook Pro will always be the winner when it comes to handling computing software, music or video editing and other complicated programs that many people use daily. Accordingly, we really can’t generalise and say a laptop or iPad is better than the other, as it all depends upon you as a user and your workload.
How to use an iPad as a laptop
You can use an iPad as a laptop by simply adding a keyboard, a mouse, and optionally mirroring your iPad screen to an external monitor.
There are a few different tablet accessories that will turn your iPad into a MacBook or laptop. Now, of course you’ll miss out on the increased speed and performance of a laptop, but you’ll still be able to do everything you can on an iPad or tablet.
See our post on How to turn your Ipad into a computer (Complete guide).
What’s more, is that you’ll be able to draw and write on the laptop screen itself which is some thing a standard non touchscreen laptop simply cannot do without adding a stylus, drawing pad, or digital whiteboard.
In this post, I compared the iPad vs Laptop in-depth, and discussed all the pros and cons of using an iPad as a laptop.
iPads can replace a laptop in scenarios where a laptop proves too clunky, like web or video browsing on the couch.
The iPad’s stock software is a major pro and con. Some advanced apps run a bit more slow compared to a laptop, yet iPhoto and iMovie are easy to navigate and can be a very useful tool for editing picture when the need arises.
The Camera App is also very useful, as it comes with an array of filters and photo manipulation tools that most other apps do not offer. Apps can also be downloaded, which allow users to expand their iPad’s capabilities to closer match that of a laptop
Comparing the laptop vs iPad, the iPad has the benefit of portability, convenience and intermittent usage. It’s similar to having a more powerful, larger smartphone. A Laptop, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro on the other hand is more powerful and is more of a workstation for business, and longer use tasks such as serious gaming.