I have encountered a lot of people who need help figuring out whether they should go for an iPad or a laptop. You can debate on this topic with any technical person how ever much you want but it all boils down to one simple question, “What is it that you need?”
People are often mislead to believe that both the iPad and laptop are interchangeable and can serve the same basic needs. Lets just stop you right there! While they are both manifestations of the 21st century they do not in any way, I repeat do not furnish similar purposes.
So what you need depends on a number of factors. Let’s explore each of them individually.
Factor number one: Do you need something for regular browsing or heavy processing?
For regular browsing like checking out various websites, logging in to your favourite social networks or some relatively low key activities your iPad will serve you perfectly. But if you are a web developer, a designer or an architect and are looking for a device that can run your software and garner results then you definitely need a laptop. A tablet is a miniature form of laptop. Sure it’s handy and easy to carry around, but its “petiteness” (if you would like to call it) comes at a price. An iPad in no way has all the regular features of a laptop thus running heavy softwares on a device such as an iPad will only ruin your iPad experience.
Factor number two: What battery life are you hoping for?
If you are looking for something that has a really significant battery life then you should definitely buy an iPad. An iPad can work without battery for at least 8 hours; whereas a laptop requires frequent charging. The odds are that your laptop will only work without being plugged in to a power socket and with a full battery for three to four hour tops. So if regular browsing is what you want a device for and you do not want to remain stuck to a power socket after a few hours every day then you are in need of an iPad.
Factor number three: Are you looking for something to carry around all the time?
While a lot of people look good carrying a satchel or a bag I can assure you it doesn’t feel good carrying a heavy load in it. No matter how light weight or small your laptop might be an iPad will still weigh less. Where you can carry an iPad around comfortably I assure you doing the same with a laptop is a far fetched fantasy.
So if you are looking for a travel companion or something that you can take on to various locations and remain connected to the world an iPad would make for an excellent companion. A laptop will only fail you miserably, you would need to look for a constant power source and I find it quite hard to see people trekking or doing any regular activity with ease while they are carrying a laptop.
Factor number four: What do you find more convenient?
If we compare both the contenders in terms of the ease of use the conclusion that we can draw forth is that it’s far easier to use an iPad then it is to use a laptop. You can place an iPad in quite a large number of positions and use it quite easily too. But you can not do the same with a laptop. With recent research inching closer everyday to the hypothesis that laptop radiation is harmful for humans there is an increasing need to use a cooling pad with a laptop. The laptop and a cooling pad make a heavy combination; something that a lot of people would not like to put up with unnecessarily.
Factor number four: How quick do you want things done?
A laptop requires quite a lot of time to reboot but an iPad gets functioning the instant you unlock it. Even when it is on stand by an iPad will keep count of all your mails or social network alerts and you can access them within minutes. This is not the case with a laptop. It has no applications embedded in it. You need to access various sites to get to your alerts. Though there are an increasing number of websites that offer desktop notifications and desktop applications but they are not as easy to use as the applications on an iPad.
Factor number five: How much storage are you looking for?
There is no way that the internal storage in an iPad will even come close to that which is present in a laptop. I have seen a lot of users store their data on the cloud when they are using an iPad, this might seem convenient to some but it turns in to quite a challenge when you are some place where you cannot access the net and thus your data on the cloud. So if you are looking for greater storage space then you are in need of a laptop.
Factor number six: Is file compatibility going to be a challenge for you?
A common issue that people with iPad have to face is that they have to suffer from file compatibility issues. A lot of file formats do not work on the iPad this means that you could have some issues in doing your office work. Not only that you can also have a lot of issues when it comes to playing certain video formats. You might have to convert a lot of videos to mp4, sounds to mp3 and pictures to JPG before they can be displayed using the iPad.
A laptop on the other hand can work with a huge number of formats. Rarely will you ever have to suffer from file incompatibility issues when you are using a laptop.
Use the above mentioned factors to understand what you need properly and make the right decision.