Should I buy an iPad or laptop? iPad vs. laptop – tablet vs. laptop

The New York Times had a big technology support article today regarding how consumers are considering buying a tablet over a laptop, more so than in the past. In the past, the past being the last 3-5 years, the tablet, has been more of a nice-to-have secondary device.  Primarily, it has been used as just an Internet and email device.  But, times have changed and the tablets have become more robust, meaning they can do more things just like a laptop can.

So, should your next computer be a laptop or tablet? Let me correct that question by asking if you should buy a laptop or iPad?  As the NY Times pointed out, Apple has the biggest market share, followed by a measly 14% by the Samsung Galaxy.  I am surprised the Samsung actually has that much market share.  In any case the iPad still has about 80% of the market share which leaves Samsung, HP, Dell, and Lenovo in the dust.

Here are the biggest naysayer arguments against the iPad?

  • I can’t type on glass. No worries, just hook up an Apple bluetooth keyboard.  Also, typing on the iPad keyboard tends to be easier as you go along.  Hey, if you have an iPhone, then you’ve already past the learning curve stage.
  • The hard drive is too small. I’ll have no room to save stuff. Everything is so easy to use in the cloud nowadays.  If you’re not saving a picture or doc via email, then you can use DropBox, Google Docs, or another online service.  For music, Apple support is already in the works to create iCloud which will allow you to store your iTunes online.  Hence, there’s no need to have a hard drive for storing music.  Overall, the lack of a big hard drive will actually force you to save stuff online, giving you an instant backup and file sharing folder.  That being said, you can still save files on your iPad.
  • No Microsoft Office, no way! There are a few good alternatives.  Use Google Docs which allows you to edit and save in Microsoft Word.  If online apps is not your thing, you can use LogMeIn for iPad to remote from your iPad to your home or office computer.  Another option is to just run Documents Free to create easy docs and spreadsheets.
  • I can’t print from an iPad. Not true.  With AirPrint, it’s much easier to set up an iPad to print versus a laptop.
  • No USB ports.  I can’t save to an external hard drive. Please refer to my above cloud service comments, but you can also use a very useful app called GoodReader where you can open up your iPad from your desktop or laptop computer and copy files from your iPad to an external hard drive.

So, you can see that I feel that an iPad, if used wisely, is a better choice than a laptop.  It’s cheaper, more portable, and well, it looks just so beautiful!  I’d be hard pressed to find something a laptop can do that an iPad can’t do better.  That being said, if you’re the type to not want to learn new tricks, then stick with your safe laptop choice.  But, keep in mind both devices will have the same computer issues whether iPad issues or laptop issues.  After all, they are computers!

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