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iPad vs Laptop pros and cons: Can you Replace a Laptop with an iPad?

When comparing an iPad vs Laptop pros and cons to find out which one is better, a number of factors are very important to consider.

For example, whether you want a device to replace your laptop or whether you just want an equally powerful but easy to carry iPad instead of a bulky laptop.

Due to easy mouse and keyboard compatibility, an iPad will perfom as a a perfect laptop replacement. An iPad features a number of advantages compared to a laptop.

For example, the tablet features a large touch sensitive screen that reacts to the standard Apple Pencil Nib. The screens touch senstivity, brightness and high resolution display allows easy navigation and drawing.

Laptops on the other hand are rarely touch sensitive and are no as portable as iPads. They are bulkier and come with a compact keyboard and touch pad.

When using iPads or laptops you will notice that each has its own share of advantages and disadvantages. For example some laptops are easily upgradable while iPads are rigid and unupgradable.

In this post, we will compare iPads vs Laptops and come up with Pros and Cons for each. Understanding the difference between the two will help you understand which one to choose for your specific tasks.

ipad vs laptop
ipad vs laptop

Advantages of an iPad over Laptops

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is currently the best iPad available. Here are some of its advantages over laptops.

Power and Perfomance

If you are looking for a powerful iPad, that will perfom complex tasks without any lags, the iPad Pro is the best. Compared to many Windows laptops that come with intel Core i5 or i7 processors, the iPad Pro comes with a more powerful M2 Chip processor with up to 8, 16 or 32 GB RAM.

This specs will run video editing or animation without problems.

Use Friendliness

iPads feature a sleek and modern look that can be used with both a wireles keyboard and mouse or without. This design is comfortable and is way better than the outdated look on compact laptops that come fused to keyboards and mouse pads.


iPads are slim and lightweight. This makes them easy to carry compared to heavier and bulkier laptops. Additionally, they feature a longer 10 hour battery life compared to laptops with only 8 hours long battery life.

iPads are smaller and do not require a lot of accessories to carry around. You can easily use a tablet without any other accessory, just an Apple Pencil. A laptop is bigger and bulkier. Additionally, you will need to have a mouse and physical inbuilt keyboard connected on the laptop to use.

Better Screen

All iPads feature a touch screen interface that is more intuitive and user friendly. Most Laptops are not touch screens and feature an old, less clear screen display.

The Liquid Retina screen display on iPads is one of the best in the industry. iPads like many other tablets have access to a wider range of software and applications on the App store compared to laptops.

Battery Life

The reduced size and compact design on iPads make them easy to conserve power making them have a long battery life compared to laptops. The design on laptops on the other hand requires a fan and cooling system that results in loss of power hence a low battery life.

For example, the Apple iPad Pro battery can run up to 10 hours which is close to a whole working day. This is almost twice as long as most premium laptops.


iPads are relatively cheaper than laptops. When considering this aspect however, you need to consider laptops that match up to the iPads power and perfomance. Even when you factor the additional keyboard and mouse, the price of iPads is lower than corresponding Macbooks.

Better Applications Like SIRI

iPads come with better inbuilt applications like SIRI. I find Windows applications on laptops rigid and boring to use. For example Safari is a cool browser that comes with the iPadOS. Microsoft Edge browser on Windows is nowhere near as good. You will have to install most applications for your laptops.

Advantages of Laptops over iPads

Laptops are created with a workstation in mind rather than a fun gadget. For this reason, they feature more powerful hardware and are more suitable for complex tasks. iPads are more expensive compared to laptops despite the lower storage space and lesser power.

The iPad has a comfortable interface when carrying out simple fun tasks such as reading and writing. However a Laptop is more preferable when you intend to work on complex projects.

With technological improvement touch screen laptops have come up with an intuitive touch screen interface.


iPads come with a wider variety of storage options. However, it is not possible to upgrade the storage space without buying the next iPad size. Android tablets and some laptops can be upgraded up to 1 TB using s MicroSD card.

Gaming Experience

Laptops are built for heavt complex tasks. Although iPads will provide a good basic gaming experience, they are not as good as laptops for complex games. Fortunately, with improvements the new M1 and M2 chip processors are almost as good as laptops.

What’s the difference between an iPad and a laptop?

An iPad is a tablet computer planned to be used while holding it in your hand. A laptop is a portable computer that is targeted to be placed on your lap when you use it.

An iPad features a light and small body and build and is used using fingers, a Stylus or Pencil to select and navigate. They are less expensive than laptops but have less powerful features because they are not necessarily aimed as working devices.

Laptops are traditionally meant to be used with a mouse or trackpad on their body and an external keyboard as an input device. They were targeted to be portable workstations and therefore pack more power than iPads as they are expected to perform professional tasks.

iPads run on iOS operating systems while most laptops work with Windows OS. This is however ultimately based on user preference.

iPad vs Laptop: Apple Pencil vs Mouse

First all Laptops must come with a mouse included in the price, mostly as a trackpad on the base of the laptop’s body. If you use an external mouse, it is compatible with any laptop as long as it is connected. 

Apple Pencils on the other hand, are bought separately from the iPad tablets. Additionally there are 2 types Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2. Each of them are compatible with some iPads and not others and can not be used interchangeably.

Is an iPad better than a laptop?

Choosing either of the 2 is determined by user requirements for the devices. If you need a simple, highly portable device and prefer iOS, then an iPad is more preferable.

If you however need a larger display, more power and need to stay for longer hours working on professional work, then the laptop is ideal.

Once you determine what you want to do with the device and the applications you intend to use, you can easily know which one to choose.  Here are some questions that can help you decide.

  1. Do I need a gadget for complex jobs and CPU intensive software?
  2. Do I need a large screen?
  3. Do I need a keyboard?
  4. Is a stylus more comfortable than a mouse depending on how I want to use it?
  5. Do I need it for work or recreational use?

If you are planning to buy a new iPad, it must have crossed your mind whether to go for an iPad with cellular connectivity or one without.

An iPad with cellular capabilities is worth more than one without. However, is it worth the extra money? Do you need it? In this article, we will answer all these questions and more about the pros and cons of iPads with cellular options.

You might also have asked yourself whether you can use an iPad as a Phone or cellular device. The answer is yes. However, some specific iPads have this capability and not others.

Pros and Cons of iPad With Cellular

Due to their high demand, iPads with a cellular option have remained relevant for a while now. Here are some of their advantages and disadvantages that will help you know whether to choose one or not.

  1. Data Streaming
  2. Portable Internet Connection
  3. The Global Positioning System (GPS)
  4. Remote Working
  5. Data Security

Data Streaming

A cellular connection on your iPad will ensure that you will be able to stream movies, podcasts, and Spotify thanks to a regular internet connection.

Generally, a cellular iPad will keep you entertained with various online platforms such as Netflix, YouTube, and many more. 

Portable Internet Connection

When using a noncellular tablet, you are dependent on WIFI networks to connect to the internet. 

If you have an iPad with a cellular connection, you have a reliable internet connection that you can use to stream videos and watch movies anywhere you go even without a WIFI network. For the best user experience, a 5 G-enabled iPad tablet will be the best thanks to its high connectivity speeds.

The Global Positioning System (GPS)

A WIFI and cellular-enabled iPad will come with a GPS or Global Positioning System chip. This will help you use your iPad as a locating or navigation device.

This comes in handy when navigating an outdoor adventure or when you simply want to send your PIN location to someone.

Remote Working

If you like working out of the office, then a reliable internet connection will come in handy. This can only be possible with a cellular iPad. It is one of the few fully portable workstations.

Just like a noncellular iPad, you can easily connect your iPad to a Magic Keyboard to create a powerful laptop alternative for your work.

A Cellular iPad equally connects with these accessories but has an internet connectivity advantage over non-cellular iPads.

Data Security

Having your internet connection will reduce the chances of connecting to public WIFI networks which can be risky to your data privacy. It will ensure that your data is always safe with you.

Cons of iPad with Cellular

Although it seems to be perfect, a cellular iPad still has its fair share of disadvantages that can otherwise make some users opt for the noncellular option.

The price is a deal breaker for most users. A cellular iPad is more expensive compared to a regular one. Usually, it is not a lot but 150 to 200$ difference is a big difference for most users.

A cellular iPad will need you to pay for a SIM card bundle subscription to access the internet which can be costly. WIFI iPads do not need you to pay as long as you have the WIFI login credentials.

WIFI iPad vs Cellular iPad difference

Apple iPads can either be WIFI network connection options or WIFI and Cellular options. The WIFI option is usually common. The WIFI + Cellular option can both connect to WIFI or use a SIM card for internet connection. 

As discussed above, the WIFI + Cellular has more added functionality options compared to the WIFI option. However, it is slightly more expensive to purchase. 

For example, an 11-inch WIFI + cellular iPad will cost 200$ more than a same-sized WIFI-only iPad.

Overall all other features are the same so you need to be keen when you buy to read the features of the one you want. On the Amazon store, the specifications, and cellular and noncellular features are indicated.

  1. Which is better iPad vs Laptop?

    Laptops and iPads have different advantages and disadvantages over each other. However, choosing which one is better between the 2 is dependent on the end goal you have regarding the usage of the device.
    It is important to note that with introduction of M1 and M2 processors on iPad have made them capable of rivaling most laptops in terms of performance and functionality.

  2. What are the Benefits of a Cellular iPad?

    Easy Data Streaming
    Portable Internet Connection
    Easy Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation
    Remote Working
    Data Security