Difference Between iPad 2 and Laptop

iPad 2 vs Laptop

iPad 2 and Laptop are portable computational cum entertainment devices. When Apple launched iPad in January 2010, it promoted it as a cross between an Apple iPhone and iPod Touch with added capabilities of computing making it a tablet PC. Apple did not intend it to be a device to eat into laptop market as such. It can certainly do some tasks that your laptop can do, and also some that your iPhone can, but it can replace neither. Theoretically, it can do some of the simpler tasks you do with your laptop but to expect anything more would do injustice to this innovative and stunning device by Apple. This article intends to highlight the difference between iPad 2 and laptop so as to dispel or rather clarify the doubts in the minds of the people who are confused if they should buy a laptop or the latest iPad 2.

In the words of Steve Jobs himself, iPad 2 is not better than laptops, it is just cheaper. This pretty much sums up once and for all, any attempt to try a comparison or to try to prove iPad 2 as superior to laptops. If anything, iPad 2 is far better than some of the netbooks available in the market. And this is what brings it closer to laptops. Apple knows the mentality of the people which is to go for things that are simple to use and this is one concept that is exemplified in iPad 2. The user interface is what makes it terrific, even a 5 year old kid can easily operate it.

Lack of a physical keyboard

When you compare iPad 2 with laptops, you find that the main difference is the lack of a physical keyboard which is the lifeblood of any PC or laptop. iPad 2 has a full QWERTY touchscreen keyboard that takes some time to get used to for someone who has been working with a physical keyboard on his laptop. No doubt virtual keyboard is fine in a smartphone for writing emails, but for writing long texts, lack of physical keyboard disappoints users.

The lack of briefcase designing of a laptop

Those who are used to opening up the screen of their laptop and start working with the keyboard will find that iPad 2 is rather like a tablet, to more precisely like a slate without any hinges.

Problems with applications

The main problem starts when you try to install applications. No doubt there are thousands of applications available from Apple’s app store, but you cannot download anything from the net and install on your iPad 2. Another disappointing aspect is lack of full multitasking which is so easy on any laptop. Ostensibly Apple did it intentionally to prevent users from trying to run too many applications thus bogging down the tablet.

Battery is irreplaceable

The battery supplied with iPad 2 is inbuilt and the user just cannot replace it unlike laptops where it is easy to replace a battery.

No provision to increase storage capacity

One big difference between iPad 2 and laptop is the fact that though it comes with a decent storage capacity, there is no way a user can increase it using an external device which is easy with laptops. You can only get an upgraded version as and when Apple makes it.

Web experience

Laptops are known for the ease with which one can connect to the net and surf all the sites seamlessly. This becomes a little problematical on iPad 2 as it is a bit slower than normal laptops and also unable to open many sites because of the requirements of flash. However, with pinch to zoom feature, it is fun to bring the page closer to view it easily. The touch screen is amazingly receptive and scrolling down a web page is as easy as Apple claims.

Content creation

Though using word processor is easy and fun, trying photo or video editing may be an exasperating experience on iPad 2 that are the tasks easily done on any laptop. iPad 2 is definitely not a content creation device. You will have to return to your laptop for these applications.


• iPad 2 is a fun device that can also do some of the tasks of your laptop, but it certainly cannot replace a laptop.

• It lacks a physical keyboard, USB ports, and multitasking which are common things with any laptop.

• However, for emailing and chatting, it is as good as a laptop.

• For students and for executives who do not have to a lot of work on the net, it can be a substitute for a laptop. But for serious applications and for multitasking, laptop is a must.

• Students can carry it around in the campus as it is lighter and thinner than a laptop and also take down notes easily on it, but a laptop is much more flexible and compatible with other hardware and software.

  • Nick

    imovie on ipad is very easy to use so video editing isn’t really something I’d say cannot be done on the ipad. photo editing, however, is not built in. Apple needs to get on that. But I’m sure you’d agree, that it’s only a matter of time before these machines can completely replace a laptop for the average consumer, if it hasn’t already started doing so.. Especially if you have a desktop PC or Mac already. No need for another powerhouse when you can carry around your iPad.

    • David

      A touchscreen keyboard will never be as good as real keys, and a finger is never as accurate or detailed as a mouse pointer. Touch screens will never take over these things for complex or fast operations.

  • Yodepro

    Thank you very much for your excellent article. I was contemplating an ipad2 purchase as I needed something portable after my Dell laptop was messed up by their Tech support in India. I swore to myself that I would NEVER buy another computer product that outsourced its tech support to India! So I decided on an Apple product. I KNEW their laptops were expensive as all my family members have all converted to the Apple product lines, and all love them, and tech support is IN PERSON at their local Apple store. So, I thought I could save a bit of money with the ipad2 but seeing all of its llimitations as you pointed out in your article, I’ve decided to get an Apple laptop, and just “suck it up!”

  • Yourpoliticalanimal

    This was very useful info . . . I am about to leave my Toshiba and I was wondering whether to purchase another LT or to purchase an IPad2 . . . Think I’ll stick with another LT . . . maybe a Hewlett Packard as I am not really a Mac man . . .  

  • jessie

    Can the ipad do things like Word, Powerpoint. etc.? Have netflix?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JZQY7PQJESBUGLQ24GWKXAXJPU Martin Williams

    thank you for the article a my daughter was wanting an ipad2 and i dont really know what the  ipad2 was like but with it being limited on basic student needs then laptop it will be thanks again

  • http://www.freesoftwarefiles.co.uk david

    Thank you for this great article i have been undecided for a while whether to get an ipad or a new laptop  the ipad seems limited in what it can do compared against a laptop

  • http://www.facebook.com/shadab.tungekar Shadab Tungekar

    Nice article. Apple ensures to pave way for tech savvy persons but somehow not upto the mark for laptop equilibrium.