A perfect balance between the portability of a smartphone and the screen size of a laptop, tablets are a major part of the current mobile device community, but which is the right one for you? Both the iPad and the Android have a host of pros and cons, so seeking out the ideal tablet is ultimately a matter of preferences and needs.
Here are some important things to consider when making your purchase:
While Apple products have a great reputation for a number of attributes, low price has never been one of them. On the other hand, the open-source Android franchise tends to cost from $100 to 200 less than the iPad. While it’s nice to have the predictable, standardized pricing of Apple, the thrifty should go Android.
If you’re the kind of person who has fairly basic needs in a mobile unit and doesn’t like to bother around with endless upgrades, the iPad might be best for you, as it comes with 16-gigs of memory; however, that’s the most you’ll ever be able to have, as Apple doesn’t allow for expansions. For users that may need to add on additional memory hardware, Android is more logical.
General upgrade capacity
The situation here is about the same with memory. The iPad dazzles users with its default features, but then gives little wiggle room for add-ons. An Android may not be as well-equipped when you take it home, but the device itself supports USB input/output, video jacks and speakers, making it a winner among those who need customization for their tablet.
This round of the battle goes clearly to Apple. As a rule, its batteries hold out for about ten hours longer than Android before needing to be charged.
Display and overall appearance
Technically, Android handily wins the prize for superior touch screen capabilities, and it boasts more pixels-per-inch than the iPad; however, this might not mean that much to casual users, as it’s not glaringly obvious. Similarly, while the Android’s light plastic construction make it easier to tote around, many users prefer the sleek sturdiness of the iPad’s metal casing.
In the end, it will all fall onto your personal preferences when deciding between the appearance of the Android tablet or iPad.
Another case with no clear victor. Android was the first tablet to offer cameras, and many now include both front and back cameras that make chatting easier. Apple’s tablets offer front and back cameras too, but the quality of resolution may vary depending on which generation iPad you’re dealing with.
At this stage of the game, programmers are much more focused on selling apps to Apple users, so the iPad has much more to offer in the way of applications. Furthermore, because you can only purchase iPad apps from Apple’s official store, you run a lesser risk of downloading corrupt applications.
Androids and iPads both evolve with each new incarnation, and who knows what new contenders may soon throw their hats into the ring. At present, however, the main contenders have a fairly even mix of strengths and weaknesses, so take inventory of why you want to buy a tablet before you buy.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in Southern California whose writing covers everything on tech, green website hosting, web analytics and the latest gadgets. Her three children personally love using the iPad because of its many user-friendly features.