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iPad, Android, or Windows: Which Tablet Should You Get?

The tablet market has exploded in recent years and there are so many choices that it can be tough for new users to figure out exactly which tablet will work best for them. Though there may be hundreds of different types of tablets out there, you can easily break them down into three categories: Apple iPads running on iOS, Android tablets, and Windows tablets.

Today, we will be talking about the standard tablets and looking at each of their strengths and weaknesses as well as their special features. By examining each category more closely, you will be able to understand each of them better so you can choose which tablet is right for you.

 

Apple iPads

Person holding Apple iPad while having coffee.

While it was Microsoft that launched the first tablet, it was Apple that got a strong footing in the tech market. By introducing the iPad, Apple changed how we use computers today. Over time, the iPad evolved and became more powerful than ever. However, that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. Let’s look at some of the pros and the cons of the iPad.

PROS

  1. Amazing design. One look at an iPad and you can tell it is an Apple product. Apple has always had a knack for incredible design and they have taken that skill and doubled down with the iPad. If you want a great looking device, look no further than the iPad.
  2. Safety and security. Since Apple firmly controls what you can and can’t do with their devices, the result is that they are more secure. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to be careful as bad things can still happen. Overall, they are still much safer to use compared to other devices.
  3. Everything just works. You won’t have to do any additional fiddling with your device and you will only spend very little time configuring it the way you want it. This is because Apple controls this aspect of the device as well, which makes it easier to setup.

CONS

  1. They are expensive. They are one of the most expensive tablets on the market, much like all of Apple’s products.
  2. They run a walled garden. Apple has always tried to tell users how to use their machines, and the iPad is no different. You can only install apps that Apple deems worthy from their store and you have very little control and customization over your device.
  3. Their apps just don’t quite cut it to completely replace a laptop. The apps have come a long way, but it’s still a tough sell to call them a desktop replacement. Will that change one day? Maybe. For now, you will always need a laptop if you run an Apple iPad.

 

Android Tablets

Android tablet with active screen sitting on top of duffel bag.

Android tablets are made by different manufacturers and are all powered by different versions of Google’s Android operating system. Android is an open-source operating system, which makes it much more open to customization. You can even create your own version, if that’s your thing. However, just like Apple, there are both good and bad things about these devices.

PROS

  1. Google ecosystem. I use a ton of Google apps, from Gmail to Google Maps. Because of this, I have found it much easier to use an Android tablet as all of Google’s applications are built right in and designed to work best with Android.
  2. Customization options. I love to tweak and customize my systems. I even change the default apps for things like email and texting. I want to use the apps I choose, not the ones chosen for me by the manufacturer. That’s why I use Android. I love the freedom. If you want the freedom to use your device the way you want, then Android is definitely the best choice for you.
  3. Huge app selection. The Google Play Store has more apps than any other app store out there, including Apple’s. On top of that, if you know what to do, you can install apps from third party sources as well, opening up a huge world that will make your tablet feel almost like a regular PC. If you want access to the best apps around, go Android.

CONS

  1. More complicated to use. Android devices, because of their open nature, are a little more complicated to understand and use. You can configure everything on them, but if you don’t know how, it may seem overwhelming and not worth your time.
  2. Security issues. Android is pretty secure, more so than Windows. However, because they are so popular and open, they are more susceptible to malware compared to an iPad. Of course, this pales in comparison to the security threats present on Windows devices.
  3. Too many choices. There are so many Android tablets made, it can be hard to choose the right one. Sure, there are some amazing choices out there. However, there are some very cheap Android tablets made that are frankly pieces of junk. You have to be careful when you shop and always keep quality in mind.

 

Windows Tablets

Windows tablet front view and side views.

Image from https://www.forbes.com/sites/marcwebertobias/2013/04/05/why-you-want-the-microsoft-surface-pro-and-why-you-dont/#5a200d475edb

Microsoft was notoriously late to the tablet party. However, in the last few years, they have taken the world by storm with their Surface line of tablets. Today, they are among the best tablet makers around. Let’s check out some of the pros and the cons that come along with a Microsoft tablet.

PROS

  1. Amazing design. As a disclaimer, this pro doesn’t cover all the Windows tablets, just mainly the ones made by Microsoft. If you want a tablet that rivals the iPad in looks but don’t want Apple, this is a great option for you.
  2. Desktop app compatibility. Because Windows tablets run on Microsoft Windows 10, you can easily run pretty much any app you want, including Adobe Creative Suite, on your tablet. Sure, not everything is touch-friendly, but you can use almost any app you can think of with the help of a mouse.
  3. Great for Windows unification. If you use a Windows laptop or desktop, you can have all your apps and files across all your devices by simply logging into your Microsoft account. This is perfect for anyone who heavily relies on Microsoft applications.

CONS

  1. More prone to viruses. Because Windows tablets use Windows 10, they are plagued with the same virus issues that you will find on your PC. That means running good antivirus software and, of course, being careful with what you download.
  2. Limited app store. App developers have been slow to adopt the Windows platform for tablets and other mobile apps. That is changing, however, and their store has been growing for quite some time. Still, compared to Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, they have far fewer apps available.
  3. Some tablets are expensive. While Apple is known for being expensive, some of the Microsoft tablets, like the Surface Pro line, can cost you as much as a laptop. Of course, this depends on which Windows tablet you decide to buy as some are still much more affordable compared to the Apple iPad.

 

Now that you understand a little more about each category and what it can and can’t do, it should be easier for you to make up your mind. If you still need to help making up your mind, however, try following these tips:

  1. If you use a Mac, an iPad makes the most sense for you because they are designed to work together to give you a more seamless and user-friendly experience.
  2. If you prefer not to tinker and just want something that will work despite a few user limitations, then an iPad will be right for you.
  3. If you love to tinker with your devices and customize them, then Android is by far the best choice.
  4. If you want access to the most apps possible and you want to choose what app you use for every situation, then go for Android.
  5. If you live in the world of Google and continue to use their suite of apps, then Android makes the most sense for the best user experience.
  6. If you prefer a full Windows experience and want to load apps that can be used to replace your desktop or laptop, then a Windows tablet will provide the best overall experience.
  7. If you live in Microsoft’s suite of apps and want your files synced across all platforms, a Windows tablet is for you.

 

You see, figuring out which platform will best suit your needs isn’t as hard as you think. Consider how you work and what you use before you buy, and then make the decision based on that. Just remember, all the platforms have their own strengths and weaknesses and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each platform will have something that annoys you. It’s inevitable. Just make sure the good outweighs the bad. If you do all that, you will find a tablet that is right for you whether it is Windows, Android, or iOS.