When buying a tablet, you will likely have to choose between those that come with the operating system iOS from Apple or Android from Google. Understanding what each offers is an easy way to decide which tablet is best for you.
Beyond the differences between Android vs iPad tablets, we could spend hours talking about which are the best quality-price tablets, to study, to work with… But if you are looking for more information, we are going to tell you all the differences between the best tablets that we can find with both systems.
Pros and cons of iPads
The fact of being part of the Apple ecosystem is a great advantage of the iPad compared to Android tablets. This includes advanced synchronization options with other devices from the manufacturer, as well as being more stable and easier to use in some cases.
Among the main pros that we find in the iPad, we highlight:
- Easy-to-use, consistent software: With an easy-to-learn interface and organization, you can get comfortable with your iPad quickly. The best thing is that the interface is similar on all iOS devices. So whether you already have an iPhone or upgrade to one of these Apple tablets later, using another iOS device should feel familiar.
- Excellent materials: metal casings, flush-mounted screens, and an elegant design. iPads are some of the best-made tablets in terms of quality finish and feel.
- Superior performance: Even the most basic iPad can let you game, multitask, and stream HD video with ease, and performance won’t slow down.
- App Store Reviewed: Apple approves all apps on the App Store. This means you can always trust apps to work well and not worry about malware or bugs.
- More professional apps: MacOS is reputed to be the best choice for content creators and producers, as well as one of the best tablets to work on. The iPad is no exception, with an excellent selection of apps for graphic design, video editing, audio editing, and other productivity-focused apps.
- Great for gaming: While Android has some of the best gaming tablets out there, M1-equipped iPads do perform well with games like Fornite.
- Excellent native integration with the Apple ecosystem: If you have a MacBook, an iMac, or an iPhone, your iPad should integrate perfectly with them. From video streaming and screen mirroring to notification mirroring or settings backup, you’ll find a level of integration Android can’t offer.
- Options for high-end productivity: Apple’s high-end iPad includes powerful tablets that could replace the best 13″ laptops and some PCs with ease. These are not just media streaming tablets, but high-performance devices capable of everything from video and photo editing to graphic design and 3D modeling.
However, since all that glitters is not gold, we also want to point out some of the cons that we find in iPads if we compare them with Android tablets:
- Fewer customization options: Apple provides a consistent experience across all iOS devices because it locks out many of the customization options you’d find on Android. If you’re a fan of tweaking every setting, Apple might not be a good choice.
- Some apps don’t pass the Apple filter: While the App Store offers a great variety of apps, options from independent developers and other third parties may not pass the filter for download from the store.
- No storage expansion: Unlike many Android tablets, you can’t expand your iPad’s storage using a microSD card. Although you can use USB drives, this means bringing another device and a cable to keep things running smoothly. Consider how much space you will need before you buy it to avoid problems in the future.
- More expensive than many Android tablets: although we can indeed find some iPad models among the best tablets for less than 300 dollars, the truth is that Android offers cheap and mid-level options at prices that iPads cannot match.
Pros and cons of Android tablets
Now that you know the best and worst of iPads, it’s time to analyze the pros and cons of buying an Android tablet. The vast majority of you already know if you are not an Apple user, but in case there are any doubts, here we leave the most outstanding ones.
- Wide range of options: From small, affordable tablets for kids to large, high-performance slates designed for work and play, you’ll find a wide range of choices among Android tablets.
- Lower prices: If you’re not looking for a high-end device, some cheap Android tablets can cost you the same as a dinner with friends.
- Lots of customization options: From tweaking the interface to installing custom firmware and software, Android lets you modify a wide range of device options and features to suit your taste.
However, we cannot deny that the overall quality and performance of Android tablets are usually inferior to iPads. As long as we make a general comparison and do not buy premium models, some even outperform the latest Apple models.
- Google Play is less secure: Although Google reviews apps that use the software before they hit the Google Play Store, it doesn’t personally review everything in its store. This means that, from time to time, apps of mediocre quality and even the occasional malware slip through the filters. However, if you stick to the familiar apps, you have little to worry about.
- Varied quality and performance: Since Android tablets are made by a wide range of manufacturers, quality and performance can vary between similarly priced options.
- Customization options can be confusing: While the ability to tweak several features and settings on the device (even alter the interface) is great, if you want to customize it as much as possible it can be strange if you’re looking for a simple experience.
- Fewer native integration options with other devices: Don’t expect to link your Android tablet to your phone or computer (other than using the same Google account) without installing additional apps to do so.
iPad vs Android: which tablet should you buy?
In our guides on tablets, we have talked about the different considerations when buying a new tablet depending on the use and budget. However, the following aspects should help you if you are curious about who should compare an Android tablet and who an iPad.
If you’re looking for a super affordable tablet, Android is your only option. However, the price of the 2020 iPad continues to drop, making it a very compelling value if you have the budget for it.
In the case of finding an Android tablet for the same price as an iPad (probably a version or generation before the current one), you must choose the one that best suits you based on the pros and cons that we have indicated.
What are you going to use the tablet for?
If you’re looking for a basic option for browsing, watching movies, or occasionally checking email, Android tablets are hard to beat. They are priced low enough and cover the basics well enough. The iPad can fill this role, but it costs almost seven times the price of, say, the Amazon Fire 8.
However, if you’re looking for an enhanced multimedia experience, want to play games often, or just want better performance and specs, we highly recommend the iPad.
When it comes to professional use like graphic design, video editing, or music editing, consider the iPad Air with M1 or the iPad Pro straight up if you need even more performance.
WiFi or LTE
If you like having LTE data to use on your tablet when WiFi isn’t available, you’ll find this option available on most iPad models. Android options are more difficult to find, but some models have this connection option.
If accessories such as the Apple Pencil, Samsung S-Pen, or keyboard that we can find among the best tablets with keyboards are a fundamental requirement for you, you have different options on the market for both operating systems.
However, if you’re looking for accessories with a premium feel or features, you’ll have to look to higher-end iPads or Android tablets.
With the availability of cloud storage and streaming services, the need for huge amounts of storage is not as important as it used to be.
However, if you prefer to store movies and shows on your tablet, making sure you have enough storage is essential. Android tablets are more flexible when it comes to storage options than iPads. Many let you add a microSD card for affordable storage expansion.
Although iPads don’t offer storage expansion via microSD, they do start with more generous amounts of internal storage in most cases. Be sure to determine your storage needs before purchasing.
If you’re looking for a tablet that makes visuals pop on the screen, offers excellent contrast, and helps you immerse yourself in your streaming videos or games, you’ll want a tablet with an OLED panel. The best options available are the high-end Android tablets from Samsung and the iPad Pro series from Apple.
However, if you’re in the mid-price range, you’ll find decent screens on most Android tablets and across Apple’s entire lineup.
Best iPad vs Best Android Tablet
To finish our guide on which tablet you should buy, if an iPad or an Android tablet, we want to buy two models that we consider the best in their field: iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, both with the same storage capacity and in their different versions. WiFi+LTE.
The iPad Pro is our favorite if powerful performance is what we’re after. When looking at the performance results between Apple’s M1 chip and Samsung’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, we find that the iPad is superior to the Android model.
The Tab S8 Ultra, however, has the option of a larger screen, built-in DeX, and an S-Pen included in the box. In addition to having a price of $100 below the iPad and the possibility of getting it with up to 512 GB of internal storage, the Galaxy continues to be an almost unbeatable rival among high-end tablets.
In any case, deciding which tablet you should buy, whether an iPad or an Android, depends above all on the budget, the needs, and the use that you are going to give it. So before you buy, we hope this guide has been useful and you have things a little clearer.
Also, read about How To Choose A Tablet: Tablet Buying Guide
Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.