iPad vs. Netbook: What's the difference?

  • By reComparison Contributor
  • comments 13
  • views30599

Difference between iPad and Netbook

For most people who are looking for a portable computing device, the Netbook presents itself as the most viable alternative to a laptop. With the introduction of the iPad however, the now-venerable Netbook has some serious competition. Does the iPad have what it makes to take over the Netbook for most mobile computing needs? Let's take a look!



Initial test runs show that the iPad has the edge over Netbooks when it comes to viewing videos, reading e-books and playing games. Of course it provides these benefits at a higher price tag as well. The Netbook isn't actually an entertainment device per se, but it does offer a lot more hard drive space as well as a full keyboard that makes it better suited to task such as typing out long documents.

Best Features

The iPad features a 9.7” touch-screen display that comes with an on-screen keyboard for typing purposes. The device can also be used for Web browsing, e-mail, and reading e-books, watching movies and playing games, as mentioned previously.

Some of the biggest attractions of the iPad are its longer battery life when compared to even the longest running Netbooks, and its enhanced multimedia functionality that it provides by way of its 720p high-definition video capability. Apple claims that the iPad allows up to 10 hours of battery life with regular use, which stands a distinct improvement over the typical four to eight hours that you would get on a similarly spec’d Netbook.

Where the Netbook takes the lead is in its ability to run several Windows or Linux programs at the same time. That being said, the iPad works very well as an e-book reader, a task that Netbooks are ill-equipped to handle. In addition, the iPad offers a familiar interface derived from the iPhone, making it even easier to operate than the Windows driven Netbook. Netbooks take the lead with the inclusion of a webcam however, a feature that may or may not be included in future versions of the iPad.

In Use

We found that the iPad performs remarkably well playing movies in both original and full screen modes, although the latter did give a somewhat grainy picture. Most Netbooks struggle to deliver 720p video, and the few that are able to manage this suffered from a much reduced battery life. The iPad for its part can run up to 10 hours while playing videos.

One thing that gave us cause for concern was the iPad's on-screen keyboard, which proved to be too cumbersome for anything more than minor use. Nevertheless, the iPad doers score points with its reduced weight, which makes it a more portable option than the bulkier Netbook.



  • Offers more functionality than a smartphone
  • More flexible than a laptop
  • Large touch-screen display
  • Utilizes an on-screen keyboard
  • Can be used for Web browsing, e-mail, e-books, and movies and games
  • Superior battery life to Netbooks
  • Is a lot more expensive than a Netbook


  • Are basically just cheaper laptops
  • Shorter battery life
  • Is not intended primarily as an entertainment device
  • Offers more hard drive space
  • Comes with a full keyboard

iPad and Netbook Video

Which would you buy for a teen?
  • iPad
  • Netbook

Discuss It: comments 13

  • Guest
  • Mark S wrote on June 2010

I was not sure whether to buy iPad or a NetBook. After seeing this comparison I've decided to buy iPad. I will write another comment once I receive my iPad.

OK, I got my iPad finally. I waited a month and paid $800, I've mixed feelings about this product.

The Good:

1. You can watch Netflix movies (this is awesome)

2. There are so many games in the store

3. Entirely different experience with iBooks

The Bad:

1. You can't install anything, I couldn't even unzip a file. I had to open my Notebook to open zip file.

2. I Could not upload family movies to iTunes

3. Only 9 windows in Safari browser

Bottom Line:

It is not worth $800.

  • Guest
  • Blog Killa wrote on February 2011

just think for that much money you could have got a netbook, with 1.6g 2 gigs or ram with 160gb HD, a 22 inch flatscreen monitor (for when your at home), a 500gb external HD. you could even plug a keyboard and mouse into it too. even a mac mouse and keyboard. i bet you could still have enough left over for a wacom bamboo tablet too. oh and you could get all the software you needed(if you were resourceful enough).....but you wouldnt be as trendy, just more capable. $800 is a lot of money for a larger iphone. that you then have to pay and jump through hoops that apple designed. get over it.

I prefer Netbook, I can connect my USB, my external hard drive, my windows apps, I can watch flash videos as well. Did I say, we can multi task?

very funny...

D netbook as the stronger edge over d ipad!!!!!if ur not a business person ofcourse!!!!!!

  • Guest
  • Trillium wrote on August 2010

How about doing a comparison on Roku vs Netbook vs Google TV? Rate these transitional technologies of Roku and Google TV vs Netbook for media streaming. Or how about closed content Roku vs Google TV and Netbooks.

  • Guest
  • christin wrote on January 2011

im looking to buy a ipad or a netbook(tablet0 just want to no wats better to buy ,i want to go on internet,games,movies,photos ...pls help

There are pros and cons on both.


Netbook is great if you want to go on Internet, photos etc. Netbook, normally, does not come with a DVD player. You can watch movies on internet or buy extra dvd player to connect to Netbook.


You can go on internet, play games(excellent graphics) using iPad. You have to buy movies from iTunes to watch it on ipad or watch online.

You can see photos on both. Personally, I would go for NetBook or wait for the next version of iPad.

so far I've found that the Ipad is a pain to use. I'm thinking of returning it and getting a Netbook instead.

  • Guest
  • Colin wrote on March 2011

Reading E book on ipad? Try to hold this thing for half an hour and then tell me your arms and shoulders are not sore.

Netbooks are obviously more versatile, Apple publically announced its adversity to ever developing any netbook similar device and then the iPad releases and every Apple fanboy is on top of it. Its as simple as this...


-No USB ports whatsoever

-No real external device capability such as digital camera or printer

-No X86 execution

-No Tactile feedback

-No media card slot

-No Ethernet

-No video output method without expensive proprietary components


  • Guest
  • Misha Yuri wrote on April 2012

I really want to buy an IPad. That's a really big difference huh!

Post a Comment
  • Name*
  • Email*
  • Website (optional)
  • arrow You are commenting as a Guest
  • arrow Your email will not be public
  • arrow Login or Sign Up and post using your reComparison account
  • arrow Facebook Connect