iPad vs. Laptop: Keypad or a Keyboard?

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Difference between iPad and Laptop

With the recent release of the iPad, the consumer computer world was rife with rumors to the effect that this innovative new device would bring about the obsolescence of the laptop. While this hasn't quite happened yet, there is no denying that the iPad represents a whole new paradigm shift, the full impact of which we have yet to see. In the wake of all the copycat devices scrambling to grab a share of the tablet PC market, the question that begs to be asked is: "is the laptop really on the way out?" This comparison article should shed some light on the matter.



One of the biggest gripes about the iPad is its keyboard–or lack of it, rather. Laptops of course have a keyboard already built-in, and a real one at that. While the onscreen keyboard of the iPad is all right for quickly jotting down notes, it is barely serviceable for more intensive typing tasks. You really need to have small fingers if you are to use the onscreen keyboard to full effect, although the lack of a physical keyboard is of course one of its supposed selling points. If you want to get similar functionality to a laptop, you will have to spring for a pricey Mac keyboard.

Included Applications

The iPad is basically a closed system, which means than any and all applications that you use with it will have to come from the Apple store. Not to worry though, for Apple has seen fit to provide you with anything and everything that you would probably need to ensure a satisfying and rewarding mobile computing experience. eBook readers, word processors, mailers…you name it and the iPad has probably already got it installed. Of course the laptop has the entire universe of PC applications at its disposal, so the lack of pre-installed applications is a non-issue. Apparently, opening .zip files is a real issue.

Media Capability

The iPad basically offers the same functionality as a laptop as far as multimedia is concerned. You can play music, watch movies, and surf the web…sort of. For one of the biggest gotchas of the iPad is that it doesn’t read Flash owing to its lack of an Intel processor. And since Flash is still a large part of the web, a laptop is still the better choice for an unencumbered Internet experience.



  • Ideally suited for taking down notes, although on screen "keypad" can be difficult to use for people with large fingers
  • Comes with a number of useful applications already installed
  • Offers similar multimedia performance to a laptop
  • Doesn't have a webcam built-in
  • Cannot "read" Flash
  • iPad carrying cases are really hard to find at the moment


  • Still a more comprehensive computing device
  • Much easier to type on due to the standard keyboard
  • Offers a lot more flexibility and compatibility with other software and hardware
  • Offers a lot more bang-for-the-buck
  • Better suited to a wider variety of uses


comments 4 Comments

  • sharma . 3+ yrs. ago

keyboard is a keyboard. There is no fun with out that.

  • joe . 3+ yrs. ago

Ben owes me a milk

  • Misha Yuri . 3+ yrs. ago

I already have a laptop and I want to try an Ipad.

  • joe . 3+ yrs. ago


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