How to Choose Between an iPad, Android, or Windows Tablet

Last Edited: June 25, 2017 | Published: June 25, 2017 by

How to Choose Between an iPad, Android, or Windows Tablet

The tablet market has exploded in recent years and today there are so many choices out there 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 main categories:

Now these tablets could be made by all types of manufacturers, including companies such as Asus, Acer, Samsung, and, of course, Apple and Microsoft. This, of course, excludes some of the custom-built tablets for kids and other custom products. Today, we are talking about the standard tablets that you will be checking out when you go shopping.

Today, we will look at each one of these types of tablets, their strengths and weaknesses and some of what they offer. By examining each platform more closely, my hope is you can better understand each of these different environments so you can choose tablet that is right for you.

The iPad

The Apple iPad was really the first tablet to really catch on in the market. Notice I didn’t say the first tablet, as that title actually belongs to Microsoft, believe it or not. However, Apple was the first to market a successful tablet, and it really changed how we use computers today. Over time, the iPad has evolved and become more powerful than ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. Let’s look at some of the good and the bad about the iPad.

The Good

First, let’s start positive and look at several points that make the iPad one of the greatest tablets ever to be created.

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

The Bad

Just because it’s great, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its faults, and it is important for you to understand these before you invest in an iPad.

  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 these a desktop replacement. Will that change one day? Maybe. But for now, you will always need a laptop if you run an Apple iPad.

Android Tablets

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

The Good

First, you all should know that I use Android as my tablet of choice, and there are many reasons for that. I am going to highlight a few of the reasons why I chose Android here that I feel will give you the best idea about the Android world.

  1. Google ecosystem. I use a ton of Google apps, from Gmail to Docs to 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 be used on 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 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 to, 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 feel almost like a regular PC. If you want access to the most and the best apps around, go Android. You won’t regret it.

The Bad

Like iPads, everything isn’t all sunshine and daisies with Android. Let’s examine some of the bad that you must understand before you buy an Android tablet.

  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 are open, there is more malware out there for them 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 premium choices out there that are amazing, but there are some very cheap Android tablets made as well that are frankly pieces of junk. You have to be careful when you shop so you buy one that is high quality.

Windows Tablets

Microsoft was notoriously late to the tablet party as they were slow to adopt this new way of working. However, in the last few years, they have gained a lot of ground with their Surface line of tablets. Today, they are among the best of the tablet makers. Let’s check out some of the good and the bad that come along with a Microsoft tablet.

The Good

While they may have been slow to catch on, currently they have taken the world by storm and are some of the most popular tablets on the market today. Let’s examine why.

  1. Amazing design. Now, I have to say this doesn’t cover all the Windows tablets, but 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 Microsoft Windows 10, you can easily run pretty much any app you want including things like Adobe Creative Suite on your tablet. Sure, not everything is touch friendly, but with a mouse you can use almost any app you can think of.
  3. Great for Windows unification. If you use a Windows laptop or a desktop, with your Microsoft account you can unify your experience and have all your apps and files across all your devices simply by logging into the system. This is perfect for anyone that lives in the world of Microsoft.

The Bad

Now, for the bad. Let’s look closer at why you may want to consider other tablet options.

  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 what you download.
  2. App Store more limited. App developers have been slow to adopt the Windows platform for tablets and other mobile apps. That is changing and their store has been growing for quite some time. Still, compared to the 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, if not more, than a laptop. Of course, this depends on which Windows tablet you decide to buy, as some are still much more affordable when compared to the Apple iPad.

Choose Between an iPad, Android, or Windows Tablet?

Now that you understand a little more about each platform and what it can and can’t do, it should be easier for you to make up your mind. However, if you still need to help. Try following these pointers.

  1. If you use Macs, an iPad may make the most sense for you because they are designed to work together to give you a more seamless and friendly user 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 for you.
  4. If you want access to the most apps possible and you want to choose what app you use for every situation, then Android is a great option for you.
  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, then a Windows tablet is right for you.

As you can see, it’s easier than you think to figure out which platform will best suit your needs. Think about 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. Make sure the good outweighs the bad. If you do that, you will find a tablet that is right for you whether it is Windows, Android, or iOS.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, while all three of these types of tablets look very similar and they are used in a very similar way, in many ways they are quite different from one another. Which one you should use is largely up to you and how you want to use the device. If you are looking for something that just works and is very secure and safe, then an iPad is the way to go. If you want something a little more open to give you the freedom to customize it the way you want, then Android is the device for you. However, if you are searching for a desktop or laptop replacement that will give you more of a traditional computing experience, then you definitely need to look close at the Windows tablets.

In the end, the choice is yours. Just remember to consider how you like to use your tablet and what you are hoping to do with your new purchase before you buy. If you don’t, you could end up with a tablet that you don’t enjoy using. If you need more help, feel free to visit our buying guides on some of the best and most reliable tablets out there. As always, if you have a question about a tablet, by all means contact us and ask, we will do our very best to help you and answer all your questions so you can find the tablet that is perfect for you.

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