What Is The Difference Between An iPad And A Tablet?


Operating System

The operating system is a crucial factor to consider when differentiating between an iPad and a tablet. Apple’s iPad runs on the iOS operating system, which is specifically designed for Apple devices. On the other hand, tablets typically run on operating systems such as Android, Windows, or Chrome OS.

iOS offers a seamless and intuitive user experience, with a clean and organized interface. It provides smooth performance, efficient multitasking, and excellent security features. With regular updates and optimization for Apple hardware, the iOS operating system ensures a fluid and reliable performance on iPads.

Android, on the other hand, is an open-source operating system that offers a high level of customization. It allows users to personalize their tablets with various themes, widgets, and third-party apps. Android tablets offer flexible multi-window support, enabling users to work with multiple apps simultaneously.

Windows tablets are powered by the Windows operating system, which provides a familiar desktop-like experience. They are compatible with a wide range of software and offer seamless integration with Windows computers, making them ideal for productivity-oriented tasks.

Chrome OS, developed by Google, is a lightweight operating system primarily used in Chromebooks and some tablets. It offers a simplified and web-centric experience, with seamless integration with Google services and cloud-based applications.

Overall, the choice of operating system depends on individual preferences and specific requirements. iOS on iPads offers a polished and user-friendly experience, while Android, Windows, and Chrome OS provide more customization options and compatibility with different software.


The hardware is another important aspect that distinguishes iPads from tablets. Apple places a strong emphasis on high-quality hardware, which contributes to the overall performance and durability of iPad devices. iPads are known for their premium build quality, sleek designs, and attention to detail.

The iPad lineup features powerful processors, such as the A14 Bionic chip, which delivers fast and efficient performance. The combination of hardware and software optimization allows iPads to handle resource-intensive tasks smoothly, including gaming, multimedia, and multitasking.

Apple also prioritizes the display quality of its iPads. Most iPads come with Retina displays, featuring high resolution and vibrant colors. The iPad Pro models even offer ProMotion technology, which provides a smooth refresh rate for a more fluid viewing experience.

In terms of storage options, iPads typically come with a variety of choices ranging from 32GB to 1TB. Additionally, iPads often offer expandable storage capabilities through Apple’s iCloud service.

When it comes to cameras, iPads generally have high-quality rear and front-facing cameras. These cameras are especially useful for video conferencing, capturing photos, and recording videos. Some iPad models, like the iPad Pro, even feature advanced camera systems with LiDAR scanners for augmented reality applications.

Tablets, on the other hand, come in a wide range of hardware configurations, from budget-friendly options to higher-end devices. Depending on the brand and model, tablets may vary in terms of performance, build quality, and display technologies. Some tablets may offer features like expandable storage, while others may have limited storage options.

While iPads tend to offer superior hardware capabilities and aesthetics, tablets provide a more diverse range of options that cater to different budgets and specific needs.


Price is a significant factor to consider when comparing iPads and tablets. Apple’s iPad lineup tends to be on the pricier side compared to most tablets. iPads are known for their premium build quality, advanced features, and integration with the Apple ecosystem, which contributes to their higher price points.

However, Apple offers a range of iPad models at different price levels to cater to various budgets. The entry-level iPad starts at a more affordable price point, making it a popular choice for those looking for a more budget-friendly option.

In contrast, tablets come in a wide range of price points, offering options to suit different budgets and requirements. Budget-friendly tablets are available from various brands and offer basic functionalities for tasks such as browsing the internet, watching videos, and casual gaming.

On the other hand, high-end tablets, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, often come with a higher price tag. These tablets offer advanced features, powerful hardware, and premium design, making them suitable for professional use or intensive tasks like content creation or gaming.

It’s important to consider the overall value for money when evaluating the price of an iPad or tablet. While iPads may have a higher initial cost, they often come with longer software support and regular updates, as well as a robust app ecosystem. Tablets, especially budget-friendly options, may have more limited software support and updates, but can still provide adequate functionality for everyday tasks.

Ultimately, the price of an iPad or tablet depends on individual preferences, budget constraints, and the desired level of performance and features.

App Availability

One of the key differences between iPads and tablets is the availability of applications. Apple’s App Store offers a vast selection of apps specifically designed for iPad devices. These apps are optimized for the iPad’s larger screen, offering a seamless and immersive user experience.

Due to Apple’s strict app review and approval process, the App Store is known for its high-quality and reliable apps. Popular productivity apps, creative tools, educational resources, and games are all readily available for iPads. Additionally, many developers prioritize releasing their apps on iOS, making it a preferred platform for app development.

On the other hand, tablets running on Android, Windows, or Chrome OS have access to their respective app stores, offering a wide range of applications. While the number of apps available may not be as extensive as the App Store, the selection is still substantial.

Android tablets have access to the Google Play Store, which offers a vast library of apps, ranging from productivity tools to entertainment options. Windows tablets can access the Microsoft Store, which includes a variety of productivity-focused apps, as well as compatibility with Windows software.

Chrome OS tablets have access to the Google Play Store as well, allowing users to enjoy Android apps on their devices. Additionally, Chrome OS has a growing library of web-based applications, which can be accessed through the Chrome browser.

It’s important to note that while the selection of apps on tablets may be less curated than the App Store, there are still plenty of useful and popular applications available for different platforms. Many widely-used apps, social media platforms, and multimedia streaming services are accessible across both iPad and tablet devices.

Ultimately, the availability of apps depends on personal preferences, desired functionality, and reliance on specific software or tools. Consider the types of apps you require for your intended use to determine which platform offers the most suitable app ecosystem for your needs.


When it comes to productivity, both iPads and tablets offer a range of features and functionalities that can enhance your work efficiency, depending on your specific needs.

iPads, with their powerful hardware and intuitive user interface, are well-regarded for productivity tasks. The availability of apps optimized for iPad, such as Apple’s iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, and various note-taking and project management apps, make iPads a reliable choice for professionals.

iPads also offer multitasking capabilities, allowing you to work with multiple apps simultaneously. With features like Split View, Slide Over, and Drag and Drop, you can easily manage and organize your work on the iPad’s larger screen. Additionally, the iPad Pro models even support Apple Pencil, providing a seamless note-taking and drawing experience.

Tablets running on Android, Windows, or Chrome OS also offer a range of productivity features and apps. Android tablets can use apps like Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and other productivity tools available on the Google Play Store.

Windows tablets, with their full desktop operating system, provide a familiar Windows experience that allows seamless integration with desktop software. This makes Windows tablets ideal for tasks requiring desktop-level productivity, such as video editing, graphic design, and programming.

Chrome OS tablets, while primarily focused on web-based tasks, can still support productivity through various cloud-based apps, such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Additionally, the integration with Google Drive enables easy access to files and collaboration with others.

Both iPads and tablets offer connectivity options such as Wi-Fi and cellular data, allowing you to stay connected and productive wherever you go. The availability of accessories like keyboards, styluses, and docking stations further enhances productivity on both platforms.

Ultimately, the choice between an iPad and a tablet for productivity depends on your specific needs, preferred operating system, and desired level of performance. Consider the type of work you will be doing, the required software and applications, and the device’s compatibility with your workflow to ensure maximum productivity.

Size and Weight

Size and weight are important considerations when comparing iPads and tablets, as they impact portability and user experience.

iPads are known for their sleek and slim form factors. They come in different sizes, ranging from the compact iPad mini to the larger iPad Pro models. The size of iPads allows for easy handling and comfortable use, whether you’re carrying it in a bag or using it with one hand. Additionally, iPads are generally lightweight, making them convenient for on-the-go usage.

Tablets, on the other hand, come in a variety of sizes and weights depending on the brand and model. They can range from smaller, more compact tablets to larger, more substantial devices. The size and weight of tablets can impact their portability and usage, so it’s essential to consider your preferences and needs.

Compact tablets are typically lighter and more portable, making them suitable for frequent travel or handheld use. On the other hand, larger tablets may provide a better viewing experience with a bigger screen, but they can be less convenient to carry around.

When choosing between an iPad and a tablet, consider the size and weight that best suits your usage scenarios and personal preferences. If you prioritize portability and ease of use, an iPad may be the ideal choice due to its slim design and lightweight construction. If you prefer a larger screen for enhanced multimedia consumption or productivity tasks, a tablet with a bigger form factor may be more suitable.

Ultimately, the size and weight of a device play a crucial role in determining its practicality and comfort during everyday use. Take into consideration your usage patterns and prioritize what matters most to you when selecting the right device.


Connectivity options are important factors to consider when comparing iPads and tablets. Both devices offer various connectivity options to ensure seamless communication and access to the internet.

iPads typically come with Wi-Fi connectivity as a standard feature, allowing you to connect to wireless networks and access the internet. Additionally, some iPad models offer cellular connectivity, enabling you to use a SIM card and connect to the internet even when Wi-Fi is not available. This cellular connectivity provides increased flexibility and access to the internet on the go.

Tablets running on Android, Windows, or Chrome OS also offer Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing users to connect to wireless networks for internet access. Some tablets may have cellular connectivity options as well, providing similar flexibility as iPads.

In addition to Wi-Fi and cellular options, both iPads and tablets often include Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth allows for wireless connections to peripherals like keyboards, speakers, and headphones, enhancing the versatility and convenience of the devices.

Another connectivity consideration is the availability of ports and slots. iPads typically have Lightning connectors, which can be used for charging, data transfer, and connecting accessories. However, some newer iPad models have switched to USB-C connectors, offering increased compatibility with external devices.

Tablets running on other operating systems may have a variety of connectivity options, including USB-C ports, micro USB ports, or even full-sized USB ports. These ports allow for easy data transfer, charging, and connection to external devices such as keyboards, mice, or external storage devices.

Ultimately, the connectivity options on iPads and tablets provide flexibility in terms of internet access, peripheral connectivity, and data transfer. Consider your specific needs, such as the availability of Wi-Fi networks, the need for cellular connectivity, and the compatibility of peripherals, to determine which device offers the connectivity options that best suit your requirements.

Battery Life

Battery life is a critical consideration when comparing iPads and tablets, as it determines how long you can use the device on a single charge.

iPads are known for their impressive battery life, thanks to the optimization of hardware and software by Apple. Depending on the model, iPads can provide anywhere from 9 to 12 hours or more of battery life under typical usage conditions. This makes iPads ideal for long workdays or extended periods of use without access to charging outlets.

Tablets running on different operating systems can vary in terms of battery life. Android tablets and Windows tablets generally offer decent battery life, although it may vary depending on the specific model and usage patterns. Some Android tablets may have battery life comparable to iPads, while others may have slightly shorter battery life.

Chrome OS tablets often have longer battery life due to the lightweight nature of the operating system. The efficient utilization of resources and focus on web-based applications contribute to extended usage times on a single charge.

It’s important to note that the actual battery life of any device can vary depending on factors such as screen brightness, usage intensity, running background apps, and connected peripherals.

When considering battery life, it’s also worth noting that charging time can vary between devices. Some devices may support fast charging technology, allowing for quicker recharging times. This can be especially beneficial if you have limited time to charge your device between uses.

Ultimately, the battery life of iPads and tablets is an important aspect to consider, especially if you require long-lasting usage without frequent access to charging outlets. Consider your typical usage patterns and the required battery life to choose a device that can meet your needs.

Camera and Multimedia

The camera and multimedia capabilities are significant factors to consider when comparing iPads and tablets.

iPads, especially the newer models, typically come equipped with high-quality cameras that can capture excellent photos and videos. These cameras are useful for various purposes, such as video conferencing, taking quick snapshots, or even recording professional-grade videos. Some iPad models, particularly the iPad Pro series, feature advanced camera systems with features like depth sensing or LiDAR scanners for augmented reality applications.

Regarding multimedia, iPads excel in providing an immersive and high-quality multimedia experience. The vibrant and sharp Retina displays, combined with powerful processors and graphics capabilities, make watching videos, playing games, and viewing multimedia content a pleasure on iPads. Additionally, the availability of apps optimized for iPad enhances the multimedia experience, offering access to streaming platforms, e-books, digital magazines, and more.

Tablets running on Android, Windows, or Chrome OS also have capable cameras, though the quality and features may vary between different models. They can capture decent photos and videos for casual use, but they may not match the capabilities of the more advanced iPad cameras.

When it comes to multimedia, tablets offer a diverse range of options. Android tablets provide access to a wide array of multimedia apps through the Google Play Store, including video streaming platforms, music streaming services, e-book readers, and more. Windows tablets can handle multimedia tasks smoothly, especially when running desktop software for video editing, graphic design, or gaming. Chrome OS tablets can access multimedia apps through the Google Play Store, as well as stream content through web-based applications.

Consider your specific needs for camera capabilities and multimedia consumption when choosing between an iPad and a tablet. If you prioritize advanced camera features and a top-notch multimedia experience, an iPad may be the more suitable choice. Tablets, on the other hand, offer a range of options that cater to different budgets and desired multimedia capabilities.

Additional Features

When comparing iPads and tablets, it’s important to consider the additional features that each device offers, as these can greatly enhance the user experience and serve specific needs.

iPads come with a range of additional features that make them stand out. One notable feature is Apple Pencil compatibility, which allows users to take notes, create art, or annotate documents with precision on the iPad’s touchscreen. The Apple Pencil offers a seamless and natural drawing experience, making it an excellent tool for artists, designers, students, and professionals.

Another feature unique to iPads is the integration with Apple’s ecosystem, including iCloud, Apple Music, Apple TV+, and more. This integration allows for seamless syncing of data, files, photos, and media across multiple Apple devices, providing a cohesive and interconnected user experience.

Additionally, iPads have a strong emphasis on security and privacy. Features such as Touch ID or Face ID provide secure biometric access, and the iPad’s built-in Secure Enclave ensures data protection. Regular software updates from Apple also play a crucial role in addressing security vulnerabilities and ensuring a safe user experience.

Tablets running on different operating systems also offer their own set of additional features. Android tablets provide extensive customization options, allowing users to personalize their devices with themes, widgets, and various app launchers. Some Android tablets may also support stylus input, providing a similar experience to the Apple Pencil.

Windows tablets offer compatibility with a wide range of software, including desktop applications, making them suitable for professional tasks such as video editing, 3D modeling, and programming. They often come with additional features like detachable keyboards or stylus support for increased productivity.

Chrome OS tablets offer seamless integration with Google services and a web-centric experience. They emphasize cloud storage, collaborative tools, and easy access to web-based applications, making them ideal for users heavily invested in the Google ecosystem.

Consider the additional features that are most important to you when choosing between an iPad and a tablet. Whether it’s stylus support, ecosystem integration, advanced customization options, or compatibility with specific software, these features can greatly enhance your overall user experience and productivity.