iPad vs NetbookOne of the most common questions we receive is: ďwhich is better, an iPad or a Netbook?Ē. The answer to that question obviously depends on what you plan to use the device for but none the less we have decided to give you a comparison between the iPad and a netbook to help you make your decision.
In the battle of iPad vs. Netbook a simplistic answer could be: the iPad is a much slicker device, itís design and feel in your hands is second to none. The iPad is an extremely responsive and fast gadget and itís battery life will literally knock your socks off! However, the iPad is reliant on the quality of apps you can buy for it as it does not run a full operating system like a netbook does. A netbook also has a more standard array of ports to connect external devices which the iPad generally lacks. You can think of a netbook as essentially a miniaturized laptop computer (minus the DVD or CD drive), while a iPad is a entirely new type of device maybe more comparable to a giant iPhone (without the phone capabilities).
Neither the iPad nor the netbook should be selected to replace oneís primary computing device because both are too limited in our opinion. However BOTH the netbook and the iPad are fantastic companion devices to your primary computer.
Ideally, a decision to choose a PC companion should be functional, based on what you are looking to do. So letís see what these two formidable machines can offer you.
Surfing the Net and Checking your EmailOne of the most important things everyone wants to do with their mobile computing device is internet surfing, in order to get the latest information, play online games, or interact on social networks. A quality internet surfing experience is a must.
Zoom in as much as you like, zoom out as much you need, and open as many pages as you want, iPad is a great experience when you are surfing the net, but with limitations. iPad doesnít support Flash applications, we donít believe this is a dramatic limitation as most mainstream websites seem to be switching their content from Flash to HTML 5 however it is still something to consider. The other limitation is that you cannot use your favorite browser, you have to suffice with Appleís Safari Browser.
A Netbook, on the other hand, is more like a typical computer and it supports all kinds of videos, no matter Flash or HTML5. You can use any or as many browsers you like. You canít zoom in and out through or run high definition videos because of its not-so-impressive resolution and small screen. Netbooks are also noticeably slower than the iPad, especially when playing video or loading complicated webpages.
When using a netbook or iPad to check your email both devices support email via webmail in a browser online or using a email client such as Outlook or the iPadís built-in mail client. We have to give the nod to the iPad on email because itís mail application is extremely user friendly and intuitive to use. However, the iPad email program lacks good SPAM tools and as far as we could determine does not allow you to create rules that can filter out annoying junk mail.
Getting Work DoneIn our Netbook vs iPad comparison, letís see which one of these two can be a good work machine.
Using an iPad, you will have commendable features at your disposal like pages, numbers and keynote, although you will have to buy these apps. Yet the iPad has no local storage options and you have to e-mail your document to no one else but yourself through a complicated email-yourself process. Typing long notes on the touch screen keypad can be bit uncomfortable.
Notebooks let you run all programs, be it Word or Excel, with extended features and the keyboard, to work over lengthy periods of time. Yet the netbookís small keyboard will take some getting used to. Frankly, I do not believe that either device it suited for getting serious work done. These devices are better suited for lounging around the hotel lobby or your living room just browsing the net, checking your email and playing games etc.
Entertainment and GamesEntertainment on your mobile device is a must, after all... when you are waiting for your flight at the airport or hanging out on your porch itís your mobile device that can help you pass the time. In the iPad versus Netbook comparison the iPad blows the netbook out of the water when it comes to entertainment.
The iPad might be the best gaming device, mp3 player, and video player (with built-in Netflix, YouTube apps), you will every get your hands on. Many iPad game apps are as good if not better than games you can play on full-blown console style gaming devices such as the Wii, xBox or PS systems.
A Netbook is built for work purposes, and less for gaming but still it supports all video audio formats and you can play any format. Flash, in practical terms, is not fully supported on Netbook either, especially if you wish to see in full screen. Also, the poor display of Netbook adds to its AV disadvantages.
Neither the iPad nor a netbook offer an optical drive and everything you want to play should be coming from your desktop PC, but if watching a movie on iPad vs Netbook is the contest, iPad takes the lead by a HUGE margin.
One other item to note is that the iPad comes with a fabulous book reader and you can purchase a books at the apple iBook store. Therefore the iPad is note only a great mobile computing device, itís also a great eBook reader that compares favorable to the Kindle or other book reading devices, a netbook lacks that feature entirely.
Wrapping it all upThe above iPad comparison with Netbook demonstrates that neither of these two devices is a complete replacement for your primary computing device but they are not intended to be. The decision to purchase a iPad or netbook should be made on the basis of what you want the most out of your mobile computing device. If you lean a bit more towards simple browsing, email, and gaming, the iPad is your device without question. If you want to have your mobile device be a bit more like your primary machine you may opt for the netbook. The iPadís battery will outlast any netbook we have tested and the iPad is much more responsive. However the iPad is generally a bit more money than a typical netbook. Both iPads and netbook can be purchased with 3G connectivity as long as you also buy the associated monthly service. If you rely on WiFi both netbooks and iPadís offer that feature standard.
Statistics show that the sales of iPads are certainly taking a bite out of the sales of netbooks which were booming until the iPad was released. We believe there is a place for both devices in the market and both the iPad and the netbook are a good choice depending on the type of device you are searching for.
Which Device Does It Better?The chart below is how we have rated the iPad and the Netbook in the most common and asked about tasks and features. If the the row has a green check-mark we believe that device has the advantage when it comes to that feature.
Note: in the "Wifi connect row" we can't give the edge to either device since they both excel at connecting to Wifi networks, although it should be noted that a iPad does NOT have a Ethernet port for connecting to the internet hard-wired while your typical netbook DOES have a Ethernet port.