Building the Case for the iPad: Do You Really Need One?

Strictly speaking, most mid-range and practically all top-tier smartphones nowadays can already do what an iPad does so there almost isn’t any need for a tablet. Then again, Apple keeps churning out new iPad models, so it looks like people are still in the market for these sleek-looking tablets.

When it was first introduced, the iPad was dubbed as the “netbook killer.” Netbooks became popular around 2007; today, people have practically forgotten about them. The iPad, meanwhile, continues to maintain a considerable presence in the tablet market event after its initial launch in 2010. The new iPad Pro, in fact, can match or even outpace the performance of many laptops available in your local computer store.

So the better question perhaps is not about needing one but rather is the iPad the right digital device for your needs. Here are some of the things you should consider before buying an iPad from a reliable seller.

Laptop versus iPad

Before you decide whether you need an iPad or not, you should first determine if you need a laptop. iPads are powerful devices, but there are some things that it can’t do, like develop applications or edit videos beyond trimming and adding some basic effects. You should also think about the kinds of software you want or are going to use — some of them run only on Windows or only on Mac OS. This is a huge factor in making your decision.

Once you’ve considered the above factors and decided that you don’t need a laptop, then you can most likely get by with an iPad. It performs considerably well when it comes to tasks like checking and composing emails, surfing the web, browsing your social media feeds and updating your status, uploading photos, watching videos, making video calls, creating and editing documents and spreadsheets, play games, stream music, and so much more. Not only is an iPad more portable, it is also more affordable when you factor in its longevity. If you’re concerned about storage for your photos and videos (some iPads leave a lot to be desired), there are a lot of cloud services that you can use. iPads are also user-friendly; the usage is very intuitive unlike some Android tablets that may be more customizable but may prove to be too complicated for novice users.

Android Tablets versus iPad

In the Philippines, the main “battle,” so to speak, between Android tablets and the iPad is the price. There are a lot of affordable tablets available, most definitely, but they don’t match up with the performance of the iPad. Android tablets that are up to par with the iPad may cost only a little less or even be as expensive. You might want to consider how heavy a user you will be, as well as the applications and games that you’re going to be using. For sure, you won’t be able to watch HD videos and play graphics-intensive games on a low-end tablet.

One big advantage of iPads over Android tablets is the App Store — iOS is still the platform of choice for many developers. If you’re the kind of person who likes to try all sorts of new apps, then iPads are a good choice; there are also a lot of apps that roll out their updates first on iOS, so if you’ve got a case FOMO, iPads are the way to go. What’s more, the App Store is stricter when it comes to screening apps, so you have significantly lower chances of finding an app that’s creeping with malware with an iPad.

Smartphone versus iPad

If you already have a top-tier smartphone, you most likely don’t need an iPad anymore. After all, your phone can already do virtually anything your iPad can do. However, if you’re only using your phone to make calls and texts, keep updated with your social media accounts, and other simple tasks, you certainly don’t need to have the latest model — you may be better off getting a much more basic smartphone and invest on an iPad instead. In fact, you’ll probably appreciate the iPad’s real estate and speed when typing out long emails or documents, or running two apps at the same time.

All in all, getting an iPad is all a matter of evaluating your needs. Most people can probably survive with an older model smartphone, especially if all they do are the basics. However, if you’re a “power-user” who deals with a lot of documents, spreadsheets, and other similar files, and want more productivity that doesn’t sacrifice comfort, an iPad may just be the solution. It’s more portable than a laptop and almost as powerful, too.

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Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.