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How to Choose Between a Laptop and an iPad®

Nov 03, 2021

A woman looking indecisive as she stares at her laptop

Which should you get: a laptop or an iPad®? This is a question that many people ask themselves. The answer to this question, however, depends on your personal preferences and needs. If you're trying to figure out which one to shop for, here are some things you should consider before making your decision.

What to Consider When Deciding Between the Two

There are several factors that should be taken into consideration before getting an iPad or laptop. The first thing you should think about is its intended use. Whether you will need to use it to complete tasks for work, school or your personal life could impact your decision. You will also need to consider your budget.

Pros of a Laptop

When considering a laptop, its main advantage is that it is able to function like a desktop computer should you need a device for more intensive tasks such as gaming. Another advantage of laptops over iPads is the number and variety of ports available that can allow you to connect various devices at once.

Cons of a Laptop

The primary downside of a laptop is that it is not as mobile or convenient to carry around if you need it on the go. Depending on your laptop, they can be bulky and heavy, which does not make them ideal for use while traveling. Laptops can also require more paid applications than an iPad.

Pros of an iPad

An iPad can be the right choice for you if you are satisfied with a mobile computer that can be used to browse the internet, check email, download and read books, organize content, and perform other basic functions. Compared to laptops, an iPad is much more portable and lighter to carry around if portability is important to you.

Cons of an iPad

While an iPad might be the right solution in some situations, other times it may fall short. An iPad lacks a keyboard and mouse which can make it difficult to perform more detailed tasks such as creating documents or spreadsheets. There also may be compatibility issues with certain software not available for the iPad.

Tips for Protecting Your Investment

When you shop for an iPad or a laptop, it's important to protect your investment. If you already have your iPad or laptop, there are still ways to make sure that you're getting the most out of it should something happen. Protecting your investment and making sure it lasts for many years to come is important. Getting a strong, sturdy case for your laptop or iPad can protect it should you accidentally drop it or spill something on your device. Protective cases can cost as little as $20 and keep the machine looking new for longer.

Let Acima Help

If you're looking to shop for an iPad or laptop, but financial limitations are a problem, Acima can help. Our lease-to-own* program partners with thousands retailers nationwide to help you get the device that is best for you — without using credit*. Simply choose a lease-purchase agreement that is right for you and make small, affordable lease renewal payments over time until it’s yours to own.  If things change, you can return the product in good condition to Acima without further obligation. 


Can you use an iPad as a laptop?

It is possible to set up an iPad so it’s similar to a laptop. There are a number of accessories that you will need to do this, including a keyboard, charging station and various apps.

Can you print from an iPad?

Yes, in most scenarios an iPad can print, but you will need to confirm that the desired printer is set up to print from the iPad, which typically means that the printer is able to use AirPrint® and that the iPad is on the same Wi-Fi network. You should also be aware that some printers need to have an app downloaded in order to work with the printer, so you will want to check for this before getting your new device connected.

Is a laptop or iPad better for students?

Finding the right device will depend on the student’s personal preference. Some students may want the flexibility that comes with a lightweight device like an iPad, while others might want the power and functionality of a laptop.

Why do I need an iPad if I have a laptop?

An iPad can be a great investment in addition to a laptop. For example, an iPad can be used to take notes in class or do research when you are away from home. Some people may prefer using an iPad because of its portability and convenience when they need something that can perform more functions than their phone but don't want to bring their laptop everywhere they go.

How does the iPad compare to other tablets?

While iPads are the most popular brand out there, there are other tablets that are comparable. We recommend finding an Acima electronics retailer who can help walk you through the differences and find the right device for your situation.

How can I use a mouse with an iPad?

The easiest way to use a mouse with an iPad is to get a wireless Bluetooth® mouse for your iPad, which can be found at many electronics retailers. This should work with any Bluetooth-compatible device.