Can an iPad Substitute a Laptop for Students?

While in college, modern students have to use high-end gadgets to perform a variety of everyday tasks. Just a decade ago, a computer or laptop was the only option available for students. But, now, some tablets become more and more powerful and, at the same time, remain more mobile.

So, can you possibly replace a laptop with an iPad? Read on to find the answer!

iPad vs. Laptop: The Key Differences

On the one hand, a tablet is obviously more portable than a computer. It can have a significantly smaller size and weight, allowing you to travel with it even easier. On the other hand, students perform many different tasks on their laptops. When it comes to simpler ones, like asking someone “please, write my research paper” to boost your grades or handling communication, an iPad can perform no worse. But some complex tasks are often easier to perform on a computer.

So, what’s the real difference? Let’s look at the key points.

1.   Purpose.

Tablets were originally designed for entertainment and media consumption, whereas laptops are meant for productivity. This fact affects the features available on every gadget.

2.   Power.

Generally, PCs are more powerful than mobile devices. They have more powerful processors and other hardware elements, which makes them great for all sorts of tasks and programs, even the most complex ones.

3.   Energy.

Since computers are more powerful, they waste more energy by default. A tablet, on the contrary, will typically have a longer battery life, allowing it to last longer, even in a high productivity mode.

4.   Size.

iPads can come in many different sizes. However, in general, it will be more lightweight and smaller than a typical PC. Thus, it will be more portable.

5.   Additional accessories.

A good thing about a laptop is that it already has everything a student needs to use it smoothly for all college purposes. A tablet, on the contrary, doesn’t have everything to satisfy students’ needs. It can require you to purchase additional accessories to make it work well for you. So, it’s not a one-time purchase and, thus, can be more expensive.

Are These Gadgets Interchangeable?

Knowing about the key distinctive features, you must be wondering whether an iPad really can replace a laptop for you. Let’s break it down to find the answer.

As was mentioned earlier, it can easily substitute a PC for all small, everyday tasks. This involves communication, getting professional academic help, accessing educational materials, carrying out research, etc. On top of this, a tablet can also unlock new opportunities for you. For example, it supports an Apple pen, which makes it possible to draw and make handwritten notes with ease.

One of the main drawbacks is incompatibility with certain tools. For example, if you own a Windows laptop, you must be prepared that some of your programs and apps will be unavailable in the App Store. Also, when it comes to some heavyweight programs that eat up a lot of power, they might also be unavailable.

Yet, the biggest drawback is that using a tablet for certain daily student tasks is just inconvenient. For example, you can easily use an iPad to type a short message or email. But, if you need to write an academic paper, it can’t be too convenient. Also, when you need to watch a video or lecture, you will have to hold it in your hands all the time, whereas a computer can be easily set on the table. But the good news is that additional accessories can easily solve these small inconveniences.

4 Extra Accessories Students Need to Make an iPad Replace a Computer

If you are determined to replace a large and heavy laptop with a much more mobile iPad, you actually CAN do it. But you will likely need some add-ons.

In the list below, you will find the top must-have accessories you will need:

1.   A Case With Stand

When watching videos, conducting research, typing, and performing other typical student tasks, you will likely find it very tiring if you have to hold your iPad in your hands all the time. To change this, you will need to invest in a good case with a stand. Such a case will let you set your tablet on a table and make your work sessions much more convenient.

2.   Keyboard

If you try typing something longer than an email on a touchscreen, you will definitely feel how inconvenient and tiring it can be. So, another accessory you will need is a keyboard. You can either choose a keyboard case or get a Bluetooth keyboard. The options are broad, so each of you should be able to find something to suit your needs.

3.   Bluetooth Mouse

This one is optional. If you used to have a laptop, chances are that you used it without a physical mouse, using only a touchpad. On the one hand, you could use a tablet without one too. But, some users will find it more convenient to browse the internet and perform other tasks with the help of a Bluetooth mouse.

4.   Adapter Hub

On a laptop, you will most likely have plenty of different slots for external devices, including SD cards, external hard drives, USBs, etc. An iPad won’t have these slots. So, you should get yourself an adapter hub to be able to use all the needed external devices with it.

The Bottom Line

The answer is yes. These days, a tablet really can replace a laptop for students. It can let you perform all the basic college tasks and, at the same time, give you more portability and freedom.

However, if you want to make the most out of your iPad, you will need to equip it with additional accessories in order to make it more convenient for completing different types of work. Use this article as your guide to getting everything you need and start using a tablet instead of a PC conveniently.


Aadarsh is a talented content writer who specializes in creating informative articles on business and technology topics. He is a regular contributor to the popular website,, where his articles are widely read and highly appreciated by readers from all around the world.

Related Articles

Back to top button