With the iPad 2018, Apple has succeeded in creating a multi-purpose computer with powerful arguments for the mass market. For features, software and price. However, one of the iPad’s raisons d’être is to transform the education sector, a place where it is not alone. In this comparison between the iPad 2018 and a Chromebook we will analyze their hardware specifications and the possibilities of the software that accompanies them.
iPad 2018 vs Chromebook: Comparative Specifications
For the comparison we have chosen a mid-range Chromebook model. This is the CTL J5, which as we will see, has a price similar to that of the iPad 2018 as well as some similar features so that the comparison between models is as reasonable as possible.
iPad 2018Chromebook CTL J5Screen9.7 inches, retinal resolution of 2,048 by 1,536 pixels at 264 pp11.6 inches, resolution of 1. 366 by 768 pixels at 135 ppMore on the screenMulti-touch, Apple Pencil holderMulti-touchDimensions and weight24 cm x 16.95 x 0.75 cm, Weight: 469 g29.2 cm x 20.87 x 2.23 cm, Weight 1.49 kgProcessorChip A10 Fusion 64bits, with Augmented Reality supportIntel Celeron N3060RAM memory2GB LPDDR44GB LPDDRLS operating system 11Chrome OSC rear camera8 Mpx, opening 2.4, Live Photos, 1080p HD video recordingNot front camera1.2 Mpx, Live Photos, 720p HD video recording, Retina FlashHD camera for video conferencing32GB and 128GB capacitySecurity1st generation touch ID, passwordBatteryUp to 10 hours of Internet browsing via WiFi, or 9 hours using LTE Over 12 hours, no activity specifiedWi-Fi connectivity (802. 11abgnac) LTE and bluetooth 4.2Wi-Fi 802.11 ac 2 x 2, bluetooth 4ColorGold, silver, space greyBluetooth, LightningBoard supportIntegrated, chicklet type and 360 degrees foldingMouseNot integratedLightning ports, jackMicro SD, HDMI, 3 USB 3.0 and jackPriceFrom 349 euros at Apple319 euros at Amazon
Abysmal differences in hardware and software
At first glance, the differences between the 2018 iPad and the CTL J5 Chromebook are obvious. The former is a tablet while the latter is a more conventional computer, a direct heir to the netbooks that were so popular around 2008.
Much of the experience with these devices is determined by two factors: the display and the processor. The iPad 2018 has a 9.7-inch screen and a density of 264 pixels per inch , while the J5 Chromebook has 11.6 inches worse spread: its density is 135 pixels per inch.
On the processor, the specification comparison is even more favorable to the iPad. According to the Geekbench tests on the iPad 2018 we have analyzed, the single-core score is 3,524, 5,986 in the multi-core test of the A10 Fusion processor. According to the most recent test of the Celeron N3060 processor on the Chromebook, the scores are 969 and 1,606 respectively. Less than a third of the power of the iPad .
Worse screen and mediocre processor make price the only virtue of Chromebook in general
This means that the software that can no longer be run but used fluently is very limited . Chromebook J5 uses Chrome OS as its operating system, one that relies heavily on the cloud. Although a significant part of the processing occurs in the cloud, the device is not capable of performing many tasks at the same time. Much less open several tabs simultaneously.
In contrast, the iPad 2018 has a processor that is not new, but that was state-of-the-art at some point in its life and was not designed as a low-cost alternative to a mediocre device. In other words, the A10 Fusion was superior to the processor of many computers launched in 2016 and is still a valid alternative to a current device.
Chromebook and iPad: two different visions of personal computing
The comparison between an iPad 2018 and a CTL J5 Chromebook is unfair , in view of the screen and processor specifications. But it’s a relevant comparison. Even more important is the exercise that some users and educational institutions perform when faced with the purchase decision.
We have not entered into a debate about any other feature apart from these two, because those who lean into a Chromebook do so only because of its price . Because they are cheaper on paper and, in the case of educational institutions, they are also very easily managed by the IT department. An argument that Apple hopes to counteract with the new features presented last month designed for education: 200GB free in iCloud and management software for educational institutions.
Chromebooks of this type are a valid tool when all you need is to perform light office work, but it does not allow you to go beyond as intended by the iPad 2018
In a way, this is a repetition of the struggle in the corporate sector, where those who buy the equipment are not the ones who will use it. The priorities and interests of the IT management department are not the same and are often contrary to those of the end users: students and teachers. But this is a different debate.
The truth is that these two devices could not be more different. The CTL J5, like all Chromebooks, is designed to be used in a static way. It is always connected to a powerful Wi-Fi network, capable of meeting the bandwidth demands of this device. While the iPad is designed for total mobility and does not need to have a network connection to be useful.
Chromebooks have only a handful of apps compared to the million on the iPad 2018 App Store, optimized for their features and possibilities. iOS 11 comes with a huge amount of features, plus support for numerous augmented reality apps. J5 has neither a back camera nor power to run them.
Chrome OS will bring support for Android apps, but this operating system has never stood out for its tablet apps
In terms of price, the difference is not so great . The iPad has a starting price of 349 euros, to which you can add a keyboard case for about 30 euros. Adding the Apple Pencil costs 99 euros (in the USA schools have a Logitech Crayon for 49 dollars).
Análisis iPad 2018: el mejor ordenador para las masas tiene un precio imparable.
Both accessories would put the iPad 2018 around the price of Samsung’s Chromebook Pro. But we still have a mediocre 32-bit processor that is less than half as powerful as the basic iPad, has no adapted apps and forgets about augmented reality.
In the end, these types of Chrome OS devices are nothing more than an evolution of the thinclient and netbooks of the past. Their only advantage lies in their cost, but even the price turns out to be a mirage .