Tablets for Schools – iPad Vs Windows Tablets

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    Tablets in the Classroom
    Tablets in the Classroom

    In one of the many areas where technology was received with apprehension but embraced after a while is in the field of education.

    Educators, teachers and also parents were skeptical about the use of technology for learning. The concerns were obvious and justified. With decreasing attention spans and growing screen fixation, did classrooms really need the intervention with digital devices like iPads and Windows tablets?

    But the answer is sharply affirmative. Education has been clasped with the traditional methods of interaction, learning and engagement for a long time now.

    Even as computers entered schools, their use was limited to learning computers themselves and the use of computational abilities for enhanced learning was never given a priority. But technology swept education like a whirlwind and there’s no looking back.

    Today, more and more educational outfits are making use of technology in the classroom via laptops, computers and e-learning apps. 

    Read more: Technology in classroom: Education industry trends

    One of the most versatile, compact and classroom-friendly digital devices is the tablet. Tablets can be effectively used for education, loaded with educational apps and content.

    But when it comes to narrowing down the tablet of choice, educators and decision-makers at educational institutes might be overwhelmed with the variety of choices available. 

    tablets for schools
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    In this article, we will be discussing the comparison or difference between a Windows tablet with Windows vs iPad, one of the most popular tablets in the classroom.

    Using iPads in the Classroom: It’s Pros & Cons

    1. Fantastic Design & Build Quality

    It is difficult to compare with anything that is as sleek-looking as the products by Apple. Apple products are known for their minimalist yet attractive design and solid colors.

    Although the design might not be the number one priority when looking for tablets for classrooms, aesthetics don’t hurt!  iPads are available in different screen sizes, and schools can pick the one that seems most suited for their operations.

    The iPad screens have enhanced brightness configurations and reflect a wide number of colors, adding to the visual elements of the device, which is critical for students for learning. 

    2. Compact & Lightweight

    iPads are compact, making them easy for students to carry around from one class to another, or even within the classroom. iPads weigh under 500 gms, which means they are ideal for dynamic learning for students of all age groups. 

    3. Long-Lasting Battery Life

    The iPad claims to have a battery life that lasts for 10 hours. Although under heavy operations, this may vary, iPads are generally known to have a greater battery life than any of its contemporary devices and can sustain throughout school hours. 

    4. Intuitive & User- Friendly Interface

    Apple is known for presenting a simple, clutter-free user interface which is also essential to drive focus and attention among the students.

    Since Apple products are rapidly being accepted in modern households, chances are that students are already aware of how to go about using them.

    This can help them to grasp the device usage faster and strike an element of familiarity, that can help them to learn with added eagerness.

    Since the iPad OS was built considering mobile devices, it clearly has an edge over Windows-based tablets in the classroom.

    ipad vs tablets
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    5. Wide Range of Apps

    The App Store has more than 2 million applications, out of which 200,000 are officially labeled as educational apps. Moreover, there is plenty of other design, drawing, writing, video and audio making and editing apps that can be effectively used on iPads in classrooms for an immersive learning experience.

    6. Mirroring to Apple TV

    iPad can be seamlessly connected to any Apple device for instant file sharing- including iPhones and MacBooks used by the educators.

    This also facilitates mirroring iPads to Apple TV screens for displaying content, discussing assignments, etc at the classroom level. All this without bulky infrastructure or endless wires lying around in a class full of active kids! 

    7. The Cost

    iPads are costly. There’s no denying that. And while all of these features and capabilities we discussed in the above points are valid, not all schools and educational organizations can afford to purchase and upgrade iPads in classrooms.

    8. Need for MDM

    iPads cannot be centrally managed without an iOS MDM. The iPads purchased from authorized carriers, resellers or Apple itself can be added to the Apple School Manager that helps in configuring apps (via VPP) and other basic configurations on iPads, but managing them end-to-end for security is only MDM-driven. 

    Also Read: Windows 10 for Education: Overview, Benefits, Challenges, Management

    Using Windows Tablets in Classroom: It’s Pros & Cons

    1. Dominance in the Global Education Market

    When it comes to the global education market share, Google is clearly winning. But as Apple and Microsoft struggle to make their presence felt, it is Microsoft that takes over.  Microsoft had around 22% of the educational market share in the U.S.A in the year 2018 against 18% of Apple. 

    2. Affordable Costs

    The reason that makes Windows tablets a better choice over iPads is undoubtedly the cost. Windows tablets are affordable, making them a great choice for school deployments. 

    3. Ability to Plug in the Existing Infrastructure

    It is most likely that schools are currently making use of Windows laptops for education. This makes plugging in Windows tablets to the existing infrastructure cost-effective.

    Microsoft offers teams for education to create a tight hardware-software infrastructure especially for schools which makes it a great option for education.

    Unlike iPads, Windows tablets can be managed via a System Center or any other of the common network management tools. 

    4. Docking Station to Attach to a Monitor

    Many OEM producing Windows tablets also offer docking stations that can be attached to a wired network and monitor. When paired with a wireless mouse and keyboard, the tablet can be turned to offer a full-blown PC experience.

    ipad vs tablet
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    5. Microsoft Office

    Technology companies across the globe have strived to create a product that is as good as Microsoft Office and the verdict always has been, there’s more to achieve.

    The capabilities of Microsoft Office are extensive and with Windows tablets, students can leverage the power of MS Word and MS PowerPoint for writing, editing and crafting documents and presentations for learning.

    Teachers can also make use of these applications for better classroom management and offering interactive learning. 

    6. Battery Life of Windows Tablets

    This is perhaps where iPads and Windows-based tablets have a real neck-to-neck competition. The battery life of Windows is claimed to last around 10 hours, just like the iPad. So considering for use in classrooms, both Windows tablets and iPads are at par. 

    7. Low Total Cost of Ownership

    While the low total cost of ownership might not stand true for high-end devices like Microsoft Surface, the other Windows devices are certainly more cost-effective when compared to iPads.

    When it comes to creating an ecosystem with a keyboard and mouse, the total cost of ownership for Windows tablets is certainly lower.

    If you are looking to deploy tablets for school, this article might help you to make your decision! Once you decide the device right for your school, you can efficiently manage it using Scalefusion MDM.


    1. Is It important to use iPad tablet in the classroom?

    Integrating iPads in classrooms can enhance learning experiences by providing interactive tools, digital resources, and collaborative platforms. They promote student engagement, creativity, and personalized learning. However, effectiveness depends on pedagogical strategies, device management, and curriculum alignment.

    2. Which tablet is best for school students?

    Tablets like the iPad, Microsoft Surface Go, and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 are popular among school students for their versatility, productivity apps, and educational content. Consider factors like budget, compatibility with school software, durability, and ease of use when selecting the best tablet.

    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane is an avid reader who loves writing about technology. She is an engineering graduate with 10+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for web-based startups.

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