Here is a straight forward and easy to understand comparison between netbooks, laptops small brother, and Apples Ipad.

The guys at Apple tend to look down on netbooks. The CEO Steve Jobs claims that they are just cheap laptops and the Ipad is superior to any laptop. Netbooks can be disappointing due to the lower processing power but the Ipad also has a number of disappointing features. Each has its strengths and weaknesses as I will show below.

Ipad Vs Netbook Breakdown

Internet browsing:

  • The Ipad touch screen makes for a easy enjoyable experience especially compared to the traditional mouse and keyboard.

  • There is no Flash on the Ipad however. Flash is a part of many web pages so without it you will not be able to use certain functions. This includes, for example, a lot of Facebook games!


  • The Ipad has a on-screen keyboard. This is fine for occasional use but you do not want to be typing a lot. Having to switch keyboards between characters and numbers is annoying. On the other hand if you don't type much the lack of keyboard presence makes for a more comfortable experience.

  • Netbooks have keyboards so you can type on your lap and for longer periods of time. They are normally smaller then regular keyboards by about 90% but the larger 12 inch screen models have 100% sized ones.


  • A netbook can run any operating system or application, so long as it is compatible. They are able to be upgraded, although not as much as a regular laptop or desktop. An Ipad cannot be upgraded, instead you have to buy a new one.

  • The Ipad has only 64gb of space, as opposed to about twice that for a netbook.

  • With the Ipad can only use applications that you have bought through the AppleStore.

Technical features:

  • Ipads are a bit more portable due to having a slightly lighter weight then most netbooks and being thinner

  • Netbooks have a shorter battery life, a maximum of eight hours as opposed to 10 for a Ipad. I personally have a six hour netbook and I hardly ever run out of battery.

  • The screen size between the two are comparable with the Ipad having 9.7 inches where netbooks average 10 inches and can go up to 12 if you are willing to pay for it.

  • The Ipad lacks a USB port, video out and a card reader, though you can pay extra for attachments.


There is an issue with comparing the Ipad and netbooks since ultimately they are two different devices for different purposes. If you are after a portable device for doing a variety of everyday activities netbooks have what you need. If what you want is something on which you can read books, watch movies and generally consuming content the Ipad is best.

When making your choice, forget the buzz and hype and think about what you will be doing with it and what are the critical necessities you want to get.

Image: Glen Fleishman