how to make an email mobile friendly_accept a job offer thank the recruiter_Chromebook vs iPad in the Classroom

Chromebook vs iPad in the Classroom: Which is Best?

(Last Updated On: August 27, 2023)

Chromebook vs iPad in the classroom: Which is the best in education? In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shift toward remote learning, the educational landscape experienced a dramatic surge in Chromebook adoption. In 2020, the demand for these devices skyrocketed, more than doubling in comparison to previous figures. This abrupt surge was catalyzed by the relocation of learning and work environments from conventional school premises and office edifices to the intimate setting of people’s homes.

Endowed with the virtues of portability, extended battery life, and user-friendliness, Chromebooks garnered immense popularity among students and remote workers alike. Swiftly and decisively, they established themselves as one of the foremost choices available in the market.

Despite the reintegration of numerous students into brick-and-mortar classrooms, the requirement for secure and accessible devices remains unaltered. This is essential to ensure that students, educators, and administrative personnel possess the necessary tools and flexibility to accomplish their tasks.

Within the expanse of this article, we will delve into a comprehensive comparison, dissecting the realms of performance, affordability, security, accessibility, and more, to decipher how Chromebooks fare against iPad devices and other laptop counterparts.

Chromebook vs iPad in the Classroom: Which is Best?

Disparities between Chromebooks and conventional laptops are manifold, with the most conspicuous distinction lying in the thin-client nature of Chromebooks. Unlike conventional laptops, Chromebooks function as devices reliant on central servers as opposed to local hard drives. The crux of Chromebooks lies in their operation via the Google-operated Chrome OS.

Diverging from conventional operating systems, Chrome OS centers around the framework of the Google Chrome browser. This unconventional approach transcends the conventional paradigm of operating systems running exclusively on local devices, as witnessed in popular systems such as Windows and macOS.

The essence of Chromebooks’ compatibility with Chrome OS grants them seamless access to Google’s expansive array of productivity and collaboration tools. This embrace extends to encompass Google Classroom and Google Workspace for Education, a platform enjoying the patronage of over 170 million educators globally.

Amplifying Processing Power and Hardware

Chrome OS stands out as a lightweight operating system that demands substantially less processing power in comparison to laptops employing Windows OS. Chromebooks diverge from their conventional counterparts in their modest RAM requirements and lowered dependency on high processing power. Characterized by their lightweight build, portability, and extended battery life, Chromebooks constitute a formidable alternative.

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Bolstered by their reliance on web-based programs and the haven of Google’s cloud storage, Chromebooks escape the snare of lag time engendered by concurrent program execution. By channeling their activities through the vessel of the Chrome browser or the cloud, Chromebooks unfurl enhanced system velocity and efficiency, surpassing the performance trajectory of conventional laptops.

Within the spectrum of available hardware, Chromebooks often exhibit a more frugal selection when contrasted with their conventional laptop counterparts. This attribute frequently translates into a tangible advantage in terms of affordability, rendering certain Chromebook models more budget-friendly than their brand counterparts (though it’s important to note that Chromebook Enterprise devices may deviate from this trend by being comparatively pricier).

Internet Connectivity: A Dual-Faceted Landscape

Chromebooks’ reliance on browser-centric applications naturally equips them with high-grade internet adapters. In contrast, Windows laptops parade an array of Wi-Fi adapter options while being primed for offline functionality thanks to the integration of locally installed applications.

The advent of the initial Chromebook models in 2010 in the United States was tethered to consistent internet connectivity, serving as a limiting factor. However, the current trajectory paints a picture where Chromebooks seamlessly toggle between offline and online modes via Wi-Fi or mobile broadband connections.

A specialized category of Chromebooks has emerged to cater to students grappling with restricted internet access. These specialized devices, christened “Always Connected,” integrate an LTE connectivity option. This enables internet access through cellular networks, thereby transcending the constraints imposed by a wired internet setup.

A plethora of Chrome OS applications has been meticulously crafted to function sans internet connectivity. A pertinent instance resides in the realm of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which can be created, edited, and viewed offline. Once the Chromebook regains its online status, the alterations seamlessly sync with the cloud.

Chromebooks vs. MacBooks: An In-Depth Comparison

In the realm of educational utility, Chromebooks and MacBook computers stand as two distinct entities, demarcated by price and OS updates.

Pricing: The Defining Discrepancy

Chromebooks and MacBook computers inhabit separate echelons on the price spectrum. The baseline cost of a MacBook Air is marked at $999, providing a device equipped with 16 GB of storage and an impressive battery life of up to 11 hours.

On a slightly higher echelon, a 13-inch MacBook Pro begins at $1,299, whereas the grander 16-inch MacBook Pro carries a price tag of $2,399. By stark contrast, Chromebooks average a cost hovering around $500. The battery life, spanning nine to 12 hours, wavers based on model specifications and usage patterns.

It’s crucial to note that Chromebooks are designed with a limited capacity for local storage, a trait intentionally cultivated. Operating on the premise of storing files and content within the vast expanse of the cloud, Chromebooks sidestep the need for copious hard drive space. Run Windows on any Mac—Intel or Apple silicon—and experience a seamless integration between operating systems.

Evolution of Operating Systems: A Glimpse into the World of Updates

Apart from presenting an array of economical devices, Chrome OS boasts superior security and functionality in comparison to macOS. As indicated by the latest State of Malware report, the detection of malware, ransomware, and other business-related threats ballooned by over 61% during the year 2020.

To safeguard your device, a contemporary operating system fortified with the latest security enhancements is imperative. The unique advantage of Chromebooks emerges through their mechanism of automatic updates, ensuring that they persistently operate on the most recent and fortified version of Chrome OS.

MacBook computers, in contrast, experience a comprehensive operating system overhaul annually. It is incumbent upon the user to facilitate the download of updates that rectify security vulnerabilities and glitches that surface in between these annual system metamorphoses.

Chromebooks chart an alternative trajectory by engaging in a more frequent update cycle. Major updates roll out at six-week intervals, while minor updates materialize every two to three weeks. What’s remarkable is that this intricate web of updates unfolds seamlessly and automatically, obviating the need for user intervention and engendering zero disruptions in usage.

Confrontation of iPads and Chromebooks

In an educational milieu where both the Chromebook and the iPad have established their presence, credit is accorded to their adaptability and portability, coupled with the emergence of interactive applications designed to bolster the learning process. The question that naturally arises: How do these two titans fare when pitted against each other?

Interface and OS Variations: Windows and Chrome

While Chromebooks natively support Google applications, MacBook users necessitate the installation of the Google Classroom application to run these applications on macOS. The addition of new applications translates to augmented storage consumption. Subsequent macOS updates, exemplified by “Big Sur,” have been known to commandeer 35 GB of space.

Furthermore, every upgrade to macOS amplifies the storage requisites, rendering the device’s storage space a diminishing commodity.

Augmenting Capabilities through External Additions

The iPad exclusively operates via touch interactions, yet it can be bridged to external devices like a mouse, trackpad, or keyboard through the medium of Bluetooth. However, the reservations of budget-constrained educational systems may render them hesitant to invest in supplementary peripherals to transcend the realm of touchscreen functionality.

The incorporation of a smart keyboard commands an additional expense of $159, potentially escalating even further. Coupled with this, an extra $99 outlay is needed for the acquisition of a first-generation Apple Pencil. The integration of a keyboard renders the iPad akin to a laptop, thus facilitating the composition of essays and other scholastic endeavors.

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Manifesting as a digital stylus, the Apple Pencil finds its utility in activities such as drawing, editing, and note-taking within iPadOS applications. The stylus amplifies precision when engaging with the touchscreen. Regrettably, it remains restricted in compatibility, confined solely to more recent iPad models.

When these supplementary peripherals are factored into the purchase equation, the cost of iPad devices escalates expeditiously, proving prohibitive for educational institutions with fiscal constraints.

By contrast, Chromebooks are innately endowed with keyboards and touchpads, instantly propelling students and educators into action the moment they power on their devices.

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That being said, an array of external peripherals exists for Chromebooks:

  • Monitor: The introduction of external monitors into the equation elevates productivity by affording users a broader canvas to accommodate tabs and supplementary elements. Monitors are obtainable in various sizes and specifications, with price points spanning from $175 to well above $800.
  • Docking Station: These multifunctional docking stations establish a link between the Chromebook and external monitors. Available in an assortment of forms and dimensions, they span the price spectrum from under $100 to surpassing $500, contingent upon the quantity of ports and other add-on features.
  • Mouse: The touchpad admirably fulfills its duty, yet a wireless mouse often garners favor owing to augmented comfort and precision. A rudimentary wireless mouse can be procured for less than $10, while models featuring ergonomic designs can command prices as high as $100.
  • Keyboard: While Chromebooks intrinsically incorporate keyboards, certain users favor the convenience of an external keyboard. A wireless keyboard, bearing the hallmark of Chrome OS function keys, can be acquired for $50.

Effortless IT Management

The installation and administration of Chromebooks entail simplicity, facilitated by the ability of school IT administrators to execute remote management via the Google Admin console.

In stark contrast, the task of distributing and supervising iPad devices entails a substantially higher time investment. Illustratively, a K-12 school district reported that managing a fleet of 500 Chromebooks proved to be a less time-consuming endeavor compared to overseeing a single iPad cart housing 30 individual iPad devices.

Chromebooks, powered by Chrome OS, are masters of independent updates. Pending updates are promptly executed before the Chromebook completes its boot-up process, significantly alleviating the burden on IT teams.

The act of updating an iPad, conversely, entails a manual approach. It necessitates the employment of a mobile device manager (MDM) in tandem with an Apple School Manager for IT teams to orchestrate the updates.

Serving Multiple Users

The multifaceted realm of Chromebooks incorporates a mechanism where students interface with their devices through their Google accounts. This seamless linkage ensures that a single set of Chromebooks can be seamlessly shared across multiple classes. When an individual student logs in, their personalized settings, accessibility configurations, and extensions are instantaneously loaded onto the Chromebook.

Critical student data and work find their sanctuary in the cloud, transcending the risk of loss or compromise.

The terrain of shared iPad devices seeks to emulate the Chromebook’s framework of preserving and retrieving tailored student settings. However, shared iPad devices opt to store individual data locally, as opposed to entrusting it to the cloud. Consequently, students become tethered to specific shared devices contingent upon Managed Apple IDs dispensed by the educational institution.

In the unfortunate event of a shared iPad device that accommodates multiple students being lost or sustaining damage, the ramifications cascade across the impacted students.

Durability: Stalwart Construction vs. Vulnerability

Chromebooks are a testament to resilience, flaunting a robust design to navigate the challenges posed by accidental bumps and tumble-off desks and device carts. To this end, they are enveloped within sturdy polycarbonate shells complemented by resilient rubber bumpers.

Embracing a hierarchy of water resistance and drop protection, Chromebooks forge an association that the realm of iPads fails to establish. iPads steer clear of water resistance and drop protection attributes. Chromebooks tailored exclusively for educational realms exhibit supplementary attributes, incorporating microbe-resistant screens that preclude germ propagation among students and educators.

Conversely, iPads remain susceptible to deformation through manual manipulation, particularly when pressure is exerted around the microphone or the compact region designated for wireless charging. The iPad does not embrace water resistance, compelling users to contemplate the acquisition of Apple Care+ and waterproof cases to safeguard their devices.

Elevating Chromebook Education with Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS

The ascent of Chromebooks within educational settings is undeniable, attributed to their seamless operation and consistent performance. Despite their remarkable attributes, Chromebooks suffer from a notable limitation: the inability to execute full-featured Windows applications.

Enter Parallels® Desktop for Chrome OS, the panacea to this shortcoming. This innovative solution enables Chromebooks that meet specific system requisites to wield the power of complete Windows applications and legacy software, even when offline.

Users can seamlessly deploy Windows applications in either full-screen mode or side-by-side configurations with Chrome OS, all without necessitating a device reboot.

The realm of education, replete with students, educators, and school administrators, is empowered to harness the enhanced functionality of Chromebook devices, bypassing the need for MacBook computers, iPad devices, or other laptops. In a landscape where ease of use and security reign supreme, Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS emerges as the beacon guiding educational institutions toward elevated efficiency and productivity.

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