William from Las Vegas writes:

What is the difference between
1. Ipad
2. laptop
3. tablet
4. Ipad air

Let’s start off with the differences between a laptop and a tablet. A laptop or notebook computer is a portable fully functional PC or Mac that comes with an attached keyboard and runs full versions of the Windows or OS operating system. These devices can be used on or offline. They may or may not offer a touchscreen.


A netbook is a smaller Windows device, that also comes with an attached keyboard that is designed for accessing the Internet.  A Chromebook is a device designed for accessing the Internet using the Google Chrome operating system. It functions using Apps from Google and needs to be online for optimum use. A Chromebook also has a built-in keyboard.


A tablet is a device that functions using a touch screen. You may have the option to attach a keyboard, but a keyboard generally won’t come with the tablet. The most popular operating systems for tablets are Android and iOS. A Nexus, Kindle Fire and Nook Color are all different kinds of Android tablets.

When you use an Android tablet, you find apps (applications or programs) for your tablet in the Google Play Store. Kindles and Nooks run a specialized version of Android and offer Apps, books, music and video in specialized stores from Amazon and Barnes & Noble respectively.  A tablet is designed to work with an Internet connection. In many ways, it’s a WiFi appliance. If you don’t have access to a steady Internet connection either with WiFi or a 3G or 4G data plan, a tablet is probably not the best choice for you.

An iPad is a table that runs Apples iOS operating system. You’ll find apps, books and music for your iPad in the iTunes store. An iPad Air is the latest, lightest and fastest version of the iPad. As with an Android tablet, you can also add a keyboard. iPads are on the expensive end of tablets.

While you can buy a lower end-Android for less than $100 and very nice tablets available in the $200 range,  the smallest version of an iPad, the iPad mini, will cost you almost $300.  An iPad air could run you more than $900 if you select the 128 GB model with 4G service option.

 Windows also offers Windows RT tablets and tablets that run the full version of Windows 8. If you need to be able to run Windows programs, these tablets are a good compromise between a tablet and a laptop. You cannot run Windows programs on either Android, iOS or Chromebooks. You may be able to find an app that performs similar functions, but you can’t run Windows programs. You can find a 7″ tablet that supports the full version of Windows 8.1 starting around $300.  As with the other tablets, you can purchase an option physical keyboard if you feel you need it for typing.  A higher-end Windows 8.1 tablet could run you close to $1000.  Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets are two different things. RT uses apps from the Windows App Store, but it does not run the full version of Windows programs.

If you want the full version of Office, Photoshop or any other Windows program, you’ll need to make sure you have a tablet that operates on Windows 8.1.

Hope this clears up the differences.

~ Cynthia