Apple’s iPad vs. Google’s Chromebook: Which is the real apple for the teacher?

“For a company that was once synonymous with education, Apple has lost a lot of ground to Microsoft and especially Google,” Michael Gartenberg writes for iMore. “The Chromebook platform and service offerings are now what dominate education.”

“I spent some time with Apple’s latest iPad and iWork suite,” Gartenberg writes. “to get some perspective, I thought it might be good to take a look at a Chromebook equivalent. Tough to do, Chromebooks aren’t totally low-end devices. They go from under to $200 to over $1,500. I settled on a Samsung Chromebook Plus. It’s a pretty fair comparison, I think. At $429 (often discounted to as low as $319) it has a touch screen, full keyboard ,and an integrated pen. In other words, it’s roughly the same as an iPad with a keyboard and Apple Pencil.”

MacDailyNews Take: Define “roughly.”

“I do give Apple the edge with an added focus on more creative content creation but, sadly, that’s not the focus of many schools that are looking to get the basics right,” Gartenberg writes. “In short, it’s a photo finish for me. Apple has a compelling story but not one that fundamentally changes the current narrative. Google has the home advantage, and, if schools deploy iPads with Google services, it’s still a win for Google.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As always, the good and/or rich schools will have Apple Macs and iPads and the rest will settle for the lower-priced test-taking machines.

Compared: 2018 iPad versus the Acer Chromebook 11 in the school – April 6, 2018
Reuters reviews Apple’s new 6th-gen iPad: The tablet to buy – April 4, 2018
Apple’s new low-cost iPad absolutely destroys Chromebooks in performance – April 4, 2018
The Verge reviews new entry-level iPad: Apple’s bare minimum still beats everybody else – April 3, 2018
VentureBeat reviews Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad: ‘OK for schools, great for everyone else’ – April 2, 2018
Apple’s new iPad can only be good news – March 29, 2018
New iPad’s enemy isn’t just Chromebooks, it’s the U.S. public education system – March 28, 2018
Logitech’s Rugged Combo 2 keyboard and case for Apple’s iPad has its own smart connector – March 28, 2018
Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad offers 2GB of RAM, 2.2 GHz A10 processor – March 28, 2018
How Apple lost its place in the classroom – March 28, 2018
Apple bids for education market with new software, new iPad – March 27, 2018
Apple takes aim at Google Chromebook with $299 iPad with Apple Pencil support for schools – March 27, 2018
Did Apple do enough to grab back education market share? – March 27, 2018
Apple unveils new 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support starting at $329 – March 27, 2018
Apple unveils ‘Everyone Can Create’ curriculum – March 27, 2018
Apple’s iWork update brings drawing, book creation and more to Pages, Numbers and Keynote – March 27, 2018
MacDailyNews presents live coverage of Apple’s March 27th ‘Field Trip’ event – March 27, 2018
Google’s Chromebooks are still spying on grade school students – April 21, 2017


  1. Steve Jobs always touted that Apple’s true advantage was that it was a software company more than it was a hardware company. Though Apple’s hardware here is clearly superior, it’s software is clearly not. Google Docs, Drive, etc. a far more refined and usable than Apple’s long ignored and clunky iCloud counterparts. Thems the facts..!

    Until Apple decides to give some real attention, feature parity across all of it’s productivity suite on all platforms, it will be losing schools across the country no matter how good their hardware is by comparison.

    1. Totally agree with your point. Perhaps the biggest ‘problem’ with Apple today is not the lag in HW but in their SW. The OS may be a focus for Apple but if they don’t also manage the productivity/utility software that comes standard with the OS it’s like having a great performance car with mediocre/poor interior features.

  2. Most schools are only going “drone books” because they’re cheap, made poorly and disposable. If it breaks, just buy a new one. And with all the mandated testing, forget creativity. Gaggle will be the next big Facebook like data harvester exposed. If you value your privacy, stay away from the G. But most people don’t care, until it’s too late….

    1. Two out of three ain’t bad, but you’re wrong that they’re “made poorly.” My daughter’s school is finishing up their third school year with $179 Acer Chromebook 11’s, and they’ve held up really well. Only a couple have been grounded for issues not worth fixing. The half dozen cracked screens in three years were fixed with a $33 part on Amazon and about 10 minutes of labor. So you’re not even quite right with “disposable” either.

        1. No, I kept it for about a year. It was simply a Best Buy customer return- there was nothing functionally wrong with it. The problem was not the hardware. The Chrome OS was what I found lacking.

  3. Definition of roughly

    1 : in a rough manner: such as
    a : with harshness or violence treated the prisoner roughly
    b : in crude fashion : imperfectly roughly dressed lumber
    2 : without completeness or exactness : approximately roughly 20 percent

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