5 Things Chromebooks Do Better Than iPads
I have been an iPad user since Apple released them in 2010 and a Chromebook user for the past few months. In that time, I have found that the Chromebook has many great selling points for both the education user and the general population. Here are my top 5 so far:
Keyboard and Mouse
Let’s face it, if you are doing anything beyond basic short bursts of typing for emails, web urls, and tweets, an on screen keyboard has its limits. The Chromebook that I am using right now has a very well built keyboard (clearly Macbook inspired) and mouse, both of which give me the tactile feel I have grown accustomed to when typing. Of course iPads support a variety of wired and wireless keyboards, but it is nice to have everything all in one form factor without the need to pack an extra keyboard everywhere you go.
Working with A Variety of File Types
Have you ever tried to work with anything other than a photo on an iPad? It is often miserable. Something as routine as saving a PDF from a website and sending it as an attachment can only be accomplished with the help of 3rd party apps that not all users have the time or experience to download. The Chromebook lets you save documents right to the hard drive and/or the Google Drive, making them easily accessible to email to other users or open in another program.
Even though the Cloud has many of us ditching the USB drives, there are still many times in my week when I am approached by a colleague who has documents on a thumb drive. Chromebooks have full support for USB drives, mice, keyboards, and many other USB peripherals that iPad users have been asking for since 2010.
Even though most modern websites have moved on to HTML5 and other mobile friendly designs, there is still a lot of great content out there that uses Flash. I find it incredibly stubborn that Apple still refuses to support Flash. Not only does the Chromebook support Flash, it updates it silently in the background for me (so no more constant annoying reminders, like my PC and Mac).
Staying Up To Date
I really like and appreciate the silent updates of the Chromebook. The only sign that an update has taken place is the occasional arrow in the notification area telling you that an update will be applied on the next restart. Even then the update is so quick you probably would not know it was happening.
**Full Disclosure: I love both Chromebooks and the iPad. I own several of each and both are very useful in their own right.**