Apple’s innovation power for iPads appears to be declining. Android tablet manufacturers see this as an opportunity: While for a long time only a few manufacturers such as Lenovo and Samsung regularly released new models, now numerous other providers are revitalizing the market for Android tablets: Xiaomi has established itself as a top brand, Acer is bringing a new device after a five-year product break, and Google is back in the game with the Pixel Tablet.
These and many other devices offer good reasons to choose an Android tablet over an iPad. You can find reasons that speak more in favor of the iPad in this Macwelt article.
1. Android tablets are cheaper
Android tablets are available for every budget: The range starts from entry-level devices for under 100 euros and goes up to high-end models for over 1000 euros. iPads start at around 350 euros and you have to spend up to 3000 euros for top models.
The affordable prices make an Android tablet interesting as a second or third device alongside a PC and smartphone. Additionally, this way you can also afford to give a tablet to your children without having to spend on an expensive iPad.
Furthermore, Android tablets offer plenty of bargain potential: Many retailers frequently entice customers with discount promotions, and the street prices of the devices usually drop quickly. In contrast, the high-priced iPads remain expensive for a long time – even when a new model generation hits the market.
The price-performance advantage of Android tablets over the iPad is clear: They are cheaper with similar specifications or offer more features for the same price. While the cheapest iPad of 2021 costs around 350 euros, you can get an Android tablet like the Lenovo Tab M10 Plus Gen3 with 64 GB of storage and a slightly larger display for under 200 euros. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, with similar specifications, also costs under 200 euros. Even a former flagship model like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, which surpasses the entry-level iPad in terms of screen size and resolution, is slightly cheaper at around 320 euros.
The price advantages of Android tablets in the high-end segment are even more pronounced: You can get the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ with 256 GB and 5G for under 1000 euros, while the iPad Pro 12.9″ with the same specifications costs around 1400 euros.
Android tablets offer much more features for the same price: You can invest 350 euros in the iPad 2021 and get a 10.2-inch display, 64 GB of storage, and Wi-Fi. For the same price, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite awaits with double the storage capacity, and the Xiaomi Pad 5 even offers 256 GB. Even if you want 5G, you don’t have to spend more on an Android tablet: The Lenovo Tab P11 comes with an 11-inch display, 128 GB of storage, and a built-in cellular modem.
2. The choice of Android tablets is huge
Tablets can be small and lightweight for mobility, used for browsing, watching movies, and playing games, or used for productive work with texts, spreadsheets, and graphics. Apple offers these use cases with its iPad range from Mini to Pro. However, in each of these categories, you have a much wider choice of Android tablets to find exactly the right tablet for your needs – not only in terms of specifications but also in terms of form, color, and design.
For example, there are Android tablets that are more compact than the iPad Mini with a 7- or 8-inch screen, such as the Lenovo Tab M8 G4 or the Amazon Fire HD 8 with the Fire-OS operating system based on Android. And there are giant tablets larger than the iPad Pro 12.9″ like the Hannspree Zeus 2 with a 13.3-inch display and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra or the recently released Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra with 14.6 inches.
Some tablets from Samsung and Lenovo have screens with OLED technology, which are particularly suitable for viewing and editing videos and photos due to their excellent contrast and color representation.
The storage capacity of Android tablets ranges from 32 GB to up to 1 TB. If the space is no longer sufficient at some point, most tablets have a slot for a Micro-SD card, allowing you to expand the tablet’s storage inexpensively and conveniently – even with a generously equipped high-end tablet like the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ with 512 GB.
The wide selection also extends to accessories for Android tablets: Most models have protective cases, stands, digital styluses, and adapters for connections, allowing you to connect a USB stick or a monitor via HDMI to the tablet.
The situation is no different with the iPad: However, in many Android tablets, the accessories do not cost extra because the manufacturers include them with the device – this applies, for example, to the stylus included with many models from Lenovo and Samsung.
3. Many Android tablets offer extras
The wide range of different devices means that among Android tablets, you can find some models with special features: Then the tablet becomes a smart speaker, a smart display, or a notebook replacement.
For example, Samsung includes the S-Pen with some tablet models: With the stylus, you can not only write, draw, and paint on the tablet but also use it as a remote control for taking photos and video playback. It can take screenshots, and certain stylus movements can trigger specific actions in apps.
Another extra feature with Samsung’s S-series tablets is the DeX mode: This transforms Android into a user interface similar to a PC, for example, with a taskbar and start menu. With a keyboard and mouse that can be connected to the tablet via Bluetooth or USB, you can use the Android device like a notebook.
The Lenovo models from the Yoga Tab series have a built-in stand: This allows you to place them anywhere without additional aids – it is comfortable for watching a movie or practical for displaying a cooking recipe in the kitchen while keeping your hands free.
Google includes a charging dock with its new Pixel Tablet: When the tablet is placed there, it becomes a digital photo frame, a smart speaker, or an intelligent display that plays music and movies or displays the weather forecast via voice command.
4. Great variety in operation
Android is not the same as Android: The user interface differs depending on the manufacturer because many deliver the tablets with their own GUI and menu functions – such as Samsung and Lenovo. In addition, there are often additional apps that go beyond the range of Google programs like Gmail, Maps & Co. that you find on every Android tablet. This makes daily use of the tablets very convenient.
Many manufacturers offer more features or certain functions earlier than provided in the standard Android system: For example, with a Galaxy Tab, you
can open up to three apps simultaneously side by side. Multi-Windows also allows you to save an app combination in a specific display layout and recall it when needed. You can also place app windows on top of each other like in Windows. This enables true multitasking with the tablet.
It is also very convenient to exchange files with a PC: You can connect the tablet to the computer via USB, and its folder structure will appear in the Windows Explorer, allowing you to copy or delete files just like when you have connected a USB stick.
Multiple people can easily share an Android tablet: The operating system supports different user accounts, so you can confidently hand the device over to your children without security concerns. In contrast, only companies or schools can set up separate user accounts on an iPad, and according to Apple, private users should ideally buy their own iPad.
5. Android tablets allow for experimentation
There is no doubt that the app offerings for tablets are greater on the iPad than on Android. However, while you currently do not have an alternative to the official App Store on the iPad, you can also install apps from other sources on an Android tablet.
This way, you can get new app versions earlier or install apps that are not officially available. However, only adventurous users should handle these so-called APKs as they can pose a high-security risk for the tablet.
Risky, but worthwhile for certain users, is also rooting an Android tablet: This allows you to install alternative firmware that offers newer or different features than the Android version available for the tablet.