Is a laptop or iPad better for CA students?

After coming through the variety of options available in the market, iPad and laptop are two types of devices that are important for CA students. Many believe that iPad is a better option for performing accounting activities as it has the tools required to perform accounting-specific tasks. However, a laptop can be an equally suitable device depending on the need of a person.

1.  Introduction:

The decision to buy an iPad or a laptop is based on one’s personal skills and preferences. An iPad will be suitable for those who are comfortable with iOS environment whereas students, who prefer Windows operating system, prefer a laptop. Many believe that iPad has better tools to perform day-to-day accounting tasks while a number of students across the world use laptops for their academic purposes. A laptop is a suitable option for an accountant if she/he wants a device which can work with a few programs at a time and deals with both Mac OS X and Windows.

2. What makes a suitable device for CA students?

Some of the essential features to be considered when deciding between an iPad or laptop are given below:

a.  iPad

iPad Pro is one of the most promising tablets in today’s world

Apple Pencil lets you create amazing art on iPad Pro by easily offering a sense of accuracy and responsiveness.

iPad Air 2 is the best example of how far we’ve come in creating technology that’s more powerful yet more power-efficient. It features a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display, an A8X chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture support, iSight and FaceTime cameras, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, ultrafast wireless technologies and up to 10 hours of battery life. It can handle anything you throw at it while allowing you to do even more than ever before.

b.  Laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the ultrathin laptop that lasts all day with amazing battery life.

Lenovo ThinkPad X240 packs all the laptop essentials into a compact, lightweight design.

3. How to choose between laptop and iPad while doing CA? Preliminary considerations

The decision between an iPad or a laptop is based on one’s personal preferences, skills, and needs. There are many physical differences between the two devices that are listed below:

a.  Size of Device

iPad is comparatively smaller than a laptop due to which it can be used for limited time periods. A person has to regularly charge an iPad in order to use it for longer hours whereas computers have the most powerful processors which offer better functionality and run many accounting-related programs at a time.

b.  iPad vs Laptop Operating Systems

Various operating systems are used in different devices. In the case of an iPad, iOS is operated whereas windows is suitable for laptops. Different studies have shown that the accounting software package QuickBooks Pro performs better on a PC running Windows 7 or Windows 10 rather than on an Apple iPad Pro. Windows 10 has many benefits like increased security, backward compatibility and improved user interface, etc.

c.  Storage Capacity

iPad is available in 16 GB, 32GB, or 128GB storage capacity whereas laptops are available in 500 GB to 1 Terabyte (TB). More storage capacity allows business owners to store more data on a laptop and work with it easily. A lower storage space may cause certain problems such as insufficient space for data, decrease in download speeds, and frequent data backups.

d.  Price

iPad is more expensive than a laptop because of its limited usage options and less storage capacity compared to laptops. An iPad Pro costs $799 with 32GB storage whereas a laptop with similar storage space is available for $450.

iPad Pro costs $799 with 32 GB storage.

A laptop costs approximately $450 with 500GB of storage capacity.                   

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