The pros and cons of: Getting an iPad or Android-based tablet

The S Pen takes centre stage on the Note 10.1 with well thought out features

(Originally published on

We knew the holiday season was upon us when, in an over-zealous act of eagerness, the Hallowe’en signage was taken down at your local drug store and Michael Buble’s “Christmas with Friends” was put on on repeat.  So what does this really mean? Aside from eating that extra sweet, driving that extra kilometre to the cousin’s house that you don’t talk to all year, or finding that ‘perfect’ ugly sweater for holiday party number umpteen, it also means gift buying. Lots and lots of gift buying.

Speaking of gift buying, you’d be lying if you were reading this and trying to tell me that you don’t have at least one tablet request on your list. You’d also be misleading me (and yourself) if you claimed that, during research, not a single question popped up and you weren’t having any issues deciphering between the options. Don’t worry, I get it, and am here to help. That’s why for this week’s pros and cons we are going to take a look at the two most popular tablet options (Apple and Android) available and give a few reasons why each may or may not be the right choice for you.

Apple’s iPad Air:

Arguably one of the hottest gift ideas for 2013 is Apple’s fifth-generation tablet, the iPad Air. The sleek, brushed aluminum, light-as-a-feather tablet, with a gorgeous 9.7-inch retina display launched about a month ago starting at $519 (16GB).


  • 20 per cent thinner than the iPad 4
  • Extra long battery life (up to 10 hours)
  • The great Apple customer experience
  • Speaks naturally with all your other Apple products (iPhone, MacBook, Apple TV, etc.)
  • Improved FaceTime video calling
  • Available in WiFi and LTE-ready models


  • Apple products are notoriously expensive
  • Memory is not expandable
  • Doesn’t support more than one user at a time
  • Chances are you’re going to need to replace all your cables & chargers

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition):

One of the best assets of Android is also its downfall: its openness. Essentially, anyone with big pockets can license the Android platform from Google and install it on their hardware. So why is this a downfall? The more Android tablets there are available to buy (and trust me, there are a lot), the harder it becomes to decipher which is the best. That being said, I chose to highlight the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 for two very specific reasons: Samsung is a household name in terms of popularity and the Galaxy Note 10.1 is currently the best Android tablet on the market starting at $549.99 (16GB).


  • Gorgeous 10-inch screen
  • Great for multi-tasking (ability for split screen mode and picture in picture)
  • Handy stylus for note taking
  • Supports multiple users
  • Great battery life


  • Plastic integration cheapens feel
  • High price tag: even higher than the iPad Air
  • Limited tablet-ready app selection
  • Low-resolution video calling
  • Can only connect online over WiFi, no Canadian carrier support

After using both tablets, I lean more towards the Galaxy Note 10.1 solely because of the ability to customize everything about it to fit my preferences. This kind of customization is so important to me, I can accept not having access to every single app like my iPad-using friends.

What tablet do you use and why? Sound off below!

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