Compared: 2018 iPad versus the Acer Chromebook 11 in the school

Posted:
in iPad edited April 2018
Apple's new iPad is billed as, among other things, an attempt to recapture some share of the education market, one currently dominated by cheaper Chromebooks. Here's a look at how Apple's latest offering measures up to the competition.

Apple 2018 iPad


With Apple having fallen behind Google and Microsoft in the education market in recent years, the company has launched a push to close the gap. Apple's initiative began last week at its "Field Trip" event in Chicago and the launch of a new iPad, which comes at a discounted price for bulk purchases by schools.

While the company's moves to place its early computers in educational institutions in the 1970s and '80s are a huge part of the company's history, Apple has of late been falling behind its rivals when it comes to getting its products into schools. According to stats released by Futuresource Consulting last month, 58 percent of the K-12 computing devices market is currently held by Chromebooks, compared with 22 percent for Windows devices and 19 percent Apple (of which iPads are 14 percent and Macs five percent.)

At the "Field Trip" event, Tim Cook reiterated that education "remains a big part of who we are as a company," and touted various initiatives, including programs that help teach coding to children. Also at the event, vice president of product marketing Greg Joswiak stated that thanks to the new processor, the new iPad "is now more powerful than most PC laptops and virtually every Chromebook."

Acer Chromebook 11 in blue


One of the leading Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook 11 has been around for several years, but the latest edition was unveiled at CES in January before arriving on the market this month. The computer, according to Acer's press release, "offers strong everyday performance and a portable design with all-day battery life of up to 10 hours." The company also touts the Acer Chromebook 11's easy access to the Google ecosystem, as well as easy multi-user use.

The Acer 11 is also geared, in part, towards the academic market; the website for the Acer Chromebook 11 line touts "powerful classroom-level technology," which is "designed specifically for students to use all-day in whatever way."

As Apple is continuing its push into the educational marketplace, how does the new iPad compare to the Acer Chromebook 11, one of the leading Chromebooks?

Appearance and Display

Apple iPad vs Chromebook comparison chart


Of the two devices, the Acer Chromebook 11 is much thicker, 18.15mm to the 2018 iPad's 7.5mm. The 2018 iPad is also much lighter, weighing 1.03 pounds compared to the more than 2.43-pound Acer Chromebook 11. m, which are important to keep in mind if you're a student and you're concerned about how much you're lugging around each day. However, any iPad accessories will add to both the weight and the thickness.

When it comes to the screen, the Acer Chromebook 11's is bigger (11.6 inches), to the iPad's 9.7 inches. But the iPad comes out ahead when it comes to resolution (2048 by 1536), compared to the Acer Chromebook 11 (1366 by 768.) The Acer Chromebook 11 is available in both touchscreen and non-touchscreen models.

In terms of color, the Acer Chromebook 11 is offered only in blue, at least according to its CES introduction, while the iPad is available in silver, gold, and space gray.

Performance

Apple 2018 iPad versus Acer Chromebook 11 stats


The new iPad offers the new 2.22Ghz quad-core A10 Fusion with M10 and 2GB of RAM, while the Acer Chromebook 11 uses the 1.6GHz quad-core Intel Celeron N3150 or dual-core N3350, with 4GB of RAM, depending on the version.

According to Geekbench, the new iPad boasts a 3,254 single-core score and a 5,857 multi-core score. The latest version of the Acer Chromebook 11 does not yet have a Geekbench score listed, but concurrent models had single-core scores in the 2,400 range and multi-core scores in the 4,700 range.

Acer claims up to 10 hours of battery life for the Acer Chromebook 11, while the 2018 iPad does as well. Both devices offer dual stereo speakers. When it comes to connectivity, both devices offer 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2.

Apple 2018 budget iPad compared to Acer Chromebook 11

Price

The 2018 iPad starts at $329, although there's an education discount that knocks the price down to $299 for bulk purchases by schools, and slightly higher for students, educators and homeschoolers. However, the iPad does not come with certain accessories, such as the Apple Pencil or a keyboard.

The Acer Chromebook 11 starts at $249, which includes 16GB of storage and a 1366x768 resolution screen -- and a keyboard.

Conclusion

Apple isn't going to make any headway in schools from a financial perspective with the new iPad. It is essentially the same cost as the old one, with the primary differences to users being Apple Pencil support, and the company not "going loud" with the previous model's educational price.

Between the iPad and Acer Chromebook 11, the price, battery life and general performance are in the same ballpark, but the new Acer Chromebook 11 is among the higher-end ones that schools choose. Most schools are cash-strapped, and volume of devices available for a set amount of money generally is the prime consideration to technological ones making the technological gap larger for a one-to-one comparison.

If price was no object comparing the two, the iPad is lighter and slimmer, and has a significantly higher-resolution screen, while the Acer's screen is physically larger. The Apple Pencil and Logitech Crayon are superior to anything available on the Chromebook, but adding another $99 or $49 respectively makes a tenuous financial situation worse.

But, Apple has never really taken a shot at the low-cost market in a long time. Apple Pencil support will attract some schools, and entice other already invested in the Apple ecosystem to upgrade -- and besides a really great tablet for the commercial market, that may be all Cook and company were looking for.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    The cost to schools isn't just the hardware. It's also the support and upkeep. That's not any different than in the corporate world, where cheaper hardware isn't necessarily the best choice from a financial perspective.
    randominternetpersonpscooter63minicoffeeGeorgeBMacwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 56
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,081administrator
    The cost to schools isn't just the hardware. It's also the support and upkeep. That's not any different than in the corporate world, where cheaper hardware isn't necessarily the best choice from a financial perspective.
    Sure.

    But, when a school gets a quote from Acer that says $312 per seat, and one from Apple that says $499 a seat, including support, which is going to get picked?
    deepinsiderdasanman69forgot username
  • Reply 3 of 56
    My kid uses Chromebooks at his school. My take on it is it’s a device to do assignments, projects, school work, and that’s about it. It doesn’t foster and inspire creativity the way the iPad does that my kid uses at home.
    albegarcmwhitechiatmaymacxpresspscooter63racerhomie3magman1979Deelronkingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 4 of 56
    thttht Posts: 3,037member
    At a minimum, my children will be using personal iPads to take notes during class. Our school system isn’t 1-to-1, but if it were and they distributed Chromebooks, I would still have my children use their iPads to take notes with a Pencil or whatever cheaper stylus.

    All this Education discussion about Chromebooks and needing a keyboard reminds me of corporate IT, where computer equipment are purchased based on the needs of the IT department, not based on the needs of people who actually use them. No thanks.


    imergingeniousmagman1979andrewj5790gilly017mcdavewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 56
    My kid uses Chromebooks at his school. My take on it is it’s a device to do assignments, projects, school work, and that’s about it. It doesn’t foster and inspire creativity the way the iPad does that my kid uses at home.
    What I’m hearing is the main knock again Apple’s in schools is MDM (managing them), that’s still a work in progress with an in-house offering coming soon.  

    When I was in school they didn’t really care about “inspiring creativity”.  They didn’t really even care about education, it was moving you (students) forward through the system.  If you understood the material that was a happy bonus...

    It was a modified day care center of busy work.
    magman1979GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 6 of 56
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 484member
    My kid uses Chromebooks at his school. My take on it is it’s a device to do assignments, projects, school work, and that’s about it. It doesn’t foster and inspire creativity the way the iPad does that my kid uses at home. 

    When I was in school they didn’t really care about “inspiring creativity”.  They didn’t really even care about education, it was moving you (students) forward through the system.  If you understood the material that was a happy bonus...

    It was a modified day care center of busy work.
    That’s a lot like my school was. Most of the teachers were old and nearing retirement, and the passion for teaching, if they ever had it, was gone. Plus our computer lab consisted of a bunch of Apple IIe boxes that no one really knew how to use. As a junior and senior I took a graphic arts program where we had a couple Mac IIs which was where I got my creativity inspiration. Certainly not from the teachers.  
    racerhomie3magman1979watto_cobraforgot username
  • Reply 7 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    My kid uses Chromebooks at his school. My take on it is it’s a device to do assignments, projects, school work, and that’s about it. It doesn’t foster and inspire creativity the way the iPad does that my kid uses at home.
    It's probably true that many teachers see computing devices, whether Chromebooks or iPads, as just another extension of the traditional classroom and the typical reading, practice, homework assignments, tests and projects...
    ... but it doesn't have to be. Chromebooks are perfectly capable of fostering creativity. It's in the hands of the educators with assistance from committed parents to promote it and the Google Creativity Bundle (Soundtrap/Explain Everything/WeVideo) is a good place to start. There's much more creative potential tho and this guy gets it: https://andylosik.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-chromebook-creativity-project-jump.html

    https://www.teachthought.com/technology/8-ways-get-creative-chromebooks/
    https://www.amplifiedit.com/work/creative-apps-on-chromebooks/
    edited April 2018 seaniewhomuthuk_vanalingamlkrupp
  • Reply 8 of 56
    LatkoLatko Posts: 196member
    There is more to the puzzle than just the device perspective. The Edu program leadership at Apple must be suffering from a strange syndrome not to see what a chromebook costs, what the impact of Google's product-, content-, exam provisioning is, how its program and process mgt. work via G-suite and other tools that have lead to a Chromified world. Apple's offering, apart from some $100 price decrease, didn't change anything from its former position where it was unable to compete. No single Institute will ever give up G-suite for Classroom, unless it has become completely iPad-only (maybe a few Art schools) No mixed environment will ever standardize on iCloud or Apples' Classroom tools - as content distribution for Apple is a mismatch with mainstream. Apple is isolating itself by its walled garden - that is a burden here, as in any other mixed environment. Therefore, the only one benefiting from today's offering is that singular, rich iPad schoolkid on the first row in a Chromified world - that will never become the norm and won't notice nor need the $100 discount because its parents will be paying anyway. "What's a computer ?" Apple can't explain her and she'll migrate to Chrome before completely getting disconnected from the school programming. Bye.
    edited April 2018 forgot username
  • Reply 9 of 56
    The cost to schools isn't just the hardware. It's also the support and upkeep. 
     
    My son's school system has chosen Google ecosystem, Chromebooks are natural fit. Although iPhones are the most popular smartphone by far at that school, almost all of the kids use Chromebooks for school work. Minimum support and upkeep is needed. That is the beauty of it.  ChromeOS is very secure, and is updated often and automatically. I have heard that geeks go to hacker conferences carrying only burner phones and Chromebooks. If something goes wrong, just do a  power wash, as good as new.

    We bought an ASUS Flip C213SA-YS02 Chromebook for our son. It  is ruggedized and water resistant, aka Mil-STD-810G construction, to protect against everyday bumps, knocks and drops. Can get a stylus EMR pen with it too. I'd imagine it is better suited for school environment than an iPad.
    edited April 2018 DAalsethLatkoGeorgeBMacforgot username
  • Reply 10 of 56
    The cost to schools isn't just the hardware. It's also the support and upkeep. That's not any different than in the corporate world, where cheaper hardware isn't necessarily the best choice from a financial perspective.
    Sure.

    But, when a school gets a quote from Acer that says $312 per seat, and one from Apple that says $499 a seat, including support, which is going to get picked?
    $312 wins by a landslide when multiplied by a hundred(s) students/devices. Clearly, Apple isn't playing to win the market. Apple is only hoping to appeal to some smaller niche market which doesn't have low cost as the main priority. I do believe some school systems will choose the iPad but it will be very few. Maybe Apple is happy with that because they won't have to take a large financial hit. I think most of this world is made up of Chromebook users who aren't looking to be inspired. They'd rather just get the job done and call it a day. I get it. Maybe Apple also gets it. Apple could just be satisfied with even a half-hearted attempt at trying to reach those students and teachers who want to be inspired. Apple is saying that if you want to learn the Apple way, you have to pay extra. That's just how it is in this life. You always stand a better chance with deeper pockets.
  • Reply 11 of 56
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,712member
    My kid uses Chromebooks at his school. My take on it is it’s a device to do assignments, projects, school work, and that’s about it. It doesn’t foster and inspire creativity the way the iPad does that my kid uses at home.
    What I’m hearing is the main knock again Apple’s in schools is MDM (managing them), that’s still a work in progress with an in-house offering coming soon.  

    When I was in school they didn’t really care about “inspiring creativity”.  They didn’t really even care about education, it was moving you (students) forward through the system.  If you understood the material that was a happy bonus...

    It was a modified day care center of busy work.
    MDM support for Apple devices (Macs and iOS) is out there and probably the best one is provided by Jamf. Apple certainly doesn't do much in the space even though they do have Profile Manager built into Server. Jamf Pro will do everything you need it to do and so much more and its really easy to use. Yes, of course there is a cost, but the Google Admin side isn't free either. 
    watto_cobraforgot username
  • Reply 12 of 56
    I’ve read a lot of such comparisons lately but most missed the point. It’s not about the hardware or the apps but the environment as a whole. Google is the only one who can offer a comprehensive platform from apps to storage and management tools for teachers, with easy integration with YouTube, easy links, etc. 

    Apple, like their failure in Maps, Siri, etc. has too much to catch up with. To start with they never seriously develop the iWork web platform and no package to for teachers and students to manage their calendars, exercises, etc. And given the failed examples listed above (and various others) I wonder the existing administration at Apple under Tim Cook know what to do. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 56
    My kid uses Chromebooks at his school. My take on it is it’s a device to do assignments, projects, school work, and that’s about it. It doesn’t foster and inspire creativity the way the iPad does that my kid uses at home.
    If Apple were really serious about dominating the education market in terms of sales, they'd go and build a better Chromebook (some cheap MacBook) and price-match. They could do it but then Apple would take a financial hit they're not willing to suffer. However, Apple is too proud to do any bare-knuckle brawling in the mud. Maybe Apple is wise in not choosing that path. It certainly doesn't fit into their current business model.
  • Reply 14 of 56
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,712member

    The cost to schools isn't just the hardware. It's also the support and upkeep. That's not any different than in the corporate world, where cheaper hardware isn't necessarily the best choice from a financial perspective.
    Sure.

    But, when a school gets a quote from Acer that says $312 per seat, and one from Apple that says $499 a seat, including support, which is going to get picked?
    $312 wins by a landslide when multiplied by a hundred(s) students/devices. Clearly, Apple isn't playing to win the market. Apple is only hoping to appeal to some smaller niche market which doesn't have low cost as the main priority. I do believe some school systems will choose the iPad but it will be very few. Maybe Apple is happy with that because they won't have to take a large financial hit. I think most of this world is made up of Chromebook users who aren't looking to be inspired. They'd rather just get the job done and call it a day. I get it. Maybe Apple also gets it. Apple could just be satisfied with even a half-hearted attempt at trying to reach those students and teachers who want to be inspired. Apple is saying that if you want to learn the Apple way, you have to pay extra. That's just how it is in this life. You always stand a better chance with deeper pockets.
    Apple will never compete on price. It never has and never will. It didn't really compete on price before when it was #1 in education. They've always been more expensive and for good reason. You obviously aren't an educator and have no idea what you're talking about in this area. Education is a completely different area to work in. It requires TONS of effort, training and yes, creativity. If you don't engage students they won't be apt to learn anything. Maybe schools in your area don't get this so this is what you see and think all schools are like. You can't just have students read and write papers all day long. They will get bored, they will get frustrated and in the end, simply won't care anymore. Crapbooks provide no creativity at all, but rather just reading and writing tools. Schools need more than just reading and writing tools. They need creativity tools. 

    If beancounters administrators in school districts want to buy Crapbooks because they think they're saving a dime, then they can go ahead. I have a feeling it will end up costing them more in the end and not just financially either. 
    magman1979Deelronwatto_cobraforgot username
  • Reply 15 of 56
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,316member
    Imagine if we actually invested in education in this country like we invest in defense. It would pay dividends towards our future.  Unfortunately we are only concerned about the present bottom line.
    magman1979Deelronwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 56
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,894member
    Speaking of inspiring creativity ... there was a time when creativity was inspired by highly dedicated and committed teachers, engaged parents, attentive adult neighbors, and even thoughtful leaders in the community and in public service. Now we look to electronic devices and apps to inspire creativity in the people who we are counting on to sustain our societies when we are no longer in the workforce. Is this really progress or dereliction of social responsibility from humans to machines? Sure, both Chromebooks and iPads can help accelerate the learning process and remove some of the mechanical drudgery of the learning process - but inspire creativity? No more than spending hours at the library used to do. Used appropriately all of these technological aids have their place, but if there's not an engaged adult in the discovery and learning loop, we may end up with socially inept kids who derive more satisfaction from interacting with their technology devices than with other human beings. Next thing you know they're dashboarding their entire life through Twitter and Facebook, making and breaking relationships, hiring and firing employees, etc. Like that could ever happen. 

    So the missing link to making these devices, whether Chromebooks or iPads, truly useful has less to do with the devices themselves than with how the human engagement component is integrated into the use of the device. I feel good about Apple's ability and commitment to engage at the human level. Google, not so much.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 56
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 704member
    The problem is NOT the hardware.
    The problem is that Apple simply doesn't have the software that schools need for teachers and students to work together.
    Google HAS THE SOFTWARE. Apple ironically does not.

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    macxpress said:

    The cost to schools isn't just the hardware. It's also the support and upkeep. That's not any different than in the corporate world, where cheaper hardware isn't necessarily the best choice from a financial perspective.
    Sure.

    But, when a school gets a quote from Acer that says $312 per seat, and one from Apple that says $499 a seat, including support, which is going to get picked?
    $312 wins by a landslide when multiplied by a hundred(s) students/devices. Clearly, Apple isn't playing to win the market. Apple is only hoping to appeal to some smaller niche market which doesn't have low cost as the main priority. I do believe some school systems will choose the iPad but it will be very few. Maybe Apple is happy with that because they won't have to take a large financial hit. I think most of this world is made up of Chromebook users who aren't looking to be inspired. They'd rather just get the job done and call it a day. I get it. Maybe Apple also gets it. Apple could just be satisfied with even a half-hearted attempt at trying to reach those students and teachers who want to be inspired. Apple is saying that if you want to learn the Apple way, you have to pay extra. That's just how it is in this life. You always stand a better chance with deeper pockets.
    Education is a completely different area to work in. It requires TONS of effort, training and yes, creativity. If you don't engage students they won't be apt to learn anything. Maybe schools in your area don't get this so this is what you see and think all schools are like. You can't just have students read and write papers all day long. They will get bored, they will get frustrated and in the end, simply won't care anymore. Crapbooks provide no creativity at all, but rather just reading and writing tools. Schools need more than just reading and writing tools. They need creativity tools.
    iPads provide no creativity at all. That comes from the educators and parents and flows out from the students they motivate. Chromebooks are just as capable of being creative devices as iPads. 
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 19 of 56
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,607member
    The cost to schools isn't just the hardware. It's also the support and upkeep. That's not any different than in the corporate world, where cheaper hardware isn't necessarily the best choice from a financial perspective.
    Sure.

    But, when a school gets a quote from Acer that says $312 per seat, and one from Apple that says $499 a seat, including support, which is going to get picked?
    It took corporate America a years to figure out what TCO meant. Once they did Macs started showing up in the enterprise. Apple just has to hang in there until school districts figure it out too. Cheap eventually burns your ass. Until then the anti-Apple troll farms will spew the usual scenario of impending doom.
    edited April 2018 thtmagman1979andrewj5790watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 56
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,510member
    I’ve read a lot of such comparisons lately but most missed the point. It’s not about the hardware or the apps but the environment as a whole. Google is the only one who can offer a comprehensive platform from apps to storage and management tools for teachers, with easy integration with YouTube, easy links, etc. 

    Apple, like their failure in Maps, Siri, etc. has too much to catch up with. To start with they never seriously develop the iWork web platform and no package to for teachers and students to manage their calendars, exercises, etc. And given the failed examples listed above (and various others) I wonder the existing administration at Apple under Tim Cook know what to do. 
    Some blantant errors here: 

    Apple Maps is caught up and good enough for most 

    iWork has made considerable improvements, including the web client and live collaboration. I consider it superior to google docs. 

    You seem to have missed the new tools for managing class work. 
    magman1979andrewj5790watto_cobra
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