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What’s better for summer travel - a laptop or an iPad mini?

When it comes to electronics, the saying “the more the merrier” often applies. Laptops, desktops, iPads/tablets, and smartphones all serve different purposes for the consumer. Some electronics are interchangeable, depending on how you use them. For example, you may watch Netflix on your phone instead of a TV and, rather than a computer, use your iPad for schoolwork.


Now that summer is quickly approaching, we’re likely to be using our devices on the go. Parks, beaches, pools, road trips - the list of activities for the summer are usually endless. But, which devices are the best suited for these summer traveling activities? It’s usually best to pack light when you’re on the road, so taking every device you own probably isn’t a good idea.


In this article, we’ll take a look at whether a laptop or iPad mini is best suited for summer traveling. Plus, we’ll recommend an amazing iPad mini 5 case that’s sure to keep your device safe, whether at home or at the beach!

When is a laptop useful for traveling?

If you’re a student that needs to get work done while you’re traveling, a laptop is sometimes the better option. This is especially true if your schoolwork requires specific software that isn’t available on Apple devices. Trying to get assignments finished without the right tools can be stressful. If you aren’t able to find compatible apps for your iPad - stick with a traditional laptop to make things easier.


The same can be said for professionals that have work commitments with software that isn’t available for iPads. A laptop, in this case, is definitely the best bet. 


If anything that you need to do while traveling involves multi-tasking, research, and/or complicated tools, pack the laptop! 

When is an iPad mini the best choice?

Can you get access to the professional or academic software you need on your iPad? If so - bringing along the lighter, more compact iPad is likely a good idea. Tablets have become incredibly popular academic and professional devices because they are easier to carry, but offer great functionality. If you won’t be doing heavy research or need non-compatible tools, your iPad wins this round. 

Another plus? If you’ll be traveling with children, the bulkiness and size of a laptop aren’t as ideal for keeping them occupied. Finding a place to set up a laptop on a plane or in a car is much more complicated than using an iPad. iPads are also smaller and fit more easily and sturdily in little hands, which can help prevent falls that may damage your device. 


You can listen to music, watch movies, and scroll the web on an iPad - making it perfect for all kinds of summer traveling and activities.

Is there a clear winner?

Both laptops and iPads are handy for different things. A laptop offers a larger screen, more functions and compatibilities, and is better for work or school needs. If you need to write a term paper by the pool or finish a project at a theme park, you’ll be safe with a laptop.


However, the iPad mini is smaller and lighter, ideal for use with children, and needs less space while you’re packing. While an iPad does have its limits - like software incompatibility - it has plenty of benefits that can make up for it. For example, you can download games and apps that don’t require internet access. That’s often a plus when you’re traveling, since not everyone has access to WiFi on a flight or a road trip. 


You can also go hands-free with an iPad. If you’re in a car, a headrest case lets you suspend the iPad so no one has to hold it while it’s being used. If you’re on a plane or a train, you can also invest in standalone cases that basically turn an iPad into a mini TV screen. Which, of course, is a massive benefit if you have children to entertain. 


The device that you choose will depend on what your needs are. It’s unreasonable to say that everyone’s summer will be filled with only fun times, vacations, and laughter. School and work commitments may pop up that require your attention - even while you’re at the beach. In these cases, taking your laptop on vacation may be necessary.


However, as a more compact, easier to handle device (especially for summer), the iPad definitely comes out on top. 

Here’s what we recommend

You can choose from a wide selection of iPads, each one ideally suited to specific needs. With the iPad Pro, you’ll get the latest in iPad technology. The newest models are even available in two different sizes - 11” and 12.9” - giving you more options. The iPad Air is slightly smaller at 10.9”, and is great if you’re looking for something comparable to the Pro, but at a cheaper price point.


If you like a more compact device, the iPad mini (5th generation) is the newest available model. It comes in at 7.9” and is ideal for reading, watching movies, and playing games on an easier to handle device. And, since protecting your device is important, we recommend the Zugu iPad mini 5 case to help keep your ‘mini’ safe. Since it’s smaller than the Pro or the Air, falls and drops may do more damage to the body and screen. That’s why it’s essential, for whichever iPad you decide on, to invest in a case and sturdy screen protector. You can’t always prevent a fall, but you can certainly take steps to prevent unnecessary (often expensive) damage.