Buy an Apple iPad 2 Instead of a Samsung Chromebook: 10 Reasons Why

News Analysis: The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is just hitting the market with features and performance with the Chrome operating system that could make in an attractive choice in the mobile computer market. But Apple's iPad 2 is still a better choice than any Chromebook on the market.

After a long wait, consumers and enterprise users can now get their hands on Chromebooks. Those hoping to buy one canorder the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook on Amazon or at Best Buy for $499.99. The device comes with a 12.1-inch display, 8.5 hours of battery life, and the ability to connect to the Web via WiFi and 3G.

However, the most important feature in Samsung's Chromebook is its operating system, Chrome OS. The operating system is Google's best answer yet to Windows, and the search giant hopes it will catch on with computer buyers.

For now, Chromebooks are small, lightweight computers designed to take on Windows-based netbooks. However, they might also be compared to tablets. After all, netbook sales have been systematically dismantled at the hands of tablets. Considering Chromebooks look awfully netbooklike, consumers might rightfully determine that if they have several hundred dollars to spend they will need to choose between a Chromebook or a tablet.

But when it comes to making a buying decision, choosing the iPad 2 over any Chromebook is the best idea. Though Google's product category is new and it might be compelling to some, it falls short when compared with the leading tablet on the market.

Read on to find out why consumers and enterprise users should buy the iPad 2,rather than a Chromebook.

1. Think about the apps

Any platform, regardless of whether it's a tablet or Chromebook, needs applications to appeal to users. Apple's iPad 2, which has 90,000 applications available for it in the App Store, has just about any software choice a customer might be after. In order to add applications to a Chromebook, on the other hand, users will need to browse the Chrome Web Store. Currently, that marketplace has some solid applications, including Google Books and Angry Birds, but its selection of programs isn't as deep as Apple's App Store. If users are after high-quality apps, choosing an iPad 2 is their best bet.

2. It works without a Web connection

Even if a user cannot connect to the Web on the iPad 2, they can continue to type out emails, play games and engage in other activities from Apple's tablet. Those who are running a Chromebook, however, will find very little functionality without a Web connection. In fact, some reviewers have said that a Chromebook without a Web connection is basically an expensive brick. Until Google delivers a robust offline solution for Chrome OS, the iPad 2 seems like thebest choice for those who don't necessarily want to rely so heavily upon the cloud.

3. More mobility

Thanks to their small footprint, Chromebooks are designed to be lightweight and easily mobile. But they're netbooks at heart and Apple's iPad 2 is simply a more mobile device. Thanks to its thin, lightweight design, the iPad 2 can be easily tossed into a bag and pulled out while on the road. If mobility means everything to a consumer, choosing the 1.33-pound iPad 2, rather than the 3.3-pound Samsung Series 5 Chromebook seems like a good idea.

4. Netbooks are dying

As mentioned, Chromebooks are little more than glorified netbooks running a different operating system than the vast majority of lightweight computers on the market. Considering that tablets have cut deeply into netbook sales around the world, it might not make sense to buy a Chromebook now. After all, if the market turns its back on Chromebooks and they quickly fail, owners will be sitting on devices that would have become obsolete in no time.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...