Making impactful decisions for your school can be daunting — especially when the budget should be considered. 

You’ve heard of some schools using iPads instead of Chromebooks. 

But is one better for schools than the other? 

Once you learn the differences between iPad vs. Chromebook for schools, you can rest easy in your decision with a clear winner. 

We’re giving you a comprehensive look into both devices to help you make the right decision for:

  • Your school
  • Your students
  • Your IT department; and
  • Your budget

Table of Contents

Neosho School District (Missouri)

Go-Box: Simplifying the Chromebook Management Process for Schools

Mass Chromebook enrollment can be challenging and requires a lot of:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Staff; and
  • Other resources 

There’s good news …

It doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to sacrifice your school’s time, staff, or budget any longer.

There is a tool that can help — Go-Box

Your IT staff will thank you.

Check out the benefits of Go-Box:

  • Go-Box is compatible with all Chromebook models 
  • Go-Box can provision 16 Chromebooks at one time
  • Go-Box automates necessary processes like:
    • Enrollment
    • Configuration
    • Wiping resident data
    • Re-configuration
  • Go-Box doesn’t require expansive coding knowledge
  • Go-Box includes an easy-to-operate user interface
  • Go-Box comes with full tech support

Go-Box is a one-time investment that will allow you to service your school’s Chromebooks for many years to come — hassle and worry-free. 

iPad vs. Chromebook in Education: A Cost Comparison

Average Cost of iPads for Schools

We get it. Kids love tablets — and iPads are no exception. 

But how much would it cost to provide your students with iPads?

The cost of an iPad for a school can run around $329.00. 

Let’s say there are 400 students in your elementary school in South Carolina. You’re looking at $131,600 just as an initial investment. Need to add a smart keyboard? Add on another $159 per device. 

If your role is to work within the school’s budget you must also consider the ongoing costs of having iPads for your students. 

Many of your students are inevitably going to:

  • Crack a screen
  • Spill liquid on one
  • Leave one in a hot car; or
  • Completely lose their iPads

This is where the true cost shows — in repairs and replacements

When an IPad is damaged, it’s nearly impossible to repair it in-house. 

Students can’t be stuck without one. 

Your only options are to:

  1. Send it off to Apple to be repaired
  2. Purchase additional iPads to stock for replacing 

Average Cost of Chromebooks for Schools

On average, Chromebooks range in price starting at around $150-$250. 

If we consider the same 400 elementary school students, Chromebooks will cost your budget $60,000 to $100,000 — depending on the model.

When buying in bulk from resellers, schools can often get these devices even cheaper.

The same students who attempt to (but usually not on purpose) destroy their iPads would do much the same to their Chromebooks — although Chromebooks are much tougher to break. 

The difference is what that damage will cost your school’s budget. 

Chromebooks are:

  • Easy to repair on-site; and
  • Easily repaired with salvaged parts

Chromebooks have just three basic parts …

  1. The screen
  2. The keyboard; and
  3. The motherboard

… making them incredibly easy for your IT team to switch out parts in-house.

iPad vs. Chromebook Cost: The Bottom Line

Chromebook’s market share is 80% for a big reason — cost. 

Schools know that iPads are a thing of the past. Budget matters. And more and more schools are investing in Chromebooks for their students. 

Just in the second quarter of 2021 alone, Chromebook shipments grew 68.6%

Plus — your IT team will thank you!

Spec Comparisons: Chromebook vs. iPad in the Classroom

While there are major differences, both devices:

  • Have their own unique operating systems
  • Are extremely secure 
  • Feature their own unique classroom management systems
    • Apple Classroom and Google Classroom
  • Have a long battery life
  • Power on quickly
  • Are lightweight 

Let’s take a deeper look at how their specs compare. We compare a Chromebook and an iPad model that were each around the same price ($309). 

Chromebook Specs

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4020
  • Battery: Up to 12 hours
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Screen: 11.6”
  • Resolution: 1366 x 768
  • Weight: 3.19 lb
  • Ports: (2) USB-C ports, (2) USB-A ports, (1) headphone/microphone combo jack

iPad Specs

  • Processor: A12 Bionic Chip
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • Storage: 32GB, up to 128GB
  • Screen: 10.2”
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1620
  • Weight: 1.08-1.09 lb
  • Ports: (1) Smart Connector (1) headphone jack

iPad vs. Chromebook for Education: Ease of Management

Managing an iPad for Education

While iPads now offer Apple Classroom for schools, they aren’t designed and built with education in mind. 

Teachers tend to have less control over iPads in the classroom as learning is done via apps. For schools to have real control over iPads, they must set up an MDM (mobile device management) system. 

This allows teachers to:

  • Push apps to the iPads
  • Set policies; and
  • Push network credentials 

Due to the cost of iPads, schools often have students share iPads through Shared iPad.

A huge downside to having iPads assigned to multiple students appears when a device is damaged. More than one student’s information is impacted.

Managing a Chromebook for Education

Chromebooks were created and designed especially for the classroom. 

Teachers have complete control of what their students can do and see. With approved apps and services, students and teachers can work online or offline — syncing seamlessly with Google’s servers. 

Chromebooks use Google for Education. Every student has a personal log-in with Google Classroom via an email address and password. 

Why is this key?

ANY student can use ANY Chromebook

If a student’s Chromebook becomes damaged, the student can simply hop on another Chromebook, sign in, and get back to work. Students can even access their Google Classroom at home from a family device in case of sickness.

Which Is More Secure: Chromebook or iPad?

Both Chromebooks and iPads are considered to be very secure — especially when compared to devices. 

But keeping software updates is an important means of providing security and protection for these devices. When it comes to updates, Chromebook’s automatic updates are more secure than iPad’s manual updating process. 

Chromebook Security in Schools

Chromebooks use ChromeOS. This comes with many benefits, but one of the biggest is how it handles software updates. 

Updates are downloaded automatically in the background. It’s then installed the next time the Chromebook is turned on — worry and hassle-free

In addition, Google protects students by:

  • Having multi-layer security to prevent viral infections
  • Complying with COPPA and FERPA
  • Adhering to the Student Privacy Pledge

In addition to Chromebook’s automatic updates, with Go-Box, you can automate enrollment. Your IT team never had it so easy.

iPad Security in Schools

iPads also offer a decent layer of security for users:

  • Apple IDs are created and controlled by schools.
  • They comply with COPPA and FERPA.
  • Apple doesn’t sell or distribute a student’s information.
  • They adhere to the Student Privacy Pledge.
  • Apple only allows the use of Apple-approved apps through the App Store. 

However, there is a big difference between an iPad vs. a Chromebook for schools when it comes to updates. 

Remember that Chromebooks update automatically without any prompting. 

On the other hand … 

Apple requires a management system to install updates. To deploy updates, you need both an MDM and Apple School Manager. Having these two systems allows you to set up overnight software updates. 

Are iPads or Chromebooks Better for Schools?

The best device for education depends on the school’s and the teacher’s goals. 

Educators must consider many factors, including:

  • The school’s budget
  • The age and abilities of the students
  • How they will use the educational resources 
  • If the device will remain at school or travel to and from home
  • How much time and additional resources they can invest
  • Which will truly serve the needs of the school, teachers, and students 

After comparing, it’s clear that most schools choose Chromebooks as a winner. 

Why Chromebooks Score an A+ for School Use

iPads in schools are rarely the best route for providing digital educational materials for students. 


  • Can usually be repaired on-site
  • Are a fraction of the cost of iPads
  • Can turn into a tablet when needed (depending on the model) 
  • Provide a better user experience for:
    • Students
    • Teachers; and
    • Tech professionals

Are You Struggling to Manage Your School’s Chromebook Fleet? Go-Box Can Help

You know that Chromebooks are the best choice for your school. 

But your school’s Chromebook fleet can demand a lot to properly handle enrollment needs. 

Go-Box is your solution to quickly and seamlessly automate all of your school’s Chromebooks.

Here are just a few reasons why Go-Box is your school’s best solution:

  1. Go-Box automates Chromebook fleet enrollment — saving a lot of time.
  2. Go-Box is compatible with all Chromebook models.
  3. You can easily customize your settings.
  4. Enrollment costs are a fraction of white-glove costs — just pennies per device.
  5. You can create various configuration templates to support the organizational units you need.
  6. You can use the same Go-Box equipment year after year.

Stop wasting time, money, and resources on expensive white-glove Chromebook services.

Why wait? 

Your school needs Go-Box. Simply request a quote for your school below to get started today.