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The biggest difference is flexibility. An iPad is a mobile device. It has a big screen and can do a lot of things thanks to the Apple App Store. It can browse the internet, edit documents, manage email and contacts, and do a lot of fun specific things. But, it's not a computer because it doesn't run a traditional operating system.
how does an ipad differ from a reggular computer. would i be able to put my documents on an ipad and could i do my taxes on an ipad how about printing
This means that while you can do just about any basic task on the iPad, you can't do a lot of advanced things. For instance, you can't edit and manage photos or videos in an advanced way or as easily. You can't view certain websites or certain content on the internet. You can't run software that's for computers, although there are a lot of alternatives.
so an ipad really can't replace a computer, correct?
The answer to those specifics are:1. Yes you can view and edit documents, but you don't have traditional folder/file management, and would need apps that don't come with the iPad to do it.2. You can do some of your taxes through websites and apps like TurboTax, but again, advanced features of the site might not work.3. You can print to specific printers from specific apps, but not everything will print, and not to just any printer.
No, it can't, but some people don't need a true computer, they only need what the iPad does.