Well, it's not a simple question because there are so many variables and there is no easy answer. I use both and it depends on what you are talking about and what want to do with the device in question in order to determine which is "best" in a particular situation. By "tablet" I'm assuming you mean something like a Windows 7 tablet and not an Android tablet which is very similar to an iPad with similar abilities and limitations.
The most basic explanation I can give is that the iPad (as well as the Android tablet) is a good "consumption" device whereas a decent tablet computer running a real OS is a "creation" device. There are some areas of crossover but what I mean is this:
The iPad is great if you want to quickly browse the internet, look at a document, check the stock market, check the weather, make a call on Skype, check the news and so on but you hit a ceiling very quickly when you want to do more. It is also locked down so tightly by Apple that, even though you may have a lot of memory on it, you can't just plug it into your computer and use it as a temporary storage device if you want to without doing some gymnastics.
A good tablet computer however, like the Samsung Series 7 i5 running 64 bit Windows 7 pro that I also have, is an excellent, compact, media creation device. For example, I was in Zimbabwe recently, in the middle of nowhere, processing my photographs, by candlelight, in Lightroom on my Samsung 7 then uploading them to Facebook when I had access to wifi. Recently, I was on a flight to Wyoming and sat on it, working in SketchUp, on a bank I was designing, i.e. doing real work on my Samsung 7 tablet - can't do anything approaching this on an iPad or Android tablet at the moment.
I have used my iPad a number of times in meetings taking notes using Notability and Notes Plus and, although these apps work reasonably well, but they can't hold a candle to Microsoft OneNote on my Samsung 7 tablet. To take hand-written notes on an iPad you have to use a really clunky, capacitive pen (like the Bamboo pen available from Best Buy & elsewhere) but, my Samsung tablet computer, with an active Wacom digitizer built in and a very nice, fine pen, coupled with Microsoft OneNote, is vastly superior to the iPad when it comes to taking hand-written notes.
Another major advantage of my Samsung over my iPad is, of-course, it fully and easily integrates into my office network environment (all windows 7 based).
So, I have both and I use both and choose which one I want depending on the task at hand. Each blows the other out of the water in certain situations and your choice depends on what you want to do with it.
Alan Roberts AIA
Eubanks Harris Roberts Craig Architects, Inc.
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