ipad iphone sync

I'll be helping my Mom with her Iphone, she wants to sync it and can't decide on getting an Ipad or a Mac laptop.
Her goal for syncing the iphone is to backup the contacts, but I thought why not just back the whole thing up just to be on the safe side. So, first question,  I don't know if syncing would be equivalent to a backup
I did a little checking, and it looks like the way to sync an Iphone to an Ipad is by using Icloud. Apparently you have 5gb free for this. I poked around on the Iphone and I think she's only using 150mb.
I think my bigger question, is - is it true that the only way to sync ( backup? ) the Iphone to the Ipad is though Icloud? And I'm assuming that if she got a Mac laptop, she could backup the whole Iphone by plugging it in via USB and using Itunes.
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JeffBeallAsked:
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strungConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Have you tried iCloud?

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1766
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strungCommented:
The link above will tell you how to back up either using iCloud or iTunes. I believe you can backup either to a PC or a Mac using iTunes.
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JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
I saw that the Icloud thing is a possiblitiy, I mostly want to know

"I think my bigger question, is - is it true that the only way to sync ( backup? ) the Iphone to the Ipad is though Icloud?"

Also

"So, first question,  I don't know if syncing would be equivalent to a backup"
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strungCommented:
I think your questions are answered in the Apple KB I linked above and the links on that page.
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strungCommented:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403253,00.asp

You can also get external blue tooth keyboards
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JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
sorry, I didn't realize the link had that info,
did this question spill over into my Ipad verses Macbook question?
I don't mind, I thought I should ask two questions because one was about syncing and the other was a comparison. I thought once I asked a bunch of questions in one question and someone said I shouldn't do that. I thought I was following educate, but like I say, It’s all good to me. I thought it was kind of funny because I re-read my question thinking I was in the wrong one.
Btw, those are pretty nice keyboards, which makes me think there wouldn’t be much of a reason to get a Macbook. I would bet you could get an external drive so the fact that the Ipad only has at best a 64gb flash drive wouldn’t be an issue either.
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JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the help
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