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Old Aug 12, 2012, 02:13 AM   #1
Big.Mac.Daddy
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iPad as your only computer? Seems easy to do and in many ways better than a laptop.

I love the idea of using an iPad as my only computer, there are lots of benefits that in many ways make it even BETTER than a ultrabook:

1) Retina display

2) 10 hr battery life

3) Thousands of apps

4) Voice dictation built in

5) Extremely thin and light (1.4 lbs)

6) No viruses / trojans to worry about

7) $500 (compared to more expensive ultrabooks)

8) Apple store customer service if anything goes wrong

9) At the gym I can watch a movie while I'm on the elliptical

Does anyone else feel the same way about using the iPad as their main computer?

Anyone out there currently doing this besides me?

Any benefits over a laptop that I missed above?

P.S. the iPad isn't a perfect device with no flaws, nothing is perfect. Here are a few things I figured out solutions for:

PROBLEM: Software keyboard isn't good for long typing sessions
ANSWER: Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover

PROBLEM: No trackpad
ANSWER: Jailbreak and use a bluetooth mouse

PROBLEM: No file system
ANSWER: Use Dropbox or iFile

PROBLEM: No good gaming
ANSWER: Jailbreak and use Snes9x EX w/ a bluetooth controller

PROBLEM: How do I get music on my iPad w/out a computer?
ANSWER: Use Pandora or buy music through iTunes app

PROBLEM: No Microsoft Office
ANSWER: Use Polaris Office or Pages

Last edited by Big.Mac.Daddy; Sep 7, 2012 at 12:27 AM.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 03:30 AM   #2
qbricc
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I think the ipad makes a great stand alone computer but getting music and video onto it without itunes is an issue.

If you buy direct from the itunes store then you have the item on your ipad and in the cloud. Or if you use icloud match then you can download tracks onto the ipad. You will need a computer with itunes on in order to load tracks to match.

There are other services out there to stream from but only really itunes can download onto the ipad.

Hope this helps
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 04:39 AM   #3
cdte92
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Can you actually use a bluetooth mouse with an iPad

see https://discussions.apple.com/thread...art=0&tstart=0

I don't know if things have changed since that thread was started but the suggestion is that the iPad doesn't have drivers for bluetooth mice so you would need to use the screen as well as a keyboard.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 07:48 AM   #4
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As long as you don't have to update the firmware on any one of your other gadgets or ever need to rip a CD or DVD, you'll be fine....
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 09:56 AM   #5
B.A.T
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Depending on your use it might be easier to use Spotify or some other music streaming service than buying a laptop. Sure it costs a little bit of money each month but most conveniences always do.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 10:24 AM   #6
old-wiz
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The iPad has no user visible file system. I can't see a way to use it as only computer without a user visible file system.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 10:55 AM   #7
Big.Mac.Daddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post
The iPad has no user visible file system. I can't see a way to use it as only computer without a user visible file system.
For myself both iFile or Dropbox work as visible file systems for the iPad.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 10:58 AM   #8
urkel
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While you "could" use an iPad as your only computer, You're intentionally crippling yourself for no real reason.

Personally, I feel the iPad is a complimentary device to a computer. In many situations it can replace taking a laptop around but when it comes to actually getting work done or managing a large amount of data (photos, video, music, files) its much easier to just hop on a computer.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 11:04 AM   #9
BluePhoenixRa
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It can infact last as your only computer, but as others have said..you will be lacking some things for sure.

May I ask what you'll be using it for mainly?

And I'm sure you can jailbreak it to download and play mp3 from a browser rather than just iTunes. But I'm not sure about that.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 12:54 PM   #10
x&y
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I got my first iPad around two months ago and since then I've turned my Mac computer on about 3 times.

The iPad is a perfectly viable alternative for me to my computer. However, I can't speak for everyone as we all have different needs from our technology.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 01:20 PM   #11
Big.Mac.Daddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePhoenixRa View Post
It can infact last as your only computer, but as others have said..you will be lacking some things for sure.

May I ask what you'll be using it for mainly?

And I'm sure you can jailbreak it to download and play mp3 from a browser rather than just iTunes. But I'm not sure about that.
Hmmm, I would say mostly
- web browsing
- watching tv shows at the gym
- playing gaming emulators
- working on my documents with the pages app
- taking notes for lecture w/ bluetooth keyboard

Yeah I've looked into downloading things with Protube or YouTube to MP3 sites but unsure about the legality of that.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 02:14 PM   #12
LeeM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x&y View Post
I got my first iPad around two months ago and since then I've turned my Mac computer on about 3 times.

The iPad is a perfectly viable alternative for me to my computer. However, I can't speak for everyone as we all have different needs from our technology.
new toy syndrome. i used my old laptop as much after i got my ipad, but it was crap and since ive got my new macbook i havent even touched my ipad.
that said, if you have a slow laptop the ipad is good, but a macbook with ssd starts up as quick as an ipad so i dont even go for the ipad for convenience if the laptops off anymore.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 04:46 PM   #13
Big.Mac.Daddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qbricc View Post
I think the ipad makes a great stand alone computer but getting music and video onto it without itunes is an issue.

If you buy direct from the itunes store then you have the item on your ipad and in the cloud. Or if you use icloud match then you can download tracks onto the ipad. You will need a computer with itunes on in order to load tracks to match.

There are other services out there to stream from but only really itunes can download onto the ipad.

Hope this helps
Thank you qbricc

I didn't know you could actually download your iCloud mp3's to other devices (I thought you could only stream them on other devices).

So does that mean I could put all my mp3's on my computer in icloud, itunes match them for $25, then sell my computer and all my mp3's could still be downloaded onto my iPad/iPhone?

Still seems it would be really hard getting movies / tv shows on my iPad for the gym without iTunes Any ideas? If I buy a TV show season on my iPad with the iTunes App does that mean even if I restore my iPad later I can download it again to my iPad later on?
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 04:57 PM   #14
riveting
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You use ipad as your only computer? That means what you do doesn't need a computer, just need an ipad,
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 07:16 PM   #15
Fruit Cake
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I've had a mouse pointer both on iPad and a 9.7" android, it's just too small and the icons are designed for finger input. For a GUI based OS like windows or OSx, I'd say 11" minimum
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 07:41 PM   #16
bogatyr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big.Mac.Daddy View Post
For myself both iFile or Dropbox work as visible file systems for the iPad.
There are three issues with that:
  1. It relies on the app you want to open a file in to support "Open in" for that file type.
  2. It relies on the app supporting moving a file BACK into Dropbox/iFile - otherwise you have your edited copy in your app and an old copy in Dropbox with no way to move it back.
  3. By having copies in Dropbox and your app you're wasting precious space. Space that is at an even more premium due to going with the $500 model (assumption based on your OP). 16GB doesn't go far - especially when you want your movies and music to be on the iPad and not streamed.

If you jailbreak it (requires a computer), you can get around some of the file issues by manually moving files using a terminal emulator. However that is tedious and if you have a lot of files you'll probably regret it.

iPads are excellent devices but they are no laptop replacement. Same goes for Android tablets which, while offering a true user accessible file system, are lacking other features that make laptops ... laptops.

I own an iPad, ThinkPad Tablet (Android), 2 MBAs, iPhone and iPod Touch. Each have their own uses and none could replace the others (I have a development device the iPod touch goes in that the iPhone can't fit in - otherwise the iPod Touch wouldn't be needed).
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 03:18 AM   #17
iEvolution
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No its not easy to do. For one, the keyboard is nothing more than a typing tool. There are no shortcuts, there is no "tabbing" to different fields and the integrated spell check doesn't even work with it.

There is no file system with the iPad, a HUGE drawback unless you enjoy depending on cloud services for your files. The way the system works currently is you can save files but they are locked into the app (unless the app supports exporting to icloud or another cloud service).

It's not a replacement for a computer unless all you do is view media, check email, social network and game. For file editing, file management, productivity (word processing, video editing, photo editing, music production, etc.) the iPad is terrible.
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 03:36 AM   #18
jmpnop
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If you're going to use external keyboard, you can as well go with MBA which is equally portable and can do a LOT more. Like urkel said, you're intentionally crippling yourself for no reason.
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 02:06 PM   #19
LeeM
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thats a point you can get 11" macbook airs in the refurb store for 50% more than a new ipad, if you really needed a tiny device id save the extra and get one of those.
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 02:44 PM   #20
mortenandersen
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10 hours with BT on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big.Mac.Daddy View Post
I love the idea of using an iPad as my only computing device, there are lots of benefits that make it just as good or even BETTER than a laptop:

- Retina display

- 10 hour battery life

- Extremely thin and light

- When I go to the gym I can watch a movie while I'm doing cardio on the elliptical

- Voice dictation built in

- Bluetooth mouse & keyboard support (mouse support requires jailbreak)

- No viruses / trojans to worry about

- Thousands of apps

- Apple store customer service if anything goes wrong

- Gaming emulators (Snes9x Ex, NES.emu, GBA.emu, GBC.emu) with bluetooth controller support

- Only $500 (compared to more expensive ultrabooks)



The only problem?

- How the **** do I get my music / movies on my iPad without a computer?

I mean I want it ON my iPad, not just streaming from iCloud using cellular data.

If I purchase songs / movies / tv shows via the iTunes app on an iPad, does that mean they are automatically in the cloud and I can download them again later on? (without having to stream them)



Btw does anyone else feel the same way about using the iPad as their main computer?

Of course, you'll have the types that say "no way I can't do that!" because they need hard drives instead of cloud storage, or programs that only work on PC's or Mac's, etc... but that's not me.
I ask only because I wonder: Is the iPad 2 (and 3) battery time 10 hours when a BT keyboard and mouse are connected all the time?
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 02:45 PM   #21
Menneisyys2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big.Mac.Daddy View Post
- Bluetooth mouse & keyboard support (mouse support requires jailbreak)
Note that the mouse support is far from perfect if

- you want to use it in remote desktop apps

- together with Quasar

- together with a (newer, standard - not the first, white BT Apple keyboard) BT keyboard.

In addition, don't think the iPad as a perfect replacement. It does some stuff well but in some areas (programming, video editing, recompressing, remuxing etc.) it's way behind even the cheapest netbooks.
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 06:19 PM   #22
old-wiz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big.Mac.Daddy View Post
For myself both iFile or Dropbox work as visible file systems for the iPad.
And what if you lose internet connection due to no wi-fi or no cell signal? and if you are on a limited data plan the moving stuff back and forth can eat up your data.
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 09:19 PM   #23
BluePhoenixRa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big.Mac.Daddy View Post
Hmmm, I would say mostly
- web browsing
- watching tv shows at the gym
- playing gaming emulators
- working on my documents with the pages app
- taking notes for lecture w/ bluetooth keyboard

Yeah I've looked into downloading things with Protube or YouTube to MP3 sites but unsure about the legality of that.
Well from your list, you won't need a computer to do most of those things.

But for gaming emulators and music stuff, you might want to jailbreak it. =)
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 10:40 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post
And what if you lose internet connection due to no wi-fi or no cell signal? and if you are on a limited data plan the moving stuff back and forth can eat up your data.
iFile is "Finder" like app that gives users full access to the hidden file system within iOS. Therefore it does not need an Internet connection.

The downside of iFile for average people is that you can easily screw something up (not permanently) if you accidentally modify or remove a system file. I recall reading a post from a person that wanted to tidy up the iPad's file system in iFile and they renamed a bunch of files, which obviously caused the OS or specific app not to function properly.
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 03:28 AM   #25
qbricc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big.Mac.Daddy View Post
Thank you qbricc

I didn't know you could actually download your iCloud mp3's to other devices (I thought you could only stream them on other devices).

So does that mean I could put all my mp3's on my computer in icloud, itunes match them for $25, then sell my computer and all my mp3's could still be downloaded onto my iPad/iPhone?

Still seems it would be really hard getting movies / tv shows on my iPad for the gym without iTunes Any ideas? If I buy a TV show season on my iPad with the iTunes App does that mean even if I restore my iPad later I can download it again to my iPad later on?

Your itunes account is linked to the matched songs not the device. You can use any machine that can load itunes and download matched tracks.

Any music, films or TV shows you buy on itunes can be redownloaded using your account. I think this makes the purchase price a much better deal.

This service only works in some countries.
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