All iPads iPad as your only computer? Seems easy to do and in many ways better than a laptop.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Big.Mac.Daddy, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. Big.Mac.Daddy, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    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
  2. macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2007
    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
  3. macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2010
    Kirkcaldy, Scotland
    Can you actually use a bluetooth mouse with an iPad


    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.
  4. macrumors 604


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    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....
  5. macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2009
    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.
  6. macrumors 604

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    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.
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    For myself both iFile or Dropbox work as visible file systems for the iPad.
  8. macrumors 68020

    Nov 3, 2008
    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.
  9. macrumors regular

    May 19, 2012
    It can infact last as your only computer, but as others have 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.
  10. x&y
    macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2012
    West Midlands, England
    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.
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    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.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 1, 2012
    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.
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    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?
  14. macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    You use ipad as your only computer? That means what you do doesn't need a computer, just need an ipad, :)
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2012
    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
  16. macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    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).
  17. macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    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.
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    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.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 1, 2012
    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.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    10 hours with BT on?

    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?
  21. macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    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.
  22. macrumors 604

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    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.
  23. macrumors regular

    May 19, 2012
    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. =)
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2010
    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.
  25. macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2007

    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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