iPad What can a laptop do that an iPad cannot?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by maroot, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I currently have a MBP, but am thinking of picking up an iPad this year. I am curious what the limitations are of the iPad in what it can do. I am guessing it cannot replace my laptop. Will I be able to use Quicken on the ipad to balance my checkbook? Can I 'save' files to the iPad?

    Thanks for any ideas!

  2. macrumors member


    Jul 3, 2013
    Amelia, Ohio
    You can 'save' files in apps that you can open them in. Like, you can open word documents in pages and whatnot. But, I agree that there are some limitations that the iPad still has.

    My iPad Mini has effectively replaced my PC, but I still keep my netbook out and around in case there is something I can't do on my iPad.

    I am not sure what all it can't do. I am sure that is a thing where you would figure it out when you find that certain thing.

    Also, there probably is an app to help you balance your checkbook. I haven't looked into that sort of thing.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    It's not necessarily a matter of what a laptop might do that an iPad can't, but whether you use your laptop in ways that you couldn't use an iPad.

    Do you edit photos in PhotoShop on the laptop? Then your iPad options pale by comparison. If you reserve that kind of work for your desktop machine, then you're not losing much at all - the iPad is great for displaying photos and light editing.

    Do you regularly use a DVD-R drive (either internal or external) on your laptop for something other than installing programs? That's an issue. Ditto for an external hard drive. Can't attach an external drive to your iPad. However, if the reason for the external drives is backups, that's moot on iPad anyway - backups get done to iCloud or iTunes, and you can use Dropbox for other data.

    Are you a heavy-duty typist? I am. The iPad's virtual keyboard will always be slower than a physical keyboard due to the tactile response from a real keyboard. I carry a wireless keyboard - the iPad plus wireless keyboard is still lighter and more compact than a laptop.

    I transitioned from laptop to iPad over a few months. For a while I carried both, but after a few months, I was able to say bye-bye laptop. Maybe you can do that, maybe not. For many folks, it's now a matter of the iPad being the constant daily companion, while the laptop sits back in the hotel room waiting for the stuff that couldn't get done during the day. Since I was never the type to carry a laptop 24/7, having the iPad 24/7 means I do a lot of (productive) things I'd never have done in a laptop-only existence.
  4. macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2013
  5. macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    This is covered in countless iPad versus laptop threads. It's unreasonable to expect people to come up with a list of every possible difference for you. Determine your needs and then find a suitable solution.

    Again, depends on your needs. For some it is a suitable replacement. For others it is not.
  6. macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2012
    This is a joke post right...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
  7. macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2012
    Oxford, England
    Flash websites / games, torrents, pc games, microsoft office, itunes. And faster typing i'm guessing :p + iwork or microsoft office on pc/mac are better than tablet versions, same goes for editing software or any kind of software, if you're a writer or photographer or many things then a laptop is needed for more profesional use. I use it just to play pc games, download stuff and do itunes sync for some stuff
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    East Coast
    I sold my Macbook Pro a few years ago to finance the purchase of an iPad 3. It is a fun novelty toy, and a great little portable video media player.

    I sold my iPad 3 a few weeks ago and used the proceeds to help buy a new Macbook Air.

    For a computer user, for someone who has to work with copy, for someone who has to cut and paste, and work in input from others, for someone who has to really work with photos, the iPad, to me at least, was a colossal pain in the ass. That, and the lack of a decent, searchable file system, were my incentives to go back to a laptop.
  9. macrumors 68030


    Oct 3, 2012
    New Jersey
    think of an iPad as a bigger iPhone. There, now you have your differences.
  10. macrumors 604


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    If you depend on Quicken for Windows, then obviously, the iPad can't do that.

    If you have a Garmin device and you want to update its firmware, the iPad can't do that. As a matter of fact, it can't update the firmware on any device. So any gadget, like an Escort Radar detector, a Netgear NAS, a Logitech Harmony remote control... - out of luck.

    You can't run any Windows or Mac software, obviously. So the client version of DVD Profiler (an awesome iOS app) only runs on Windows.

    Need flash? Nope.

    Need access to your file system, you know, like to copy files around, upload them to websites, attach them to emails? Nope. There are 50,000 work arounds, but don't try to reply to an email and attach a document. Can't do it.

    And on, and on, and on, and on....

    iPad is a great device. And if all you do is check email and browse the internet on non-flash sites, then it can replace a computer for you.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 14, 2013
    Laptops can do all of the things mentioned above, but the iPad is quite capable at meeting my needs outside of work. I had one of our IT people install my company's email on my iPad, and that is a HUGE help while in meetings (where I can send and receive dozens of emails per meeting). My new rMBP has my remote desk top installed on it, and that's absolutely not possible with an iPad. It's much easier to carry my iPad from one floor in the office to another, however, and I leave the rMBP at home.

    The question for my wife and I was, how much can we do with an iPad, and how much can we lighten the load of carrying a laptop? So far the iPads have allowed us to do everything short of the remote desktop I mentioned earlier. I do load photos right onto my iPad, and try to crop in camera, etc. I use the Apple SD card reader, and slip my Nikon's card in and out quickly. While some things are more difficult to do on an iPad, I'm more likely to have an iPad with me than a laptop, and that's better than nothing at all. A friend is an attorney for a major hospital in Philadelphia, and she gets quite a bit of work done on her iPad.

    The next logical question is, can the Mini replace the full-size iPad. I'm more likely to carry my Mini than iPad 4, and that's important when reaching for a device.
  12. macrumors 604


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I've found the mini capable of doing everything my old iPad 3 could do, even graphics intensive games. The developers seem to have "toned down" the graphics a bit to be able to run on the mini. Outside of that, work things like Dropbox, Quickoffice, PDF Expert, Goodreader, email, browsing, etc. all work the same. I find I carry the mini more often than I carried my iPad 3. The screen difference did not bother me much, and I found the performance of the mini quite pleasant.
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Thank all of you for your replies. You have given me a lot of things to think about. I appreciate it!

  14. macrumors 68030


    Apr 9, 2010
    Here are 2 issues off the top of my head:

    - Can't print directly to just any printer.
    - Can't use a mouse. (without jailbreaking)
  15. Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    My iPad can't:

    -efficiently be used to type long papers (multi-touch does doesn't work well)
    -multitask with multiple windows
    -do Photoshop/graphic design efficiently
    -open files and store them in one place(it doesn't have a Finder)
    -download various types of files
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2012
    What can a laptop do that an iPad can't? Like actual work?
  17. macrumors G5


    Aug 17, 2007
    Nice run down of what an iPad can't do. Like others have said, it all depends on what you do with your laptop.
  18. macrumors 68040


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Easy answer…If I spend overnight at the hospital, I can't bring rMBP. I can use my iPad in the hospital bed. :apple:
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    Convert files, save documents, organize documents, use more powerful apps, larger screen, multi-window, download files, flash applications, USB ports, external storage, and so on...

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