Do you see an ios laptop in your future?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Abazigal, May 4, 2012.

  1. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    When people talk about getting an ipad + bluetooth keyboard combination, they often get shot down as being unrealistic and extravagant when for a similar cost, you can get a entry model MBA, and be much more productive, as the MBA can do everything an ipad does, and more. Amongst the reasons given is the lack of a trackpad, or alternative to a mouse. I thought this discussion might be interesting enough to merit its own thread, even though I am aware this will probably have been extensively discussed in the past.

    What sparked a paradigm shift in my mind were actually my own pupils. I am an elementary school teacher, in a school practising 1-1 computing (each class has a pushcart with enough tablet laptops for every pupil).

    My observation of the kids (~8-9 years old) is that they seem to be far more comfortable and at ease using the stylus to manipulate the windows environment. They actually preferred using the handwriting recognition program to write in ms word over typing, and the stylus over the trackpad (or whatever that little rubber point nestled amongst the keyboard is called).

    While my own laptop was issued with a touch-screen, I rarely ever used it, opting to fall back on the trackpad which I was more comfortable with. However, what amazed me was when some of my students were using my computer, and I marveled at the ease with which they used the touch-screen interface to navigate the interface. I am now exploring the possibilities more, and this would never have happened were it not for my class.

    TL;DR - All I am saying is that today's kids seem far more comfortable interacting with a touch environment. Could it be that we diss an ipad+keyboard setup because it is something we are not familiar with, having been raised in a desktop+keyboard+mouse environment. Might the mouse go the way of the floppy disc drive in say, 10-20 years? Maybe touchscreen computers will see a surge in demand in the future, because that is what the children of today are comfortable with?

    So it is not that such a concept does not work, just that it is ahead of its time.

    Your thoughts? :)
  2. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    As it currently exists, I do not see myself using iOS on a laptop. On a traditional mac I'm not limited to buying applications from an appstore, nor am I forced to buy media from only a few sources--and I can create it myself.

    However, since my iPad is mostly for entertainment, I don't mind a closed environment there and it works in our favor since developers are more comfortable taking the time to design apps that aren't pirated--like they are on Android.

    For most people, I think carrying a keyboard with an iPad isn't ideal not just because iOS is limited -- but because the raw processing power on an iPad is far inferior to that of a macbook air. It is close to the same cost if you get a top of the line iPad and a keyboard. However, iOS will change over time and the iPad will get more powerful so I may change my tune in the future.
  3. LiloThePleo macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2010
    I think that the mouse will eventually go the way of the dodo, however for that to happen we need a stylus that is as accurate as a mouse, not a finger or chunky stylus but something fine and accurate. The blue tiger stylus may answer this need, but it remains to be seen. As adept as the younger generation are with touchscreens (like you I've seen my students work wonders with no formal instruction) but for some things a finger is just too fat.
  4. Abazigal thread starter macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    In addition, while I do not intend as this to be a windows-bashing post, when I see the myriad of issues plaguing my class at times when they are using the laptops, I find myself wishing the school had simply purchased ipads instead (but then, they didn't exist back then in 2008).

    Between having to log on to the school's network (which doesn't always detect properly, necessitating a reset) and loading a laundry list of startup programs, the pupils sometimes take up to 10 minutes just to go in. Nor is it feasible to leave them overnight in hibernate mode, as their power management doesn't seem that great.

    In addition, I find that having a full-powered computer's capabilities means you also have to deal with all the problems that come with one, such as random error messages which often make no sense. I often just get my kids to click on the ok message and pray that it was nothing important.

    Likewise, after 4 years, the laptops are starting to show their age, what with random keyboard keys coming loose, missing styluses, HDDs starting to fail and so on, batt life becoming very short (some of my laptops need to be plugged in 24/7).

    Conversely, the ipad offers instant-on, eliminates the need to fiddle with a real file system, is lighter, easier to hold, and extremely long batt life. The basic ipad2 offering is now comparable to a netbook in terms of cost. Iworks and apps like wordpress are simplified on the ios platform, and that can actually be a boon, since we typically use a mere fraction of their capabilities anyways, and this means the kids spend less time fiddling around with confusing controls, and more time working on their digital assignments. Imagine the possibilities once we get them preloaded with digital textbooks and the like.

    We are supposed to be teaching our kids 21st century competencies, not training them to be secretaries, after all. :D
  5. r-sparks macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2006
    This is a really interesting question!

    I think there's still some innovation required before an iOS laptop can become a reality, and that's going to take 5-10 years. It probably won't be hardware innovation, beyond a certain level (i.e. haptic feedback), but will be down to software innovation. This is what Apple excels at, of course. Apple has and will always show the way forward.

    The mouse once looked like an elegant solution to a problem but is beginning to look very clumsy, so is almost certain to become a museum piece within 10 years.

    What's going to happen in 10-20 years time is that the majority of people will use limited devices like iPads (or iOS laptops). A relative minority of computer geeks will jailbreak. Jailbreaking will take on a very different complexion and will lose its "dodgy" stigma -- it'll become something that geeks have the right to do. There might even arise "distros" of after-market apps that you can apply to your jailbroken device to give it a particular spin, or look and feel, and at-once provide the functionality that people need -- like a filesystem.

    However, most people will forget filesystems and mice ever existed and trust their docs and files to the cloud. People will lose files, and have other annoyances, but they won't understand what causes their problems, or the history that's led up to them. This is the nature of things.

    Everybody on this forum will jailbreak their devices, because that's what people like us do, but also because as far as we're concerned we'll have no option. Remember that ALL your Apple devices will have iOS on them. OS X will be as distant to us as OS 9 is nowadays.
  6. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    I'm fine with touch-only, and I'm fine with keyboard+trackpad or mouse.

    Touch+Keyboard doesn't work for me
  7. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Actually I see myself giving up my iPad because of the limitations of iOS and buy a 11inch MBA with a full OSX instead.

    Looking at my usage I just need the functionality of OSX and the MBA would have the portability similar to the iPad. I would miss the long battery life and the 3G web access though.
  8. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Until there is a user-visible file system available on IOS, I would not consider an IOS laptop. I would be fine if they hid the system part, but allow user full ability to setup his own files.
  9. MacAttacka macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2012
    Absolutely not. I can see iPad replacing laptops as we know it. I predict iOS and MacOS will merge but iOS will dominate. You could say ios will cannibalise MacOS in the future. Laptops will eventually die out. When I say eventually I mean pretty quickly. MacBook air will cannibalise MacBook pro and the the iPad will ultimately cannibalise the MacBook air/pro. Cloud computing is the future.
  10. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    My pov is clear given my usage (see my signature) but I think the other issue is that youngish kids still haven't really learned how to type. That, and the ubiquity an phenomenal UE of Apple's touch interface makes it no surprise to me that you observed what you did.

    For my part, I've gotten so proficient on the iPads on screen keyboard in landscape mode that I have no reason to use a hard keyboard at all.

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