All iPads Do you simply need an iPad for personal use if you have an employer provided computer?

Mainsail

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Original poster
Sep 19, 2010
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There have been so many threads on the topic of replacing a laptop with an iPad. I wanted to ask the question in a somewhat different context. This question relates to my daughter who recently graduated from college and has a job with a consulting group. There will be significant travel. The Compnay will provide a laptop for all of her work related needs, and I suspect she will be toting it around to all of the client sites. I also suspect her work will include business sensitive information, so I would strongly discourage her from using her own personal computer (2012 MBA) for anything work related.....keep the two worlds completely separate.

Her MBA still works ok, but it is getting time to replace. So, the question is "does it make sense for her to own a personal computer.". Again, her work stuff will be done on the company laptop.....and she doesn't own that computer.....that's company property. The more I think about it, the less sense it makes for her to buy a new computer. She really needs something light and portable to take along on business travel, so she can keep up with personal stuff. She is already lugging around a company laptop. For personal computing needs, what would be the limitation of just buying a basic iPad for $300? It should be plenty adequate for:

Email and messaging
Calendar and reminders
Photos and video
Writing letters and notes (Pages and Notes)
Keeping a simple budget and lists (Numbers)
PDF review and scanning
Banking and tracking accounts (Mint)
Netflix
IBooks
Music
Browsing the web

It seems like she needs a portable device with great battery life. I would hate to see her carry two laptops around on all of these business trips. I can't really figure out why she needs to even own a traditional computer. Let me know what you think.
 
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Dave-Z

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Jun 26, 2012
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My wife has a work-issued laptop with sensitive information on it. Personal use is not permitted so it's exclusively a work tool.

For personal use she uses an iPad Air 2 (soon to be upgraded to a 10.5"). Her last personal computer was a 2006 Black MacBook. She's used an iPad exclusively for personal stuff for years now. Never an issue. She does much of the stuff you listed in your bullet points.

This sort of thing is personal, so it depends on the person, but it's quite possible to use just an iPad for personal stuff.
 
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zhenya

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Jan 6, 2005
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Totally depends on the person, the employer, their situation and preferences. I am provided with a work computer that I can pretty well choose myself, but it has to be Windows. For a number of years that was my only laptop. When the iPad was released that filled in as my personal computer for a number of years. Eventually I ended up with a 12" MacBook as my personal device, and that seemed to be a good fit for me. Most of my personal digital life is connected to the Apple ecosystem, and having the full operating system gave me a lot more flexibility. I still have an iPad, but it became more of an accessory than my primary device.

What does she want? There are pluses and minuses to both situations. Pluses to having one device is less to carry, less to maintain, less frustration of having some content on one device but not on the other (although this is greatly mitigated with today's cloud services if her employer will let her use those). Positives of having your own device is complete separation of worlds as you say, and the freedom to choose whatever device she wants. I believe an iPad can do 98% of the stuff most people want - but it really comes down to the individual what they prefer. My wife could easily live with an iPad but doesn't care for the interface. She much prefers her MBA.
 
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spiderman0616

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Aug 1, 2010
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My work supplies me with a MacBook Air, which basically serves as a desktop connected to two monitors and a keyboard+mouse. We are supposed to use company equipment and software for work, so I use it during the workday. If an email comes in after hours or something needs to be taken care of when I'm not really in my office, I do all that on my iPad Pro, and my company is fine with that.

I used to have a personal Mac and never used it because of the work machine, so it got sold. If I lost my job, I would not replace the work Mac with a personal one. I 100% do not need it for any casual or professional use.
 
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B.A.T

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Oct 16, 2009
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Keep the work life and the personal life separate but don't rush out and buy anything. She should probably work for a short bit, keep using the Air and after a short while she will know what direction she will want to go with a new personal device.
[doublepost=1500418304][/doublepost]
Do you want your employer looking at your FB, email, texts, banking info or other personal info? Most people don't.
 
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Mainsail

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[doublepost=1500418304][/doublepost]
Do you want your employer looking at your FB, email, texts, banking info or other personal info? Most people don't.
I agree with you on all of the above. But, why do you need a traditional computer or laptop? You can do the personal stuff on an iPad.
 
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Mainsail

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Your employer can take that computer back at any time and without notice. Everything on that computer belongs to the employer irregardless of where the data originates so you can't have any expectation of privacy or retrieval. Is that a problem for you?
I think there is some confusion. We all agree that the work computer is to be used exclusively for work and not used for personal stuff. Obviously, we also all agree that your personal computer should not be used for corporate work because of potentially business sensitive info.

The question is: why not just own an iPad for personal stuff (original post listed user needs), so you don't need to lug around two computers on business travel?

In other words, if work is covered, why
own a personal computer....just buy an iPad.
 
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QCassidy352

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Mar 20, 2003
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Your employer can take that computer back at any time and without notice. Everything on that computer belongs to the employer irregardless of where the data originates so you can't have any expectation of privacy or retrieval. Is that a problem for you?
I think the OP clearly understands the issues with mixing work and personal computers. The question isn't whether the OP's daughter needs a non-work-issued device, it's whether that device needs to be a laptop or can be an iPad.

I am not big on replacing laptops with iPads, but in this case, for the stated purposes, I think an iPad would be fine and far preferable to taking two laptops on business trips.
 
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sparksd

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Jun 7, 2015
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I think there is some confusion. We all agree that the work computer is to be used exclusively for work and not used for personal stuff. Obviously, we also all agree that your personal computer should not be used for corporate work because of potentially business sensitive info.

The question is: why not just own an iPad for personal stuff (original post listed user needs), so you don't need to lug around two computers on business travel?
My apologies for a poor reading on my part. It would seem that your daughter could probably get by with an iPad as a laptop replacement, given what she is doing with it. I always found it to be a pain in the neck to lug a company and a personal laptop around on travel. Looking back on it (I'm retired now), an iPad would have worked well for me on business travel.
 
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Plett

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Feb 16, 2016
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I have a work computer and we are allowed to use it for limited personal use off working hours, that being said as someone sagely pointed out the computer and every keystroke belong to the company to include passwords, social media feeds, etc. Therefore in my case I have a personal computer, however I usually only take my IPP on business travel because it meets the needs of my personal use on the road similar to what your daughter would use it for, and my personal computer at home for heavy lifting hobby stuff.

Long winded way of saying no, just use the MBA and when it craps out get an iPad. IMHO
 
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missbing

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Sep 27, 2015
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I have a work laptop that I'm able to use for personal use so I see no point in buying a personal laptop. I don't save any personal information on the work computer just in case my company had to take it for some reason, so I use a personal external hard drive for my personal files.
 
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Bart Kela

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Based on the proposed usage case for your daughter, if this is correct (and that is a big 'IF'), it would seem that a tablet could suffice for her personal tasks.

The main hesitation I would have here is that you do not mention whether or not she has used an iPad and/or some of the available keyboards. Some of them are more pleasing to use than others and it's a personal choice.

I've owned a couple of 9.7" iPads and currently now own a Retina iPad mini. I do not own a keyboard for the latter and I do not find the size to be particularly conducive to typing. Some keyboards are more comfortable than others (this is particularly noticeable on the current MacBook product families: I think the MacBook keyboard absolutely sucks).

I highly recommend that she thinks very carefully about various keyboard options (including the screen-based keyboard) for iPads and perhaps try them out before committing to a purchase. This is not something anyone here can decide for her. It will be her call.

Don't ask us, ask her. After all, you are not asking about buying this for yourself, you are trying to propose purchase options for someone else and it does not appear that you have considered this very important consideration.
 
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Cashmonee

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May 27, 2006
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It really depends on your situation. If you or your kids are in school, an iPad may be a stretch. In that case, perhaps a cheap Chromebook? I would say, it gets harder to justify a $1000+ laptop these days. Something Apple really needs to eventually address, especially as their laptops are less than impressive these days.
 
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CatherineVeraGat

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May 6, 2017
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It makes sense to own a personal computer in some situations but I don't think it is a must-have thing.

If she needs a bigger screen than her iPhone then the 2017 iPad should work.

If it is necessary to own a laptop style personal computer, then the MacBook Air should be good enough.

If she wants a tablet with an Laptop-like detrachable keyboard then the iPad Pro with the Apple Keyboard should work.

But personally I think the 2017 iPad would be the best option based on the things that your daughter is going to use it for.
 
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tl01

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Jun 20, 2010
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Why? I mean to say, for what purpose?
I wouldn't want to have anything personal on a work computer...so if you have anything personal you need a computer then I would get your own personal computer.
 
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barkomatic

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Aug 8, 2008
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It sounds like she could make do with an iPad for her personal use. However, I'd go with the higher end iPad Pro as opposed to the basic iPad. It's got more RAM and will be able to handle more future iOS updates--it's also much nicer to use in general.
 
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Mainsail

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Original poster
Sep 19, 2010
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I wouldn't want to have anything personal on a work computer...so if you have anything personal you need a computer then I would get your own personal computer.
Maybe I need to change the title because folks don't appear to be reading the entire OP post. I am not asking if someone should use a work computer for personal needs. I am asking: Given you have a work computer for work needs and you would never do work on your personal computer anyway, why not just own an iPad for the personal stuff rather than buy a full blown computer? Especially, if you are traveling a lot for business and want something highly portable for personal needs only.
 
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Precision Gem

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Jun 3, 2015
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My situation is much like your daughters. I have a company issued Windows Laptop Workstation (17” Dell .... very heavy). When I travel for work, I take this laptop, and also my iPad Pro. When I travel for pleasure I only take the iPad Pro. At home I do also have a 27” iMac, but find that 90% of the time I use the iPad Pro. Only use the iMac to update my website and run QuickBooks.
With the iPad Pro and keyboard, she should be able to easily do everything you outlined, and it will be more portable than taking another personal laptop around. I find that traveling, the apps on the ipad are better and much quicker than going to websites anyway. On the road I use TripCase on my ipad, watch and iphone, and the various airlines apps. All of which are better on the ipad than on a laptop.
 
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akadafni

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Nov 8, 2015
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Why? I mean to say, for what purpose?
The computer and all the data is really controlled AND MONITORED by the employer with mobile device management and such. I would get a completely separate device for personal use. She can always access iCloud data on the computer by going to iCloud.com. IMO
 
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annay49

macrumors member
Apr 13, 2010
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So for several months I had my work computer and iPad Pro for personal things. In fact - I typically had the two side by side and used my iPad Pro at work for email and my laptop for work related presentation making and design software.

This past month I acquired a personal MacBook Pro to do freelancing work on - because I was getting enough of it that I didn't want to be glued to my iMac. So yes - totally depends on personal preference. Typically when I was traveling weekly for work I just used my iPad for watching Netflix after working a REALLY long day.

But what type of consulting work will your daughter be doing? Will she be picking up extra projects on the side for a larger income? Doing creative work etc? Some things are better on a laptop.
 
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Mainsail

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She will be doing corporate consulting, and there will be no freelancing. She probably has to sign a none compete agreement while working for this very large firm.
 
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