iPad as a laptop replacement

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Omar Comin' Yo, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. ericwn macrumors 68020

    Apr 24, 2016
    Be that as it may I have given up guessing others’ thoughts. When communicating via language only some accuracy is beneficial for the exchange.
  2. jamesrick80 macrumors 68020


    Sep 12, 2014
    Same comments every year a pro is released.....in some form or another....
  3. Macintoshrumors macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2016
    Ehh that will never happen and defeats the purpose of a tablet. Sounds like you want a macbook.
  4. Neverbepeace macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2009
    New York
    You could be right. However, you could be wrong too. I'll just say this.....

  5. Greenmeenie macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2013
    I’m sorry. I have to counter your Beiber meme with one of my own.
  6. Matz Contributor


    Apr 25, 2015
    Rural Southern Virginia
    Well, upon further reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that my 12.9” IPP is not, strictly speaking, a laptop replacement.

    True, I sold my MBP because I wasn’t using it. Also true, I thought I’d fill that niche with the new IPP.

    But it turns out I didn’t - and don’t - need a laptop, because I don’t normally do those things that require a full OS and applications when I’m away from my desktop computer. My desktop is a 27” iMac with a second 27” screen. If I’m going to do spreadsheets and serious document editing, I want more screen real estate than either a tablet or laptop can provide. Otherwise, a tablet meets my needs just fine. My shiny new IPP does so even better than its Air 2 predecessor. And I’m looking forward to discovering what future iOS updates provide in terms of unlocking its potential.

    Maybe it’s putting too fine a point on the comparison, but I think not. For me, at least, a laptop and a tablet fill different niches. I just don’t happen to have a laptop niche in my life.
  7. Mainsail macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    I think you are coming to a very logical conclusion. Here is a review of the 2018 iPad Pro after one month of use. It is pretty fair and balanced. At the end of video, the reviewer talks about the controversial issue of an iPad as a laptop "replacement". He proposes another way of thinking about it. His notion is that the iPad Pro is really a laptop "alternative", which may remove some people's need to own a laptop. Perhaps, they don't need to carry around a laptop for their mobile computing needs, but have a full-on workstation back at the office. Or, the user just might not require a traditional computer at home or on the go.

    Finally, while there are definitely things that a MacBook does better than an iPad, there are defiantly things an iPad does better than a MacBook: handwritten notes, artwork, technical sketches, annotating PDFs, reviewing photos, watching videos, etc...

  8. ascender macrumors 68020

    Dec 8, 2005
    That’s a good point about the iPad being a laptop alternative, but many of the things it’s great at don’t need the new iPad Pro - since Pencil support was added to the bog standard iPad, it’s become a really good option for those who don’t need the power or screen size of the Pros.
  9. Mainsail macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    I wholeheartedly agree. The iPad is an incredible value. During the Holidays, it was on sale for $229. If you have a desktop or employer provided computer, the standard iPad may be all you need for personal computing (plus a phone of course). Also, you can buy third party accessories that are very reasonable; BT keyboard, case, fine point stylus, etc..
  10. xxray macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2013
    So I’ve been trying out entire video projects on the iPad. Once you get all your files imported, editing videos in Luma Fusion is better than editing on a computer in some ways. There’s no playback lag with or without effects, you don’t get a hot device with the fans going on full blast, there’s no freezing or errors or crashing, your battery doesn’t drain. It’s reallg nice. Not to mention, the setup is a lot cheaper than most video editing setups, both when it comes to the hardware and software.
  11. Greenmeenie macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2013
    Ah...another convert. Welcome brutha! Lol. Seriously tho, i totally agree. Love editing on Luma Fusion with my ipad pro. It’s awesome. I wonder with photoshop coming to the ipad this year, if Apple will announce plans for Final Cut coming to the ipad as well. That’d be sweet.
  12. spacebro macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    I was able to complete a connected hardware project using the iPad-only. It was a raspberry pi connected to a micro controller with a little bit of custom hardware added. I was able to do all the microcontroller work by installing the arm compiler on the raspberry pi. I could shell into the raspberry pi using the blink mosh client. I wrote the pi code on itself over blink. The arm code was also written and compiled on the pi using blink and vim. The project also involved a cloud server which I used blink/mosh/vim to get done from the iPad. The only thing though, I had to use a MacBook to prepare the raspberry pi sd card image because iPad can't deal with sd card.
  13. Arctic Moose macrumors member

    Arctic Moose

    Jun 22, 2017
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    So basically everything was done somewhere else than on the iPad.

    The iPad was nothing more than a dumb terminal, a job a decent pocket calculator could do, and you could not complete the project without using a MacBook?
  14. spacebro macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    This is the architecture of the future. The iPad only needs to have fancy ui and graphics and to otherwise be a thin client. Instead of the tools I need connecting over usb, they will be stand alone tools that connect over wifi with a true cross platform interface. There is no need anymore for computers to supply peripherals with power, and they don't need to transmit data over a cable when everybody has fast wifi. I'm not even mad that apple is getting rid of the sd slot. This is becoming a specialty item that only engineers need for stuff like rpi. For a small amount of effort and cost I could have ordered a sd card with the rpi image on it, and probably will next time.
  15. Arctic Moose macrumors member

    Arctic Moose

    Jun 22, 2017
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    This is the architecture of the about 50 years ago.

    The question was if you had replaced a laptop with an iPad. What you’ve done is chosen some random thin client over some other random thin client, and chosen a much more expensive one than necessary at that.

    On top of that, you still need to spend money and wait for something to show up in the mail. If you want to try a different dist, you need to pay and wait again.

    Not impressed.
  16. spacebro macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    Linux is becoming just a tool where you don't have to fuss with different distros. Can't bill anybody for "6 hours- tried fedora instead of ubuntu, went back to ubuntu". The past was thin clients and so is the future. Even at my office we started putting toolchains onto a super powerful tower that's in some closet, we all shell into it to compile stuff. We do it this way because its much faster compile time compared to compiling on everyone's MacBook Pro. A bonus is that only 1 person wastes their time fussing with the toolchains instead of everybody having to do it. Another bonus is that weird per-computer compiler licenses can now work for everyone.
  17. Arctic Moose, Jan 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019

    Arctic Moose macrumors member

    Arctic Moose

    Jun 22, 2017
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    I don't agree, but whatever, that's a can of worms I'm not opening. For the sake of argument, maybe your SD card arrives faulty, or you decide OpenBSD is a better fit. Endless possibilities.

    I'm willing to wager a large sum of money that only a minuscule percentage of the hours spent tinkering on Raspberry Pi projects represent billable time.

    I am not disputing that centralized network resources have advantages. (Although I am constantly reminded that 2019 cloud services have the same damn issues that my Sun Microsystems client had 30 years ago.)

    I am most certainly claiming that an iPad is not a workable replacement for a laptop in many, many scenarios. (Developing an iOS app with no network connectivity, to name one.)

    I am also claiming that it is cumbersome and annoying in many, many more. (Please, please stop pausing my podcast just because I have a quick glance at my security camera or want to listen to a song in iTunes at the same time.)

    I'm glad you could use your iPad instead of your laptop for your project and that you enjoyed doing so. I just fail to see how this represents proof that an iPad can do "real work" when pretty much anything with a processor and a screen built in the last few decades, including a mobile phone from the last century, could handle your project just fine.
  18. spacebro macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    Thats what I'm saying, a powerful thin client can now replace a powerful laptop. In my type of work I've seen pc towers get replaced with MacBook pros (nobody thought engineers would switch to Mac but they did), and next up is to replace $3000 MacBook pros with pretty much any $1000 laptop because we don't need to maximize processing power or memory on our local device anymore. Its done elsewhere- on the cloud, on a headless machine, or on purpose built computing devices. If my work computer went down for some reason, I'd look at replacing it with a MacBook-not-pro because as an engineer I just don't need maximum computing horsepower built into my laptop anymore. Its not a bad world to live in, you can run youtube, dozens of browser tabs, and compile android without your tablet getting hot. My MacBook Pro gets too hot to put on my lap from doing any 1 of these things. They can't fix the heat issue without redoing the architecture, its never going to be solved without a big change to iOS tablets or other big change like that. Running intensive software on your main computer never panned out to be a great thing. All these python libraries and dependencies that break down. They've had 20 years for this ecosystem to stabilize and its just a perpetually broken mess. It only makes sense to isolate that type of mess onto individual cloud servers or onto a headless tower. The future is coming to solve all of these problems and you're probably going to end up liking it.
  19. xxray macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2013
    So, I started classes last Monday, and I've been trying to go iPad-only. So far, it's worked great except for one of my classes, which I need an actual computer to do my assignments. It has left me wanting the 12.9" because I find myself often needing more screen real estate - the 10.5" just feels too small sometimes. However, I really don't want to spend over $1000 unnecessary on anything anytime soon, and it feels very wasteful to get rid of my 10.5" when it still runs as smooth as day one. I also still desperately could use multiple windows of the same app.
  20. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    My wife just started trying to use her iPad as a replacement for her laptop and if the iPad survives the week without getting thrown through a window I'll be surprised. The lack of a mouse, dealing with the idiosyncrasies of using cloud storage instead of local storage and differences between the mobile and desktop versions of Word and Excel and driving her bonkers.
  21. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    I can count on one hand the number of iPads I've seen on campus in the past 2.5 years.

    Trying to do school work on a single small display with very limited multitasking abilities, no mouse support, limited file system access, etc... it pretty painful. Even simple tasks like having a few documents/web pages open and writing a paper becomes very cumbersome to do. They often won't work with software or even websites you need for school (such as WileyPlus).

    Most people I see these days in engineering have pretty generic laptops and dock them at home to external monitor desk setups, granted most engineering classes are done with paper and pencil. Most of the social studies / arts students have Mac laptops. A handful of Surfaces (which can be docked just the same as a laptop) but almost no iPads.
  22. PKoz macrumors member


    Dec 2, 2017
    I have the 12.9” iPad Pro. Latest model. For writing I think it is perfectly fine. I see two possible issues with your use case.

    1. The browser isn’t a full desktop class browser. There are times when I’m forced to use my MacBook safari browser because the iPad browser isn’t providing some functionality that the desktop browser provides.

    2. It lacks a Finder type app with access to a file system on par with the Mac. But for writing with Pages and saving to iCloud you’d likely be just fine. And I’d image your writing app of choice would also be fine. Writing is one of the tasks I think the iPad is perfectly fine for.

    You might check one out at the apple store and see. Go through the motions and see if all the bases you require are fully covered.

    I prefer to use my iPad over everything else and only use something else when I run into something that forces me to break out the full computer.
  23. yeahtyeaht macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2012
    My conclusion after 2 months: For my usage, the iPad can replace a Laptop if I have one (I actually had some years before). I used my iPP to learn for the university and I love it, I saved up so many paper. I don’t have papers in my backpack anymore, I use only my iPad. And now my favourite thing to do with the iPP is to learn coding with Swift Playgrounds. Actually I had never so much fun at learning something. I’m working with Dropbox and iCloud but of course I would be really happy if we get a file system (according to rumours it’s coming with iOS 13).

    I know I could do that also with the budget iPad but I wanted to be future proof and according to the Bloomberg rumours, it was the right decision to buy this device. Enough power for years (I hope).
  24. Disconnect_00 Suspended

    Jan 15, 2019
    I’ve used primarily iPads for several years now, and have not only used them exclusively for school work - attaining a masters degree, no less - but now full time in my career.

    I think the vast majority of those unable to use an iPad for most things are either stuck in their ways, or they’re inept. The options are there, they can be as fast or even faster as a traditional computer, and the hardware can often outperform most computers.

    There are lots of excuses, but the reality is that most people’s needs are covered entirely by an iPhone and iPad.
  25. hancuriang macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2019
    After spending some time with iPad Pro 12.9”, my experience is iPP became my main device while my macbook became a complementary device. I am an artist, so iPP covers my needs. I literally only use Macbook to access old files and listens to songs with pitch change.

    IPP is lighter, I can bring it anywhere with so much ease while I can’t do that with MBP. It’s also really fast, compared to my ancient mid-2010 MBP. Also it’s really funny how disorienting my MBP is after spending a lot of time with IPP, the big bezel makes it looks really really ancient. Like I just found an ancient artifact, my grandfather’s treasure, in the attic and it’s just because of the big bezels and bigger gap between the screen and the glass. I didn’t understand people’s love for tiny bezels at first but now I kinda get it.

    I think most big software companies are kinda meh with iPad because it means more works with no guaranteed future. So I think there should be a new player, instead of hoping for the big players to port their app to iPad. It’s kinda like Procreate as a Photoshop replacement for artists, Photoshop will soon come to iPad Pro but after trying their sketch app, the brush basically worked like Procreate so I think something in the iOS code just prevents the brushes from behaving similarly to desktop applications? Anyway, things like zbrush etc, there should be an ambitious new dev to fulfill that role.

    So I think in Apple’s vision, iPad isn’t supposed to have desktop OS, of behaves like a desktop, there is things iOS needs like better file management and multitasking, but Apple relies on devs to make an app that fully embraces iOS ‘limits’ and touch interface so I think if one wants iPP to be successful to be a desktop replacement, there should be contributions from devs too but I think people just don’t get what iPads want to be or Apple just failed to communicate what it should be because if people hear laptop replacements, usually a tablet like desktop OS ala the surfaces come to mind. Nobody takes iOS seriously because it differs from people’s idea of a full fledged desktop OS. So yeah I think it’s just not ready, it’s been the third gen and it still hasn’t taken off? But after spending my time with it, I kinda can see what Apple wants it to be but devs and apps are just not there yet... I think it’s just something ‘millenials’ probably get in the future....

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