iPad as a primary (only) computer

Discussion in 'iPad' started by xl1ken, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. xl1ken macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2010
    I am a total computer geek (likely one of the oldest around at almost 68 years of age). Have several Mac's and soon the iPad 3 G for both myself and my daughter (age 4 year old grandson).

    On the other hand my girlfriend who was a lifelong elementary school teacher is very computer illiterate. She does have an ancient Compaq PC but struggles using it and I doubt one could sync that computer with an iPad.

    OK (finally) my question is this:

    What are your opinions on someone using an iPad as their one and only computer. The iPad is so user friendly I think even my girlfriend could figure it out :). That being said I am wondering how she could download apps without a main desktop computer. Has anyone done this and if so what are your thoughts recommendations?

    Actually I know quite a few people in this category. If the iPad can be used as a primary (only) computer I am sure there are a huge number of computer non savvy people that could get with the new age of computers.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    The worlds oldest Geek

    Ken Leonard
  2. iWannaBeAdored macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2010
    you have a girlfriend at 68 nice lol.

    I guess you could use this as your main computing device because it is so user friendly and can do a lot. It also has a great battery life. You would still need to sync with a PC though.
  3. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002

    1) It needs a computer to sync music, movies, photos, backup, etc.
    2) It does not print natively. There are printing apps, but they don't work with everything.
    3) No Flash. Not an issue if you have a computer, but, realistically there are still a lot of sites that depend on it. On a similar note, some sites will only present their mobile site.
    4) It doesn't really "manage" media like pictures and music like a computer. You can't even delete pictures unless you sync.

    There's more reasons, but that enough for starters.

    The iPad is great but they really designed to be complement your desktop or laptop.
  4. Cboss macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2008
    An iPad requires a computer when it is started the first time, and then to update it's OS when a new one comes out. Besides that, it can be used on its own. There are built-in apps for buying music, apps, etc. directly on the iPad.

    As Chupa said, you can't do some things. But, for basic email, internet, apps, and music, no computer is needed besides the initial setup.
  5. Zepaw macrumors 65816


    Apr 18, 2010
    You can with the App Store on the iPad, but you still need a computer to sync it to your first time, any times you want to make most changes in what is on it like music and videos, or updates. It is not a stand alone device at this point.
  6. OGDaniel macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2009
    Sorry, but no.
    Until they make the OS more like a Mac OS, then the iPad will sadly be another secondary device, although an awesome secondary device.
  7. Lotus Esprit V8 macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    New England
    The iPad is more of a media tablet than a full fledged PC.
  8. h3nG macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2010

    Second this...listen to this guy, he knows what he's talking about.

    But if she is only looking to use it for apps or Internet browsing, email, and reading books, the iPad will do. But no way to upload music and stuff on there.
  9. Pared macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2007
    Plenty of great posts here. There is really no way anyone can do this.
  10. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    If all her needs are encapsulated in the ipad's capabilities, then yes.
  11. xl1ken thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2010
    Sync to desktop computer

    Thanks, likely I could sync the iPad to my Mac and then update from time to time as she needs it.

  12. 0101001 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2010
    I use it as my only computer and have no problems with it, I use my sons pc to sync. I love it.
  13. strangelogic macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2003
    interesting but...

    Considering the profile of the gf in question, most of these points seem to be non-issues. Even for me, I am baffled by some of these altogether:

    1. Doesn't sound like she has a lot of media to sync, and so much can be 'consumed' off the web without ever syncing... youtube etc... Could also use it to sync your digital photos to it from your camera directly...
    2. - It does not print -- ?? Printing is so 1995, I mean - yeah I had to print out my tickets to see the washington caps blow it in their last home game, but... in general someone who is not a big computer user is also not going to need to print much. Shoot - I've even presented coupons on the iphone at checkout and merchants have cooperated.
    3. No Flash - That's also a non-issue depending on what you consume. I have one site that I need flash for... 1
    4. doesn't 'manage media' --- well, again - if the person isn't a big computer user, how likely is it that they have media to manage? And this really isn't different from 1 above.

    The one issue would be the initial set-up, and sync to update software. Otherwise, it sounds like the perfect solution for the girlfriend - makes a whole lot more sense then buying her a new computer of any sort.

    If anything, it might inspire her to get more interested in a computer again (maybe something a bit newer) if she starts to use it more and wants some of those additional features.

    I know my sister would love one, more than a computer. Actually - both my sisters would probably use the hell out of an iPad (now i know what to get her for XMAS)...
  14. Zazoh macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2009
    San Antonio, Texas
    Ya, loads of bad advice in this thread. My 74 year old Mom is now using the only computer she ever understood, the iPad.

    The concept of synching, printing, and saving files is dated and not long for the world. AND this is especially true if this is the device that you will finally use to get things done.

    showing off digital images. (obtained from camera kit)
    Reading a book

    For those of us who use forms, have probably done some heavy hitting in some arena and been using computers for decades, doubtful it will be our only device until ALL the programs understand the era, file management, and the cloud.
  15. Amnak macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2009
    I would get it I have one and I would use it as my only computer if I didn't need Photoshop, and the ability to sync my music and movies... But if they buy only from iTunes then that is no problem.
  16. stisdal macrumors 6502


    Feb 28, 2010
    She would probably love it. Since you are the geek in her life, sync it the first time for her and update it once in a while.

    My wife is also computer challenged, but she loves my iPad for surfing and playing games which is 98% of what she does on her laptop. As I am the geek in her life, I keep the iPad up to date. ;)
  17. GoHack macrumors member

    May 7, 2009
    Palmdale, CA
    I'm the next oldest computer geek at 55. :D My place is wall to wall computers and hardware. I love building, debugging the problems on them, and tweaking them. One of my very first microcomputers, as they were called back in the late '70's and '80's, that I owned, was an Apple II+.

  18. xl1ken thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2010
    Thank you!!!

    Thank you all for the great thread. I especially like this response :)

    "It does not print -- ?? Printing is so 1995"

    I will be waving my new 3G iPad at her this weekend. I am sure she will love it. She has 3 grandkids and I see the iPad as killer for education at all levels.


  19. WalledMacGarden macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    Yes it's a perfect replacement for many, I have friends that just want email/bank/stocks/get the sports scores/news, umm surf for pics, heck they don't even have a printer, I know a few that just use an internet phone anyway.

    For my parents, it's perfect, they are mid 70's and want
    lotto number results
    books/magazines with the ability to zoom text.
    ohhh and the killer app for them....WEATHER!! OMG they will love this...they check the weather all the time, what is it with older folks and the weather?? My dad loves it when the weatherman moves the maps around and zooms with a touch, now he will be able to do it.

    I think the term computer is going to go away...this is an appliance, it just turns on and works, the day you have a computer in the den is going away, sure some will need the setup printer/big screen/ powerful computer but many many people will just have a simple screen.
  20. Stoney79 macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2009
    I use my iPod Touch as my primary computer!! My laptop broke last year and I haven't bothered replacing it yet. I don't really like computers so I'm quite happy to be computer-less. Lack of flash is a slight issue but I don't use flash-essential websites enough for it to bother me. I've got a mini printer so I can print directly from my camera if I want any photos printed. Anything else I print at work and once every few months I sync it to my sister's computer to organise my iTunes (you can also buy various apps to help organise music and photos). I should receive an ipad in the next few days which will then become my primary computer. Personally I think the iPad is perfect for non computer geeks like me. Your girlfriend will love it.
  21. caubeck macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2007
    If your needs are few you can put your laptop or PC away until you need to synchronise something. You could use the iPad as your only computer 90% of the time, until you want to print or sync. To print you could send whatever you need to a friend with a printer via email. If your girlfriend syncs with your PC she doesn't need her own.
  22. Gymgenius Suspended

    Jan 29, 2010
    When iPad comes to the UK, this is exactly what I intend to use it as.
    I don't have a home laptop and I don't intend to buy one. I just want to buy an iPad and use it for sofa surfing, email, picture viewing etc.

    I have little need to print (I don't even have a printer) and I don't plan to put any music on it, but will probably buy and use the camera connection kit to upload photos directly from my digital camera.

    I have little need to sync, other than for the initial setup...which I'm planning to do from my work's laptop anyway.
  23. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002

    Right. And that's why its harder to find the printer section in an electronics or office supply store than it is to find the Vinyl LP Records section or shelf where they keep the slide rules. :rolleyes:

    It's also why there are over a dozen printing apps already... because no one is interested in printing, or why so many people are hoping printing will be enabled in 4.0. Yep.
  24. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    We need a little more information on how she currently uses her Compaq computer:

    Does she simply check e-mail and browse the web?
    Does she actually perform any "work" on it or is it mainly for gathering information and/or entertainment?
    Does she have a need to print things out or use documents on it?

    I think the iPad could become someone's main computer, but it all depends on the user's needs. As her boyfriend, you could certainly help her sync it for the first time. And once she does that, she would rarely need to hook it up to a computer at all. You can purchase/download apps right from the device, as well as music, movies, books, etc. She would want to sync it to a computer periodically for backup and getting OS updates, but again, that's something you or a friend/family member could help her with it.

    The iPad is more of an "appliance" than a computer, as Leo Laporte likes to call it... and I agree with him. It does a limited set of tasks VERY well but does not attempt to completely replace a computer for someone who does a lot of work on it. For example, there's a lot of people who do video editing, heavy word processing/calculations, or use software that only works on a PC or Mac. Obviously, the iPad is not going to run any of that kind of stuff, though it does have some basic "productivity" tools.

    But for e-mail, web browsing, movies, e-books, games, and specialized tasks (there's likely a lot of apps she would be interested in using), it is perfect!

    Hope that helps.
  25. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    Exactly--as long as you are around, I think your gf would do just fine with the iPad.

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