iPad to Replace Macbook?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by DougEFresh23, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. DougEFresh23 macrumors newbie

    DougEFresh23

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    #1
    Has anyone thought about or even tried replacing their Macbook with an iPad?

    Right now I'm a student and don't use my computer for much more than writing papers and reading stuff for class, occasionally taking notes, although I usually do that on paper. So since the recent major upgrades to iPads, and especially with the Pro now available in a 9.7 inch I'm interested in trading in my old iPad and older Macbook and going to just an iPad.

    I'm a little nervous about not having a computer. In the past I never could have imagined not having a computer, but most of the stuff I do now is stored in the cloud or downloaded digitally. I obviously don't use my computer for high performance tasks so that's not a concern I have either.

    So I was curious if anyone with an iPad Pro could testify to the validity of this option. If anyone has actually done this I'd be incredibly intrigued at your experience.
     
  2. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #2
    I've taken my iPad w/ me on short business trips instead of my MBP and for trivial writing the iPad is fine. I wouldn't want to write and edit a 20+ research paper on it though. I know Apple is pushing the iPad as a computer replacement but IMHO its still more of a computer companion if you do more than web, email, and short writing. That's why I think the Pro prices are out of line.

    Shorter: if I had to chose between either an iPad or a MacBook (Air) I'm taking the MacBook every time.
     
  3. Praxeus, Mar 23, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016

    Praxeus macrumors newbie

    Praxeus

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    #3
    I agree totally. I've taken several business trips with the iPad Pro and for the most part with MS Office it has been fine. For anything meaty, I still need the functions a laptop/Macbook, especially the ability to work with large blocks of text and numbers.

    For me, the iPad Pro is not there yet. That said, 80% of the time at both home and in business it is.
     
  4. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #4
    Basically, the iPad Pro is still just an iPad. You don't mention which iPad you have now, but if it's on iOS 9, then the 9.7 iPad Pro is going to give you basically the same experience, just a little bit faster and with a better screen. The Smart Keyboard might make a bit of a difference, but again, it's just a lighter and more compact version of the keyboard cases that's available for the older 9.7 iPads.

    I do find that the larger screen of the 12.9 iPP allows me to be much more productive than on the 9.7, but IMO, the only reason to upgrade to the 9.7 iPP from the Air1 or 2 is if you think you'd make significant use of the Pencil. If you have an iPad older than the Airs, then the iPP is a good iPad upgrade, but if you want to replace your MacBook, you need the 12.9, and even then, there's always the possibility that you'll encounter something that can't be done on the iPad. Like, 99% of my work can be done on my iPP, but my client needs the work in older Word format (doc, instead of docx), and for that I need to go to my iMac.
     
  5. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #5
    There is just too much missing from my iPad to dump my MacBook Pro. The iPad is great for consumption and some productivity but many times I've run into issues that need to be resolved on a full computer running OSX.
     
  6. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #6
    Whilst I don't have a lot of experience productivity wise ( most of my use is consumption based ) having had iPads since the original and PowerBooks/MacBooks for the last 10 years or so I would say that it's not possible for an iPad to replace a laptop or desktop completely. As Chupa Chupa mentioned it's more of a companion or in my words an extension to a regular computer. I would never get rid of my MacBook Pro or Mac Mini and replace them with an iPad completely even with my usage type.
     
  7. McBeresford macrumors regular

    McBeresford

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    #7
    Ok I'll chime in, because I literally did what you are asking.

    I had a 2015 top of the line rMBP 15" with all the bells and whistles. Mind you this is still the current model. For work I am a freelance graphic designer and a marriage and family therapist. My primary needs were graphics design and client notes. The rMBP was great for these tasks, but a bit clunky.

    So I investigated the 12.9 iPP, took a deep breath and sold it to buy the iPad. Whew.... It was a bit scary at first but the app selection is PHENOMENAL for both needs. With the Apple Pencil and a keyboard (case or Bluetooth) the possibility of it replacing my Mac became a REALITY!


    I couldn't be happier!
     
  8. Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #8
    I have managed to replace my old MacBook with the 12.9" iPad Pro. I will just warn you that there are instances where you may need to use someone else's MacBook or PC for small things. For example, I had to take some files off of a USB stick drive last week. So I used my work PC for that.

    But I am able to do 99% of the stuff I need to do on my iPad. And for the occasional item that needs a PC or Mac, I have a work PC and have family and friends who have them, so there is always one within reach.

    The main tools that have allowed me to do this is keeping all my files on the cloud and using the "Documents" app as my file manager -- this has allowed me to manage my files just like you would in the OS X "Finder" app.

    I will also warn you that it takes some getting used to. The best way to approach this is instead of relying on Safari for everything like you would on a Mac, look for specific apps for the things you do most often or the websites you visit most often. Most will have apps, and using those apps will make the experience much better. Most websites are still not designed for touch, but the apps will be.
     
  9. Adelphos33 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    #9
    I have an iPad Pro that can replace 90% of my at-home use. But I need a Macbook for 10% of the use (like logging in remotely to work, docking storing movie and music files for iDevices, etc). I really like the iPad Pro, but I wish I could spend basically half ($800 or so) on my Macbook instead of the $1,500 I spent.
     
  10. TofSanity macrumors 6502a

    TofSanity

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    #10
    I have replaced my 15" rMBP with the bigger sized iPP. It's a different experience but it hasn't slowed down my production at work. I use excel and autoCAD at work. The work I do in autoCAD isn't heavy. It's more on the lines of floor design.

    I sold my Mac to buy a new one when the upgrades come out in the fall. I'm not sure I'm traveling that path any longer.
     
  11. Ghost31 macrumors 68000

    Ghost31

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #11
    Welp, depends on what you do! I'll give you a little about me

    I noticed last year that ever since I got my iPad Air 2, I never used my MacBook. Like ever. And it was a top of the line retina pro (so it felt like a real waste of money) When I forced myself to use the MacBook, I just felt myself itching to use it in the way I use my iPad. I like being able to take my iPad with me in bed and just chill. And using picture in picture and split screen was more fun on my iPad than on my MacBook. The apps...the battery life. The whole package. Never having to worry about battery was huge. I don't ever even think about my battery percentage on my iPad, whereas on my MacBook I was always worried how charged it was before I left or did anything. Not to mention how hot it would get on my lap sometimes.

    The fact that I already switched my workflow to iPad last year already is what helped push me to just go ahead and get an iPad Pro. And ever since buying it...I have no intentions of getting a Mac anytime soon. On my Mac I would do a little research, some web browsing and coding and writing. On my iPad? All the same stuff plus taking notes with the pencil, annotating documents and sketching ideas, using more productivity apps to get things done than ever did on my Mac (the Mac App Store has been lacking) I watch more videos, I read more books and magazines, I feel like I'm more well informed having an iPad than I was when I had a MacBook just because I'm more likely to pick up my iPad and start reading. I also video chat more, edit video and pictures more. Never did that with my Mac

    With everything I use these days being in the cloud, it makes it easy to have an iPad as your main device since I don't have to be hooking up a cable and manually transferring crap. It's all just there. My photos and videos in Dropbox or iCloud, my documents, etc.
     
  12. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #12
    But do you still have the MacBook? The iPad Pro is definitely my main device, but I do keep an iMac, and find that every once in a while, I need it to do something that can't be done on my iPad.
     
  13. Ghost31 macrumors 68000

    Ghost31

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #13
    Sold the MacBook and ended up getting a Mac mini for my work needs. Unfortunately I can't do a whole lotta software development on the iPad. I can do some rough coding through apps like coda or textastic but to actually make usable apps I can push out, I need a Mac. I'm hoping iOS 10 addresses some of these. I can see the capability being there to develop on an iPad...we just need a good implementation. Give me Xcode for iPad without being incredibly watered down. Give me final cut X and have it be the exact same as the Mac version, just with easy to use touch controls. Give me a "monitor mode" so I can plug my iPad into an external monitor easier and it would resize the resolution

    Pipe dream...I know.
     
  14. Osty macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, AU
    #14
    I'm currently debating this myself and while I think I can get away with 90% of my tasks on iOS I still need a full operating system for that 10% of tasks which is why I still have my Mac mini.

    Here's the rub though. That 10% of tasks doesn't need to be done on OS X - of course, YMMV - I could get it done on Linux or Windows, I just happen to have a Mac mini so I use that. I'm not reliant on MS Office or OS X and I write my documentation in either Markdown, AsciiDoc or Scrivener depending on the subject matter.

    If I didn't have a Mac mini, I'd probably go for a Nuc or build an ITX-based cube or even pick up an old ThinkCentre off ebay and slap Linux on it.
     
  15. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #15
    That's the point I'm trying to get at. iPads can "replace" laptops -- that is, they can fill our mobile computing needs. But most of us still need a desktop to fill the gaps iPads still don't meet. I do think iOS 10 should fill some more of the gaps. But we've got at least a few more years to go before iPads can be the only computer for most of us.
     
  16. JawneeWin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #16
    Ever since I got the iPad Pro, I haven't touched my macbook at all. I only use my iPad & iMac.
     
  17. Daws001 macrumors 6502

    Daws001

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    The States
    #17
    Last month I sold my iPad mini 4 and 12" MacBook and bought the glorious IPP + Pencil + Smart Keyboard combo. I don't regret making the switch. The keyboard feels good, the pencil is divine, and I just prefer the touch interface over the MB's trackpad. I'm a writer so that's the only work I do on it. No need for anything more powerful or complicated on a mobile computer.

    I do have a gaming pc too so that was a factor in deciding to sell the MB.
     
  18. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #18
    The 9.7" form factor is too small to replace a MacBook. The keyboard is going to be cramped.

    Don't get the 9.7" if you're getting rid of your MacBook. Get a 12.9". It's also "cheaper" due to the sales going on right now ironically.
     
  19. Osty macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, AU
    #19
    I agree, but if I could only have one device (not including the phone) it would be a laptop (or a hybrid perhaps).

    If I can afford the luxury of two devices then I prefer the combination offered by a desktop (power, upgradability, longevity, ergonomics) and a tablet (mobility, consumption, task-oriented productivity). Cost wise, a tablet+desktop is cheaper and has better long-term value for me than single, high-end Apple laptop.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 23, 2016 ---
    A thought just occurred to me; if Microsoft allowed productivity apps to run on the Xbox One it would an extremely compelling shared family computer for media, games and work for when the tablet isn't enough. Same applies to Steam boxes too since Steam OS already supports running regular desktop Linux apps.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 23, 2016 ---
    On screen and Apple keyboard sure, but there's nothing to stop anyone using a full sized bluetooth keyboard. I do that with my Mini and can't complain.
     
  20. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #20
    I am currently using the ipp as my only computer. I have/had a retina MacBook that my wife decided she wanted. I was going to pick up another one while the BB sale is still going on, but I'm considering just going strictly ipp. I think the only thing holding me back is the idea that I need an actual computer. I haven't ran into a single task that the ipp can't handle. While I'm no longer in college, I feel that it could handle my college workload just fine. That being said, it really depends on what kind of major you are.

    I wouldn't be able to replace a MacBook with a 9.7 iPad. To me the larger 12.9 display makes it much more versatile, and really does increase productivity.

    I'd recommend trying it as your main computer before selling your MacBook. If of course, funds allow.
     
  21. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #21
    Well it's a matter of personal opinion, but I prefer my keyboard attached to the iPad, either as part of the case (Logitech create) or the cover. To me it helps to cut down on the number of separate pieces I have to keep an eye on. Same goes for the pencil, I've essentially glued a pen holder to a back case of the iPad Pro so that I never have to keep track of it separately.

    In addition, using a wireless keyboard means you have to deal with pairing and the occasional battery charge / change. The smart connector eliminates that need entirely.
     
  22. garlicbread24 macrumors member

    garlicbread24

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2015
    #22
    As a developer i would never do this However for a student I don't see why not especially if the small screen doesn't bother you.
     
  23. Osty macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, AU
    #23
    Aren't all opinions personal? ;)

    Seriously though, I respect yours and see your point as I've had the occasional pairing dropout.

    To make a case for Bluetooth keyboards and why they work for me:

    1. I have one in work and one at home. I don't need one on the train going between them because where I live, I rarely get a seat on the commuter run anyway. Last time I travelled, I took the smallest, lightest one with me.
    2. Both my keyboards use replaceable AAA batteries.
    3. Both my keyboards were less than $90 AUD (together). Apple want $270 AUD for the smart keyboard. That's daylight robbery.
    4. Both my keyboards can be used with other devices at will.
    5. Both my keyboards have better travel and are more comfortable to type on (I've tested the smart keyboard in an Apple store).
    6. Because I don't need a physical connection, I can position the iPad at any angle I want.

    Of course, YMMV and I respect that
     
  24. DougEFresh23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    DougEFresh23

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    #24
    As a student, writing would be the main thing I would use the iPP for. That and reading or researching. But you say that it handles large loads of writing just fine? Do you use a particular app to write on? Most of my papers don't exceed 5-6 pages, with only a few exceptions. Even on my MB I usually use Google Docs. What would you suggest for the iPad?
     
  25. McBeresford macrumors regular

    McBeresford

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    #25
    Pages. Included for free.
     

Share This Page