Is it possible to use an iPad instead of a Windows Laptop

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Subu, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Subu macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2013

    Soon, I may have to buy a new Laptop

    I already have a iPad - 2G

    is there a way to use the iPad as / iPad instead of a Windows Laptop ? [and a HDD to backup ]

    What do I do
    # MS XL = any good alternative will do
    # MS PPT = any good alternative will do
    # Browser
    # Text editing = example Note Tab. again alternatives will do
    # Mail ( email) = mostly web mail
    # Word
    # PDF
    # Voice over IP - phones
    # Skype
    # Instant messenger - like Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger etc
    # Google Maps / you tube / drive etc = use windows programs to do these NOT only browser

    Would it be possible to use an iPad + Keyboard + HDD to achieve above [I already have an iPad, I need a HDD anyway]

    I am ready to buy some software = for example a good spreadsheet + docs for iPad

    the Idea is to wait as long as possible before this win 8 Tablet /or/ Win 7 Laptop confusion ends

    Thanks in advance
  2. HazyCloud macrumors 68030


    Jun 30, 2010
    Yes, I think you can do all of those things with an iPad.

    # MS XL = any good alternative will do (Apple's Numbers)
    # MS PPT = any good alternative will do (Apple's Keynote)
    # Browser (Safari or Mercury)
    # Text editing = example Note Tab. again alternatives will do (Good text editing for iPad)
    # Mail ( email) = mostly web mail (Browser or built-in Mail app)
    # Word (Apple's Pages)
    # PDF (Adobe Reader)
    # Voice over IP - phones (Google Voice or Skype)
    # Skype (See above answer)
    # Instant messenger - like Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger etc (Chat for GTalk & Yahoo)
    # Google Maps / you tube / drive etc = use windows programs to do these NOT only browser (Google Maps, YouTube, Google Drive)

    If getting a HDD, you may look at something like the Wi-Drive so you can access it from an iPad.
  3. Subu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2013

    Thanks a bunch ! really ... I'm so happy I located this forum... and reading your reply

    To all :

    Has anyone tried this i.e. move from Win PC to iPad ?? in real life ?

    anyone ?

  4. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I haven't tried it, and I wouldn't recommend anyone try it. I think you need to have at least one computer around, for the times when there is that one odd job that the iPad just won't do. That said, I think you should be able to wait out the Win8 confusion by hanging on to your current laptop -- you didn't say why you might need a new one. Or do you have a desktop? If you have a desktop, and you are only looking for the iPad to replace your laptop, then yes, that definitely can be done. If you want the iPad to be your only computing device, then I'd say no, it's not there yet.
  5. ewilson6 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2006
    I haven't touched a pc or a laptop in 6 years.

    Everything you can do on a laptop you can do on an ipad, especially if you buy the 4g models.

    Microsoft will be releasing Office Mobile in March of this year, but Apple Software
    Works just as well (pages,numbers,keynote).

    Skype works well as does built in Facetime with other iOS users.

    Ipads are replacing pc's and laptops everyday plus they are not vulnerable to
    viruses or malware.

    Apple has sold over 40 million Ipads in 3 years, pc sales fell another 21% last year.

    Take it from somebody that uses there iPad everyday, its much more portable than a laptop and for $30 a month internet through Verizon how can you go wrong?
  6. rocknblogger macrumors 68020


    Apr 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    Couple things to keep in mind. I don't know how you use Skype but you won't be able to multitask with it. In other words, when I'm on a Skype call at times I need to share files with the person I'm Skyping with. That's something you can't do on the iPad. You can only have one app open at a time.

    No keyboard shortcuts. That becomes very cumbersome when working on documents.

    While I can do quite a bit on the iPad there's no way I can rely on my iPad as my only computer. I still need a desktop or laptop.
  7. ewilson6 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2006
    From the iPad manual page 11...
    ...“Display recently used apps: *When iPad is unlocked, double-click the Home button . The multitasking bar appears at the bottom of the screen, showing the most recently used apps. Swipe the bar to the left to see more apps.”

    Excerpt From: Inc, Apple. “iPad User Guide For iOS 6.” Apple Inc., 2012. iBooks.
    This material may be protected by copyright.

    The iPad has multitasking apps that are suspended in the background until you need them, double tapping on the app icon in the multitasking bar will reactivate it.

    The iPad has had multitasking capabilities since it was introduced in 2011.

    As far as sharing files you can use Dropbox on macs, pc's, and iPads.
  8. irDigital0l Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    For word, excel, powerpoint - Pages, Numbers, Keynote

    For text editing - iA Writer, Evernote

    For PDF - GoodReader, Adobe Reader

    For Mail - Default Mail app, Gmail app, Yahoo mail app

    For Communication - Default Message app, Skype, Google+, AIM, etc.


    He means multi-windows.

    Say your in a Skype call on your iPad. You have to close that app and open a new one in order to send an email or file.

    Its not really "multitasking". PC still is the ultimate multitasking machine.
  9. Subu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2013
    thanks for the detailed post.

    that is one view. that's been my view till I started this thread. I am NOT so sure any longer :)

    my current laptop is quite old; May have a year left in it (max)

    after that whatever I buy / use will be my main computing device at home

    so I need to buy a Laptop IF that is essential for my tasks [again tasks at home], /or/ I can live with a 2g iPad + new software IF that is possible.

    My office computer will have a lot of restrictions on what software can be loaded on it, so the tasks I had listed on the original post have to be handled from the home computing device

    I have wifi at home and the Laptop / iPad will be mainly used from home

    NO. as I have explained

    thanks for that good ..clear reply

    I appreciate your view

    Could you please list a few tasks where you found the iPad wanting / insufficient

    please note, the above question is NOT to challenge you, but for me to see my blind spots




    what sort of work do you do on your computing device ? do you do word processing or XL work ?

    Do you also own a Macbook ? or linux or ubuntu Laptop ?

    All questions above are asked with a view to learn and NOT to challenge

  10. Night Spring, Jan 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013

    Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Well, for one thing, editing long documents. It can be done on an iPad, but it's much more clumsy than doing it on a computer. Also, managing large numbers of files. Keep in mind that the iPad doesn't have a user accessible file system. Files on the iPad are kept in each app, and each app have a slightly different way of managing their files. And I often find that I want to use the same file in multiple apps, but each app creates its own copy, and keeping track of all that can get pretty confusing very quickly. I end up uploading my files to my PC and sorting them out from there. Plus, I have more files than can ever fit on my iPad, but perhaps that doesn't apply to you.

    But you say your laptop can keep going for another year? So I think you should wait out the year before you decide. In the meantime, go ahead and use your iPad to do the things you want a computer for. You might wake up one dy and find that you haven't used your laptop for three months, and if that happens, you know you don't need to buy a new laptop. Or you might run into something that can't be done on your iPad, and then you'll know you need a new laptop. It's not like you have to go off the deep end and just go iPad alone today. Or if you do try to go iPad only and find it doesn't work, you can always go buy a laptop at that point. Talking about what might happen only gets you so far, you actually have to do it to find out whether or not it works for you.
  11. kylera macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2010
    I do some work on my iPad - I translate and do radio script writing - so I don't require a lot of insane formatting. However, even so, there are still too many roundabouts I need to get around in order to EFFECTIVELY work with the iPad.

    For one, I need to print the scripts I write. If YOU don't have to print, this would be a non-issue, However, at work, I don't have the option to install software like Printopia or something that would let my iPad connect to a printer, nor is the printer at work AirPort-enabled.

    Another issue is that with word processing in my experience, unless you're saving .txt - plain text files - you are guaranteed to lose some formatting. A Word file you typed up in MS Word is not likely to look just like how it does in Word. I cannot comment on Pages and how much or little it breaks as I don't use it on the iPad.

    A third issue depending on your workflow is the lack of locally opening documents through USB flash drives. Some groups may rely on passing around flash drives to do work, and if you fall in that group, better kiss the drive good-bye and rely on the cloud (iCloud, Dropbox, etc,). And that in itself leads to yet another issue. Apple's suite (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) will work with either iCloud or WebDAV, and that's it.

    Having said all this, it is doable to work on the iPad. However, compared to working on OS X or Windows, it is definitely less flexible, and if you still wish to proceed, you'll have to plan accordingly and be sure your bases are covered. Hope this helps.
  12. ewilson6 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2006
    I use ipad for everything, word processing, phone calls, text messaging,
    I use numbers for spreadsheets and keynotes for presentations.

    Where i work at, my brother and I removed 140 pc's out of the offices last year and switched everybody over to iPads. Our company is PC free for over a year.

    We all use our iPads in meetings, business applications and whatever else we need.

    In meetings everybody can see the spreadsheets, charts, and notes on there ipad, it doesn't strain your eyes looking 40 feet at a projector.

    We stream video and charts to the Apple TV Box and view them on a 70 inch tv.

    Everybody learned how to do things on ipad in about 2-3 days and everybody is glad for the switch. Nobody even misses there bulky laptops or towers.

    Its a decision that makes everything easier.

    You can even print from the ipad with airplay printers or network printers, the app to print only cost $10 dollars and is easily affordable.

    Our kids school also has no PC's starting this year and they all love the iPads (students and teachers).
  13. IPadNParadise macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2013
    My laptop died after five years use. I have used an iPad as my means to the eWorld for the past 6 months. I am retired and other than a device to pay my bills on I don't really have to have connectivity. I use my iPad to do this, Numbers to keep a budget spreadsheet, read books, take and store a few pics.
    I browse and post on a few Pet forums. I know pitifully boring life.

    The iPad serves me well except for the occasional need for flash. And the one that irritates me is the inability to scan something. I have to take a picture of it with the iPad, very sloppy.

    Just some things to think about. I am going to order a MacBook Air soon whether I need one or not.
  14. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
  15. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    You might want to check into "Microsoft Office Web Apps."
  16. rocknblogger macrumors 68020


    Apr 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    I didn't say you CAN'T multitask, I said you can't multitask when a Skype call effectively. Also while everything what you said is true I have gone back to an app in the multitasking tray thinking I would find it in the same state I last used, only to find that it restarted when I went back to it. I'm talking about the first app in the multitasking bar. My point is that if you have to share documents while on a Skype call it is going to be very cumbersome or not possible. For me that alone precludes me from relying only on my iPad.

    If he never has a need to share documents then it is a non-issue. But if he does it is something to consider.
  17. Ashwood11 macrumors 65816

    Nov 10, 2010
    I purchased a HP Photosmart D110a All-In-One and it scans wirelessly. Only paid $69 new.
  18. irnchriz macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2005
    If its a Skype voice chat you can do other stuff whilst continuing the Skype call.
  19. IPadNParadise, Jan 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013

    IPadNParadise macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2013
    I have an HP 3522 All In One that is great for printing (to ipad) but didnt know it would work in scanning to ipad. Maybe, maybe not. Can you give me more details? i.e. where does your scan show up on the ipad?
  20. Ashwood11 macrumors 65816

    Nov 10, 2010
    App Store and search using "HP"
  21. Subu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2013
    thanks for the detailed reply

    I'm just praying that my laptop works for two more years :)


    thanks for yet another good reply

    this file management IS the chief pain I understand


    I'm having tons of files ....
  22. Bobby.e macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2012
    I have been using my surface rt more since getting it. for the same price as an iPad it can multitask with side by side apps. It supports printers and flash drives natively and has the core office apps. However if its between a normal computer and an iPad I would go with a computer. One more thing too is it has a normal storage structure
  23. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    If you are a student, do not sacrifice a laptop for an ipad. It is not worth the struggle you will encounter. The same is true for most situations. Everything you listed is possible, it just cannot be done as effectively on an ipad.
  24. Subu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2013
    good post / point

    how much did the surface rt cost you ?

    what capacities ? / configuration ?

    Is ms office still free on a RT ?

    does it do voice calls ?

    Well .... one things for sure ...the world is changing !! :)



    Great POV !

  25. Jmajeremy macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2012
    The iPad is great for many things, but it's fundamentally a consumption device and isn't great for serious office work. For example, when I'm doing research I often have 6 or more "spaces" open with dozens of documents and websites and I need to be able to switch documents and applications easily, and most importantly, to have multiple documents on screen at the same time.

    It also lacks many specialized applications that are only available on Windows or OS X, and is very difficult to get any kind of programming or web development done on.

    Finally, it isn't powerful enough to do any kind of professional video editing or play modern video games (yes, iOS has some fun games, but it's nothing like the immersive experience of PC gaming).

    I'm not trying to bash the iPad here (I love them), but they are only good for what they were made for: consumption. They are great for browsing the web, doing e-mail, listening to music, reading, and watching movies. They are even good for taking notes and some other light writing, but not if you ever have to have multiple documents open at the same time.

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