iPad Never owned a tablet, but tempted by an iPad

Is buying an iPad a good idea ?


  • Total voters
    26
  • Poll closed .

Clovel19

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 14, 2013
17
0
France
Hi folks !

I have never owned any kind of tablet in my life. I have had an iPhone since the iPhone 4's first day and now have a iPhone 6s. I also own a Macbook Pro Retina late 2013.
I am an industrial developper, and I now have a work laptop. My Macbook Pro has since seen less work intensive tasks, but I still use it for personal projects. I now use my computer mainly for multimedia purposes and Microsoft Office document editing.
I mostly use my phone for work, communication (SMS, Telephone, Telegram, Facebook), photos (not much) and social media. I tend to try to use the most of my devices capabilities. My Macbook Pro is (was?) 100% tweaked to my usage, for example. I have a spare SIM card with unlimited data (same plan as my phone) that I use on a secondary iPhone for when I do not want to risk breaking my main phone.

In the last few months, I have an increased interest for iPads. I like the 10 inch iPad Pro. I am very interested by the quasi-bezel-less iPad renders that have surfaced lately. But I have no clue if buying an iPad is a good/useful/not-a-waste-of-money purchase.

Do any of you have experience in buying a recent iPad as a first tablet device ? Do you think the usage of my devices contradict such a purchase ?

If I do buy an iPad, I think I'll wait for the release of the next-gen bezel-less iPad.

Thanks a lot, MacRumors community !
Sincerely,
Clovel

EDIT 1 : I have an iCloud Drive subscription, so all my files are synced between my devices.
 
Last edited:

kristalsoldier

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2013
414
122
You don’t seem to mention what you want to do with a tablet/iPad. That said, in my opinion, the iPad is indeed the best tablet (not hybrid, like the Surface) available today.
 
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Clovel19

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 14, 2013
17
0
France
You don’t seem to mention what you want to do with a tablet/iPad. That said, in my opinion, the iPad is indeed the best tablet (not hybrid, like the Surface) available today.
True !

Basically, I am tired of using my phone as an internet surfing device when I am in the couch or on the move. I also would like to use it for low intensity work when I am travelling. I can't do everything I want with my work laptop obviously (social media, personal emails, chat, multimedia) so it would take that place. I would keep my Macbook Pro at home.
Also, I want to use my iPhone for more essential tasks like communications, work, and music.

It would also be my home's multimedia hub. Controlling my Airplay speakers with Apple Music, streaming Netflix via Airplay Video, HomeKit hub, etc.

I have an iCloud Drive subscription, so all my files are synced between my devices.

EDIT 1 : And I might discover other uses for it !
 

lugolo

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2014
24
11
Spain
True !

Basically, I am tired of using my phone as an internet surfing device when I am in the couch or on the move.
Once you have one, you wonder hoy could you lived without it. I use mine for everything. On the coach, on the bed, while cooking,, in the bathroom...
 
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ericwn

macrumors 601
Apr 24, 2016
4,591
2,849
Any current iPad is probably capable enough for the tasks you have mentioned so far - however everybody uses their stuff a bit different, different workflows, different apps etc, so the overall experience / journey is different for each user.

If in doubt I recommend to buy an iPad from a place with a good return policy - Apple for example give you 2 weeks return period in which you can test the device - and check it out yourself.

That way you know for sure if it‘s worth it or not.
 
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ericinboston

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2008
1,862
264
True !

Basically, I am tired of using my phone as an internet surfing device when I am in the couch or on the move. I also would like to use it for low intensity work when I am travelling. I can't do everything I want with my work laptop obviously (social media, personal emails, chat, multimedia) so it would take that place. I would keep my Macbook Pro at home.
Also, I want to use my iPhone for more essential tasks like communications, work, and music.

It would also be my home's multimedia hub. Controlling my Airplay speakers with Apple Music, streaming Netflix via Airplay Video, HomeKit hub, etc.

I have an iCloud Drive subscription, so all my files are synced between my devices.
We love the iPad and we have a few since version 1.0. We really only have 5-10 apps that we have purchased (even free) over the past 8+ years of the iPad being in existence. We love to quickly check email, weather, surf the web, Facetime someone, chat/text with someone, and look at pictures on the nice and large display compared to an iPhone.

However, making it your "multimedia hub" is never going to happen unless you EXCLUSIVELY buy 100% Apple products AND movies/multimedia. Don't get me wrong...it's great to launch the Netflix or Youtube or Amazon Video app and watch a show, but that's about as far as you will get (dvds and blurays you have been ripping for 20 years won't come over...digital files you created will need to be converted to work inside iTunes...this isn't horror story stuff but Apple does not play nicely with others). You can usually (but don't count on it being perfect) push/stream your movie from the iPad onto an AppleTV. Amazon (and Netflix too I think) will allow you to download movies/shows onto the iPad so you can watch them without streaming. We like that feature but rarely use it since WIFI is everywhere these days.

The iPad Pro would be a complete waste of money for you...buy the $329 or $429 iPad model that is WIFI-only. If you need it to get cellular service every now and then, it's better to tether from your iPhone for $10 (AT&T pricing) rather than buying a separate plan just for the iPad. I would opt for the $429, 128GB model, so you don't end up kicking yourself 3 months down the road...and if you were willing to spend $800+ for the Pro, $429 is affordable. :)

The only real downside is iTunes...it's giant bloatware, nags you every week to update, and your iPads mandate to be tied to it. There is very little to like about iTunes. If you're someone who never, ever wishes to push your own cds/dvds/pictures onto the iPad, you will not have to use iTunes. But if you are like most of us and wish to add your own ripped music, you need iTunes. If you want to copy your 100 family pix from your computer to the iPad, it cannot be done with iTunes and as far as I know it cannot be done at all...you need to email yourself all those pix which is a fun project. Not.

Definitely buy from Apple or someone who will give you a 2+ week 100% no-questions-asked full refund in the small chance you don't like it.
 

muzzy996

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
703
641
However, making it your "multimedia hub" is never going to happen unless you EXCLUSIVELY buy 100% Apple products AND movies/multimedia. Don't get me wrong...it's great to launch the Netflix or Youtube or Amazon Video app and watch a show, but that's about as far as you will get (dvds and blurays you have been ripping for 20 years won't come over...digital files you created will need to be converted to work inside iTunes...this isn't horror story stuff but Apple does not play nicely with others). You can usually (but don't count on it being perfect) push/stream your movie from the iPad onto an AppleTV. Amazon (and Netflix too I think) will allow you to download movies/shows onto the iPad so you can watch them without streaming. We like that feature but rarely use it since WIFI is everywhere these days.

The iPad Pro would be a complete waste of money for you...buy the $329 or $429 iPad model that is WIFI-only. If you need it to get cellular service every now and then, it's better to tether from your iPhone for $10 (AT&T pricing) rather than buying a separate plan just for the iPad. I would opt for the $429, 128GB model, so you don't end up kicking yourself 3 months down the road...and if you were willing to spend $800+ for the Pro, $429 is affordable. :)

The only real downside is iTunes...it's giant bloatware, nags you every week to update, and your iPads mandate to be tied to it. There is very little to like about iTunes. If you're someone who never, ever wishes to push your own cds/dvds/pictures onto the iPad, you will not have to use iTunes. But if you are like most of us and wish to add your own ripped music, you need iTunes. If you want to copy your 100 family pix from your computer to the iPad, it cannot be done with iTunes and as far as I know it cannot be done at all...you need to email yourself all those pix which is a fun project. Not.

Definitely buy from Apple or someone who will give you a 2+ week 100% no-questions-asked full refund in the small chance you don't like it.
Not entirely accurate here in that one does not need to rely on iTunes as the sole way to get content of various types onto an iOS device locally. For example the personal video content can be pushed to VLC media player over local wifi connection without any need for iTunes to get involved or any conversion of format (typically). As for photo transfer there's cloud options (Google Photos or iCloud for example) or there's Airdrop and I'm sure there's other methods.

I love my iPad Pro and do not have iTunes installed on any of my computers.
 

ericinboston

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2008
1,862
264
Not entirely accurate here in that one does not need to rely on iTunes as the sole way to get content of various types onto an iOS device locally. For example the personal video content can be pushed to VLC media player over local wifi connection without any need for iTunes to get involved or any conversion of format (typically). As for photo transfer there's cloud options (Google Photos or iCloud for example) or there's Airdrop and I'm sure there's other methods.

I love my iPad Pro and do not have iTunes installed on any of my computers.
Without starting an extremely long conversation that has been heavily documented over the years...

1. There is no file system on the iPad that you can access...there is no place for you to go "save" your "files" anywhere on the iPad. Your pix are stored in the Photos area, your applications' files (such as a spreadsheet) are stored/embedded within the app. Your movies/shows are stored in the TV area. Etc.

2. Again, copying files FROM your computer TO the iPad is essentially impossible. MP3s and movies must to into iTunes and then you sync iTunes to your iPad. Pix, for whatever bizarre reason, are completely unable to be copied from your computer to the iPad...even iTunes will not work. Yes, you can find several workarounds to eventually get them from the computer to the iPad but it's a pain and a real shame. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to put 10+ pix from our nice DSLR camera onto the iPad and I need to email them to myself using 3-4 emails. Or, send my friend a song I created (totally legal) for him to put on the iPad...music and videos must go through iTunes...he would need to save the MP3 to his computer, put it in iTunes, and sync to the iPad. Yes, he can play the song inside an email attachment but that's of no help if he wants to keep it on his iPad or put it into a playlist.

3. I am uncertain what he means about VLC. He probably is saying that you need to buy/install a VLC app for the iPad...the figure out how to stream (not copy) those VLC-enabled movies from a computer that is acting like a media hub over your local wifi. This is probably not difficult but is a real inconvenience. I get that Apple wants to control the multimedia and make trillions of dollars...but consumers suffer in the end. I also understand that 90% of consumers don't care about openness and are willing to just plunk down whatever $$ Apple demands for a movie. I tried for years to put my own dvds and blurays and similar MP4 files but time and time again it just ended up being a pain somewhere in the process. Now I just give up and buy the darn movie on Apple's servers. And no, those movies are not playable on anything else other than Apple devices. If I try to play them on a computer, they will not play except in iTunes which will bring your computer to its knees.

I don't want to concentrate on the negatives...and they may not even affect you. The iPad is really an awesome tablet...just be careful to research a lot regarding your media hub dream and getting things on/off the iPad.

Lastly, for accessories like a cover, look at Amazon for those accessories...no need spending $40+ at Apple for a cover when you can buy numerous for $11-$15 on Amazon.
 
Last edited:

muzzy996

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
703
641
Agree with ericinboston about researching what you want to do with the iPad when it comes to media hub. You clearly defined your expectations I think, which didn't include serving up locally stored content from the iPad to other media devices but instead focused on controlling other devices or casting streaming content to them.

My reaction to ericinboston's post was directed towards the notion of being tied only to iTunes to get content onto an iOS device - which I believe wasn't a requirement of yours in your definition of media hub.

Lets be clear about copying media to an iOS device - if the only acceptable definition of success in this department is being able to access said media from within the native apps bestowed upon you by Apple on the device out of the box then yes you're tied to iTunes. However, if the end goal is to watch or listen to said content on the device then there's numerous other applications, some of them free, that can be used to accomplish the task.
 

ericinboston

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2008
1,862
264
Lets be clear about copying media to an iOS device - if the only acceptable definition of success in this department is being able to access said media from within the native apps bestowed upon you by Apple on the device out of the box then yes you're tied to iTunes. However, if the end goal is to watch or listen to said content on the device then there's numerous other applications, some of them free, that can be used to accomplish the task.
Thanks, Muzzy996! You summed that part up much better than I! :)
 
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AppleHaterLover

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2018
2,036
2,040
I had an iPad a long time ago (2012), then Apple ruined it with an iOS update, I got a MB Air in 2014 and mostly forgot about the iPad.

Fast forward to 2018 and I now that I have an iPad and a MacBook Pro, my impression is that there is a LOT of overlap between them (mind you I’m a legal professional so both of them sort of do the things I need just as efficiently). Sometimes I find myself choosing between the two for one same task.

So I’d consider whether you are in need of a laptop replacement or not. If you’re not, save the $800.
 

Clovel19

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 14, 2013
17
0
France
Thanks for your advice. I'll answer some of your posts.

  1. First of all, iTunes is not a requirement since iTunes Match, and I have an Apple Music subscription. iTunes has not been a requirement for iOS devices for a few years now.
  2. I already stream my video content to my iPhone with VLC, Plex, or other apps. There have been a lot of solutions, you just have to pick one. My media is stored on a local NAS that I can access remotely (not great performance wise, but that will change soon as I will soon have a fiber connection with a better upload rate at home).
  3. I do not need to get a data plan as I share my unlimited data plan on two SIMs. 20€ for 2 SIMs, One with a cellular phone service, both with unlimited cellular data, free Europe+Canada roaming. Vive la France ! I just cannot pathom why US/Canada citezens have to pay sooooo muuuuch for their phone plans.
  4. I am a programmer/developper. My 13" Macbook Pro is for coding personnal projects or playing videos from my NAS. But I tend to leave it on my office (@ home) and not use it when I am relaxing in the house or on the move for holidays or visiting friends (etc.). I use it really if I need it.
  5. I have iCloud Drive w/ 50Go, and I might upgrade soon to 200Go to upload my iPhoto library. So no issues here as to looking at photos. Also, my Macbook Pro syncs it's ~/Documents and ~/Desktop to iCloud Drive. Work related stuff are on the company's OneDrive for Businesses cloud. Personnal projects are on Github, Gitlab or my NAS.

I do get that I should just suck it up an use my Macbook Pro more, but since Engineering school, I feel that it is overkill for daily entertainement tasks and is really for working. But now I have a company computer for work and only use my mac for personnal work things (Administrative work, personnal projects, home network maintenance)

It is just the interest of having a tablet, thing I never had. I have no clue if I am going to like/use it or not.
 
Last edited:

Ralfi

macrumors 68040
Dec 22, 2016
3,401
2,185
Australia
Yes, get one. It will suit your needs & more.

I didn't realise how much I'd use it...my home PC became a consumer box, but it lacked mobility & ergonomics.

iPad does all that now.

& how it syncs with your iPhone/iCloud - this is why the Apple ecosystem is favoured by many.
 

danmart

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2015
1,287
725
Lancs, UK
In your situation an iPad of some stripe sounds perfect. I travel a lot for work, and have a work laptop for running specific applications. I can do everything else from my iPad, with some very small exceptions that tend to fall into playing games that aren’t available on iOS!

So, I use my work laptop for running specific apps (test automation tools) and heavy document writing (like 100 page reports...). I use it for work email just because I am already at the device.

When I’m on the road I carry my iPad Pro (12.9 for info) and use it for note taking in meetings plus all my personal computing. If I’m just going somewhere for the day and know I won’t need to do any ‘heavy’ computing I leave my work laptop at home.

I have a 15” MBP at home for things like video encoding but it now gets used maybe once every couple of months(!) at most. The vast majority of my home computing (internet, YouTube, personal email) is done on my iPad.
 

LibbyLA

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2017
439
310
The above statement that pics cannot be copied from desktop to iPad is simply not true. I have done it many times to three different iPads (iPad Pro 9.7, iPad Pro 10.5, and iPad Mini 4). I know I’ve used apps like SHAREit Pro and Photo Transfer App (both paid and worth the money, I started with PTA, now use SHAREit Pro), possibly some other methods. At this point I don’t remember every method I’ve tried/used because I’ve settled on one that works great.

I’m a Windows user, have a love/hate relationship with my iPads, but enjoy the convenience of the iPad Pros with Apple Smart Keyboards. The form factor is very convenient and usable. Most of my internet access is via iPads.

You should know pretty quickly whether an iPad fits your lifestyle. My guess is that if you get one, you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. If you don’t like it, return it.
 

Macalicious2011

macrumors 6502a
May 15, 2011
980
614
London
The iPad is a wonderful device. Once you bought one you will wonder how you could have lived without one.

It’s s great device for picking up around the house when your phone is too small or browse on for a long duration and you are too lazy to fetch the laptop charger, lift the screen and switch on the laptop. I love using mine as a portable TV around the house for followingsports or passively watching YouTube while pottering in various rooms.

For travelling and holidays it’s the best companion. 10 hour of battery life, compact enough to fit in a carry on but with a screen large enough to enjoy a full movie on.
 
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Precursor

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2015
936
871
Istanbul
iPad is my most favorite Apple product ever. And I have almost every Apple product. I can live with a PC instead of my Macs, I can probably live with an Android phone, but I can't live without an iPad!
 
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hdrummon

macrumors member
Aug 11, 2008
34
33
Aldie, VA
Hi folks !

I have never owned any kind of tablet in my life. I have had an iPhone since the iPhone 4's first day and now have a iPhone 6s. I also own a Macbook Pro Retina late 2013.
I am an industrial developper, and I now have a work laptop. My Macbook Pro has since seen less work intensive tasks, but I still use it for personal projects. I now use my computer mainly for multimedia purposes and Microsoft Office document editing.
I mostly use my phone for work, communication (SMS, Telephone, Telegram, Facebook), photos (not much) and social media. I tend to try to use the most of my devices capabilities. My Macbook Pro is (was?) 100% tweaked to my usage, for example. I have a spare SIM card with unlimited data (same plan as my phone) that I use on a secondary iPhone for when I do not want to risk breaking my main phone.

In the last few months, I have an increased interest for iPads. I like the 10 inch iPad Pro. I am very interested by the quasi-bezel-less iPad renders that have surfaced lately. But I have no clue if buying an iPad is a good/useful/not-a-waste-of-money purchase.

Do any of you have experience in buying a recent iPad as a first tablet device ? Do you think the usage of my devices contradict such a purchase ?

If I do buy an iPad, I think I'll wait for the release of the next-gen bezel-less iPad.

Thanks a lot, MacRumors community !
Sincerely,
Clovel

EDIT 1 : I have an iCloud Drive subscription, so all my files are synced between my devices.
I love my iPads. One thing I have not seen mentioned is the use of an iPad on an airplane. While you can use your iPhone, the iPad allows me to buy or rent movies from iTunes and watch movies while on travel. It's a great way to travel and the screen size is perfect. Yes, I could boot up my Mac but it's terribly hard to do while in coach. With the iPad I don't have to worry so much about the seat back in front of me crashing into my laptop.
 

ChrisChaval

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2016
586
501
Milan, Italy
years ago I got an iPad Air 2 with the intention to get rid of the computer

well, that didn't work

didn't use it that much for a while until my eyesight got worse

now I am happy I have it and use it everyday for things younger folks with better eyesight can do on their phones, lol
 
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