No computer - just iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Josias, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Josias macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    It appears that the iPad is somewhat dependent on a computer for synchronization of data, much like the iPod and iPhone.

    What if one was only using a computer for very casual stuff, pretty much limited to the things Steve talked about? iWork, web browsing, photos/movies/music, skype and mail.

    Would the iPad be able to completely substitue this? (Don't mention Flash, I am aware of the fact that it appears it doesn't support it)

    Flash aside, which downsides would I suffer by getting rid of my computer and buying an iPad? I currently have a 13" MacBook Pro at the moment ($1500 model), and though I absolutely adore it, I think it's a bit overkill. I watch a lot of ripped BD's on it, but that's the only "heavy lifting" it does. Could probably even rip them in a lower resolution for the iPad (with that screen, a HD movie the size of ≈1GB would look great).

    My motivation is also the fact that I'll be moving around a lot during the next two years (starting August), so ultimate portability is a priority. I assume it requires some sort of initial configuration with a computer, but will it be able to run independently from then on? Downloading updates without a computer etc.
  2. skwirl341 macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2009
    Nobody here has any information you don't have. None of us have used the iPad yet. But... my feelings are that going from a 13" MacBook Pro to an iPad would gain you very little additional portability while you would lose a ton of functionality.
  3. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    All of your previously purchased content is currently stored on your macbook, and will need to be synced to an iPad. IMO the iPad is a substitute for a second computer in your house. You still need a powerful desktop/ laptop for more advanced applications, but use the iPad for general web browsing etc.
  4. MagAustralia macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2010
    Sadly no. It's like the iPod, requires a computer to function correctly.

    What many wanted, is what you just described, the same thing as the iPad, but as a stand-alone product, so it can replace a laptop/desktop for people who just want a light, quick, easy device for basic everyday computing needs.

    I held out for this device, but it turns out I will be selling my iMac and buying a PS3 slim. I can still use the web/mail when I need to. I have no real reason for a computer these days.
  5. Josias thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    Well, the 3G would allow me internet on the go, and as mentioned above, almost all of the things I use MBP for is something the iPad can as well. The extra battery time would be nice too ;)

    In regards to portability, the MBP and its charger are a lot less portable than an iPad with its case and outlet charger.

    I know that not a lot of info is available, but not all of it is on Apple's site. That's why I'm wondering the following:
    1. Will it be able to function and update itself independently of a computer after initial setup?
    2. Which devices will its USB connection allow it to interact with, aside from cameras. USB keys, external harddrives, printers?

    Alot of these can probably be answered by people that use an iPhone.
  6. wolfpackfan macrumors 68000

    Jun 10, 2007
    Cary, NC
    There is only one thing that I use on my Mac mini that I won't have on my iPad - Quicken. Other than that I would not need my mini at all.
  7. 4DThinker macrumors 68020

    Mar 15, 2008
    A few things to consider:
    - Will it print? Can you even install print drivers on it?
    - It doesn't appear to multitask. Can you live with that?
    - With no PC do you have any way to add camera photos to it? Keynote presentations are boring with no photos. I didn't see any form of media card slot on it. Not even a USB port.

    At best it'll have 64gb of space on it. Can you liive within that limit? No obvious way to attach and external drive.

    It appears to me that Apple intentionally tries to seperate this from the roles a notebook or netbook could play. They think being a giant iPod Touch will be enough. I can't live with only my Touch, yet it fills a big role in my life because it can be with me, clipped to my belt or slipped into a pocket, wherever I am. The iPad won't do either of those things. To me that adds up to it being less useful than a Touch, even if it can run all the same apps.
  8. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    I don't agree with Apple building th iPad on the iPhone iS. But I bet it was done to lower cost and allow for slimmer build. Without a full functioning browsing the iPad is at a HUGE disadvantage. Flash is a staple if the web AND multimedia.
  9. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England

    With the iPhone and iPod touch you need to connect to iTunes for the initial set-up and for all OS updates.

    You can't connect to any of the items you have listed via the dock connector on the iPhone. Apple are offering a set of dongles for connecting the iPad to cameras via USB or to SD memory cards. As for any other devices, you guess is as good as mine.

  10. akwarner macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2006
    Two of the new accessories for it are a USB adapter and a SD card reader that plug into the dock connector. Check Apple's site for Camera Connection Kit. This will allow one to add photos directly to the iPad.

    Also for the OP, please don't think of having an iPad (or iPod, iPhone, etc.) without having a computer to back it up. You're just waiting for disaster when it gets lost or has a failure of some sort. I love all my portable devices but I would not own one if I couldn't fully back it up such that I could restore all of my data (contacts, calendar, photos, movies, music, program data, etc.) to another one if I had to replace the original for whatever reason.

  11. Josias thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    64GB is plenty for me :) HD movies adapted for that screen won't be over 1GB, and if the screen is Apple standard quality, they will look amazing (only downside is the aspect ratio).

    Apple has a USB adapter (and an SD slot adapter) for the dock connector listed on their site, so it will be able to connect to cameras through that. I don't know about external disks yet, but I'm hoping :)

    Multitasking is a very generalized term. Obviously it will be able to run iTunes and Safari at the same time, just like the iPhone. We can't know whether we'll be able to run skype on top of that, but we'll see in a while I guess :p

    BTW, thanks for your answers OllyW!

    @ post above me: If you're saying I should replace my computer with an iPad because of an inability to back up data, I'm hoping its USB plug will work with external disks :)
  12. 4DThinker macrumors 68020

    Mar 15, 2008
    Thanks for pointing to the dock USB and SD adapters. Apple may not be total idiots, it seems. Can I plug a USB printer into that USB adapter and expect it to work?

    Now, will those adapters work on the Touch/iPhone/Nano? as a way to get camera content moved over?
  13. Josias thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    I guess it will all come down to whether I like the user interface. As is true with most tech stuff (especially Apple), technicalities matter very little in comparison to using experience.
  14. JRoDDz macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2009
    The iPad is a personal media device (not a computer). It's made for consuming media, not creating or acquiring it (unless you count the iTunes $tore).
  15. D A macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2008
    I think Apple purposefully limited the iPad just so it wouldn't compete with their laptops. If you could use the iPad independently of a computer it would make a lot of people buy it instead of a laptop. Maybe in a few years we'll see an iPad which doesn't require a computer to function properly.

    I wonder if you'll be able to connect an external drive to the iPad, they have already made it possible to connect cameras for photos and videos too it. I think not. How else are they going to sell the 64 GB model? I'm sure it will be possible with a jailbroken device though.
  16. REM314 macrumors 6502


    Jun 1, 2009
    Why don't you people get it. The iPad is not meant to be a stand alone laptop or computer replacement. Apple did not talk about it in that way when they introduced it.
  17. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I'm going to assume that the jailbreak people might be able to do something about mounting disks via the dongles for more than what they are intended.

    I'm going to assume that Apple will implement some sort of printing similar to the Eurosmartz stuff. I use Print & Share with the Notebooks application. It works slick, but does require a server on my Mac. I have tried the photo printing side thru the Print & Share app and it works cool too - i just don't have a lot of need for it with my Touch.

    WOuld be nice if they slyly added support for Bonjour Printers into the OS - then you wouldn't need a server.

    I would NOT assume that I could use all of this without a computer as my homebase.
  18. master-ceo macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2007
    The SUN

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