The "Laptop Replacement" Debate

riverer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
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Every so often I see threads asking if the Ipad can replace a laptop, something I've been wondering a bit myself. Today I can a conference/course event about some training I'm doing with a big assignment submission, resources on the web pulled from lots of different sites, several other supporting documents etc. I thought I'd just take the Ipad, since my classroom is being used for exams I've started doing work on there rather than trying to find and log into a windows machine. Also took a little Anker bluetooth keyboard.

Managed to easily add to the word document submission, keep notes in onenote on resources, clip pdfs and web links into onenote, reference PDFs on dropbox, keep up with work emails in outlook and remote desktop into my work login to access some files with the ipad no problem at all. On my table of 6, people slowly drifted to the edges of the room to find plugs, when we finished I'd had the ipad running all day, was the only one still not needing a plug and had 41% power left!

Amazing thing is this is a 32gb Ipad air1, so I didn't even have the true multitasking, just used slide over a bit with onenote and word and tabbing between apps and managed fine, though true multitasking would have been nice to have on a few occasions.

So if anyones wondering, at least for that type of work, ipad instead of a laptop works fine. I'd put them about even, Ipads battery and portability is a big plus and being able to really quickly snap pictures of slides/documents is handy, but not being able to have web/word open side by side was inconvenient a few times; waiting for the next Ipad pro 9-10" before I upgrade for that functionality.
 

Freakonomics101

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Nov 6, 2014
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I think the iPad will get there. I think iOS needs to expand Beyond its current capabilities if the Pro line will be eventually be a PC replacement. They're on the right path with this, but I don't think it's a complete replacement.
I agree. The software on the iPad and iPhone are basically the same. I would love to see a newly redesigned OS for the iPad to make it more competitive to truly replace a laptop.
 
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imhereareyou

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Aug 28, 2013
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My wife hates it, our daughter got hers wet and now she only has an ipad and she wants a new laptop asap but we don;t have the cash right now.
 

Freakonomics101

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The biggest plus with using an iPad instead of a Mac is, like the OP mentioned, how long a single charge will last throughout the day. My 2013 MacBook Air 11" lasts 4.5 hours tops on a single charge. With my iPad Pro 9.7, basic use, all day, and then some.

If they did in fact add support for the Apple Mouse and made the OS more like the Mac, that would be BA! The iPads would truly be competitive with the other tablets out there that can already do all that.
 

AmazingHenry

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Jul 6, 2015
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My opinion is that the iPad is just not there yet. It's got the power, but the OS is way too limited. Apple really needs to make a special, less limited iPad OS with a file browser and many other features. A way to install apps from the internet that aren't signed and aren't in the App Store would be nice to. OS is just way too limited right now.
 
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jonankev

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Sep 22, 2013
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iPad can be a laptop replacement for some, for some it can not.
I bought a 12.9" iPad Pro as soon as it came out as I wanted to read the many digital magazines I subscribe to without zooming and scrolling around. For this it has been superb, as expected.

I found myself using it more and more as my 6 year old PC laptop was getting very slow. When I switched from editing SD video to HD the old laptop just couldn't hack it as it wasn't that powerful to start with. I tried importing AVCHD video into the iPad but it couldn't handle it. Then Sony issued a firmware update for my RX10 enabling me to shoot in XAVC-S format. To my surprise not only could I import and play this on the iPad but iMovie could also edit it!

The only problem was I was shooting 1080 50p 50MBits/s and wanted to keep the frame rate the same. This problem has been solved by LumaFusion, a new editing program. This has many features and is improving all the time and has excellent support. I can view filters, etc., in real time and render the output in faster than real time. It has enabled me to delay my purchase of a new MacBook Pro until the next release.

I have amazed at how powerful the iPad Pro is given the right software. By the way, I have no financial or other connection with LumaFusion, I'm just a very happy user.

John
 

Stefan johansson

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Apr 13, 2017
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For mail,internet browsing and simple on the go photo/video editing,the iPad can already replace a laptop,but for more demanding tasks,you might still need a laptop,as the iOS devices are not suitable for more advanced photo edit or gaming,and the ipads,regardless of model,are worthless at 3D rendering or CAD/CAM work.
 
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ApfelKuchen

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So, a person relates his own experience, and the best most folks can do is respond reflexively to the thread title and say, "No, it's not."

It's not a matter of whether a laptop might have been even better, or whether there are features one person may need, but another does not. It's not a matter of whether the iPad UI could be even better. It's one person, sharing his personal experience, using iPad just as it is today. Experience someone else, with similar needs, may find useful.

I've said this many times, in many threads... I stopped lugging around a laptop (PowerBook G4) three months after I purchased a first-generation iPad (which I purchased three days after it was introduced, over seven years ago). I didn't need to wait around for iPad Pro (though I have one now) - iPad, for me, has been a "laptop replacement" since the beginning.

Neither the OP nor I claim that it can be a replacement for everyone. If someone is using a laptop as their primary computer... well, I can't replace my iMac with an iPad, either. But since my mobile needs are what they are, a laptop, for me, is heavier, bulkier, and more expensive than I need.
 

alba63

macrumors member
May 3, 2017
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Apple really needs to make a special, less limited iPad OS with a file browser and many other features.(...) OS is just way too limited right now.
Luckily more people (than just myself) want this: File browser/ file system is badly needed. I cannot even start to understand how someone does not see that need. They can of course keep the cloud, but I want to transfer files directly, and without the cumbersome iTunes software. Without a file browser a computer is artificially compromised.
 

Dentifrice

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Aug 27, 2008
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I don't understand people wanting/waiting ipad to have full file system. This WON'T happen. The basis of IOS is sandboxing. Having an open file system or a shared folder for all apps is against this.

Don't get me wrong, I want it too. Very badly. But it won't happen. I even think the future of computers/tablets/etc. is like IOS is working. Even if I don't want this...
 
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Freakonomics101

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I don't understand people wanting/waiting ipad to have full file system. This WON'T happen. The basis of IOS is sandboxing. Having an open file system or a shared folder for all apps is against this.

Don't get me wrong, I want it too. Very badly. But it won't happen. I even think the future of computers/tablets/etc. is like IOS is working. Even if I don't want this...
Like others have said, never say never. It's not like Apple hasn't completely surprised us in the past. There's competition out there and if more and more people are wanting a laptop that can also be incredibly mobile, dumbed down iOS on an iPad is not going to work.

I'm hoping to see an all new "iPadOS" since they're putting an OS after every Apple product now. I think the iPad would see a huge jump in sales... because iPadOS would be new and something to try out. People like new things. They like to get their hands on it. If in fact iPadOS happens, it'll get me closer to selling my Mac.

Like someone else mentioned, iPadOS would not be for everyone but I firmly believe it would bring in more iPad customers that weren't too interested before while others would still prefer a Mac. Just depends on what you wanna do with either product.
 
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SweetLou122

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Nov 3, 2011
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I don't understand people wanting/waiting ipad to have full file system. This WON'T happen. The basis of IOS is sandboxing. Having an open file system or a shared folder for all apps is against this.

Don't get me wrong, I want it too. Very badly. But it won't happen. I even think the future of computers/tablets/etc. is like IOS is working. Even if I don't want this...
Agreed. I remember seeing an interview with Ive also saying that the point and click mouse user interface was just not conducive to iOS. A trackpad and mouse could make the ipad pro a true replacement but I don't see them accommodating it. Same reason why new mac os and hardware will not accommodate touch input.
 

Appleaker

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Jun 13, 2016
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The iPad is already there for a lot of people, just as the phone has reached that point, but it's only now that Apple are making a fuss about it (when they really shouldn't have, it's had a negative impact on the perception of the iPad as a PC replacement for many).
A lot of people on this forum won't accept that, saying it needs a file system, mouse support, windows, and even run macOS. If you're complaining about that then it means that the iPad won't cut it for you (and thats me included, because I also want those things).
 
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Freakonomics101

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The iPad is already there for a lot of people, just as the phone has reached that point, but it's only now that Apple are making a fuss about it (when they really shouldn't have, it's had a negative impact on the perception of the iPad as a PC replacement for many).
A lot of people on this forum won't accept that, saying it needs a file system, mouse support, windows, and even run macOS. If you're complaining about that then it means that the iPad won't cut it for you (and thats me included, because I also want those things).
I'm speaking from my own options and needs here but I don't care about any of that. It would just be nice to have an iPad that doesn't have the exact same OS as my iPhone. It would be nice to have several differences between the two. The biggest difference is the screen sizes and the fact that the iPads still have the headphone jack. That's about it.
 
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ApfelKuchen

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Like others have said, never say never. It's not like Apple hasn't completely surprised us in the past. There's competition out there and if more and more people are wanting a laptop that can also be incredibly mobile, dumbed down iOS on an iPad is not going to work.

I'm hoping to see an all new "iPadOS" since they're putting an OS after the product. I think the iPad would see a huge jump in sales... because iPadOS would be new and something to try out. People like new things. They like to get their hands on it. If in fact iPadOS happens, it'll get me closer to selling my Mac. :::snip:::
Should every class of product have a distinctive OS? Seems counterproductive to me. One of the beauties of iOS is that it does work consistently and predictably across a range of products. An iPhone owner who wants/needs a bigger screen can pick up an iPad and go right to work.

I get it, people who are thinking, "iPad to replace my MacBook" are looking for a minimum of adaptation in that direction - MacOS for Touchscreen. However, the numbers skew in the other direction - there are far more iPhone users than Mac users. Desktop and laptop use is a shrinking market, mobile devices continue to grow.

Basically, the gap in the Apple product line is that there's no direct competitor to Surface - desktop OS with a touchscreen. Yeah, Apple can surprise us, despite the denials. However, if you look at Surface's sales numbers, as well-regarded and relatively successful as Surface is, it's still no iPad, despite iPad's shrinking sales over the past few years. I don't see Apple cannibalizing both iPad and MacBook sales with a product that, considering the ratio of Windows to Mac users, would sell about 10% as well as Surface. And if they had to learn an all-new OS to use it? Forget about it!
 

Appleaker

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I'm speaking from my own options and needs here but I don't care about any of that. It would just be nice to have an iPad that doesn't have the exact same OS as my iPhone. It would be nice to have several differences between the two. The biggest difference is the screen sizes and the fact that the iPads still have the headphone jack. That's about it.
Yeah, looking at it as a separate device from my computer (i.e. a tablet), I would agree with that as well. Although I would disagree with people saying that the 2 are still the same - Multitasking on iPad has made a massive impact for me and I use it all the time. It's made doing certain things on it possible and increased my usage over my main computer. Despite that, the iPad does need improvements in certain areas and I really hope iOS 11 will do something about it.
 
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alba63

macrumors member
May 3, 2017
49
49
It doesn't need trackpad/mouse support because it is mainly a touchscreen device. But the file system is badly lacking. Handling files on an iPad is awful and heavy-handed.
IPad sales have dropped by 50% in the last few years, that shows that people feel the newer iPads cannot offer them sth decisively new. Processor speed will not cut it. A better screen with low reflections and superior color maybe. But they probably feel those tablets cannot do enough. A phone with iOS is at least a phone, and as such can do WhatsApp. An iPad has the same OS, minus phone calls and WhatsApp and pocketable size.
If they don't give the iPad users more control, iPads will become more and more irrelevant.
 
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