Thinking of getting an iPad - All iPad Reviews Suck!

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Fried Chicken, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. Fried Chicken macrumors 6502

    Fried Chicken

    Jun 11, 2011
    So I see plenty of reviews for the latest 2018 iPad, and how it marginally compares to the 2017 iPad, or some marginal difference between an iPad and an iPad Pro, or how iOS 12 adds some unbelievably obscure new feature that needs to be explored to death.

    But that's not what I'm looking for. What I want to know, is what a tablet (iPad) can do, and if it's worth it for me. Even apple's website just lists the new things that iOS 12 can do, and what the new iPad brings using some ridiculous marketing terms that vaguely and with lots fo hyperbole describe some feature.

    What's it like to use? What can a tablet do for me? What's it like to use e-mail? Can I easily load my own movies onto it from my server via FTP? What about programs (and don't just give me "app store is the best blah blah blah")? I mean, is there tangibly good software out there that performs as well as, or outperforms what's available for mac (stuff like stocks, MS Office, etc.?). What about sheet music on the iPad?

    I already have apple products out the whazoo, not because I'm rich, but because I buy used. I have my iMac, a Macbook Pro, an iPhone SE, and an iPhone 6+.
    Can a tablet add anything to this? The $330 pricepoint has me interested, but for that money I could get a nintendo switch.
  2. Heat_Fan89 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2016
    Not intended to be a smart ass but why don't you go to Best Buy or any other store that sells them have have those questions answered for you by picking up the device and using it. ;)
  3. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Slightly oversimplified answer: The iPad is good if you need a portable e-reader or content consumption device, easier to carry around than a MacBook Pro. VLC is available on iOS and can stream video over the network just like the desktop VLC. But iOS with a software keyboard is still more limiting than MacOS with a hardware keyboard, IMHO.
  4. sosumi99 macrumors 6502


    Oct 27, 2003
    Some of the things you list cannot be done by an iPad, at least not without jumping through some hoops (e.g., using FTP to get videos onto the iPad, though there are other ways to transfer videos onto the iPad). But given that you have an iPhone, it's pretty easy to imagine the iPad as a big iPhone, with some enhancements to take advantage of the bigger screen. I agree with the earlier poster who says that the best way is to simply go to a store and try it out.

    I get the vibe, however, that the iPad won't do much for you that your existing devices don't already do. It does some things "nicer" than other devices (e.g., browsing the web, reading books, browsing photos, using the Pencil to mark up PDFs and take notes ...), but "niceness" is highly subjective -- again, you have to try it to see if you like it.

    I think you may be better off with the Switch. It does things that none of your existing devices can do.
  5. Freakonomics101 macrumors 68000


    Nov 6, 2014
    The only worthy thing I’d upgrade for is the A10 in the 2018 iPad. Everything else, meh.
  6. muzzy996 macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2018
    I think this is basically on point . . (Not sure about the Switch though).

    You should be able to get a feeling of what the iPad does from using an iPhone, just adding in the larger screen real estate, larger onscreen keyboard or external keyboard and possibly Apple Pencil if you get one that supports it. There’s more to it than that when it comes to media consumption what with the feel of watching on a larger display, the better sound etc. of course.

    To me if the approach is already “What can an iPad do for me?” then it probably already isn’t for you. I say that with the thought you’re probably looking to justify it to a far greater degree than someone who feels they need one to accomplish a list of tasks they find challenging on other devices. In other words, the device you choose has to have some staying power to keep your interest otherwise you won’t use it.

    That said, for the video stuff are you doing any transfer of videos now to your iPhones ? If so how, and are you satisfied with the process?
  7. darkarn macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2017
    Use the 14 day policy, try and decide for yourself
  8. kazmac macrumors 604


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
    You have all that Apple tech already, do not bother.

    I am running into all kinds of issues with Safari and memory on the 2018 iPad which I never did on my long gone and much missed iPad Mini 4. Constant reloads of pages, crashes etc.

    Hopefully, these issues will not trouble my mom when I give this iPad to her to replace her iPad 2. I do a lot more on the iPad than she will and I do hope iOS 12 and the newer version of Safari fixes some of these problems.

    Get a Switch.
  9. Fried Chicken thread starter macrumors 6502

    Fried Chicken

    Jun 11, 2011
    Trying it for 14 days would be an option, but it's still a hassle, and it doesn't sit quite right with me.

    I guess what I'm asking, is there a review that takes the outside perspective? Not comparing the iPad to some other iPad? I'm genuinely surprised it doesn't exist; everyone's just obsessed with the nittiest grittiest details.
  10. willentrekin macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2013
    I mean, you know what a tablet can do, don't you? An iPad does pretty much everything your phones do (why two, if you don't mind my asking), but bigger. Do you watch videos on your phone? Bigger on the iPad. Do you edit documents or photos on your phone? Bigger on the iPad. Games? Have you tried one out?

    I've had an iPad Air 2 I think since around its launch day. Going on four years now. I have it in a Zagg keyboard case, and I use it every day. I start my day reading the News app. I watch videos via Amazon Prime or Netflix when I exercise. I sometimes read on it, though I prefer a Kindle Oasis for longer reading like novels. I play games (shoutout to The Room, which is not just a Tommy Wiseau movie!). I have VLC and I watch movies from my home network on it on occasion. I use the keyboard case to write in Pages.

    I will say I wouldn't buy the entry level iPad, myself. Because I'm sure it's fine but I want a good tablet. I'm waiting for the iPad event next month, but I would upgrade to the Pro 10.5 in a heartbeat, and solely for the ProMotion, which seems and sounds like a gimmick, but when I actually tried one out in the Apple store a few months ago made a noticeable difference to me.

    It might not to you, so the entry level might be fine. And yes, for the money you could get a Switch, but that's a very different device you can only play games on, so your mention of it makes me even less sure of your usage. Can you respond to an email on a Switch, or edit documents or photos? It's games only, isn't it?
  11. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    I think that those questions aren’t answered in reviews because they’re related to the iPad/tablet form factor and software in general, which has been around for several years. At this point reviewers assume that you have at least used a tablet at some point.

    Laptop reviews don’t address basic questions about how a computer works either.
  12. rosyapple, Sep 22, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018

    rosyapple macrumors member

    Mar 25, 2018
    For me, I bought an iPad because I loved (and had) to read. I currently have over 3000 books of novels and textbooks in my iPad. I also use iPad to take notes for school using Apple Pencil. I hate reading on an iPhone because the screen is just too small. iPad screen size is just good enough for me to read and watch movie on.

    If you are always on the move, iPad is a good device to carry with you. I read my textbooks and notes on the bus (standing or sitting), train, car, while waiting in a queue, before lecture and exam start, while eating in a restaurant or at home etc. A laptop would be too cumbersome for me and an iPhone will be too small. Most of my textbooks are PDFs so it's better to read them on a larger screen.

    I transfer movies using iCloud or iTunes. Software that outperforms what is available on the mac or iPhone would be any software that allows you to write / draw by hand (note-taking and drawing software such as Notability, GoodNotes, Procreate etc), mainly because mac would not even allow you to do so.

    The portability and larger screen on iPad is what draws me to use it. It's good to be able to bring 3000+ books on a 469 grams / 1 pound machine, than to carry a 2-kg / 4.6 pounds Netter Atlas of Human Anatomy paperback in my backpack.

    I also use iPad to read and reply to emails, send and reply to iMessages, use Facetime, pay bills using my banking app etc.

    You can check out Youtube and search for videos on the different ways people use their iPads. That way you can figure out whether iPad might be suitable for you. I normally search for terms like "iPad for coding", "iPad for musician" or "iPad for taking notes".
  13. macrumors 604

    May 26, 2016
    You don’t find such reviews because it’s a subjective thing and different people expect and use a device differently based on their requirements.

    I think you’re not sure what you want from an iPad. Once you figure that out, the answer will be much easier and you will find relevant content online as well.
  14. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    It sounds like you already not want to see what an iPad is, and already expect the iPad to be just like a laptop.

    Heck, if you are already comparing getting an iPad vs a game console, it's obvious that you don't need the iPad. Just get the Switch and be happy. :D
  15. TomOSeven macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2017
    Essentially, tablets are an answer looking for a question.

    The mobile tech industry has a problem: the perfect form factor was invented in the early nineties.
    Although the first laptops were super bulky and not very usable, it was clear from the beginning that the clam shell was a perfect form factor.

    It cuts the area of the device in half, gives you a perfect input device right off the bat (with supplementary input methods like trackpads, trackpoints and touch screens coming later) and it's small and light enough to take everywhere.

    Then Apple popularized the smartphone, and used the same technology to make a larger smartphone that couldn't make calls. People bought it like crazy, but the problem remained: iPads (singling out iPads here because other tablets are pretty much irrelevant) can't do anything a laptop can't do better, except in extreme edge cases.

    You find people here being so enamored with their iPads that they use all kinds of crazy workarounds to make iPads their main computers, like buying Apple's terrible keyboard, without realizing that once they added all those fancy accessories, their iPads are as heavy and as expensive as a laptop.

    And then, congratulations, you just spent a thousand dollars on a laptop that runs a phone OS, can't be used on the lap, can't be used with one hand, needs help standing upright, has a bad aspect ratio for the one thing people say the iPad works well for (watching videos), is slower for any productivity task and doesn't fit into your pocket.
  16. ericwn macrumors 68020

    Apr 24, 2016
    Another recommendation to try one out for two weeks to see for yourself. Between all my computing devices, the by far most amount of focus and work in my life gets done on the iPad.

    It runs iOS, so if you already are familiar with iOS, you should have an easy start.

    For wireless access to my Macs I use Documents by Readdle - great app.
  17. AppleHaterLover macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2018

    Yes, there is another perspective. Here's mine:

    The iPad Pro has great speakers, an excellent screen with a better aspect ratio for browsing the internet than the MacBook line.

    If all you're doing is watching Netflix and browsing the internet it's really the best way to go.
  18. kristalsoldier macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    Well, I see what you are saying, and much of it rings true, but specifically, where the Aspect ratio is concerned, it is perfect for document-centric work. I say this from personal experience.
  19. sosumi99, Sep 24, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018

    sosumi99 macrumors 6502


    Oct 27, 2003
    Marking up PDFs with the Pencil is far more pleasant and productive on an iPad than on my MacBook, as is taking handwritten notes. These are not "extreme edge cases." They happen to be two of the tasks I have to do daily to make a living. iPads can do many things better than a laptop, but the question is whether you care about those things.
  20. muzzy996 macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2018
    Precisely. It’s about having the right tool for the job. My iPad can in no way match my laptop for certain productivity tasks that I do like full function MS Office work, multi-source document production, file management, or full Adobe CC editing capability to name a few. iPads can certainly doe some of those tasks but in a limited capacity that might serve many people well, just not others like myself. At the same time the iPad is a perfect fit for certain activities that are important to me including some productivity ones like PDF markup and note taking as well as leisure activities like news reading, forum surfing and streaming media consumption. For me there’s a place for many types of devices because each can serve a purpose and that’s why I have them (smartphone, tablet and computer).
  21. rosyapple, Sep 24, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018

    rosyapple macrumors member

    Mar 25, 2018
    Totally agree. I use my iPads to read, take handwritten notes, mark PDFs as well as other tasks which are suitable to do on iOS with a larger screen but not on the Mac.

    For example, I use my banking app on the iPad instead of iPhone, because iPad has a larger screen and I don't want to make payments to the wrong people just because I use a smaller screen like on the iPhone (I'm rather clumsy that way, so I know my limits). I hate using the Mac for my banking needs because the iOS app is so much more sophisticated, responsive and convenient than my JS powered banking website.

    My iPad has been a godsend throughout my education. I'm in Year 1 and still have 5 years to go, but in just the 4 months I own my iPad + Apple Pencil, my productivity has skyrocketed because it helps me maintain my grades.

    But so far, my MacBook Air is irreplaceable, mainly because I'm more productive using a mouse than touchscreen when it comes to certain tasks. For example, I still prefer typing summaries, papers on my laptop. Bigger screen, more opened apps at the same time, less cumbersome switching, tiled windows etc.

    I was also a programmer before I went back to school so I still do coding and web development (Codekit, Xcode, Node.js, Browser development tools, Photoshop etc). I still need MacOS's ability of opening multiple windows and apps (as many finder and app windows as I want until my laptop fans start spinning :p).

    For me at the moment, I need all 3 devices but in order of importance, it would be iPad > laptop > iPhone. I only use my iPhone to receive calls, to navigate the cities I'm in / visiting (GPS, maps) and Whatsapp for family and school. I don't use the camera often (I have no Instagram nor Facebook accounts. I only use the camera to take pictures of important documents such as exam answers for future reference, etc. I do not take selfies) so I don't need more fancy camera on the iPhone. So, I normally buy a more recent affordable iPad and upgrade my laptop and iPhone when they no longer support the current OS.

    In the future, I may not need my iPad as much as I need it now, so my priority might change. In that case, the most important device would recent while the others maybe upgraded when the current OS is no longer supported or won't even be upgraded at all.

    For friends and family, I always suggest to them to truly examine why they wish to buy an iPad or an iPhone. Is your time saved using the iPad worth the amount of money you spend? If you are a student, I highly recommend that you buy an iPad (save paper, scribble formulas anytime anywhere, carry 3000+ books + every single page of your notes in 470g device etc). But, if you are not a student, it really depends.
  22. ignatius345 macrumors 68020

    Aug 20, 2015
    It's a bigger version of your iPhone. Think of the stuff you do on your phone(s) and now imagine doing it with a much bigger screen. That's an iPad.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 24, 2018 ---
    Pretty much. I took an iPad on a long trip instead of a MacBook and it was ok for some stuff but definitely a PITA to get any actual work done on, even with a bluetooth keyboard. It was nice to use for maps and Spotify, but the minute you start doing any real work on it, you're screwed. Here's one tiny example: I made a document in Pages and used text styles to define the body copy, some headers, and a few other elements throughout. On a Mac, I could've done this in minutes. On the iPad, I was constantly going back and forth between awkwardly reaching up to touch UI elements on the screen and then using the keyboard. I got it done, but it sucked. Wanna watch a video or read an article? The iPad is a great tool for that. You want to actually run through a normal workflow of dealing with documents and creating things? Use a Mac.
  23. Mainsail, Sep 25, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018

    Mainsail macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    I use a base 2017 iPad with keyboard case and inexpensive fine point active pen as my primary device. This setup cost me a little over $400. To answer the OPS question, this is how I use it (With applicable Apps):

    • Responding to Emails & Texts (Mail and iMessage)
    • Conferencing (FaceTime)
    • Calendaring & setting Reminders (Calendar & Reminders)
    • Typing and handwriting notes (Notes & Notability)
    • Creating, reading, editing and annotating PDFs (Good reader)
    • Creating and editing Documents (Pages, Numbers, & Keynote)
    • Organizing, editing, and annotating photos (Photos)
    • Creating simple videos (iMovie)
    • Scanning documents (Notes)
    • Sketching diagrams (Notability)
    • Tracking Investments (Mint)
    • Watching movies, TV, and Videos (Netflix, Direct TV Now, YouTube)
    • Web searching (Safari & Wikipanion)
    • Reading Books (iBook & Libby)
    • Organizing Documents & Files (Files, Dropbox & Yoink)
    • Games and Social Media
  24. darkarn macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2017
    At this rate, I really prefer OP to simply try it.

    14 days of hands-on beats hours of theorycrafting and reading reviews!

    Best part? Apple's 14 days policy is intentionally set so that you can do just that and thus be at ease with your final purchasing decision!

    PS: Not a good idea to say the reviews suck on your title by the way, it gives people the impression you are rude even though your posts are'nt (something something first impression). Besides, reviewers are just doing their jobs y'know?
  25. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    If you have an iPhone: that experience by bigger. There you go

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