Traditional Computers Feel Outdated Now

xxray

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Original poster
Jul 27, 2013
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Now that I do the very large majority of my work and consumption on an iPad, traditional computers (laptops, desktops) have started feeling very outdated for me. Here’s my point of view:

iPads:
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Keyboard is removable/optional
  • Can use Apple Pencil to handwrite notes, sign documents, make art (drawing, painting, sketching), edit photos
  • True all day battery life: even when doing intensive tasks like video editing, photo editing, music production, gaming, etc., iPads hold their charge much better than laptops
  • Can take photos/videos and edit them straight on the device
  • Feels more interactive and hands-on to me (because of touchscreen maybe?)
  • Reaching level of MBP performance and has exceeded in some respects (ex: video editing and rendering speed)
  • Much more affordable than laptops when it comes to hardware and software prices

Laptops:
  • More powerful when it comes to more geeky stuff (programming, getting into other devices for jailbreaking, backing up, rooting, car infotainment systems, etc.)
  • More powerful software generally
  • Less restricted when it comes to customization and administration (files, connecting an external drive, controlling window sizes and number of windows on one screen)
  • Much less portable, even the light ones
  • Less efficient (power consumption, heat, performance)
  • Less interactive: stuck with trackpad/mouse interaction unless it’s a touchscreen for which it’s probably not as smooth as a ProMotion display and the OS isn’t as optimized. There are Wacom tablet add-ons but still less interactive as an iPad imo.
Maybe it’s just because I’ve been able to do 95% of my work on iPads, but being stuck with a heavy, inefficient computer that I can only interact with using a mouse feels very outdated and limiting to me. I know some people need the power of traditional computer software (I’ll even be needing to keep a computer around until Excel for iOS is as powerful as the Mac/Windows versions), but the iPad just seems so much more versatile and enjoyable to use to me. I really can’t wait to see how it progresses over the next few years. I’d love to be able to go iOS only.

Has the iPad made anyone else feel the same way when it comes to traditional computers?
 

spacebro

Suspended
Oct 1, 2015
552
468
I'm at the point where my MacBook stays docked and closed all of the time. I would rather remote into it from the iPad so I can use macOS with touchscreen. This MacBook will be replaced with a headless Mac mini if I continue to need macOS.
 

nouveau_redneck

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2017
551
851
To me my iPad feels very limiting. It stays mostly in my closet as I can't find a usage scenario for it. Rather, I use my MBP most of the time combined with iPhone and Mac Pro.

I bought the iPad about a year ago anticipating being away from home for months and not being in a position to take my MBP. That situation did not come to pass and since then the only purpose I've found the iPad useful for was as a big metronome to keep the time playing bass or reading music scores. I don't believe tablets make very good all purpose machines. They do better in specialized activities.

It doesn't replace the utility of my MBP and is not as confortable and versatile to use. The laptop design sits anywhere I put it with a superior keyboard at the ready. Quick and easy to setup and to close. macOS is perfect for the majority of tools I use daily, and even if they were available on iOS, would feel limited as I would always need to attach a keyboard, and prop up the display. Even sitting on the couch browsing the web or watching videos is more confortable on the laptop design sitting on my knees rather than holding an awkwardly large flat, thin, slab.
 

JagdTiger

macrumors 6502
Dec 20, 2017
333
365
Now that I do the very large majority of my work and consumption on an iPad, traditional computers (laptops, desktops) have started feeling very outdated for me. Here’s my point of view:

iPads:
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Keyboard is removable/optional
  • Can use Apple Pencil to handwrite notes, sign documents, make art (drawing, painting, sketching), edit photos
  • True all day battery life: even when doing intensive tasks like video editing, photo editing, music production, gaming, etc., iPads hold their charge much better than laptops
  • Can take photos/videos and edit them straight on the device
  • Feels more interactive and hands-on to me (because of touchscreen maybe?)
  • Reaching level of MBP performance and has exceeded in some respects (ex: video editing and rendering speed)
  • Much more affordable than laptops when it comes to hardware and software prices

Laptops:
  • More powerful when it comes to more geeky stuff (programming, getting into other devices for jailbreaking, backing up, rooting, car infotainment systems, etc.)
  • More powerful software generally
  • Less restricted when it comes to customization and administration (files, connecting an external drive, controlling window sizes and number of windows on one screen)
  • Much less portable, even the light ones
  • Less efficient (power consumption, heat, performance)
  • Less interactive: stuck with trackpad/mouse interaction unless it’s a touchscreen for which it’s probably not as smooth as a ProMotion display and the OS isn’t as optimized. There are Wacom tablet add-ons but still less interactive as an iPad imo.
Maybe it’s just because I’ve been able to do 95% of my work on iPads, but being stuck with a heavy, inefficient computer that I can only interact with using a mouse feels very outdated and limiting to me. I know some people need the power of traditional computer software (I’ll even be needing to keep a computer around until Excel for iOS is as powerful as the Mac/Windows versions), but the iPad just seems so much more versatile and enjoyable to use to me. I really can’t wait to see how it progresses over the next few years. I’d love to be able to go iOS only.

Has the iPad made anyone else feel the same way when it comes to traditional computers?
Tablets are the future of computers.
 
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vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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For most things I would rather use my devices in this order iMac > MBP >= iPad Mini > iPhone. But this all depends on what I am doing and where I am doing it at.

If I am on the go walking some where, I would prefer my iPhone.

But given the choice, I much rather be at my computer desk with my desktop for almost all my work. Many times, I wait to get home to send texts at my desktop rather than do it on my iPhone or iPad.

I love using my Mac over the other devices.
[doublepost=1553111146][/doublepost]
Tablets are the future of computers.
Maybe, but the same was said about Laptops a while back.

Now, many people trading their laptops for tablets, but still keep a desktop to do work with. I use a laptop for work, but 99% of the time, it is used as a desktop with two monitors, a keyboard, and mouse connected to it.
 
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nouveau_redneck

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2017
551
851
Tablets are the future of computers.
The future of computers is the intelligence within the software and data delivery. The device will just be commoditized hardware capable enough to interact with and deliver the data. It will take many forms to accommodate the interaction based primarily on human input and output needs. The device whatever it may be will take a second seat.

One thing to be sure is that computers of the future will take many forms, and a tablet shaped device will just be one of many. Most of them may just be embedded in other entities/devices.
 
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LovingTeddy

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2015
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Canada
My iPad pretty well killed use of the laptop for cruising the Internet but the desk top still rules for getting work done.

Sitting at a maxed out AutoCad workstation is amazing!
i do think iPad has the capability to render AutoCad. Just give it capable software and ability to dock in high end GPU.... What iPad really lacking is its software....
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
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Less interactive: stuck with trackpad/mouse interaction unless it’s a touchscreen for which it’s probably not as smooth as a ProMotion display and the OS isn’t as optimized. There are Wacom tablet add-ons but still less interactive as an iPad imo.
Keyboard is removable/optional
Feels more interactive and hands-on to me (because of touchscreen maybe?)
It is funny, because I feel the opposite.

I hate having to type on a touch screen. I feel much better, and I am much more productive when using a mouse and keyboard over just touch screen.

I also hate touchpads.

But people are different. My wife likes typing on a keyboard, but much rather prefer a touchpad over a mouse.
 
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oneMadRssn

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Sep 8, 2011
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New England
I use the following task flow as an example. It's super common, I bet a lot of people can relate to this, and it is just awful to do on an iPad:

Receive an email with a link to a few websites, and a zip attachment containing an spreadsheet, a presentation, and a PDF.
The task is to plug in numbers from reading the websites into the spreadsheet, update the output calculations in the presentation, generate a PDF of that presentation, put all of those back in a zip, and email it back.​

Doing that on a Macbook is so trivial we don't even think about it. Half the functions you need are built right into the OS.

On an iPad, even the latest and greatest, is a nightmare.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
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Doing that on a Macbook is so trivial we don't even think about it. Half the functions you need are built right into the OS.

On an iPad, even the latest and greatest, is a nightmare.
True.

I can think of many task flows that productivity would suffer when doing on the iPad.

I think the real question should be, how many tasks would improve productivity when using an iPad versus laptop or desktop?

The OP has it right when it comes to portability, but if that factor is removed from the situation, there is little more the iPad has over an actual computer.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,327
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True.

I can think of many task flows that productivity would suffer when doing on the iPad.

I think the real question should be, how many tasks would improve productivity when using an iPad versus laptop or desktop?

The OP has it right when it comes to portability, but if that factor is removed from the situation, there is little more the iPad has over an actual computer.
iPad 10.5 with keyboard weighs almost as much as my MacBook, but that Smart Keyboard is a big downgrade from the MacBook's keyboard, and of course it doesn't include a trackpad.

So, when talking about portability, that has to be considered.
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,397
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I agree with both sides of the issues raised here. Functionally, my 11” iPad Pro feels like the future. It’s exceptionally reliable. Battery life is consistently all-day, and moving between touch, the Pencil, and keyboard feels very natural. My personal MacBook sits weeks at a time without seeing use. At the same time, relatively simple workflows such as mentioned above are next to impossible on the iPad. I can’t wait to see that change, but for now I’m perfectly happy switching between devices for the best tool for the job.
 
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vertical smile

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iPad 10.5 with keyboard weighs almost as much as my MacBook, but that Smart Keyboard is a big downgrade from the MacBook's keyboard, and of course it doesn't include a trackpad.

So, when talking about portability, that has to be considered.
I agree and it supports what I posted.

The iPad has great battery life, small, and light weight, which makes it more portable than your MacBook.

But, it has very limited use when compared with your MacBook until you start adding accessories that make it less portable than he iPad itself. Even with these added accessories, the iPad is still limited when compared to the a MacBook, imo.

It all comes down to what you need, want, and would like out of your devices.

For example, the iPhone SE is more portable than the XS Max, but there are limitations to the capabilities of the SE that the XS Max doesn't have. This is the same thing as comparing the iPad to the MacBook, although I think the differences are much greater with the latter.
 

tps3443

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2019
1,301
833
NC,USA
Obviously computers are only useful to me for one thing.

“4K 60FPS+ enthusiast gaming”

And it is too expensive to build a system that can handle these task. And kinda hard to justify having such a expensive pc or computer for just gaming lol.

The experience is incredible, and no console can compare or hold a candle to it.
[doublepost=1553122392][/doublepost]But yes, I’m with you guys!

I’ve invested in a 1TB iPad for the long run. Let’s get iOS revised now!
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
Now that I do the very large majority of my work and consumption on an iPad, traditional computers (laptops, desktops) have started feeling very outdated for me. Here’s my point of view:

iPads:
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Keyboard is removable/optional
  • Can use Apple Pencil to handwrite notes, sign documents, make art (drawing, painting, sketching), edit photos
  • True all day battery life: even when doing intensive tasks like video editing, photo editing, music production, gaming, etc., iPads hold their charge much better than laptops
  • Can take photos/videos and edit them straight on the device
  • Feels more interactive and hands-on to me (because of touchscreen maybe?)
  • Reaching level of MBP performance and has exceeded in some respects (ex: video editing and rendering speed)
  • Much more affordable than laptops when it comes to hardware and software prices

Laptops:
  • More powerful when it comes to more geeky stuff (programming, getting into other devices for jailbreaking, backing up, rooting, car infotainment systems, etc.)
  • More powerful software generally
  • Less restricted when it comes to customization and administration (files, connecting an external drive, controlling window sizes and number of windows on one screen)
  • Much less portable, even the light ones
  • Less efficient (power consumption, heat, performance)
  • Less interactive: stuck with trackpad/mouse interaction unless it’s a touchscreen for which it’s probably not as smooth as a ProMotion display and the OS isn’t as optimized. There are Wacom tablet add-ons but still less interactive as an iPad imo.
Maybe it’s just because I’ve been able to do 95% of my work on iPads, but being stuck with a heavy, inefficient computer that I can only interact with using a mouse feels very outdated and limiting to me. I know some people need the power of traditional computer software (I’ll even be needing to keep a computer around until Excel for iOS is as powerful as the Mac/Windows versions), but the iPad just seems so much more versatile and enjoyable to use to me. I really can’t wait to see how it progresses over the next few years. I’d love to be able to go iOS only.

Has the iPad made anyone else feel the same way when it comes to traditional computers?
One important advantage of computers: big screens with multiple documents and programs open at the same time. I have a 15” MBP when traveling, and then connected to a 27” monitor at my office. That is much more efficient than working on an 11” screen.

However, these days I can do 95% of what I need to do on my iPad, so when traveling I don’t need to bring my MBP, even if things can be slightly less efficient.
 
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Micky Do

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Aug 31, 2012
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Now that I do the very large majority of my work and consumption on an iPad, traditional computers (laptops, desktops) have started feeling very outdated for me. Here’s my point of view:

iPads:
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Keyboard is removable/optional
  • Can use Apple Pencil to handwrite notes, sign documents, make art (drawing, painting, sketching), edit photos
  • True all day battery life: even when doing intensive tasks like video editing, photo editing, music production, gaming, etc., iPads hold their charge much better than laptops
  • Can take photos/videos and edit them straight on the device
  • Feels more interactive and hands-on to me (because of touchscreen maybe?)
  • Reaching level of MBP performance and has exceeded in some respects (ex: video editing and rendering speed)
  • Much more affordable than laptops when it comes to hardware and software prices

Laptops:
  • More powerful when it comes to more geeky stuff (programming, getting into other devices for jailbreaking, backing up, rooting, car infotainment systems, etc.)
  • More powerful software generally
  • Less restricted when it comes to customization and administration (files, connecting an external drive, controlling window sizes and number of windows on one screen)
  • Much less portable, even the light ones
  • Less efficient (power consumption, heat, performance)
  • Less interactive: stuck with trackpad/mouse interaction unless it’s a touchscreen for which it’s probably not as smooth as a ProMotion display and the OS isn’t as optimized. There are Wacom tablet add-ons but still less interactive as an iPad imo.
Maybe it’s just because I’ve been able to do 95% of my work on iPads, but being stuck with a heavy, inefficient computer that I can only interact with using a mouse feels very outdated and limiting to me. I know some people need the power of traditional computer software (I’ll even be needing to keep a computer around until Excel for iOS is as powerful as the Mac/Windows versions), but the iPad just seems so much more versatile and enjoyable to use to me. I really can’t wait to see how it progresses over the next few years. I’d love to be able to go iOS only.

Has the iPad made anyone else feel the same way when it comes to traditional computers?
Maybe I am out dated.....

I prefer work on a desktop computer (I have had Mac Minis since they arrived in 2005) with a decent sized, non glossy screen, where I can display 2 A4 pages at full size, side by side..... using a proper keyboard and a mouse. I take photos with a camera and download them to edit on the desktop with said decent sized monitor. I listen with decent sized, reasonable quality speakers. I have it hooked up to external storage, a printer, and other relevant peripherals.

An important point is that, when I leave my desk, I leave work behind, and I am off line.

Somewhat reluctantly, last year I bought a MacBook Air because I needed to take a computer to work (as a teacher) more frequently. It is convenient, but I still have misgivings about it. I do use the trackpad a bit, but more often in combination with a mouse, which I prefer for more greater accuracy.

I don't have a smartphone, and struggle to operate one. My fingers are not dainty enough, eyes not sharp enough to focus on tiny glossy screen, and ears not good enough to hear unless I am in a quiet location. I do have a cheap Nokia with proper buttons, but seldom carry it..... when I'm out and about, I don't want to be bothered with phone calls.

As for tablets..... Each to their own, but I can't see the point
 
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retta283

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Jun 8, 2018
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Kingman, AZ
I might just be turning into an old geezer, but nothing can replace the keyboard and mouse experience for me. Had a hard time when I tried to transition more to smart devices in 2011-2013, but I imagine the market has changed. I still would not be able to replace a traditional computer with an iPad due to lack of real file manager, and lack of mouse support.
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
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Laptops:
  • More powerful when it comes to more geeky stuff (programming, getting into other devices for jailbreaking, backing up, rooting, car infotainment systems, etc.)
  • More powerful software generally
  • Less restricted when it comes to customization and administration (files, connecting an external drive, controlling window sizes and number of windows on one screen)
These three are why I don't see myself ever going iPad-only. iOS is restricted by design. Apps are sandboxed and can only be installed via App Store. Sure, you can jailbreak to install unofficial software but in order to jailbreak, you still need a desktop OS.

iOS is also overly reliant on the cloud for file transfers and backups. Yes, I know about iTunes backup but that's an all-or-nothing solution and it requires one to have a Mac/PC as well. I'm not against cloud services. I have paid subscriptions to both iCloud and Dropbox. However, I prefer to have multiple options (preferably including ones that don't require an internet connection).
 

MisterSavage

macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2018
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I use my iMac way less nowadays because of my iPad but there are some tasks that are so much easier on my iMac.
 

secretk

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2018
498
297
Hello, I hope that you don't mind that I added some comments in your post itself :).

Now that I do the very large majority of my work and consumption on an iPad, traditional computers (laptops, desktops) have started feeling very outdated for me. Here’s my point of view:

iPads:
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Keyboard is removable/optional
  • Can use Apple Pencil to handwrite notes, sign documents, make art (drawing, painting, sketching), edit photos
  • True all day battery life: even when doing intensive tasks like video editing, photo editing, music production, gaming, etc., iPads hold their charge much better than laptops
Agree on all those three.

Can take photos/videos and edit them straight on the device
True but I would not use it like that. The camera is not good enough and as a device it is not comfortable enough. I would say that the use case is scanning files.


Feels more interactive and hands-on to me (because of touchscreen maybe?)
For me this is counter productive. You are right that the battery life is great but I would never want to use touch device for 10 hours while interacting with it like that. My wrist would go insane. From pure ergonomics that's not a good solution for me.

Reaching level of MBP performance and has exceeded in some respects (ex: video editing and rendering speed)
Agree.

Much more affordable than laptops when it comes to hardware and software prices
Disagree. Only iPad Pros are comparable to laptops and there are laptops that are cheaper than iPad Pros and offer comparable performance. Example - my Asus laptop has 512 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, expandable up to 32 GB RAM, discreet NVIDIA 1050 GPU, i7 CPU, can be hooked up with external monitors and external drives. And it is cheaper than the new iPad Pros. For my daily tasks I am faster on my laptop than on the iPad (due to the way I am supposed to interact with the device as well iOS specifics) so as a result for me the laptop offers better value.

Laptops:
  • More powerful when it comes to more geeky stuff (programming, getting into other devices for jailbreaking, backing up, rooting, car infotainment systems, etc.)
  • More powerful software generally
  • Less restricted when it comes to customization and administration (files, connecting an external drive, controlling window sizes and number of windows on one screen)
Agree.

Much less portable, even the light ones
Depends. If we compare the iPad with the keyboard attached then 13.3 inch is not that much less portable.

Less efficient (power consumption, heat, performance)
Depends. There are certain tasks where the laptop offers better performance. For example reloading apps. iOS has RAM management that causes reloading of apps and tabs in browsers. Laptops need to do this far less often. That for me is better performance. I keep open tabs for days. Same for open apps. I do not want to waste time in loading stuff so for me here the iPad has worse performance.

Less interactive: stuck with trackpad/mouse interaction unless it’s a touchscreen for which it’s probably not as smooth as a ProMotion display and the OS isn’t as optimized. There are Wacom tablet add-ons but still less interactive as an iPad imo.
True that they are less interactive. However the moment I have keyboard (which laptops have) I do not need that interactivity. I can use tab and mouse. And in general I don't care about the interactivity as it slows me down. It requires to zoom quite often so that your finger can touch what is needed. And that slows me down as well.

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been able to do 95% of my work on iPads, but being stuck with a heavy, inefficient computer that I can only interact with using a mouse feels very outdated and limiting to me. I know some people need the power of traditional computer software (I’ll even be needing to keep a computer around until Excel for iOS is as powerful as the Mac/Windows versions), but the iPad just seems so much more versatile and enjoyable to use to me. I really can’t wait to see how it progresses over the next few years. I’d love to be able to go iOS only.
I find the iPad quite restricting device. I need to go through a lot of hoops and workarounds - for example sharing files between apps, not being able to open multiple instances of the same app, lack of proper file system, not able to play youtube videos in the background while doing work, not being able to handle a lot of open tabs in browsers, lack of cursor which makes text editing PITA, no possibility to extend monitors (without installing apps and paying for dongles), no possibility to hook up external drives (without paid apps and dongles), no possibility to print using any printer available.
 
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JagdTiger

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Dec 20, 2017
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For those who would not like to use the touch screen all day on iPad there are keyboard cases instead.