What do you still need your laptop for?

randy98mtu

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 4, 2009
1,430
122
I'm into photography and music. I've been trying to go all iPad and I've run across a few things I can't get done on my iPad (Pro 12.9 128 GB) I thought, what if we throw out what is keeping us from going all iPad and maybe others can help?

In photography, Lightroom does almost everything I want, but I can't do HDR's like Photomatix. I would also like to do some editing tools like DxO Optics Pro. On the music side, I have adopted Apple Music and really enjoying it. I'm just hooked on smart playlists.

I'm sure I could work around all these items, but it sure would be nice if I could get there.

So what is keeping you from going all iPad?
 
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EnderBeta

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2016
559
520
While I can edit code for our AV system projects using working copy it can't actually use intelesense or compile and load code. Nor can I create and edit touch panels. I doubt that I will ever be free of Windows as a VM on a MacBook Pro when in the field.
 

Booji

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2011
650
362
Tokyo
There is one program that I rely on for my finance and that is Quicken, so I still hold on to a laptop for that.
 
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Atomic77

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2017
212
43
West Bend Wisconsin
I never had a laptop. I just have my iPad mini 2 and my big computer. Once you go iPad you don't really need a laptop unless you want one or need to do things a iPad or tablet can't do.
 

millydog

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2007
516
439
Australia
I use my MacBook Pro still for local iPad & iPhone backups, managing files on local storage and video conversion for playback on iPads. I have dabbled in iOS development in XCode, but haven't done anything serious yet.

I could get away without it by using iCloud backup only (but my Internet speed is not great), use an app such as Documents to move files around (but it is slower than a direct connection and the app gets tied up while file transfers are in progress and I need to wait until it completes) and by using non-converted video (but they take up more storage space). iOS development (except for only playgrounds) is not yet available. So most of my use cases can be achieved on an iPad, but still with compromises.
 

luminouslight

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2012
289
230
Orlando FL
I don't. All I have is an iPhone and iPad Pro 12.9". Granted, my uses aren't very demanding. Really looking forward to iOS 11 and all the features they're adding to the iPad.
 
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richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
3,228
1,636
Xcode
Parallels so I can run Windows in a VM and use Visual Studio
Logic/Studio One
Photography due to the lack of true file system support (can edit photos just fine)
Word/Excel due to the lack of mouse support in iOS when using the ASK
 

Ixidor

macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2016
161
116
Writing long reports using MS Word. Sure, it's doable on the iPad, but not as efficient without a mouse pointer. If I'm just editing or writing short documents, then I'd use the iPad. Otherwise I do this on a desktop/laptop. Same thing for handling spreadsheets and drawing detailed graphs with Excel or working on long presentations with Powerpoint. Simply put, the iPad can do these tasks, but highly inefficient when using your finger/pencil. The efficiency of a laptop/desktop is huge when I am trying to finish a project before a deadline.

I occasionally need to use desktop specific software too.

The iPad is more efficient for mobile use than a laptop though. I find touch more useful than a trackpad when working in short bursts (e.g. on a bus). Cellular means I can reply emails, quickly surf the web without the hassle of tethering to my phone (which also saves my phone's battery) or connecting to public wifi. iPad is more convenient in a meeting unless I need to connect to a bigger screen.

For personal/recreational use, the iPad trumps the laptop/desktop. Especially if you already have an Apple TV.

TLDR; I can live without an iPad, but I'd prefer to have own one in conjunction with a laptop/desktop. For my work, I can't give up the laptop/desktop as working on the iPad is far too slow (time matters). For the record, I'm happy with an iPad + desktop such that the iPad replaces the laptop for mobile use since my laptop is hooked up to a monitor and is deskbound most of the time anyways.
 
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B.A.T

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2009
698
450
Idaho
SAS (statistics)
Microsoft Power BI

Both are work related. Everything in my personal life can be done with IPad/iPhone combo.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,327
35,404
Primarily anytime I want the experience of using my laptop attached With a physical keyboard. Even though my iPad can be used for most of 99% of what I do, I just generally like using my laptop once in while, as I still have an appreciation for both iOS and desktop sites.
 
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Ipadlover29

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2011
829
213
I mostly just use my MacBook Pro for gaming - civilization 5/6. If I could do this on my 12.9 I would sell my MacBook in an instant.
 
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Deacon-Blues

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2012
574
653
California
I have a 15" MacBook Pro TouchBar I use for managing my digital music, photos and videos on my iPad, encoding CDs and DVDs, and for playing World of Warcraft. And that is it. Everything else is done on my iPad or iPhone 7 Plus.
 

subjonas

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2014
2,818
2,547
laptop:
1. work software only available on macOS
2. dual screens (one is a cintiq drawing monitor)
3. floating windows for programs, reference images, and documents
4. opening multiple instances of same application
5. google maps typical traffic view
6. facebook messages (only because I refuse to download separate app for fb messaging)

desktop:
7. local iOS device backups
8. local storage of and access to all my files
9. media hub
10. time machine versioned backups
11. rip discs

Cloud services could be an alternative for 7, 8, and 9, but I don’t want to forever pay monthly for something I can have for free. Also I have a ton of files, so it would get very expensive.

edit- also, I use my desktop for managing ibooks, itunes, and photos libraries; converting file formats; and probably more things I'm forgetting.
 
Last edited:

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,051
34,134
Boston
For me:
GotomyPC
RDP
Lightroom
Multitasking
Photo/document storage
Full implementation of MS Office.
Photoshop
Multiple monitor support i.e., have a PDF open on one screen, have a remote session to a server another monitor.
USB/external device support, such as scanners, printers, NAS, DAS etc
Edit:
Terminal access, in OS X the shell, and windows cmd
 
Last edited:

kasakka

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2008
2,093
778
For work I would need the iPad to run NodeJS, have a terminal, a proper IDE and browser developer tools equivalent to their desktop counterparts. I would also need support for a secondary screen as well as mouse so I can use it all day long.

Honestly I would love it if I could ditch my Macbook Pro for an iPad Pro. I don't like the keyboard on the current MBP model or the oversized trackpad and the touchbar is a nearly useless gimmick. The Surface Pro comes very close to this but is hampered by the OS and has a less than stellar battery life according to a coworker who uses it for the same things I do.
 
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Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,575
2,472
Shropshire, UK
I need my laptop so I can earn money - unless and until the iPad can support virtual machines and xcode it will continue to be the case: I normally work from my desktop iMac but I also have to visit clients and do development while I'm on-site and also travelling on the train so I absolutely need those capabilities.

I did try using RDP back to a VM running elsewhere but the problem with that is you're reliant on having a decent internet connection (which isn't always possible on site and almost impossible on the train!), so now I just take the path of least resistance which is my laptop!
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
9,041
10,231
Philadelphia, PA
I've been iPad/iPhone only for a couple months now and it's been great. The only thing I grab my girlfriend's computer for is to update my Plex Media Server software on my QNAP server. Basically I just have to download a .qpkg file from the website and then upload it to my media server's wesbite. It seems simple, but I cannot find a way to get it to work. So far, Files grey's out the file and doesn't allow me to select it for some reason. I've tried documents, puffin, and dropbox. I can get the file, just can't select it when I need to upload.
 
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