iPad vs. Laptop: Can an iPad replace a laptop?
As the new school year approaches, the question I get asked most often is, “Should I buy a laptop or a tablet?” Apple’s Steve Jobs has asserted that we are living in a “post-PC world”. can an iPad replace a laptop?
To test the theory, I traveled to Florida with my 2-year old, bearing my iPad 2 but no laptop. When an article needed editing, I realized that while it would be possible for the iPad to do everything I needed, it wasn’t going to work for me straight out of the box. It needed modification.
If you are considering ditching your laptop, whether it’s for a trip or for good, here’s my guide to making it possible.
Touch screen vs keyboard
The touch screen is definitely my favorite feature of a tablet. After a few moments of navigating, I promise that you’ll retire your mouse once and for all. But typing on glass takes some getting used to, and the first long email or document you try to create one pecking finger at a time will leave you yearning for your keyboard. The Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg would have made my life a whole lot easier. This thin, lightweight case has an integrated Bluetooth keyboard that you can activate when you need it, but it won’t weigh you down when you don’t. The flat base lets you type on uneven surfaces, such as your lap, and function keys allow for easy music and volume control. The aluminum cover blends seamlessly with the iPad’s unique look, letting you gain functionality without losing your cool.
Microsoft Word vs iWork
With or without a keyboard, creating or editing a document or spreadsheet on your iPad isn’t going to be easy unless you make an aftermarket modification. Microsoft Office isn’t available on the iPad, but Apple’s iWork suite will give you most of its functionality at a fraction of the cost. Pages, Numbers and Keynote handily replace Word, Excel and PowerPoint , and cost $5 each through the Apple app store. All the content you create in these programs is cross compatible, so if you edit a Word document on your iPad using Pages, you can open and edit it later in Word with no difficulty.
As much as we’d all love to be paper-free, there are inevitably times when you need to print something. You can search the iPad for a USB port, but to no avail. Printing something off your iPad will require accessing a printer wirelessly. To make the process as painless as possible, look for a printer that is compatible with Airplay, Apple’s proprietary wireless application.
Finally, sometimes I need a particular program that isn’t compatible with the iPad, or I need to transfer content to another device. The lack of a USB port or disk drive can make this challenging. But with Logmein Ignition ($30 in the app store), you can remotely access your home or office computer via the Internet. Install the companion app on your laptop or desktop and leave it running while you are away. Now you can access everything on your home or office system from your iPad, from World of Warcraft to your accounting software.
What do you think? Can an iPad replace a laptop? If you’re still nervous about unplugging from your laptop or desktop, share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
Hi, I’m Ryan from Nerds On Call and today we’re going to talk about whether you can replace your laptop with your iPad. There’s nothing cooler than an iPad, but when you start using it, after a while you start to think do I really need both a laptop and an iPad? Well, one of the first things you’re going to notice is when you start using an iPad there’s no keyboard, you tap on the screen. Well, that can be fantastic for short emails or Tweets or Facebook updates, but let’s say you have to do a long email or a very long document. You’ll find that tapping on the screen can get kind of tiresome and correcting is really difficult, but if you buy a keyboard like the one from Zagg.com, you could connect it to your iPad with Bluetooth and it turns it into a laptop.
With or without a keyboard, editing a document on an iPad is kind of difficult. While you get the touch screen so you can move around your cursor and decide exactly what you want to edit. It’s not as intuitive or easy to use if you’re used to a mouse and a keyboard. Another thing to keep in mind about the iPad is if you’re used to using Microsoft Office for Word and Excel, you don’t get those on an iPad, but what you do get is Apple’s version called Pages or Numbers. So you’ll have to learn a new kind of software just to get some of the basic stuff done that you’re already used to.
As much as I’d like to live in a paper-free world and have everything go digital, I still have to print things every now and then. Well, with a laptop it’s relatively easy, I don’t even have to think about it anymore. But with an iPad only AirPlay enabled printers will work. One of the saving graces for the iPad though is a little piece of software called LogMeIn. For $50 in the app store you can use your iPad to access your computer or your Mac and do everything that they can do. So can you replace your laptop with your iPad? Yeah, it can be done, but you’re going to have a lot of compromise and if you’re willing to take that step, it could be kind of cool.