Tablet to replace second laptop?

mac_in_tosh

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So while I have a recent MacBook Pro, it's usually in the office attached to a monitor and I have until now been using my old 2011 one around the house for general internet surfing, etc., no heavy lifting. I recently stopped using it for those things as Apple is no longer providing security updates to the latest OS that works on it, as well as it's noticeably sluggish compared to the recent one. So I was considering to get an iPad (probably the Air) as a replacement but not having any first hand experience with one, I'm not sure. For instance:

o What are the pros and cons of an iPad vs. an inexpensive laptop such as a Chromebook
o iPad vs just getting an iPhone with a larger screen as my current small screen one is getting on in age and will probably have to be replaced soon
o How easy is it to type on the virtual keyboard that it displays - I'm not looking to spend $ on accessories (pen, keyboard, etc.) because at that point I might as well get a MacBook Air?

Any input based on personal experience would be welcome.
 
U

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So while I have a recent MacBook Pro, it's usually in the office attached to a monitor and I have until now been using my old 2011 one around the house for general internet surfing, etc., no heavy lifting. I recently stopped using it for those things as Apple is no longer providing security updates to the latest OS that works on it, as well as it's noticeably sluggish compared to the recent one. So I was considering to get an iPad (probably the Air) as a replacement but not having any first hand experience with one, I'm not sure. For instance:

o What are the pros and cons of an iPad vs. an inexpensive laptop such as a Chromebook
o iPad vs just getting an iPhone with a larger screen as my current small screen one is getting on in age and will probably have to be replaced soon
o How easy is it to type on the virtual keyboard that it displays - I'm not looking to spend $ on accessories (pen, keyboard, etc.) because at that point I might as well get a MacBook Air?

Any input based on personal experience would be welcome.
Virtual keyboards are useless IMHO. A MacBook air will give you a non-compromise experience. We have a 12" ipad pro and it's getting a ton of mileage in this household. It also doubles as my mobility 2nd screen with ridiculously good results. It's nice to read on an iPAD too, but the moment typing is considered...forget it.

Just my 2 cents.
 

SuperMatt

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I like iPad as a second device. Typing isn’t great, but I generally read or game with it, and it‘s good enough for making some forum posts (like this one)
 

Joe

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Yeah, typing on an ipad sucks. If I just want to read and browse I'll pick up my iPad. But if I want to do any serious typing I'll grab my Macbook.
 

Edd

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I have a work laptop but do all personal computing with iOS devices. I just don’t see the need for anything more heavy duty.
 

Pumbaa

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I’ve had my 11“ iPad Pro for more than a year now, replacing my aging late 2013 13“ MacBook Pro Retina for travel purposes. The iPad has since more or less become my daily driver.

Without the smart keyboard folio thingie, that wouldn’t have happened. The on-screen keyboard might do for the occasional login or message, but the physical keyboard takes my iPad from mere casual browsing & youtube-watching to being a daily driver.

An iPhone with a large screen is imho no match for an iPad with a large screen. It just doesn‘t compare.
 

Alli

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I do the long stints at my MBP. While I have no issue with using swipe on the virtual keyboard, adding the fancy Apple keyboard has given me a really good experience. I do most of my discussion posts for school and forum posts from the iPad. At this stage, the only time I really insist on using the MBP is for research and that's only because I have an external monitor set up.
 

Scepticalscribe

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So while I have a recent MacBook Pro, it's usually in the office attached to a monitor and I have until now been using my old 2011 one around the house for general internet surfing, etc., no heavy lifting. I recently stopped using it for those things as Apple is no longer providing security updates to the latest OS that works on it, as well as it's noticeably sluggish compared to the recent one. So I was considering to get an iPad (probably the Air) as a replacement but not having any first hand experience with one, I'm not sure. For instance:

o What are the pros and cons of an iPad vs. an inexpensive laptop such as a Chromebook
o iPad vs just getting an iPhone with a larger screen as my current small screen one is getting on in age and will probably have to be replaced soon
o How easy is it to type on the virtual keyboard that it displays - I'm not looking to spend $ on accessories (pen, keyboard, etc.) because at that point I might as well get a MacBook Air?

Any input based on personal experience would be welcome.

It depends on how you wish to use it, or, what you want to do with it.

Personally, I would consider the iPad perfectly fine for the consumption of - rather than the creation of - material.

Some years ago, I had one for a while, - actually, I have tried iPads twice - but found them very uncomfortable to write with (and, I tend to write a lot), even with an external keyboard. I far prefer my (now ageing, alas, 11") MBA.

Over time, as a consequence, my two brothers received an iPad each.
 
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lizkat

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It depends on how you wish to use it, or, what you want to do with it.

Personally, I would consider the iPad perfectly fine for consumption of - rather than creation of - material.

Some years ago, I had one for a while, - actually, I tried iPads twice - but found them very uncomfortable to write with (and, I tend to write a lot), even with a external keyboard. I far prefer my (now ageing, alas, 11") MBA.

Over time, as a consequence, my two brothers received an iPad each.

Sound like my own use for tablets. I use an iPad mostly to load up current day's news from subscribed outlets, to stash issues of The New Yorker and The Economist, plus occasionally to stream movies or play back movies I have bought. And another one is dedicated to use in the studio but again just to reference material already created, e.g. snaps of fabric stash selections or cutting instructions for some complex quilt block pattern.

But on a laptop I can keep four or five desktop spaces set up; some have certain apps assigned solely to one or another of them. Book-reading apps, mail, music / video, a browser, a spreadsheet. I find that a quick couple of four-fingered swipes to get to an app with its own desktop space is simpler than bringing an app back into focus on a space with multiple apps open... and yet it offers me the option to adjust the arrangement with a couple of clicks in the Dock if necessary.
 

Clix Pix

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I find the iPad to be very convenient in certain situations -- especially for, as Scepticalscribe mentions, consuming content. In the summertime I like to sit out on my deck and my 12.9 iPad Pro works very nicely out there -- with a separate Apple BT keyboard so that when I'm reading posts on forums I can easily and readily respond. When I travel, I take the small iPad Mini 5 and my 12" MacBook, since often I am dealing with photos and I prefer to do that on a computer, not an iPad. While traveling the iPad Mini 5 works just great for quickly catching up on emails that have come in or on forum posts when I don't really have a lot of time, and can quickly stash the thing back into my bag. Sometimes at home I'll use my iPads for texting rather than my iPhone since it is easier with the somewhat larger keyboard. I prefer the larger size of an iPad to my iPhone for any sort of reading, too -- my eyes are aging right along with me!

At home it's nice to be lying in bed thinking about something and to be able to quickly grab an iPad and check something, some piece of information which is eluding me. (What the heck was that actor's name who won the Academy Award a few years ago for his outstanding performance in that movie I didn't like?) On cold winter mornings I also like to sometimes stay cozy and warm in bed with the 12.9 iPad Pro and catch up on national news, email, and read posts on forums but not respond at just that particular time. When I do arise from bed it isn't long after that until I've turned on a computer....

For me, an iPad is a nice adjunct to my Mac computers....not a replacement.
 

Yoused

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Touch typing on an iPad is, just forget it. Especially with the keyboard that has the pull-down keys (which you can turn off). Of course, there are handwriting input options, which tend to work quite well: I find the sloppier my scrawl the better the recognition, ymmv. And there is that keyboard feature that puts up 3 guesses about the word you are typing, which I think might expedite text input, though I have never used it.

The biggest downside to iPad OS is that apps often get evicted from memory when you go do something else. That web page you are looking at might have to be reloaded if you go through your mailbox or open the reuters app (I absolute despise the News app, because it is newspaper-spaced layout, meaning you often get truncated headlines that force you to open the story to find out what the headline is).

Right now, the iPad is my primary device. I was waiting for Apple to dump x86 before getting another Mac. I do not do all that much, but I can do decent-ish graphics work with a plain stylus. Now that they have real pointing device support, it might be even easier.

Oh, and for browsing, you have to get iCab. There is nothing to beat its jump-to-touch scroll bar.
 

hulugu

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We keep an iPad in the kitchen on a little swivel thing, and use it for recipes, some email, browsing and running some speakers—I was trained to cook in restaurants where the kitchen was always full of merengue, metal and alt-rock, so I really can't cook without some music.

I've found that Siri's speech-to-text is good enough for some things, so I've had Slack conversations with my editors—obviously I tell them I'm using STT.

I have written pieces on an iPad over the years, especially when my 13" MBP died. I don't love the virtual keys, but I can hang with them, but most of the keyboards are garbage. If I had to use an iPad to write, I'd just use my bluetooth keyboard. I've had at least one of these for 11 years, and it's still going strong.
 
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Scepticalscribe

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We keep an iPad in the kitchen on a little swivel thing, and use it for recipes, some email, browsing and running some speakers—I was trained to cook in restaurants where the kitchen was always full of merengue, metal and alt-rock, so I really can't cook without some music.

I've found that Siri's speech-to-text is good enough for some things, so I've had Slack conversations with my editors—obviously I tell them I'm using STT.

Both of my brothers use their iPads - propped up in their respective kitchens - for recipes, and enthuse about this application.

Obviously, (and needless to say), this (very useful) use of this device never, ever, occurred to me.

Me, I cook - and constantly check on the respective recipes open on my computer, in my study - between stirring, or, while snatching a minute or so - between carrying out the various different stages of the recipe.
 

Alli

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Personally, I would consider the iPad perfectly fine for the consumption of - rather than the creation of - material.
Funny thing is, if I have to create something, whether editing a photo, adding text to an image, or changing the size of a photo - I go straight to my iPad. I think it’s awesome for creation.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Funny thing is, if I have to create something, whether editing a photo, adding text to an image, or changing the size of a photo - I go straight to my iPad. I think it’s awesome for creation.

Maybe, I'm old school; I find that I like the feel of a real keyboard when writing (bashing keys with fumbling fingers) - and I realised that I loathe touchscreen keyboards.

But, as both brothers have attested, it seems to be terrific for when you need to consult recipes...and can prop it up in the kitchen with that in mind.
 

lizkat

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Funny thing is, if I have to create something, whether editing a photo, adding text to an image, or changing the size of a photo - I go straight to my iPad. I think it’s awesome for creation.

I was gonna have to go there pretty soon after my mid-2012 MBP keyboard went south and I was getting tired of both the BT substitute and waiting for what eventually came over the horizon as 2020 MBA...

And I'm sure I don't give enough credit to iOS apps on an iPad for some of the design sketches I still just do fast in the studio w/ pencil on paper. Past that if I like the idea I still tend to spin it out using EazyDraw on the laptop.
 

thekev

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Maybe, I'm old school; I find that I like the feel of a real keyboard when writing (bashing keys with fumbling fingers) - and I realised that I loathe touchscreen keyboards.

But, as both brothers have attested, it seems to be terrific for when you need to consult recipes...and can prop it up in the kitchen with that in mind.

I prefer a mechanical keyboard, or one of the really old Apple keyboards, G4-G5 era. Reduced key travel makes for strained fingers and wrists if you do a lot of typing. Chiclet types especially force you to fully depress the key, without much in the way of smooth motion.
 

Scepticalscribe

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I prefer a mechanical keyboard, or one of the really old Apple keyboards, G4-G5 era. Reduced key travel makes for strained fingers and wrists if you do a lot of typing. Chiclet types especially force you to fully depress the key, without much in the way of smooth motion.

Agree with you.

Mind you, I did like the keyboard of the original MBA.
 
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I prefer a mechanical keyboard, or one of the really old Apple keyboards, G4-G5 era. Reduced key travel makes for strained fingers and wrists if you do a lot of typing. Chiclet types especially force you to fully depress the key, without much in the way of smooth motion.
Are you the kind who types like a pianist? A friend of mine is like that... He is a former concert pianist and types like he was playing some staccato piece in fortissimo.

I like the all-or-none response of the new MBA chiclet keys. It's actually a lot of fun to type papers on this, or clinical notes.
 
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