Thanks to iPadOS, Apple’s iPad can finally replace a laptop for most people

iPadOS introduces powerful new ways to work with multiple files and documents on iPad, and opens up new creativity and productivity possibilities using Apple Pencil.
iPadOS introduces powerful new ways to work with multiple files and documents on iPad, and opens up new creativity and productivity possibilities using Apple Pencil.

Abu Zafar for Lifehacker:

Thanks to the upcoming release of iPadOS, the iPad is one step closer to becoming a viable laptop replacement for most people.

I’ve been testing the iPadOS beta on my iPad Mini for the past few weeks, and for the video above, I tried to figure out what it would take for the average user to completely replace their laptop with an iPad. The good news is, thanks to some new features, the iPad is more versatile than it’s ever been. The bad news is, there are still some hoops to jump through.

MacDailyNews Take: If only text selection on iPadOS were as precise as it is on macOS (or even close to it). That seemingly simple issue (which is obviously not simple since text selection remains hit-or-miss nearly a decade after iPad debuted) is what keeps us buying and toting MacBooks along with, instead of just, iPad Pro units while on the go.

27 Comments

  1. “most people” is a ridiculous generalization. It depends on the computing you do. Even if you use subdivide a single person into Business use vs. Personal use, they may have different needs. Yeah, totally personal maybe the iPad. Depending what you do for business faggettaboutit. And even for writing, the text selection as MDR points out not functional for heavy use.

    1. This is just nonsense and outdated. I´ve beed doing design work for years on my iPad. Not solely my iPad, I do have to use a truck as well. Which I would do if I had a MBP as well. 3D is for trucks, not iPads or laptops. Sorry for the blunt response, but I am just so tired of people using this outdated and wrong statement they read on a tech blog some years ago. Also, I sometimes work with a industrial design company, and guess what? They use Ipads as well. For 3D CAD. As me, they dont just use iPads, they have trucks as well, but still. You get it.
      So stop repeating this. You can create content on iPad. Not just content, amazing content.

          1. You miss my point. Gee, what a surprise.

            iPad compared to every Apple content creation hardware is at the bottom of the horsepower list.

            People may be madly in love with their small electric cars performance, but they are no match for a Mustang, Maserati or Formula One car.

            Capish?…

            1. I get your point. I just disagree with it.

              To repeat: it depends on your use case. If what you need for your particular application is a small electric car, a Mustang, Maserati, or Formula One car will properly be near the bottom of your preference list. For some content creation uses (think medical charting or some on-site inspections), anything bulkier than an iPod would be as inappropriate as buying a Formula One car to drive your kid’s carpool to school.

            2. “If what you need for your particular application is a small electric car, a Mustang, Maserati, or Formula One car will properly be near the bottom of your preference list.”

              NO, you don’t get my point, you deflect to personal preferences as if that means something, but changes NOTHING.

              Alternative posts aside, for the third and final time: The iPad compared with ALL APPLE CONTENT CREATION HARDWARE is at the BOTTOM of the performance list.

              What part of this do you not understand?…

            3. GoBe Wan GoSloeBi – the iPad is great at creation, you just have to use it differently and think different too. It’s simple… you probably need to change your thinking to truly get it otherwise you’ll end up the bald man fighting with another for possession and pointless usage of a comb.

              Unless you want to comb your PueBs or something, which is just weird and not necessary.

            4. Buying a minivan rather than a Formula One car to take the kids to soccer practice isn’t about personal preference. It is about purchasing the right tool for the task you want done. When it comes to transporting children, the race car has completely unacceptable performance.

              The ability to go 200+ mph is just as irrelevant for a soccer mom as the ability to transcode ultra-high resolution feature-length videos between codecs in five minutes is for somebody who makes her living recording medical data, responding to emails, or creating posts for social media. For those content creators, “performance” includes the ability to easily take the device to all the places where the work needs to be done.

              That is no more a matter of personal preference than the choice of a minivan, rather than a race car, to transport kids or the choice of a screwdriver, rather than a pneumatic hammer, to assemble furniture.

  2. ‘Most’ is a bit of a stretch. For some, though, absolutely. Many seniors in particular have a terrible time with the touch interface in spite of it being a simpler device. Even among younger people, productivity is higher on non-touch devices, and there are fewer errors (they are terrible for schools). I still think this is a non-starter for the most part.

  3. If you use excel in a meaningful way then it cannot substitute a laptop. Period. If you don’t then maybe. Still love the iPad as a laptop replacement when I am travelling and don’t have heavy number crunching to do …

    1. Most people never have what you would consider heavy number crunching to do. When I retired, our county government had over a thousand employees and I doubt if as many as fifty of them had ever used a spreadsheet program at work. Not many more ever used a full-featured word processor to create original content (as opposed to filling in forms or standardized reports). Hardly anybody regularly used either one at home except for things like balancing their checkbook, managing a list, or writing a short letter. Using an iPad as a laptop replacement would be wildly inappropriate for some of those people, but I doubt anywhere near a majority.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.