In many ways, of course, it’s a computer. It has all the necessary parts – screen, CPU, memory, storage – but in other ways it is decidedly not a computer. It all hinges on how you define the word. If you ask someone what a computer is, they will point to the nearest laptop or desktop PC. What about smartphones? More and more, people don’t use smartphones to make phone calls. They are more akin to an always connected, pocket-sized computer, even though most people don’t think of them that way. It’s a smartphone, not a computer. What about smartwatches? They have all the parts of a computer – screen, CPU, memory, storage – but I don’t think anyone would point to an Apple Watch as the definition of what a computer is. So in many ways, yes, saying an iPad isn’t a computer is obnoxious, but in other ways it’s true…
I find myself reaching for my iPad more often than a MacBook or any other “real” computer. It’s the best computing device I’ve ever used. There are still things a laptop or desktop PC is better for, but that list continues to get shorter.
Looking back on that original iPad, it’s pretty amazing to see where the cumulative year-over-year improvements have lead us. Every year there are less reasons to put it down and grab that trusty laptop. Looking forward, next year’s software will shave some of the rougher edges off of iPadOS and 3rd party apps will adapt to live in the new world. We’ll soon be looking back and wondering how we lived in such unsophisticated times.
For now though, it’s still not a real computer. It’s something better.
MacDailyNews Take: So, yes, of course iPad is and always has been a computer and, in the right hands, it’s in many ways better than the best MacBook Pro will ever be.
P.S. The Apple Watch is a computer, too. If it computes, it’s a computer.