Can the iPad replace your laptop?

The iPad has come a long way since it’s initial launch back in 2010. With increasing storage capacities, powerful mobile processors, amazing productivity apps and a range of bluetooth keyboards, the iPad has quickly become a candidate for replacing my laptop. Or has it?

I recently purchased the Logitech Ultrathin keyboard cover for my iPad. Since attaching it to my iPad, I have begun to notice a decline in how much I use my 13″ rMBP. Of course, there are certain tasks I will still use the MacBook for, however the ease and ‘always on’ combination of the iPad see me reaching over for it as a first option.

Pairing with the iPad is quick and easy. Simply select the keyboard from the bluetooth option, after which the iPad is pretty much always paired. Battery life is fantastic, with Logitech claiming upto 6 months on a single charge (with 2 hours usage per day). In all honesty, I don’t turn the keyboard off and a single charge has lasted me 6 weeks, with a few hours of usage per day.

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Productivity
The productivity Apps I use most frequently are pages, keynote, Dropbox and Evernote. They are intuitive on the iPad and a delight to use. Admittedly, pages and keynote don’t offer the same array of options found on the MacBook, however, they are sufficient for mobile productivity. I have actually been very impressed with a range of 3rd party apps, which fully utilise the iPad’s capabilities. These include the Moleskine and Bamboo Paper Apps, allowing for excellent integration and productivity with a stylus.

Shown below is a sample of productivity Apps on my iPad.

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Typing experience
Before adopting the Logitech keyboard for my mobile productivity needs, I was concerned about how comfortable typing on a (slightly) smaller keyboard would be. Well, I am typing this blog on the keyboard right now, and my answer is ‘surprisingly comfortable!’.

The million dollar question
So, can the iPad take the place of your laptop? Well, this depends on your computing requirements. In my case, my mobile needs are for simple productivity, blogging, presentations (using keynote and an iPad to VGA adapter), web surfing, email and iCal. For these tasks, my iPad performs more than adequately, in conjunction with the Logitech keyboard. The biggest plus points for me are the excellent battery life of the iPad, light weight and ease of use.

With my new set-up, I have decided to keep the MacBook for running programs the iPad is not capable of (yet…?) along with higher productivity tasks. There are times when I enjoy the screen real-estate of the MacBook more, with a mere 3.6 inches making a huge difference.

To wrap-up, if your mobile computing needs are fairly simple (like mine), you will greatly benefit from a bluetooth keyboard in conjunction with your iPad. I strongly believe that as tablets become more powerful and run more sophisticated Apps, laptops may struggle to keep up. Of course, I cannot strongly enough stress that everyone is an individual, and you will ultimately have to determine what works best for you.

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