The most common question i get from people is: can i use an iPad as my main computer? What are its limitations? Is the price justified?
I’ll endeavor to answer the above questions differently from most YouTubers who focus on tasks like video editing — a lot of people simply don’t need a an iPad for that use case (if you want that perspective, please let me know and I’ll create a new blog post).
The software story
I have had an iPad with the
iPad Air 2
since 2014 that I used until 2019 when I decided to upgrade to the iPad Pro with its new design. While Apple made some improvements to the side of the iPad hardware during this time, I’d say the biggest improvement has been in software.
The truth is, iOS has always been the limiting factor for those who viewed an iPad as their primary computing device.
I’ve been using every version of iOS for the iPad since iOS 8, and finally, with iPadOS 13, the iPad has fulfilled its original goal: to be a portable, powerful, and versatile device for everyone.
iPadOS has introduced or improved the software experience for all iPads, making them truly tailored to the needs of most people.
- Native USB drive support in the Files app.
- Native mouse support more more precise control.
- enhanced multitasking with developers updating their apps for Split View and Slide Over.
- A new Dock where apps are easily accessible from other apps.
- Multiple copies of the same app so that two notes or two Word documents can be opened at the same time.
- The desktop version of Safari for web pages to always be the default.
These are real improvements and additions to the iPad user experience, making it a much more useful and functional device than just being a bigger iPhone, as many people previously thought.
The fact is that for most people’s needs, the software experience on an iPad is more than enough. A robust file manager, a solid web browser and the largest catalog of purpose-built apps ensure that what people consider “computing” can be easily done on any iPad with iPadOS 13.
The hardware reality
The hardware has also improved since my iPad Air 2 and has dropped dramatically in price, making the iPad available to even more people. Now each version also supports the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard Folio. This means you can decide for yourself whether those accessories are worth it for your individual needs.
People will often make a purchasing decision for computers based on the specifications compared to the price. I would say this is not an appropriate decision-making approach for computers in 2020. While there is often a correlation, user experience is more crucial than specifications.
Apple has always been careful about optimizing their devices to maintain battery life and device longevity. Therefore, speed for normal tasks shouldn’t be a consideration when purchasing an iPad, as it really isn’t an issue these days.
Even the cheapest iPad (£ 349 or $ 329) has the A10 Fusion processor. While a little old, it still performs perfectly without being sluggish – it’s really admirable for such a thin, fanless sheet of aluminum and glass.
The vast majority of people know what to expect with an iPad. If not, I suggest you visit an Apple Store when possible to see the different models they have available and experience other features such as the screen size.
We have discussed software and hardware, the two elements which contribute to any device. Both are very solid, nevermore so than in 2020, with only improvements to come with iPadOS 14.
Having said that, the truth is that absolutely no one can clearly tell you whether an iPad should be your primary computing device. I can tell you that it could be but the choice is really based on your own use cases.
It’s a good idea to research before purchasing any piece of technology. If you have done so and you trust that an iPad would meet your computing needs, then go ahead and buy one! You will surely not regret your purchase.
iPads are best fit for most people’s computing needs, however, if you have requirements such as a bigger screen or more power for gaming/ video editing then an iPad wouldn’t suit your needs. It just isn’t built for that purpose.
Explore your options, consult people you trust and wait until the Apple Education discount in September for free Beats headphones and discounts, its the most appropriate time to buy!
An iPad or a Laptop? Only One of These is Worth Buying
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or feedback, sound off in the comments and let me know if you would consider an iPad as your primary computing device or already use one.