Is the Apple iPad a Good Laptop Replacement?

Apple iPad
Since its debut in 2010, the Apple iPad has sold over 100 million units. It is the first truly successful tablet computer, and its enthusiastic reception has led a host of competitors to introduce their own tablets.

The iPads success was the driving force behind Microsofts controversial decision to make a touch-screen interface central to Windows 8 as tablets have touch screens. Microsoft executives clearly believe that the future lies with tablet computers, not with desktops or bulky desktop-replacement laptops. Meanwhile, Google is placing its entire bet on tablets and smartphones--unlike Apple and Microsoft, the company does not even offer a desktop operating system.

Will laptops, like lumbering dinosaurs, be driven extinct by smaller, more nimble tablets? Or are tablets destined to remain a niche product--something that is fine for playing Angry Birds, but not for getting real work done?

Ask around, and you will hear a variety of opinions. Some people will tell you that the iPad is seriously underpowered for many computing tasks. Others will tell you that they bought an iPad to replace their aging laptop, and never looked back.

To answer this question for yourself, you will want to consider four ways the iPad is better than a laptop--plus three ways it is not.

Four Ways That the iPad Is Better Than a Laptop

Price: The full-sized iPad starts at $499, as opposed to $999 for the entry-level MacBook Air (laptop by Apple Inc.). However, keep in mind that if you are going to do even a moderate amount of typing, you will need to buy a Bluetooth keyboard (a keyboard that can be used wirelessly) separately. Buy bluetooth keyboard on Amazon .

Portability: The iPad measures 9.5 by 7.31 inches, while the 11.6-inch MacBook Air is a bit bigger, measuring 11.8 inches along its widest dimension. The iPad is just 0.37 inches thick, while the MacBook Air measures 0.68 inches at its thickest edge. The third-generation iPad weighs in at a dainty 1.44 pounds, nearly a pound less than the 2.38-pound MacBook Air. However, the iPads weight advantage is less impressive when you factor in the need to carry around a separate keyboard.

Battery Life : With the iPad, you can surf the web for up to 10 hours on a single charge, which is twice as long as the 11.6-inch MacBook Air is rated for. That can be a significant advantage if you spend most of your time on the go rather than working at a desk.

Convenience : There are times when an iPad is quicker and easier to use than a MacBook (Apple Laptops). For example, you can whip it out while you are waiting in line and hold it in one hand while you manipulate the interface with the other. It is harder to use a MacBook on the spur of the moment, because you have to find a flat surface to set it on.

Three Ways That the iPad Cannot Compete with a Full-Fledged Laptop

No Physical Keyboard. For some applications, such as watching videos or referring to presentation notes, the iPads form factor is perfect. It lets you get closer to the screen, and navigating via touch-screen can be quicker and more intuitive than using a keyboard and trackpad. Meanwhile, the iPads virtual keyboard is fine for entering a phone number or updating your Facebook status. But if you are writing a novel, on the other hand, you will miss having a physical keyboard. Sure, you can add a Bluetooth keyboard. But you still wont be as productive as you would if you were using a MacBook, which is designed from the ground up to provide a great typing experience.

Less Powerful Applications. If you get an iPad, you can run any of the 800,000 or so programs in the App Store. That sounds like a lot, but iPad apps tend to be missing some features compared with their Mac OS counterparts. For example, if you want to edit video on your iPad, you could use a stripped-down version of iMovie, but you could not use Final Cut Pro. The iPad version of Photoshop is also less powerful than the Mac OS version. Meanwhile, Microsoft Office is missing altogether.

Less Internal Storage. The iPad has a maximum capacity of 128 GB. That is plenty of room to store music, ebooks, and word processing documents. If you are a video editor or a multimedia artist, however, you will quickly run out of room. Then again, the iPad is not your best choice for creating multimedia content in the first place. In contrast, the 11.6-inch MacBook Air also maxes out at 128 GB, while the 13.3-inch model supports up to 256 GB of flash-based storage. If you want more than that, you will need to step up to the MacBook Pro, which can be purchased with up to 768 GB of storage.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that whether or not an iPad will work as your primary computer depends on your specific needs. If you are mostly going to be browsing the web, watching videos, and doing a bit of note-taking, the iPad could be a great choice. On the other hand, if you will be doing serious writing, graphics creation, or video editing, you will be better off with a MacBook Air--or better yet, the more powerful MacBook Pro.

Browse a whole range of Apple Ipad on

Written By: Joshua Beidler, United States

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice