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mrunser Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
In the market for a new computer and instead of going straight for a laptop, I"m now considering just getting an iPad instead. My personal computer needs are fairly simple; most everything I do is on the cloud. And what's not, is on iTunes.

Would it be feasible to use an iPad in place of a laptop full time? And further more -- is it feasible to house all of my music on an external hard drive, and just plug it into the iPad when I want/need to access my music?

Not sure I'm thinking this through all the way, so wanted to get some feedback from the group out there!
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    In a word, no.

    The iPad is not a netbook computer and is not a laptop or a computer replacement. An iPad is an extension of your computer. In order to install a firmware update when released, you need a compatible iTunes version available on a compatible computer, and the same when restoring an iPad if wanted or needed.

    You cannot connect an external drive to an iPad.
  • StevePug2 Level 2 Level 2 (370 points)
    Hi Mr. Unser,

    Welcome to Apple Discussions. Although you could, if you really, really wanted to, use your iPad without a computer, it would be difficult. For one thing, you would have to be able to use someone else's computer in order to get any updates for the iPad's firmware as well as any backup of the iPad. And unless you want to buy all the music on it from iTunes and put any photos on it one at a time emailed to you, you're going to need a computer. If you want to sync your iPad with anything, you need a computer. But you could use someone else's computer for those things if you have easy access to it and they don't mind. But if they have an iPad or iPhone, iTunes only really supports one of those per computer.

    But what you'd also lose is any access to things like a really robust, complete word processor, spread sheet, database, presentation or file storage program. On the iPad, there are no heavy duty graphics programs, music, movie or video editing, CD or DVD burning, easy printing as well as highly controllable printing. There is also a very real limit to what the iPad can store. Even with 64 gigs, that's not a lot in today's computing world. The iPad's file storage system is very rudimentary. And there is no way to access a hard drive from the iPad alone. You must use a computer. The SD cards with the camera connection kit, which may seem to be a way around this storage problem, work only with photo images.

    So, if your computer needs really are that small, you could get away with having the iPad sans computer (as long as you can occasionally get access to someone else's when needed but that isn't already being used for that person's iPad or iPhone). But I wouldn't recommend it. Sooner or later you're going to find yourself frustrated with an orphaned iPad. They weren't designed to work without a PC. To paraphrase the Book of Genesis, "It is not good for the iPad to be alone!"
  • wkerby Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    My laptop, Kindle, and netbook are all necessary. My iPad provides its own unique entertainment, replacing the Kindle only for magazines. The netbook is still required for posting pics and email on the road and the laptop for internet research and archiving correspondence. The iPad excels in anything graphic and the GPS on the 3G model is superb. Video incredible. Need the other three for anything truly productive.
  • igmackenzie Level 4 Level 4 (2,285 points)
    wkerby wrote:
    The netbook is still required for posting pics and email on the road and the laptop for internet research.

    and you can't use your iPad for these because ...... ?
  • rkkeller Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    Sure it can be done depending on "your" uses.

    Since getting my iPad 3G, instead of using my computer every single day or even twice a day, I am now
    using it once a week, mostly for financial things that the iPad doesn't have apps for. If the iPad was not
    so limited and could download OS updates and backup OTA to a cloud like some other devices, I could
    see not even needing a computer.

    All my contacts, calendars and documents are already in the clouds on Google or MobileMe.
  • JE13 Level 4 Level 4 (3,920 points)
    As said, it depends on what you use your laptop for...AND you must have a computer (desktop or laptop) to connect the iPad up to iTunes for updates, downloads, etc. Remember, even if you get the largest amount of gig, you're not coming close to what you could get on a laptop. And remember also, that unlike on a laptop, you won't be able to multitask--not yet (Jobs has said that there will be a sort of multi-tasking software for it come Fall).

    But if your needs are light, I see no reason at all why the iPad couldn't take the place of a laptop. I know several people who have iPads who tell me they haven't touched their laptops since they got it.

    I would, however, recommend that you play on one for a bit before you commit to it over a laptop. You might also consider buying the keyboard if you're likely to need to type something large or for long stretches.
  • NurseGeek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am amazed how little I use my new Sony Vaio laptop since I purchased the iPad. I am in the group that uses a PC now maybe 1-2 per week. I use GoodReader to organize and read my work documents that I easily convert to pdf format, I use Pages for most wordprocessing at work (minutes, notes, basic documents), my mother has my Kindle now since I use the Kindle app and iBooks for reading, I stream Netflix movies flawlessly for entertainment...and 95% of my online shopping, websurfing and emailing are done on the iPad. I could write pages about how my iPad has fit a need that once was done by my PC. Yes, it is an extension of your desktop/laptop, but for me, it has flawlessly done what I asked it to do. I always seem to find a great app in the App Store, that is either free or reasonable priced, to fit a specific need. No, it isn't perfect but I think we will see great things coming for the iPad. Count me as an Apple convert. "I BELIEVE!"
  • Mitchell Gross Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I also am using my Mac Book Pro substantially less since getting the iPad.

    It just so much more convenient to carry the iPad with me and even at home I use the iPad.

    I still use the laptop for Mac and PC games like WoW or ones in Steam and for Photoshop and other apps and sometimes for work if I am on the laptop already... But i use the iPad just as much for work now and also grabbed sone remote access apps for when I don't want to put the iPad down lol

    You do need to have some kind of computer, even a cheap one, for iTunes si you can update the iPad as people have pointed out and if you want to backup or reset it but, depending on what you use it for, you can otherwise absolutely use it in place of a laptop!

    I'm in NYC too btw... We should start an iPad club heh heh
  • celliott147 Level 4 Level 4 (1,135 points)
    My aunt uses her iPad in place of a laptop... She has a desktop that she primarily used before, and the laptop's function was fully replaceable with the iPad... In my case, I am getting an iMac and giving my MBP to my wife simply because I never use the MBP anymore other than for stuff that I can do on an iMac...
  • ewern Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    If the iPad is the only "computer" device at home, is it possible to have a home network- ie a DSL modem/wireless router all you need? I understand that probably you'd need a computer for initial setup of router.

    Also, wondering if Apple's Cloud product- which I think is $100/yr would serve to backup the iPad files. To update the firmware, again you'd probably have to access a computer with iTunes.
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    iTunes creates and maintains a backup for the iPad which is updated by iTunes as the first step during the iTunes sync process.
  • Vedant99 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Is the apple wireless keyboard useful for iPad

  • JE13 Level 4 Level 4 (3,920 points)

    Vedant99 wrote:


    Is the apple wireless keyboard useful for iPad

    If you're planning on doing a lot of writing, like essays or reports or long-ish messages in discussion areas like this one, then yes, it's very useful. If all you're planning on writing are short e-mails and such, then you probably don't need it.

  • Macaby Level 3 Level 3 (910 points)

    Vedant99 wrote:


    Is the apple wireless keyboard useful for iPad

    I would say the BT keyboard is very useful, but at other times, a PITA.  IMHO, the most useful feature of the BT keyboard is that it has ALL THE ARROW KEYS.  Why Apple doesn't include these keys (even switched) is beyond me?  I find it a royal pain to try to move the cursor by stabbing the screen (very hit and miss).


    The PITA feature is that when the keyboard is close by and on, and all you want to do is use the virtual keyboard, you have to grab the BT keyboard and hit the "eject" key (upper right hand corner). 


    Also, the BT keyboard doesn't work well on your lap.

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