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iPad vs Laptop

9:49 AM

ipad vs laptop

Unles you've been hiding under a rock, you must have heard about the whole debate and pro and cons of owning a tablet over a laptop (or the other way round).

People wonder if tablets are as versatile as laptops and can do as much. Should they get rid of their laptops, and go for a tablet all the way? Or, is there still some merit in owning a laptop or a desktop for that matter?

I myself can only write about my experience owning an iPad, which was the closest thing that could replace my supremely slow and ageing netbook at the time. I wanted something that allowed me to do most of the daily thing I need to do without having to switch back and forth between two devices. Having been used to owning only a netbook since 2010 I also liked sticking to the compact format. We haven't had a functional desktop computer since 2010 when ours fried in Navi Mumbai. And we haven't missed it at all. I'm not joking here.
DH has a laptop he got from work, my netbook is still more or less functional (albeit really really slow and only when plugged to then main). And I use my iPad for about 95% of all my computer related activity.

The answer to that new technological age debate though, depends on what you plan to do. A tablet has its limitations, and so has a laptop.


ipad

When it comes to tablets, and iPads specifically, I have heard a lot of people groan about the virtual keyboard. So, before I continue, let me tell you I ONLY use the virtual keyboard and I love it. That said, to really get the most of it, your iPad needs to be in the proper position. Position that can be achieved perfectly having the kind of cover that folds like the one in the picture above.

I never felt the need to buy a keyboard for the iPad (though rest assured they exist), and I must confess that typing on the virtual keyboard is far more comfortable than typing on my netbook. My back used to ache a lot from typing on a laptop, or even desktop. My shoulders would be tensed, my neck sore, and my wrist painful at time.
This has all been history since the iPad...GONE! No more tensed anything. I have a feeling that angling the iPad right forces one to have a straighter more natural posture to begin with.

Now, as far as work is concerned.

I heard that you have less creative power on a tablet, that blogging is a pain, that there is no worthy word processing tools, or office tools and that it only really become useful when on the go.
Frankly, if you believe that way, you haven't really figured out the potential of the iPad. Microsoft launched all its office components as apps. Apple also offers all its office apps in the App Store.
And while I agree that the blogger app could be a bit better, there is a paid app called Blogsy that will even put Windows Live Writer to shame.
I Have been blogging from the Blogsy app exclusively since I got my iPad in December 2013 if that tells you anything.

As far as picture editing is concerned, I much much much prefer doing it from the iPad too. The screen has a far better resolution than my netbook's. The definition is clearer, the colours much truer and all the editing apps I have installed work great. I much prefer working with a touch screen, it allows me to be fare more precise than with a mouse.
That said, I end up using more than one app if I plan doing some collage, and designing stuff that will be destined to be printed out on paper. It can feel a bit time consuming. Though, I think the full version of Photoshop is available, for a fee. I might consider it one day.

For most of my daily mundane tasks, like chase king Facebook, or browsing the web, the iPad works perfectly. My only issue is that because it is a mobile device, some websites will launch the toned down "mobile version" without me asking them to. That can be corrected in most cases by finding the button that will switch you to the "Web version". That option is available on most of the sites, and thankfully there are a lot of sites that don't switch you to mobile mode if you view it from a tablet.
However, some sites will not work properly on iPad. Blogger Web and Google+ are notorious for that. They want you to switch to their apps. I would have no problem with that if said apps allowed me to do ALL that I can do on the web version. The apps are condensed for mobile friendliness, which is great, but sometimes, just sometimes it would be great to have access to all the features the web does offer.

So, what do I still need the netbook for?

For a start, I still need it to upload my DSLR pictures. I could use a card reader that connects to the iPad (yes they exist) but I also like to compress and rename these, which I can't do that easily on the iPad. I upload all of these pictures I need to Dropbox and then continue working on them on the tablet though. Which, is a good idea since my netbook has far more storage space than my iPad. So while it is too slow to really use well, it still acts as a back up device.
I also still like using Paintshop Pro on the netbook. Some graphic projects are better undertaken in that software.

It is also impossible to use any website that demand Flash on an iPad. So sites like Pic monkey will not work from the tablet. Hopefully that will be something that will change in the future, but for now, if you wish to use a site that runs with Flash, you either will need them to have an App version available, or use them from a PC.

I do the coding I need to do on my blog on the netbook. As I said the blogger dashboard does not open correctly on the iPad and editing the template and layout of my blog is a massive PAIN. Can be done to some extent but not without a lot of frustration. Beside, if you are going to do a lot of HTML coding, the virtual keyboard is going to show its limitation. Switching between the letters and symbols keyboard all the time wears thin fast. A problem that can be solved with a Bluetooth keyboard though. But again, the web version of blogger is anything but user friendly on a tablet, so I don't see the point of investing.

You can't download files from the Internet on an iPad by the way. Unless it has been jail broken (not advisable). So, unless the file in question is in the Cloud, or on a drive such as google drive or Dropbox AND the app you wish to open it into supports that kind of thing, you won't be able to do much.
So, a Laptop or desktop is still a good idea to have around to download things. There is also the option to transfer that downloaded file into a supporting app on the iPad via iTunes.
And, of course, since the iPad has a limited amount of storage, I don't think dowloading files from a laptop is such a bad idea. Especially if you are a "digital hoarder". It's fairly easy to only upload what you need on the iPad and discard it once you are done knowing there is a back up somewhere else.

All in all, I am a very satisfied iPad user, and because of my specific needs. I can pretty much use it for almost everything on a daily basis. I also like that it is "ageing" a bit better than my netbook did. I remember seeing a slow in performances on the netbook nearly two years after owning it, and it was a massive pain in the butt after 3 years. So far my iPad is still working great at the 1 year and 8 months mark. And I use it several hours a day.

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