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What’s Stopping iPad From Completely Replacing Laptops?
Apple's iPad Pro 2020 came really close to becoming a tablet capable of replacing a laptop. The company also tried its hands on a slightly cheaper iPad Air 4 that came with an iPad Pro-inspired design and support for Pro accessories, making it another great alternative to a laptop.
Speaking of the iPad Pro, it now has the Magic Keyboard that puts every other smart keyboard to shame with its scissor-style mechanism, backlit layout, and trackpad. Even with all these top-tier features, many reasons restrict the iPad from completely replacing a laptop. Let us tell you how:
Browsing Experience Is Underwhelming
For users inclined towards Chrome as their go-to browser, it's a disappointment seeing a stretched-out phone app for the iPad screen. The web version of websites might not appear the same on the iPads. Another downside is the inability to edit Google Docs directly in the Safari browser. Instead, users have to switch to the Google Docs app that doesn't offer all tools as the web app does.
It consumes more time to get your work done on iPads than a laptop. Moreover, if you are someone like me whose work involves editing documents, writing and publishing articles using CMS (content management systems), you might face trouble working on an iPad. People whose work involves more web-based applications are more likely to find an iPad limiting their productivity.
Lack Of Ports
It is something that would surely come in your way of replacing your laptop with an iPad. Apple's MacBook Air packs two Thunderbolt 3 ports, while the latest iPad Pro only has one USB-C port. So, if you're planning to connect your iPad to a larger display, be prepared to shell out some extra money.
Also, iPad Pro comes sans the Thunderbolt accessory support, which means you cannot connect the device to a USB-C hub plugged with other devices such as monitors. Another setback is the charging cable of the iPads that is as long as what you get with iPhones. While the iPad Pro offers a backup of close to 10 hours, it's a hassle to charge the device and work simultaneously.
Not Apt For Heavy Rendering
For users in need of a basic video editing setup, can opt for the iPad Pro as it offers good performance for basic editing. You can use free apps like iMovie, enabling you to perform basic stuff such as trimming footage, adding music or titles. But that's about it.
If you wish to do more complex editing work than just chopping off footage or adding text you'll need more sophisticated software like Adobe After Effects. And sadly, there's no app for iPad that even comes close. This is where the iPad falls short of a laptop.
Besides, the iPad Pro starts with 128GB storage, which is way less than what you get on laptops these days. While it's understandable that iPad users rely more on cloud storage, it doesn't fit well with the idea of replacing a laptop.
Can iPads Be Your Primary Machine?
There's no denying the fact that developers are constantly working towards making the iPadOS better, which is why it's safe to assume that most of the aforementioned hurdles won't be a problem going ahead. But going for a mobile-first device for all your professional needs seems a little farfetched at the moment.
Considering that a laptop and the latest iPad Pro cost almost the same, Apple needs to show a more serious approach towards making the iPadOS more than just an enhanced version of the iOS. That said, it would be a good decision to stick with your laptop for professional work and keep your iPad for more fun-oriented tasks like multimedia consumption and playing games.