Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 28th Jun 2017 19:39 UTC
Apple

Matt Gemmell, iPad-only user:

I occasionally see the phrase "laptop replacement" regarding the iPad, despite the bizarreness of both the concept and the generalisation. Intelligent people like journalists and tech pundits use it, seemingly without humorous intent, and it puzzles me. There's no such thing as a laptop replacement, and if there were, the iPad isn't meant to be one.

Once you let go of the trope about an iPad replacing a laptop, take a step back, and see it as a device that is great for some but not for all, this whole discussion becomes irrelevant in a heartbeat. Just because iOS isn't the same as macOS or just because iOS is not a good fit for your general purpose computing needs does not mean that applies to everyone.

While you might say iOS can't do overlapping windows and window management!, somebody who prefers the iPad for their computer needs would say why would I want to manually fiddle with all these annoying overlapping windows?

For me personally, I feel like the ideal mobile general purpose computer lies somewhere halfway between the Surface Pro and the iPad Pro - which is exactly why I ordered a brand new iPad Pro 12.9" today, so that I can compare it to my Surface Pro 4 and see where, exactly, that halfway point lies and which of these two major platforms is closest to it.

These are, actually, quite exciting - although not necessarily positive, see e.g. the lack of control we have over these devices - times in the world of general purpose computing.

Order by: Score:
Apple *advertises it* as a laptop replacement
by brion on Wed 28th Jun 2017 19:51 UTC
brion
Member since:
2010-11-04

Perhaps it's not meant to do what their commercials say, but their commercials explicitly say to get an iPad instead of a laptop, without mentioning any trade-offs or usage limitations.

Someone needs to have a word with the advertisement department...? ;)

(I love my iPad Pro 9.7" but it's a supplement, not a replacement, for my usage. Others might have different experiences.)

Reply Score: 2

CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

Exactly this. The comparisons would be less important if Apple's marketing weren't specifically trying to sell these as an alternative to laptops. This is especially egregious with the way they market iPads to college students, knowing full well that these devices are not suitable to college work, because most of the software they'll need cannot be installed on them.

They are not laptops, and are not suitable for general computing. They are either a consumer device (regular iPad) or a workstation companion (iPad Pro), and Apple's product teams knows it, even if they're marketing team didn't read the memo.

Reply Score: 4

brion Member since:
2010-11-04

I'm curious though; what sort of college courses require platform-specific software these days?

(I wrote most of my college papers in WordPerfect and StarOffice for Linux, back in the 90s and 00s when you submitted your papers via printout.)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by M.Onty
by M.Onty on Wed 28th Jun 2017 21:31 UTC
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23

I test-rode a motorcycle because I thought it might be a car replacement, but was shocked when I found out how few wheels they expected you to get by with. And don't get me started on the boot! Its almost as though it was designed for an entirely different customer and largely different purposes.

Reply Score: 9

Compare them all!
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 28th Jun 2017 21:38 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

I'd love to see a mega review of the surface, ipad pro, chrome book, pixel c, windows 10 s, and the amazon echo show.

Heck throw in the watches for fun with android wear 2 and apple watches.

Its such a mismatch of overlapping functionality and purpose, we must be in one of those crazy times where anything stupid is possible, and everything we thought was stupid is smart, and smart things are really stupid in the long run. Maybe it will be like the pda era where none of it really matters, and the winners will have a paltry profit to show for the victory, only to be knocked out by the next wave of devices that aren't possible now but will be in five years.

Reply Score: 2

Totally different use cases and approaches
by leos on Wed 28th Jun 2017 22:48 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

I have a Surface Pro 4 and have used and developed for iPads though never owned one.

The Surface I found is a bad compromise between a laptop and a tablet but works in a pinch. 90% of the time I use it to replace a laptop, and for that it is OK. Subpar keyboard, can't be used without a desk, and very poor touchability and bad touch apps. On the other hand it is quite fast, runs full windows apps, the pen is occasionally handy (although a bit laggy), and Windows Hello is a very nice convenience. Also the magnetic power connector is nice.

The iPad approached it from a different angle. Excellent touch interaction with a touch-first design. Lighter, more portable, more solidly built, and better battery life. As a tablet it is better in every way by miles. But you can't use it to do any serious development work and iOS is limiting for any serious multitasking or data sharing workflows.

iOS 11 will fix some of that but not enough that I could use an iPad to replace the Surface. But the surface is a compromise. An iPad + Laptop will run rings around a Surface, the only reason I have a surface is because I don't want to spend the money for two great devices, so I make do with one mediocre.

Edited 2017-06-28 22:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

But it is being marketed as...
by Bonejones on Wed 28th Jun 2017 23:54 UTC
Bonejones
Member since:
2016-10-20

The iPad Pro is being compared to laptops because it is being marketed as a laptop replacement. It isnt. I have a 9.7 iPad Pro and a Surface Pro 4. I use the iPad a lot more but the Surface Pro is the only one I can do real work with good flow. One is for work, one is for play.

I think that arm based windows might close the gap. Instant on, thinner and lighter, lte with better battery life... If windows and apps run smooth, an arm based 2 n 1 might replace both.

Reply Score: 2

Everyone has different needs/desires
by cjbreisch on Thu 29th Jun 2017 00:59 UTC
cjbreisch
Member since:
2017-06-29

I think you said it correctly, that everyone has different preferences.

I've always said that the Surface Pro is a tablet that can be a laptop. And that the Surface Book is a laptop that can be a tablet.

And that fits my needs perfectly. The laptop that can be a tablet. Any iPad would be farther down the scale (i.e. closer to a tablet, less of a laptop) than the Surface Pro. And therefore not something I'm interested in having.

That doesn't mean that it's a bad device, just that it's a bad device for me.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by CATs
by CATs on Thu 29th Jun 2017 06:19 UTC
CATs
Member since:
2017-06-09

Just because iOS is a good fit for your general purpose computing needs does not mean that applies to everyone.
If iPad is a laptop replacement for you, then clearly you are not a power user, or even a professional user (unless your profession is internet browsing and YouTube watching).

Edited 2017-06-29 06:21 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by CATs
by fmaxwell on Thu 29th Jun 2017 12:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by CATs"
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

If iPad is a laptop replacement for you, then clearly you are not a power user, or even a professional user (unless your profession is internet browsing and YouTube watching).

"Power user" is just a term that people who lack the skills to develop software made up in order to feel superior to others.

In 2016, the research firm Forrester reported that nearly half of all iPads were being bought by corporations and governments. iPads are widely used by medical professionals, commercial airline pilots, ship captains, and the financial sector. They are widely used by brain surgeons, and you're no....

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by CATs
by CATs on Thu 29th Jun 2017 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by CATs"
CATs Member since:
2017-06-09

It's very convenient to abuse ambiguity of a word "professional" and just assume I meant just about every other kind of professional just not a computer professional, huh? Don't play dumb, OK? Also, do you seriously think Thom is a medical professional? Or that he's any one of those use cases you just mentioned? iPads replaced small palmtop devices, barcode readers and very specialized devices running things like Windows CE. Do you think that guy who walks around the parking lot with an iPad and registers license plate numbers of people who violate parking rules is a professional computer user?
In other words, stop bending my words and inventing something I have never said.

Edited 2017-06-29 12:22 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by CATs
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 29th Jun 2017 13:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by CATs"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

If iPad is a laptop replacement for you, then clearly you are not a power user, or even a professional user (unless your profession is internet browsing and YouTube watching).


Dude, those were your words, you gave a false choice between being a professional user or someone just browsing the Internet and using youtube. So don't blame him for correctly parsing your wording. I can confirm that ipads have found many uses inside the medical field and others that extends beyond your condescending "internet browsing and Youtube" comment.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by CATs
by CATs on Thu 29th Jun 2017 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by CATs"
CATs Member since:
2017-06-09

OK, I agree tablets are useful in many highly specialized uses in certain industries. Now, do you really think Thom is one of those cases? Because it's very obvious my comment was a reply to his remark.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by CATs
by Earl C Pottinger on Thu 29th Jun 2017 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by CATs"
Earl C Pottinger Member since:
2008-07-12

It was not to me. It looked like you were making a general statement of the type of users to be IT professionals or to be 'WEB' browsers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by CATs
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 29th Jun 2017 16:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by CATs"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No idea then what you meant by "power user". Maybe you just meant that for non professional uses they are only good for web browsing and youtube?

So ipad like things might not be a good fit if you aren't a professional with a good use case, and need to do more than web browsing?

Or did you just mean they weren't a good fit for people who were developers? Or those who typed a good deal?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by CATs
by fmaxwell on Fri 30th Jun 2017 20:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by CATs"
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

No idea then what you meant by "power user".


It's just part of his schtick of denigrating iPads and iPad users. It's obviously silly since many software engineers develop on desktop and workstation PCs and use laptops, tablets, and smartphones for communications and document creation and review -- especially when they are on travel. I use mine to remotely access my workstation, servers, and networking gear when I am out of town.

Reply Score: 2

replacement
by nicubunu on Thu 29th Jun 2017 06:38 UTC
nicubunu
Member since:
2014-01-08

For some people, a tablet is a perfect laptop replacement since they can do with the tablet everything what they would do with a laptop. Of course, for some other people a tablet can't be a laptop replacement, as they have deeper needs. It's all about your use case.
If one can abandon the laptop and just use a tablet instead, he CAN say it's a replacement. And if this holds true for a significant amount of people, then the journalists and pundists can say it too.

Reply Score: 2

RE: replacement
by CATs on Thu 29th Jun 2017 06:51 UTC in reply to "replacement"
CATs Member since:
2017-06-09

No, that does not make tablet a laptop replacement any more than it would make umbrella a tent replacement just because majority of people don't have a need to sleep outside while it's raining. It just means that those people never needed a tent (a laptop) in the first place.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: replacement
by nicubunu on Thu 29th Jun 2017 10:33 UTC in reply to "RE: replacement"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

People get a computing device to fulfil a set of needs. Not many years ago, for any set of needs, the only mobile device available was the laptop. So at the time, they needed a laptop. Then the tablet appeared and some people don't need a laptop any more, the tablet and replaced the laptop for their set of needs.
Your comparison isn't valid, as some sort of umbrella existed before any tent.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: replacement
by CATs on Thu 29th Jun 2017 10:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: replacement"
CATs Member since:
2017-06-09

People get a computing device to fulfil a set of needs. Not many years ago, for any set of needs, the only mobile device available was the laptop. So at the time, they needed a laptop. Then the tablet appeared and some people don't need a laptop any more, the tablet and replaced the laptop for their set of needs.
Your comparison isn't valid, as some sort of umbrella existed before any tent.

Well, as I said, those people never really needed a laptop. It's just that they did not have an alternative and a laptop was somewhat similar to what they need (but not quite). Thus, a tablet is not a replacement for laptop, but rather an alternative. In the very same way as Linux is an alternative to Windows, but never a replacement.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: replacement
by nicubunu on Thu 29th Jun 2017 10:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: replacement"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

You are splitting language hairs here. If person X used a laptop day to day but then put in into thrash (or a closet) and use a tablet instead, how is that not "replaced"?
Also, if a few years ago someone needed a device to browse the web, chat, play casual games, listen to music and watch videos, how was a laptop "somewhat similar to what they need (but not quite)"? It was exactly what they needed at the time.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: replacement
by CATs on Thu 29th Jun 2017 10:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: replacement"
CATs Member since:
2017-06-09

"Replacement" implies that something old was replaced by something new, and that old thing is now universally obsolete. That is not the case here. When choosing a computing device, a person must now select one of the _alternatives_: either a laptop, or a tablet, based on his needs. If tablet was a replacement, then person should not even care which one he gets -- a tablet, or a laptop? Does not matter... If one is a replacement for another, then they are both equal (or newer one is superior to older one).
I am not "splitting hairs", I am simply stating the obvious and teaching you not to make such gross mistakes.

Edited 2017-06-29 11:03 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: replacement
by nicubunu on Thu 29th Jun 2017 11:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: replacement"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

From where to you get the "universally obsolete" part? If I replace a 100W light bulb is because I needed that particular light bulb replaced, not because all 100W light bulbs are obsolete. If a football team replace in a match a player with another one, that does not make that person obsolete, he may star in the next match.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: replacement
by CATs on Thu 29th Jun 2017 11:10 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: replacement"
CATs Member since:
2017-06-09

Replacement/alternative is a property of the object. Which means, that property is inherent to the object itself, and is independent of user who uses that object.
But I see this concept is too complicated for you to grasp. Never mind.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: replacement
by nicubunu on Thu 29th Jun 2017 10:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: replacement"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

And speaking of Windows/Linux, I do *replaced* Windows with Linux on my laptop (which is used pretty much as a desktop), as no matter the OS, the apps I use are over 90% the same and my usage pattern is over 90% the same. Would barely feel if I would switch back.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: replacement
by CATs on Thu 29th Jun 2017 11:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: replacement"
CATs Member since:
2017-06-09

And speaking of Windows/Linux, I do *replaced* Windows with Linux on my laptop (which is used pretty much as a desktop), as no matter the OS, the apps I use are over 90% the same and my usage pattern is over 90% the same. Would barely feel if I would switch back.

Yes, for you. For people with certain needs, two alternatives can definitely replace each other. But that does not make them replacements. They are still alternatives (the property of a thing/tool) and not a replacement for each other. Which means, they are very different in some key aspects, and cannot universally replace one another. Just because you personally are lucky enough to use an alternative as a complete replacement, does not mean it is a replacement by itself. You just got lucky with your use case.

Reply Score: 0

Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Thu 29th Jun 2017 07:27 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

It's as much useful as Chrome OS can be once all Android applications are supported on it.
Is it as much useful as a smartphone connected via an external dock to a monitor with full mouse and keyboard support will be? Here I am not so sure.
For my usage, all tablets I tried until now ended up either as a monitoring tool to keep around my desk or store it somewhere for when I "need" to use it.

Reply Score: 1

"iPad-only is the new desktop Linux"
by lproven on Thu 29th Jun 2017 12:38 UTC
lproven
Member since:
2006-08-23

"You like the iPad because it’s simple. But if you’re using the iPad as your primary computer, you may just like it because it’s a challenge."

https://medium.com/@chipotlecoyote/ipad-only-is-the-new-desktop-linu...

Reply Score: 2

It depends, right?
by SaschaW on Thu 29th Jun 2017 14:41 UTC
SaschaW
Member since:
2007-07-19

It really depends on what you are using it for. If you are a geek like myself, probably not. If all you do is shopping, facebook, messaging, email, gaming etc a laptop is just a big clunky device doing nothing special for you.

Question is how big is the facebook generation. Well we already know. Around 2 billion.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Lorin
by Lorin on Fri 30th Jun 2017 11:14 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

Light years from that, a tablet just doesn't have the horsepower

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Lorin
by viton on Fri 30th Jun 2017 11:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by Lorin"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Light years from that, a tablet just doesn't have the horsepower

Horsepower for what? A10X is close to Intel mainstream mobile CPUs

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Lorin
by Kochise on Fri 30th Jun 2017 11:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Lorin"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03
RE[3]: Comment by Lorin
by viton on Fri 30th Jun 2017 17:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Lorin"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

I explicitly said "A10X", mr.troll, in a blog post dedicated to iPad. Of course, the first thoughts in this context will be about Allwinner.

Edited 2017-06-30 17:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 1st Jul 2017 20:53 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Is it time to regurgitate the annual tablet vs. laptop debate again? You'd think people get tired of repeating themselves year after year, all while phones/phablets/tablets/laptops/desktops continue to sell for some odd reason.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by dukzcry
by dukzcry on Sun 2nd Jul 2017 05:28 UTC
dukzcry
Member since:
2008-07-01

> manually fiddle with all these annoying overlapping windows

Common, tiling window management and esp. dynamic tiling exist so many years now.

> iOS is not a good fit for your general purpose computing needs does not mean that applies to everyone

Sounds like an exuse of frustrated fanboy. Actually, it applies to everyone, because one now does her tasks with lesser comfort and productivity, using an imprecise finger touch interface on a small screen surface.

Reply Score: 1