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

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.

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Totally different use cases and approaches
by leos on Wed 28th Jun 2017 22:48 UTC
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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

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