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.
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.)