I have been using my iPad for roughly an year now and the way it has pulled me away from my laptop is absolutely amazing. Being an Apple fanatic, I fell in love with the iPad Air the moment they unveiled it at the keynote. I have now come at an stage where I mostly use my laptop to sync stuff from iTunes and play Age of Empires(nothing can replace the good old multiplayer action).
With the right apps and battery management you can turn your iPad into a productive work station.

iPad Lappy

I don’t note down all the things in class and one of the topper is considerate enough to give her notes regularly for me to click snaps. And reading from the large screen feels just like reading from a notebook.
Turning pages with a swipe and zooming in and out is flawless without the hassle of a trackpad and keyboard.
I copy all the PDFs and presentations and the Air becomes a private teacher.
I can just swipe across with four fingers and land in safari to search for definitions and information.
Knowledge feels to be locally available when i’m studying on my iPad.

Not a lot of work takes place on my desk but whatever goes on, goes on well on the large real estate of the iPad. The frequent writing and editing in the Notes and Pages app is easy and quick. Making keynote presentations(which is not so frequent) is actually a fun thing to do.
I’m writing this article for the last 10 minutes and it feels like scribbling my ideas on a paper, so simple and easy.
Making PDFs, mailing, setting reminders are all available at a touch of your fingertip.

Movies and games
No one likes keeping a heavy laptop on their chest while they lie flat on the bed to watch a movie. Holding the lightest tab in your hand while you lie in any position? Doable! The best thing about this is, I never needed a third party app for playing my videos on the iPad.
The App store offers a plethora of games. Whether you are into RPGs or quick fix games, you are in for a treat with all the games being added. Contradictory to popular belief, a lot of apps and games are available for free and if you keep an eye for discounts on apps then you might get the costliest ones for very less(even free). I got Infinity Blade 2 for free.
Get App of the day and subscribe to any app magazine for regular updates on price drops.

Socializing on the net seems elegantly different in the iOS environment. There is a significant difference between Facebook experience on Windows, Android and iOS(no prizes for guessing the best one). Install the Wikipedia app and Flipboard app for some quality infotainment. For random pictorial ideas Adobe Ideas is a good app. I have made some impressive graphics for a research paper in the Pages app as well.
Image editing does not require anything more than iPhoto but for the experts Snapseed and Adobe Photoshop apps are just the right things.

There is, infact a separate section in App Store for image editing apps.
Storage seems a deal breaker but Dropbox and iCloud are good cloud services. I mostly use my iPad for writing and the occasional movies and games, I have never felt the need to have extra space. Pro tip: Don’t use the iPad as a storage device. Its good at getting work done, not at storage.

…and portability, yes take it anywhere.

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9 Responses to “How the iPad Air replaced my laptop”

  1. I’d been using my iPad 2 since 2011 and switched to iPad Air last April 2014…
    I bought my laptop last 2007 and never have a new one since then…
    This is the best productivity device out there..


  2. My god, you are actually trying to replace a computer with your iPad, that is laughable.

    My iPad was only ever used for internet, email and a few games. I could never use it reliably for movies or catch up TV. In fact there were many times I had to resort to my PC because the website I was browsing didn’t work or display properly on the iPad. I know, people say that I can go and download an app to look at x website or purchase tickets from y retailer, but I just shouldn’t have to do that. The browser should just work.

    I couldn’t even let me kids onto the iPad to use the educational websites that their school has subscriptions too (readingeggs and mathletics) without first installing and constantly updating the required apps from the app store.

    I took the plung a while ago and invested in a Windows tablet (Dell Venue 8 Pro) as it was cheaper than the iPad mini and I haven’t looked back since. I know people give the Windows Store lot of flack because of the lack of apps on there, but for the most part there are so few apps because you don’t actually need them, stuff just works. I didn’t need to install and update those annoying apps just so my kids could advance their education.

    So my breakdown on a Windows Tablet since my iPad was retired.

    — Studying —
    I am able to open any website that I like, watch youtube videos and access flash content all in the browser, no need to install a third party app.

    — Working —
    Someone sends me a PDF, Word Document, PowerPoint etc I can just open it up, my Venue 8 came with a free copy of Microsoft Office. I can read, produce and edit the documents in their original format without replying on conversion to “compatible” apps, that again I’d have to download from the app store. I can even print to any network shared printer.

    — Movies and Games —
    I have full access to catch up TV right in the browser, no need for a third party app from the app store.I can also stream media from over the network including my PVR. Using my bluetooth keyboard and mouse I am able to miracast to my TV and play some of the PC classics like Portal and Portal 2 just fine on a tiny little tablet PC.

    I replaced my PC with a smaller tablet PC, not an oversized and overpriced iPod touch.

    For a long while there I was in the Apple camp, but seriously you are kidding yourself if you even consider the iPad remotely as productive as a fully fledged laptop, let alone an actual tablet PC.

    On a side for those with kids, the control you have over your child’s access to programs and websites on a Windows Tablet is worlds ahead of the control on Android and iOS devices. Even OS/X comes with reasonable programs that allow you to control what and when of your child’s computer access. In Windows some very reasonable control is available ‘out of the box’ and there are a number of amazing programs that impose restrictions that just aren’t possible in iOS (at least Android is getting very close).

    I challenge you, borrow a Windows Tablet of someone for 24 hours and then compare your supposed ‘productivity’.


    • I challenge you, stop being a raging fanboy for 24 hours and imagine that other people can actually be “productive” with an iPad (or whatever suits them best).


    • Andrew. This article is about how I found an alternative to a laptop in my iPad. Its good that windows does better at certain places, I don’t advocate iPad being the best productivity device. People have different needs and different opinions. Thanks for going through my work and expressing your views.


      • @Harsh Kishore
        Firstly, I love the tone in your response, definately need more members in communities like this.

        I think your response highlights just where your iPad is at, it is an ALTERNATIVE to your laptop.

        Replace your laptop, your iPad didn’t. (My god I sound like Yoda!)

        You have to admit that when Apple put a product together they do a good job of it, but they don’t have a tablet option in the marketplace that can be a serious contender for replacing peoples desktops/laptops.

        IPads are merely an entertainment device that require a lot of extra effort to try and be productive with. If you ask anyone would they prefer full fledged OS/X vs iOS for a productive tablet, they’d choose OS/X any day (and likewise full fledged Windows, not RT). Remove productivity from the equation and iOS, Android and Windows RT come into the foray, but then your only emailing, browsing the web, and entertaining yourself. For 90% of people this is possibly all they need, and I certainly know many desktop/laptop owners that only use their computers for these tasks.

        Put any amount of word processing or spreadsheet work into the equation and your productivity on an iPad is significantly less when compared to a user on a laptop or desktop.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi there Andrew.
    I can assure you that I can do with my iPad retina (with right apps) all what you can do with your windows tablet.


  4. D.A.H. Trump says:

    I will agree that the iPad Air is great all that you just mentioned, however, I don’t think it is amazing enough to beat a macbook pro or I would’ve gotten rid of my macbook pro already.

    I will compare your statement to a Macbook Pro. You already mentioned it doesn’t have a lot of storage.
    For someone who uses Pro Apps like Logic Pro X, iPad Air is only complimentary. There are a lot of good games coming out for iOS like one of my ALL TIME favorite games Monster Hunter. I was in shock, but other games like Total War Series and etc are best handled by a laptop for now.

    I’m sure in the future a lot will change and an iPad or a new product line will take over the laptop, but for now, for what I personally do, the laptop is king. I do not deny the iPad is a very good productive tool though. I have an iPad Mini and it serves me well.


  5. Frank Lazar says:

    Ipads and tablets are better in general for media consumption. I’d go stark raving bonkers if I had to do most of my writing on ANY tablet, be it iPad, Windows, or Kindle. If you’re not using a headset and are relying on device speakers for your media, the Kindle HDX runs rings around the IPad for any media other than iTunes. Because quite frankly next to the Kindlle Fire, which has the same Retina quality display, the iPad’s speakers are a sad joke, and hopefully something Apple will address.


  6. Alex Hilton says:


    Thanks for a great article. I agree, the iPad is the bomb. Whereas a laptop just seems at worst overkill and at best instant-gratifying, a tablet does all these things and not even how addicting it is can keep you bogged down and not ever getting outdoors. Ever since I downgraded I’ve been getting out more. The tablet is the laptop that works. Look, going paperless and not using hard copies is where you’ll run into trouble, but can you go off to college, speed through airport security and handle a day on campus with no problems at all? With a tablet, absolutely yes. Guys, please listen to this article. She’s saying that if the time has come do it now. She is right that it’d be in your best interest to get by with at most two devices.