Why you should consider buying an iPad instead of a laptop.

How I manage to get everything done on an iPad (2018) with the Apple Pencil and a keyboard case.

In their commercials, Apple claim that their iPad can completely replace your PC or laptop. I agree. While not for everyone, an iPad can certainly replace a laptop for most people who use their iPad for basic stuff like text processing, surfing on the web and playing the occasional game. I actually think that for designers the iPad is actually a better choice then a laptop because of the Apple Pencil.

My Situation

I am a senior high school student living in the Netherlands. I recently bought myself an 6th generation iPad with 128 gigabytes of memory, the Apple Pencil and the Logitech Slim Folio. At the time when I wanted to buy a laptop I was considering three options:

  1. Windows laptop
  2. Chromebook
  3. MacBook

As you might have realised, these are the only options. I ruled the MacBook out quite quick, since I think they are a bit overpriced. This left me with two options. Then I ruled out the Windows laptops because I preferred a small, silent, but still decently fast device, and a regular Windows laptop just doesn’t fit this. If you don’t file at maths, you can see there is only on option left: the Chromebook. However, I didn’t really feel like buying a Chromebook, since I used one before and I didn’t like it that much. Then I stumbled upon the 6th gen iPad, with Apple Pencil support. After doing some research, I added the iPad to the list. So, in the end I had to decide between a Chromebook and an iPad. Even though my school encouraged me to buy a Chromebook, my previous experiences with them lead me to the iPad. Mainly because of the Apple Pencil, and the fact that I liked iOS better than ChromeOS.

Why I chose the Apple Pencil

Writing. And by writing I mean literally writing. I use the excellent app Notability with the Apple Pencil to take my notes. It is a satisfying manner of taking notes. Granted, you could type much faster than to write everything down. But that is exactly what’s wrong with typing your notes. It’s possible to just transcribe everything what’s said, whereas when you actually write it, you have to mentally compile everything what you hear in such a way that you have the time to write everything down. This makes you think about what you write, which is important if you want to get the information into your head. To write my notes, I use the app notability. What I like most about this app is that without having to do anything else besides connecting the app to your Google Drive, it autosaves everything right into your drive in PDF format. And that’s it. All your notes are just a few clicks and an internet connection away. If you compare this to how you would look up traditional notes… It’s just so much easier. Oh and another great feature of notability: GIF support 😏.

Why I went with the keyboard case

In the previous paragraph we discussed actually writing, but what if your hands are sore from writing? You can just put down your pen(cil), and start typing, even within notability! I think this is truly amazing, because you don’t have to take notes one way or the other. Just choose which fits the moment. This is why I bought the Logitech Slim Folio along with my iPad and pencil. And when I got it, as I typed the first things on it, I honestly forgot I was typing on an iPad. It felt just like a laptop. And keep in mind, the iPad has only 9.7 inches to cover with keyboard. I think Logitech really did a good job designing this thing.

My initial concerns

While I am definitely satisfied with my iPad setup, I didn’t buy it without any concerns. One of my first concerns with the iPad was the operating system. That’s because I felt like iOS had its limits in terms of usability. For basic tablet functionality, sure it’s a great OS, but for stuff that I’d normally do on my PC? Well, to be honest… I was entirely mistaken. The truth is, the apps actually have caught up with desktop apps in my opinion. For example, I use Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides instead of Word, Excel and PowerPoint respectively. I also use Google Classroom, because my school uses it, and it is also available as an iOS app. Furthermore I use Spotify and Netflix, which also have native apps available. You can see some kind of pattern here: it’s all there, right in the App Store. This is important for the iPad to take on the battle against a laptop because without these apps, the iPad wouldn’t be nearly as functional as it is now.

So, is the iPad really something to consider if you’re in the market for a laptop?

I think so. I had my concerns when buying my iPad and accessories, but after all I’m really glad I did. In my opinion the ability to actually write is the biggest pro of the iPad, but in combination with the available apps and the excellent keyboard I would call it a laptop killer. To sum up, I think that when you’re in the market for a new laptop, you should definitely consider buying an iPad instead. This holds up only if you’re just an average user of course. For video/foto editing or serious gaming for instance, the laptop is actually your only option. Oh, and FYI: this post was also written on my iPad.