Friday, December 28, 2018

Can a €300 iPad replace your work computer?

Can a budget iPad replace your laptop? The iPad can be a great entertainment device, but how about doing actual work on it? And does it really have to be the latest iPad Pro?



On this video, I showcase my 9.7" iPad, 2017 model which I picked up for just under €300. See the iPad here.

Portable and easy to use

I don't have the Pencil, but I do occasionally connect it through a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard when I have to type in my blog posts. See the Dell keyboard I am using here. Since I am a lot faster in typing than handwriting, I personally have no need for a stylus to take my notes.

Although I like working on big screens, I didn't have any trouble doing my work on this iPad. In fact, I found text to be easier to read than on my 14" Windows laptop. See the AsusPro laptop I was using here.

With Windows, you have Sleep, Hibernation, Restart and Shut down options. You also have the updates that take forever to install and you get a couple of nice bugs as a bonus. The iPad is literally stress-free in that regard and you can start working immediately.

Remote Desktop Connections


If you want to connect to your computer at work, whether it's Windows or a Mac, you may do so very easily with the Teamviewer or VNC apps. On the above video, I show how I am remotely connected to my Windows laptop, which in turn is remotely connected to my Hackintosh PC, all through Teamviewer. Using Teamviewer in Windows is not so bad, and I am able to navigate easily with the touchscreen, but on the Mac, it's a different story.

I couldn't find a single resolution that shows my Hackintosh in full screen and tasks like scrolling or performing a right-click for the context menu are not as easy.

VNC on the other hand works amazingly well for both operating systems. Highly recommended. It's a breeze to drag and drop, double-click, or do any other mouse gesture just with my fingers.

Productivity


One of the good things of remote controlling your work computer through your iPad, is that you get the desktop veresions of your software with all the features.

The iOS versions of some productivity apps, such as MS Word and Excel work just find too. There's certainly plenty of tools to get the job done. And with my full-sized keyboard, I can type for hours on the iPad.

When it comes to presentations, I like Keynote more than PowerPoint, and the iOS version of it works just the same as the desktop version. I can even export the presentation as a 4K video file.

Multitasking


Multitasking with the Split View feature on the iPad might be a bit tedious at first, but I can certainly work with 2 applications side by side. Although you can have 2 Safari tabs in Split View, you cannot do the same with 2 Word documents. A lot of multitasking features are up to the developers of the apps to include them. Just make sure you enable them from the Settings.

Although I'm able to copy and paste data easily, either through the iOS itself, or by the shortcuts on my Bluetooth keyboard, I still think when you're dealing with a lot of data across multiple apps, it would be more efficient, faster and easier, to use a mouse.

Music creation


One of the main reasons I bought this iPad is to compose music. I found GarageBand sufficient for my needs, and one very useful app is the Logic Remote by Apple. This app will turn your iPad into a wireless keyboard for either Logic Pro or GarageBand on your Mac. This way I don't have to buy a separate USB piano keyboard. I can play the melodies with my iPad by using the touchscreen, and they will be recorded on the Hackintosh. Listen to a piece of music I composed with the iPad here.

Video editing


My i5 laptop is not capable of 4K video editing in Premiere Pro. In fact, normal 20-minute videos without any color grading, could take as much as 2 days to export, and it was crashing a lot during playback.

Video editing on the iPad though using Premiere Rush was a breeze, once I got used to navigating and scrubbing through the touchscreen. I didn't even feel the need for a Pencil or a stylus. Playback was smooth, and exporting times were great (5-7 minutes for a 4-5 minute video). You can check the video made entirely with the iPad here. This video will also show you how you can browse websites on the iPad strictly in Desktop Mode. Speaking of browsing the Internet, I use Firefox when I want to browse in Dark Mode, and Google Chrome when I need instant language translation of an entire website.

Note Taking


OneNote is my preferred app for writing notes, as it keeps all my thoughts organized and synced with all of my computers and mobile devices.

File management


For transferring files to and from the iPad, there are quite a few methods I use. The most common one is OneDrive, since I save all of my work on that cloud anyways, and it's easy to use on the iPad.

Teamviewer also comes with Remote File Transfer, so you can connect remotely to any of your computers, and navigate the folders and grab whatever you need.

The 3rd method that does not involve Internet bandwidth, is by using a Sandisk iXpand flash drive. See this drive here. With this I can connect to my iPhone or iPad through the Lightning port, and transfer any large amount of files (like 4K videos) to and from the iPad and on to any computer with a USB port.

Conclusion


I think if iOS 13 comes with full mouse support, context menus, a file manager, and we get desktop versions of productivity apps, then the iPad can definitely be qualified as a computer replacement.

The iPad may not suit everyone's work-related needs. I for one still need my Hackintosh PC for heavy video editing and screen recording for tutorials on multiple operating systems. But if I need to reply to YouTube comments, check my emails, write documents, blog articles, notes, do some research, access my computer at home, create some music, or even do a quick video editing on the go, this iPad will more than suffice and I don't need the newest processor nor the Pro version of the iPad to get the job done. Can the iPad fulfill all your needs when on the go? Let us know in the comments.


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