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Reasons why iPad can be used as a laptop

iPads don’t completely replace laptops, but they do many of the same tasks with better portability and interactivity.

Apple claims the iPad can act as either a desktop or a laptop in terms of performance. This is thanks to the iPadOS operating system developed independently of iOS and strongly upgraded in terms of hardware. The iPad Pro series uses the M2 chip, the iPad Air uses the M1 chip, and the iPad Gen 10 – although running the same A14 Bionic chip as the iPhone – also offers stronger performance than tablet competitors in the same price range. Changing the connection port also makes the iPad more user-friendly like a laptop.

Equip keyboard, mouse and accessories

Magic Keyboard Folio used with iPad Gen 10. Photo: Tuan Hung

Magic Keyboard Folio for use with iPad Gen 10. Photo: Tuan Hung

All iPad models are sold with compatible keyboards by Apple. They have good finishing materials, take advantage of the operation on the iPadOS operating system as well as have their own touchpad like on laptops.

Testing the Magic Keyboard Folio keyboard on the iPad Gen 10 shows a good typing feeling with appropriate bounce despite the short key travel. The chiclet-style key is small but easy to get used to, typing text for a long time is less tiring. With this accessory, users have an extra monitor stand behind and a protective cover for the device. Despite adding a physical keyboard, the iPad is still much more compact than a laptop.

Upgrading on iPadOS also makes Apple’s tablet compatible with external accessories. With some mouse models designed for Mac computers such as Logitech Anywhere 3 for Mac, the user experience is smooth and convenient. In addition to USB, users can directly connect the device via the USB-C port to the adapter.

Apple Pencil

Even affordable iPad models like the Gen 10 still support the Apple Pencil.  Photo: Tuan Hung

Affordable iPad models like the Gen 10 also support the Apple Pencil. Image: Tuan Hung

For content creators, a pen is an indispensable accessory. Thanks to its portable design, using Apple Pencil on an iPad isn’t too different from a professional drawing pad. iPadOS also has a richer ecosystem of pen apps than Windows. If users want to experience like on a computer, the App Store also has options like Procreate, Notability, Affinity Designer available.

Save and manage files

Manage files with Files on iPadOS.  Photo: Appleinsider

Manage files with Files on iPadOS. Image: Appleinsider

File management is the strong point of Windows and macOS computers. Meanwhile with iPad, users have Files application with similar utilities, for example opening, copying, renaming files in memory, external hard drive via USB-C port. Services such as Google Drive, iClouds can also be added and managed as a virtual hard drive on the machine.

Document management on an iPad is slightly different from a Mac computer. On MacOS, users have the Mac Menu Bar taskbar, and on iPads, the iPadOS Share Sheet. Available utilities include social sharing, suggesting open apps or creating shortcuts. In addition to using the mouse, users can interact with the file directly by touch.


The USB-C port makes the iPad more user-friendly for users who want to switch from a laptop to.  Photo: Tuan Hung

The USB-C port makes the iPad more user-friendly. Image: Tuan Hung

All current iPad models are equipped with a USB-C port. This is a big change for Apple when tablets can directly connect external hard drives, hubs, compatible accessories or connect an external display similar to a desktop computer. For content creators who need to read data directly on memory cards, USB, this is even simpler with card readers, hard drives using USB-C ports in common with conventional laptops.

In the past, devices may experience unrecognition or iPad incompatibility. However, this problem was completely fixed when Apple brought the DriveKit suite to iPadOS 16.

Compared to laptops, iPads have more mobility when there is an option to connect to a mobile network. Users will not have to depend on Wi-Fi to access the network to work in many places.

The iPad when it comes to the case is about the same size as many books, but thinner.  Photo: Tuan Hung

The iPad when fitted with the case is about the same size as a book but thinner. Image: Tuan Hung

iPad can effectively replace computers, but only suitable for certain groups of users with certain entertainment and work needs. Recent major upgrades like Stage Manager or DriverKit are also making the iPad look like a Mac computer.

Tuan Hung

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