Could the iPad replace your laptop?

Samir Abdalla
7 min readSep 18, 2021


The iPad Pro M1 Series — Image Source: CNET

Yeah you’ve read the title right, I ‘am talking about the iPad, yes that device that Apple has been producing for years, can you believe that after all these years we get to ask this question and answer it.

At the age of information, everybody now has a computing device that he can use to surf the internet, watch videos, connect with friends, listen to music, to work and to browse through social media, and what makes these devices so special that they vary in sizes, specifications, the way of use and so much more, of course a computing device in the olden days, was only a definition that can describe the PC, as it was the only device that has the power to do multiple processes in seconds. Nowadays this term can be applied on a different set of devices, as now our smartphones are considered computing devices, and that also includes the tablet of course, the smart cameras with display and even the smartwatches.

All these devices has processors that has the ability to perform many tasks in seconds, but let’s forget about the smartwatches and the cameras, and let’s concentrate on the tablets and smartphones. Smartphones these days can perform so many tasks to the point that a lot of people now don’t have PC’s or laptops, because they think that their smartphones are good enough for them and can perform all the tasks that they want, one example for that is my brother, he has a smartphone and a tablet that he uses for surfing the web, studying and watching videos, he always says that at the time being he doesn’t think that he needs a laptop, as the tablet is good enough for him, and it’s a pretty good entertainment device from time to time, so from this example you can extract one side of the answer that we are looking for, and I’ll explain it later.

Smartphones and tablets can pretty much do a lot of things that a laptop can do, of course not everything, but for the normal people it’s pretty enough, as long as you don’t do so much media editing and programming, your good to go with a tablet or a smartphone, of course for me personally, I don’t believe in using the smartphone to the point of using it to perform tasks that is better be done by a laptop, for example, smartphone these days can do image and video editing, sound recording and even typing documents, these are all tasks that are known to be better done on a laptop, but a lot of people nowadays are performing those tasks on their smartphones, the reason why I think that I’m never going to do it, is because it’s not convenient for me to use a smartphone as a replacement for PC, to type a document or edit a video, a huge reason for that is the display, and I know smartphone displays got much bigger in recent times, but still it’s not convenient.

That’s for smartphones, as for tablets the situation is a little bit different, for tablets I think that I can consider it a little more convenient than smartphones, and the reason for the is the size of the display, yeah they both use the same OS whether it was an Android or iOS, and they are both using the same apps, but for tablets it’s a little bit better as with the larger display you can better work, and with all that it’s hard to consider regular tablets to have the ability to reach to the level of a laptop, one of the most annoying things that are on a tablet is that it’s hard to use convenient apps layouts, meaning that it’s hard to place 4 different apps on one screen and use them, something that we use on a laptop regularly. The tablet can open documents and it also can give you the ability to edit them, with using the on-display keyboard, which believe it’s not easy whatsoever, I’ve tried it so many times on my iPad, it’s not the thing that you want to do on a regular basis, you can do it from time to time when you need it at the most, but other than that it’s really hard to get used to it.

So a tablet is a computing device that can be used as a small computer more than a smartphone, and it’s all thanks to the larger display, but wait that’s not enough, I think that there is something missing, oh right the tablet doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it a real bummer.

A laptop or a PC consists of a display, a mouse and a keyboard including the main motherboard with the CPU and other stuff, so you at least need a keyboard and a mouse, are there any tablets that offer the support of a keyboard and a mouse, in fact all Android and iOS tablets offer the support of a keyboard and a mouse, the fact is, that tablet manufactures (Android tablets in particular) don’t offer keyboards with their tablets, although the Android tablet market share is shrinking for like a long time with only Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi are the one who are offering tablets and competing with Apple on this sector, with Apple having the big lead over these companies and one of the reason for that is that their iPad series is getting there in the path of replacing a laptop, unlike Android tablets which are not having any big features that makes it stand out for like years.

iPad Pro - Image Source: The Verge

I can think of one Android tablet that I could consider as a replacement for a laptop, actually it’s not an Android tablet, it’s powered by Chrome OS, which in the end it has the support of Android apps and it’s one of the systems that compete directly with macOS and Windows, which are PC territory systems, and that is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, I think it’s fantastic.

It’s a 10.1inch tablet with 4GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage which is not bad for something that has been made to replace the laptop, and what makes it better is that Lenovo ships this tablet with a keyboard cover inside the box, unlike Microsoft and Apple which clearly they are trying to make money anyway possible, and guess what, it’s actually way cheaper than what Apple and Microsoft offer, for me I’m getting one soon, it’s amazing. Not let’s get back to our original question,

Could the iPad be a good replacement for the laptop?

iPad Pro — Image Source: Reviewed

Well yes and no, this question has two answers, and it depends on who is using it, or who is it for.

The iPad has gone a really long way from it deputed the first time by Steve Jobs way back in and with the continues support from Apple with consistent update that can exceed the 5 years mark, the best apps ever to the point that it’s better than the apps on Windows or Android, it makes it one of the best devices period, even if you’re not using it as a replacement for a laptop, this device is the best for consuming media, checking your email, reading and stuff like that.

If you noticed from a long time Apple has been pushing the iPad more and more to the laptop territory, when the unveiled the new iPad Pro with the new design, it was clear that they are trying something new for the iPad, they first gave it a better display with better refresh rate, and before it they revealed iPadOS, which is iOS but it’s more oriented to the iPad, with features that benefits the iPad more, then they add the support of USB on the GO, which is the feature that lets you open and edit files on an external hard drive, and after that they switched to the USB Type C, which made it easier to use USB on the GO, and lastly they added the mouse support, with software features on the new iOS 14 and 15 which made it even more into the laptop territory, and with the new unveiled keyboard cover for the iPad, you can consider it a laptop replacement for a laptop.

But still that doesn’t mean that it’s the laptop for you, it all depend on what you use your laptop for, if you the type of person that does document editing, check and reply to email, consume lots of media, does a little bit photo editing, then the iPad is the device that can replace your laptop.

But if you’re the kind of person that does heavy content creation, gaming and programing, then unfortunately the iPad can’t replace your laptop.



Samir Abdalla

An Engineer, Writer and a Podcaster, with super huge passion for technology aiming to become a huge technology influencer in my home country Sudan