Can iPad Pros Legitimately Replace Laptop Computers?

Since Apple unveiled the “Pro” line of its popular iPad tablets back in 2018, it’s advertised the premium device as a full-on replacement of laptop computers — and not just competitors, but even their own MacBooks. Three years of device improvements later, is the iPad Pro really a “computer killer” per se?

Welp, you’re about to find out! We’re going to tell you exactly what advantages the iPad Pro has over a traditional portable computer and the disadvantages too!

Seamless Browsing Experience

For those that spend their time browsing the Internet — from Googling how to play Texas Holdem poker to browsing Twitter news feeds — then the iPad is in fact a superior web experience. Why? Well, it comes down to two things.

One is the screen. It comes in 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, which rivals most laptops. But beyond size, the Pro features a Liquid Retina display that blows away many competitors, tablets or laptops included. The screens also feature ProMotion that packs an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. So you can scroll around the net with almost zero lag.

And two, there’s just something about having that screen in your hand. The touch screen really does make the browsing experience quicker and dare we say, more personal?

Unbelievable Processing Power

Apple is a well-oiled machine nowadays, which sparks criticism from some that the company isn’t innovative anymore, trading technological breakthroughs for “walled gardens” say the critics. However, Apple put that claim to rest with its very own M1 chip.

This processor debuted on both iPad Pros and MacBook Pros in 2020. This was a departure from the Intel chips that powered its devices for what feels like ages. Safe to say, the Apple-made M1 is a huge performance upgrade over its Intel predecessors.

The M1 is both quick and powerful. Apps open up (and stay on) without a flinch — even if you’re doing labor-intensive tasks like editing photos. The chip is also efficient, which preserves battery life better than any Apple hardware before it. It’s legitimately one of the best computer chips in the entire market — and iPad Pros are the tablets that possess it.

Add-Ons Can Get Pricey In A Hurry

Of course, to become a full-on laptop replacement, you’ll need to supplement the iPad with accessories like a keyboard and mouse. Both of those can get costly in a hurry, especially if you’re buying Apple-branded ones and not third-party devices (spoiler alert: the Apple ones usually work better).

With the add-ons and the iPad Pro device itself, you’re looking at a total cost of over $1000 and that’s for the “starter” model that’s only 11 inches and barely 128 GB of storage. That’s a pretty premium price point — one that might be well above the average laptop user.

Not All Tasks Are Created Equal

Earlier we mentioned the iPad is the better option for browsing the Internet casually. But of course, if the iPad is truly a step-up from a normal computer, it also needs to excel in two real-life use cases — school and work. Does it hold up in the two? Well, it depends.

For school, it generally does. You can take notes easily with the iPad Pro and its Pencil companion (which runs another $100 in case you were wondering — as we said, it’s a pricey plunge using these). With multitasking features built into iOS, you can have notes and a school e-book open at the same time.

As for work-life, it really depends on the tasks required. If you’re a cubicle monkey that lives and breathes Microsoft Excel, then the iPad is probably a downgrade from a legit computer. Desktops and laptops are just more efficient at this and many of the top qualities of iPad (e.g. the beautiful display) make no difference when inputting data into a spreadsheet.

Heavy creative work is better suited for desktops or laptops, too. While the iPad does support programs like Photoshop, they aren’t nearly as powerful as their desktop counterparts. The tablet versions are “slimmed down” in terms of program features.

So as you can see, deciding whether an iPad or laptop is better for you really depends on what you’re doing with it. Hopefully, our write-up made the decision easier, however.