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Over the past week, an unexpected shift occurred in my work routine. I departed from my usual laptop, opting for an iPad instead. Despite various tablet manufacturers, particularly Apple, promoting their devices as laptop alternatives, I had always regarded such claims as mere marketing hype.

As a laptop reviewer for NewForTech, I’ve had the privilege of assessing some of the most advanced and adaptable laptops ever created. With a plethora of top-tier laptop options at my disposal, why would I even contemplate replacing them with a tablet?

iPad vs. MacBook: Touchscreen Debate Settled

To my surprise, that’s exactly what I did, and I’m delighted I made the switch. The catalyst for this change was my travel preparations. Instead of squeezing my laptop into my carry-on bag as I typically would, I did the unthinkable: I left the laptop behind and brought my iPad.

My iPad isn’t particularly impressive; it’s a standard model from three years ago. I’ve primarily used it for reading comics on the Marvel Unlimited app and casual web browsing. Nevertheless, it remains responsive and swift. I’ve equipped it with the Smart Keyboard Folio protective case, which not only shields the screen when not in use but also transforms into a stand and keyboard, effectively turning the iPad into a laptop-like device.

In my profession, writing extensive articles swiftly is essential. Consequently, the notion of employing an iPad without a physical keyboard seemed unthinkable. Tapping a virtual keyboard on a touchscreen wouldn’t suffice.

Even with the Smart Keyboard Folio, I harbored reservations about my ability to work efficiently on an iPad. Nonetheless, I was eager to experiment. Here’s what transpired.

A Wealth of Apps

My chief apprehension when replacing a Windows laptop with an iPad was the potential loss of vital applications. To my pleasant surprise, this concern proved unwarranted. The iPad’s App Store boasts a vast repository, including mobile versions of my primary work tools like Photoshop, Microsoft Word, and Google Chrome.

Furthermore, due to the prevalence of cloud and web-based services, I could readily access my files stored in Google Drive and OneDrive. Official iPad apps facilitated seamless synchronization.

This feature was particularly advantageous for someone who predominantly operates Windows laptops and PCs alongside an Android smartphone. While iPads excel in harmonizing with Macs and iPhones, largely owing to Apple’s iCloud service, I wasn’t certain if I’d experience similar seamlessness across diverse devices. Although not as effortless as an all-Apple setup, it’s impressively close. I could seamlessly edit Word documents across my laptop and iPad.

For crafting articles in Google Docs and uploading them to NewForTech through our web-based CMS (Content Management System), all I required was a web browser. After installing the Chrome app (apologies, Safari), and logging in, my bookmarks and credentials were instantly available, allowing me to pick up where I left off within minutes.

This vividly underscores how cloud-based services have significantly enhanced our ability to transition between devices, even when they originate from different manufacturers. Undoubtedly, it stands as one of the most remarkable technology trends of the last decade.

A Necessity: The Keyboard

My successful week with the iPad hinged on having a physical keyboard. The Smart Keyboard Folio excelled in this regard. Doubling as an iPad screen cover, it added minimal bulk, a far cry from lugging a separate Bluetooth keyboard.

Although the Smart Keyboard Folio comes at a price, it met my needs remarkably well. It elevated the iPad’s screen above the keyboard, making it user-friendly for a laptop enthusiast. However, it requires a flat surface like a table or desk. While this was convenient when working on the bus to the airport, it limited lap use without a flat surface.

The keyboard’s typing experience was surprisingly enjoyable. I worried that its slim design might result in a flat, unresponsive feel, but my concerns were unfounded. It resembled the older MacBook keyboards—not the best, but perfectly suitable for extended typing sessions.

Leveraging keyboard shortcuts, including CMD + C and CMD + V for copying and pasting, akin to a Mac keyboard layout, greatly enhanced my productivity. I could use the iPad much like a laptop, though one essential element was missing.

Steve Jobs’ Misjudgment: MacBook Touchscreens Shine

Contrary to Jobs’ skepticism, MacBook touchscreens are a brilliant concept. The Smart Keyboard Folio lacks a touchpad, so I relied on the iPad’s touchscreen for tasks like file handling and scrolling.

Though I missed a mouse or trackpad, it functioned well. iPadOS, tailored for touch controls, outperforms Windows 11 in touchscreen usability.

Within an hour, I seamlessly typed on the keyboard and used the touchscreen, performing my usual laptop tasks.

Using the iPad in this manner made me realize I was disproving Jobs. He believed a vertical touchscreen over a keyboard was unnatural, but I found it intuitive for some tasks, though not a complete replacement for a mouse or trackpad.

By week’s end, I was convinced of the iPad’s capabilities, especially for travel. In a week, I proved both Steve Jobs and myself wrong. Quite an outcome.

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