Computer vs tablet

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Posts: 982
Joined: Mon 17 Aug, 2009 10.37
Location: Suffolk

After a good eight year run for my ageing Macbook, I recently bit the bullet and purchased a replacement. Don’t get me wrong, my old Mac was still perfectly competent for the most part, but there were definitely areas where it was starting to show its age. Some of these have been issues for years, such as how it uses a small thimble for storage (a meagre 128GB SSD); others have started to appear with age, like how if you try and use Google Maps (and more recently YouTube) it has a huge panic and chucks the fans on full blast until you close the site. It also hasn’t received any software updates from Apple for some time now and the battery is, as per the warning icon in the top menu bar, not in the best of health anymore! The less said about the associated charging cable (which was, until I finally replaced it a few months ago, predominantly exposed wire) the better…

When it came to finding a successor, I was faced with a bit of a conundrum in terms of what to replace it with. I know news sites and blogs have been talking about ditching the laptop in favour of a phone/tablet for years, but this is the first time I’ve come up against the scenario myself. Anecdotally, plenty of friends seem to get by without their own laptop/computer these days, including a strange number that are perfectly happy using a work-provided laptop for personal use!

So, what’s your current computing situation? Are you maintaining a proper desktop PC? Are laptops still your go to? Or have you given up on a proper computer in favour of something else? Interested to hear people’s experiences/thoughts on the subject.

Personally, I’ve ended up with the new iPad Pro and a fancy (and extortionately priced) keyboard case. I haven’t had an iPad since the second gen from 2012 and hadn’t really paid them much notice again until recently. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much of a proper computer it feels like now (although I’m sure I’ll find a host of drawbacks in the days ahead). The keyboard case has a neat little trackpad which works much better than I expected it to, and although it’s not MacOS all of the keyboard and trackpad shortcuts/gestures I’ve become used to have been carried across, so it feels very natural using it after so long on a Mac.

I’ve probably ended up with a device with more power than I’ll ever need (although I’m sure that’s true of the latest Macbooks too), but the base iPad seemed like it would only last a few years as it hasn’t moved to the M1/M2 chips, whilst the base iPad Air starts with less storage than my phone! My base iPad Pro has as much storage as my old Mac did, but hopefully with so much stuff in the Cloud now that’ll prove to be less of an issue. If not, I’ve made an expensive mistake…
all new Phil
Posts: 1978
Joined: Sun 13 Feb, 2005 00.04
Location: Next door to Hell

I’ve gone back to learning recently and after only having an iPad for the past few years, I felt I needed a laptop to be able to do work properly. It’s possible to research and write an essay on an iPad (and I did so whilst studying for a professional qualification a few years back) but it just feels slightly too awkward. £450 got me a decent Asus laptop with Windows 11 that runs all the Adobe suite I need easily enough.

Worth saying as well that after a few years away from Office (mainly using the Google equivalent for work) I’m pleasantly surprised in returning to it at how much it has improved. It’s quite nice that I can start writing something at home in a desktop format, continue it on a computer in uni, and make a quick addition to it on my phone on my way home, all really seamlessly. Google entering the market for this seems to have really made them up their game.
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu 18 Jun, 2020 19.48
Location: Liverpool

Ultimately, I think it depends on your use case. I own a Lenovo Ideapad 3, and that is my main computing device. Its a Windows Machine, and its just a standard Laptop. Full HD screen, 500GB SSD, Potato Webcam, and non touch. For me, I mainly use it for Office, some 3D design, light gaming, and watching content on YouTube. I don't think a lot of the stuff I do would translate well onto a Tablet. Some light office work, maybe, and watching youtube certainly. But I don't think I could use a Tablet as a daily driver.
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