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Can the iPad Pro replace a laptop?

The iPad Pro is powerful, but can it be used as a full-blown laptop?

apple ipad pro on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Apple’s marketing team has been going hard with the message that “your next computer is not a computer.” Yes, that means Apple thinks you can replace your computer with one of its iPad Pro units.

I mean, the 2020 iPad Pro can be outfitted with a $300-ish keyboard that has a trackpad, turning it into a laptop at first glance. Does that mean that it’s powerful enough to replace your daily use laptop?

So, can the iPad Pro replace a laptop?

Short answer: Yes

Okay, so while the answer is definitely yes, there are a few caveats that I’ve found while using an 11-inch iPad Pro attached to a Brydge keyboard for daily work. The first thing is to figure out whose ecosystem you want to work in. Apple’s office suite is far more usable than the app offerings from Google or Microsoft here.

You’ll also need to get used to iCloud as your main storage space. That’s mainly because iPadOS still doesn’t let you hook into other cloud storage apps all that well, so you have to do a long-winded dance if you try to use OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive as your cloud storage solution. The bonus to using iCloud though is that it syncs with your other Apple gear in a beautiful way.

The other thing is that while the USB-C port is as multifunctional as it should be, only having one makes it hard to do anything when you need to recharge. Even ultrabook laptops have multiple USB-C or Thunderbolt ports, or anything from HDMI to USB-A.

I’ve gotten around that with this sweet 6-in-1 hub from Kanex, which adds all the ports you’ll want: HDMI-out that supports 4K monitors, USB-C for 60W power delivery, SD and microSD card slots that support up to 2TB, a USB 3.0 port mice, storage and more, and a 3.5mm headphone jack so you don’t have to limit yourself to Bluetooth headphones.

READ MORE: Can your iPad Pro be used as a monitor?

The main annoyance I’ve had so far is trying to select text with the touchscreen. I mean, the Apple Pencil helps, but it’s still not as easy as it should have been. iOS 13.4 fixed that though with cursor support that I wish my PC had, which selects blocks of text when you hover over it.

Other than that, editing in Affinity Photo is a breeze on A12X chip, even if it’s not as powerful as the one in my iPhone 11 Pro, as is most tasks. You really can replace your laptop now with an iPad Pro, all it takes is a bit of adjustment to your workflow.

What do you think? Do you like the idea of using an iPad Pro as a laptop? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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