Humans are interesting creatures in that we can take multiple sides on the same issues at the same time. Is Microsoft’s Surface really a tablet, too? Can the iPad be a notebook? Those are nonsensical arguments which matter not because, well, different strokes for different folks.
How you use a Mac or a PC, or an iPhone or iPad, or whatever computing devices you find necessary– yes, they’re all computers in any sense of the word– how you use it varies. Here’s how to use Apple’s cheapest of cheap iPads as a Mac.
How? It depends. Look, if you require Photoshop on your Mac, then can you forget about using an iPad as a Mac? Not necessarily, because an iPad has some very capable photo editing and graphic design apps. As always, if the tool fits, use it.
I can make a case that a 10-inch iPad, the entry-level model for $329, can make a decent replacement for a Mac notebook. It all depends upon what you need to do on the Mac, but if it’s the basics– writing, presentations, some graphic designs or photo editing, a spreadsheet, and any application beyond the basics Apple gives us in iPadOS– a $329 iPad with a keyboard and mouse can be a credible and highly portable computer.
Let’s start at the basic $329 entry-level price tag. It takes little effort to move up to just under $2,000 for an iPad Pro with Apple’s keyboard and mouse, but what would you do that requires that much money?
Again, different strokes for different folks.
I traveled over to Amazon and searched for an iPad keyboard. They range anywhere from just North of $15 to just South of $200. Choose wisely, but I have a couple of the less-than-$20 Bluetooth keyboards which look and feel similar to Apple’s own Magic Keyboard.
Apple’s Bluetooth Magic Mouse 2 works well with iPad, but the objective here is to travel light– as in cost. Again, a number of Bluetooth wireless mice are available for South of $20. So, for less than $369 (sans taxes) you can get a durable, highly mobile, and powerful Mac-like computer that runs rings around comparably priced Windows PCs or Chromebooks.
Yes, there are more apps available for iPad than for Windows 10.
So, let’s compare the somewhat Mac-like iPad to a 13-inch MacBook Air at $1,099; the latter comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage, while the former has the bare minimum of 32GB SSD storage. Is it worth $100 more to upgrade to 128GB?
In this case, let’s go with bare minimums because iCloud or Dropbox or Google Drive and other online storage options abound, and that means we don’t need as much local storage.
$369 gets you a very portable device with the option of banging away for hours on a decent keyboard with some very good built-in applications– Safari, Calendar, FaceTime, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, et al– that can also be upgraded to Microsoft Office.
Sorry, folks. $369 is a bargain-basement price for a very capable device. Is it a Mac? No, but that’s not the point. Use the tools you need to get the job done. If you cannot afford those, then use the tools you can afford.
An iPad makes a very affordable Mac.