Special report: iPad 3 / New iPad : What You Need To Know
Hands on: iPad 3 Review
Apple, via the right honourable Tim Cook (who is the new Steve Jobs in that he’s the new voice of Apple) claims that its new iPad creates “A world where PC is no longer at the center of your digital world”. Quite aside from being rather insulting to Apple’s own MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac, is it true? Can you replace your Windows or Mac OSX machine with a tablet – or more specifically, this tablet?
New iPad or Laptop
Let’s leave desktop PCs out of the equation altogether. They have their uses, mainly for intensive workloads and gaming – basically those who need a lot of power or storage or flexibility. But for the majority, and certainly Apple’s target market, a laptop is a far more likely purchase.
We’ll begin with what they have in common. They’re both portable, they both let you browse the web, check your mail, play casual games and watch videos. They both let you create spreadsheets, type out documents and video chat.
So what’s different? The iPad 3 will last far longer on a charge, weighs less than even the smallest laptops and offers an infinitely superior screen with more pixels and better viewing angles than any laptop out there. It gives you touch navigation, and because of this and its beautifully simple interface is far more intuitive to use. It’s also guaranteed to run any app you buy for it, and run it well. There’s only one hardware platform, after all, so it’s easy for software developers to optimise.
However, this doesn’t automatically make the new iPad the better choice. A laptop, for example, gives you an almost infinite software library: no matter how many apps come out for the iOS App Store, they’re unlikely to ever match the sheer volume and diversity of PC software. A laptop also gives you your choice of operating systems: whether it’s Linux, Windows, Mac OS or even Android that takes your fancy, with a little know-how and tinkering you can take your pick, and then configure said OS to look just the way you want it, especially on Windows.
Then, of course, there are the accessories and peripherals. No matter how many docks, cases, wireless keyboards, lens attachments and other doodas come out for Apple’s latest tablet, the PC will always have more. More diversity, more quality, more technology. Can you hook a Kinect up to an iPad? Well, yes actually (with an adapter) but it won’t work. The same goes for most printers, mice, keyboards, gamepads, webcams, external sound cards – the list goes on.