Should I replace my PC with an iPad?

YOURLifeChoices answers subscriber Joyce’s question on whether an iPad is an effective replacement for her desktop computer. Drew explains.

Replace my PC with an Ipad, Apple, desktop, ipad 2, simple, easy, technology, Australia, seniors

YOURLifeChoices answers subscriber Joyce’s question on whether an iPad is an effective replacement for her desktop computer.

Q. Joyce
Hi, I’m not to sure exactly what the iPad does/is and was wondering whether it would be suitable as a replacement for my computer, which I am considering upgrading.  As I mainly use the computer to access information, send emails and store photographs, should I just buy an iPad?

A. Hi Joyce,

One of the major drawcards of the iPad is its simplicity. It does most of the tasks a regular computer does, including sending emails, accessing information on the internet and storing photographs, as well as much more. One major advantage of the iPad is that it has also streamlined the process of the computing experience greatly. Instead of the large number of features some computers have, the iPad tablet uses ‘apps’ which allow you to access the information you need immediately.

March 2012, one year after the release of the iPad 2, saw the release of Apple’s newest iPad. The iPad3 offers a front and rear facing camera, a faster processor and is thinner and lighter than previous versions. While you may or may not be interested in the upgraded version, late adapters to the iPad are enjoying a significant drop in the price of the original iPad and iPad 2.

A good quality PC will cost anywhere between $650 and $2000 when you factor in the cost of the screen, keyboard and mouse, anti-virus protection and setting up a home internet network. The 16GB iPad3 can be purchased for as little as $558. It is important to note that the iPad does not plug into your home broadband connection, it uses wireless networking to access the internet. With this in mind you will either need to setup your local internet connection through a wireless network or cancel your internet plan and purchase a 3G wireless sim card which plugs into your iPad.

It is essential to spend an extra $50-$100 on a quality case for the iPad which includes a Bluetooth keyboard, which allows you to type documents on your iPad without having to use the touch screen.

If you are looking to evolve with technology and embrace this amazing new tablet computer, which not only completes most of the essential tasks of a normal PC, but does so in for a fraction of both the size and the cost, then it makes sense to dip your feet into the tablet computer pool.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    10th Jul 2011
    i would like to recommend the ipad as i have macular degeneration and my eye specialist told me this would be good for me as everything can be enlarged on the screen, a great excuse and reason to purchase one. i love mine, i can use it anytime, ie, whilst waiting in the car for husband at a garage etc
    19th Oct 2012
    Don't fall for all the hype which calls all tablets iPads.
    Find a reseller who will listen to you and ask to see and test drive a few different units.
    Remember you are the one with the dollars and the retailer wants them.
    Look at warranty as. iPad 1 year, another brand 2 years.
    I know Apple lovers will say they never fail but my bank manager didn't mind Apple at all when I was working and if they never fail why only 1 year.
    Consider the weight as well and look at them in daylight, not just in store.
    In short, look around, test drive and remember iPad is just a brand and there are others.
    19th Oct 2012
    I have an original iPad which, although limited ie no cameras when compared to the later models, has been a godsend. It's easy to read, easy to access, easy to use, quick to open & search the Internet & I constantly carry it with me like a mobile phone. I'm sure other makers are producing similar products eg Samsung but, until I need to change it, it's the only one for me.
    19th Oct 2012
    Cannot disagree Jicjoc.
    Just suggesting people new to the market look around.
    iPods ain't tablets to revise n old TV ad. ( or should that be tablets ain't iPads?)
    19th Oct 2012
    So does anybody know what the iPad has that the Samsung doesnt or vice versa...what is the lifespan of these things? What's Android or ice cream and are they interchangeable or compatible. My hobby is Desktop publishing or digital photo enhancing using Photoshop. Can these be effectively done on a Tablet ? I get confused. In my location my only real option is to buy online and therefore have to research for myself...anybody point me in the right direction please?
    23rd Oct 2012
    We have iPads but we are playing around with a Android Jellybean. My husband is a professional photographer (retired). He said the graphics on the android were better and clearer than the iPad but the sound was not as clear. That being said, he doesn't use his iPad to edit photos. He prefers to use his desktop computer with the larger screen.

    Another advantage of the Android, and I don't know if the Samsung has it as well, is that it has a USB port. The iPad doesn't.

    I use a computer all day and prefer to use my iPad at home. I am not as sold on the Android as my husband. But I think that is just because I am used to the iPad and I can't justify the change.

    I think vivity mentioned elsewhere that the operating system is restrictive, especially for downloads that require adobe flash.

    As for the lifespan... no idea.
    19th Oct 2012
    Yes, I'd be interested in answers to your questions to Sconny.
    19th Oct 2012
    Desktop publishing & other Microsoft applications are available via a free app called GO-Global. Photoshop has 2 free apps. Apple still has many more apps than the Android system but this will change. I'd go anywhere that has the best deal. Being a pensioner, I read most books on my iPad as they're cheaper than buying hard copy now. Also, unfortunately, my small country library doesn't have a very extensive range & I love to read.
    20th Oct 2012
    Thanks for the info JicJoc..seems to me that you're in a rural situation similar to my own. I get daily emails from the major online shopping warehouses and invariably they push cheaper Android Tablets.
    21st Oct 2012
    Your Library may,like my local one, have e-books downloadable from the Library "on loan" coming to it, worth asking about.
    19th Oct 2012
    I've been playing around with computers since the early 1980s - that's well over a quarter of a century! Usually I'm first in with new technology. In the past few years I've started using laptops instead of the bulky PC. My "best buy ever" was a little Netbook, about a year ago. It's my best friend when travelling. I find the advantage over the iPad/Androd system (apart from the price at only $300) is that I'm not reliant on WiFi for everyday use. I can use my inexpensive home broadband connection via Ethernet cable when at home, yet have reliable (& much more expensive) WiFi when travelling. I use my computer for more hours per day offline - I don't want to be forced into the extra costs of having to be connected to expensive data downloads all the time. Consider the extra connection costs of tablets/iPad/Android & the added security risks of WiFi.
    20th Oct 2012
    Thanks Helen-gran now you've given me even MORE to think about. Yeah but now I can narrow down between Netbook or Tablet. I understand that Netbook is like a mini-laptop without DVD burning/watching capabilities. For such a tiny thing these Tablets sure are expensive..I think I will give it a litlle bit longer to see what other if any comments come through this site...thanks again
    20th Oct 2012
    I hope you get lots more comments - it's a hard decision. If you're not going to carry it around a lot, then some laptops are more powerful (for DTP or decent photo editing programs) & have nice large, clear screens. If you do a lot of text typing then at least a 90% size keyboard is good. Try to check in advance for extra & ongoing internet connection costs (try a search engine for "ipads extra costs"). I think that a USB port is essential for connecting extra devices like a camera, printer, extra backup hard drive, even a DVD player/recorder.

    21st Oct 2012
    I love my IPad but...for security in banking I still use my old Laptop it has a security programme I am only just seeing security programmes advertised for the IPad. The IPad can run Safarai but not Firefox and or Flashplayer meaning some videos won't play. One thing that peeves me is that I cannot play Your LifeChoices crossword puzzles or Daily trivia on the Pad. With a blue tooth wireless printer I could print off from the IPad but without a USB port I can not use my old printer. ICloud can be used for storing photos etc but once the free quota is used up you start paying. I very much enjoy using the IPad but would not like to be reliant only on it if I was doing a lot of typing. Those are my perceived down sides but Apple will tell you all the positives. As I say I love it and the lightness and portability but would not want to rely on it 100%
    24th Oct 2012
    We have an iPad each (Models 1 and 3) and one thing worth considering is whether you travel a lot or not. We had a mini laptop and it was OK but we do a lot of travelling, including overseas and found that wi fi is not as widely available in many places as you are led to believe. For instance in the UK we bought a wi-fi dongle and $60 data and found it didn't work in many parts of England and we wasted a lot of money.

    Also not all hotels have it free and some only have it in bar and lounge area, and it can be expensive in parts of Europe. So we bought 3G models and now can connect absolutely anywhere including on trains, busses walking around streets etc all of which are brilliant for travelling as you can use it as a GPS and book/change accommodation or travel etc and can carry it in your handbag or backpack. BTW if you buy a non-3G model you can't change it to 3G and I know a few people who have regretted not spending the extra on 3G. Another advantage is that the iPad does not require heavy cables and chargers and takes up less room and weight than a laptop. It also has instant chat which will reach anyone who has an iPhone or iPad.

    IPad 3 has voice recognition which I don't use but must be terrific for those who can't type or have finger problems. You speak your emails or messages and it prints out what you have said wit pretty good accuracy. It's correct that the iPad doesn't have Flash or a USB port but I guess you have to weigh up what suits your needs and lifestyle. We use it almost entirely for emails and internet and entertainment and we are Apple nuts but the androids may be just as good.

    As for lifespan I guess they don't really know yet. My partner has the iPad1 which he has had for over two years and it's still as good as new. A lot of people feel that they have to update just to get the new features - that's consumerism for you!

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles