The new iPad is a powerful machine with access to more than 600,000 iOS apps, 225,000 of which are highly optimized for the iPad’s screen and processor. So what’s the point of owning a computer if you can carry around a thin and light tablet that does pretty much all the same stuff thanks to a huge selection of powerful software?
Here’s my guide to ditching your laptop and relying only on an iPad to complete all of your computing needs.
Get a Keyboard. One of the main reasons people keep a laptop around is that it’s much easier to enter text, file work documents and browse the web with a full keyboard. I could probably write this entire article using the iPad’s touchscreen alone, but a keyboard accessory can be used as a kickstand, a case, and, of course, for entering text much, much faster. I recommend the Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio, a $130 case/keyboard combination that essentially turns your iPad into a laptop competitor.
The device is powered by light (hence the “solar” part of its name) and can stay fully powered for up to two years. It also has a cover that flips over the screen to protect your iPad’s display, much like the cover of a laptop would, and has prop settings so you can view movies or type more comfortably. It’s available for the iPad 2 and the newer, third generation iPad.
Print from Your iPad. Apple’s iPad has AirPrint support built in. Many popular apps support this technology, which easily allows you to print to certain HP, Brother, Canon, EPSON, Lexmark, and Samsung printers wirelessly from your iPad. That means you don’t need to worry about cables connected to your laptop (or carrying your laptop at all).
Here’s how to print: Inside any AirPrint-enabled application, simply tap the action button, tap Print, set your printer options and then tap Print again. You’re all set!
Get an iOS Office Suite. Specifically, I recommend QuickOffice Pro HD. It allows you to complete all of your usual work tasks easily, without having to rely on Microsoft Word. Better yet, QuickOffice Pro HD costs just $20, which means you won’t have to slap down more than $100 for Microsoft’s Office suite. You can create, open, and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint presentations on the fly, and even tweak your slides within a PowerPoint presentation as you’re riding in the elevator on the way up to make your pitch.
You can also save those files to the cloud so that, should you choose, you can edit the documents when you get into work on your desktop PC. There’s even an amazing file management system to keep all of your work organized in one place.
Better yet, you don’t have to worry about whether or not others will be able to open your documents because, while it’s not actually Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint that you’re working with, you’ll still be able to save in those popular formats.
Take Advantage of the App Store for Gaming. The trouble with gaming on a computer is that you constantly need to update your hardware in order to be able to play the latest and greatest games. The great thing about an iPad, however, is that Apple forces its developers to support all of its iOS devices. That means that your iPad will always — at least for a few generations — support the best games available. You’ll never have to worry about upgrading your video card or processor, or adding more RAM, ever again.