Can the iPad replace a laptop? (Coming from a blogger/YouTuber/Videographer/Photographer)
Yes, the answer is yes it can. And this is coming from someone who uses a MacBook Pro to edit professional videos, graphic design, copywriting, surfing the web and play games. I also use my MacBook Pro for my 9–5 as a Social Media Manager.
There is ONE iPad accessory that makes this all possible, and that is the Magic Keyboard (Or any Bluetooth keyboard for that matter). I’ve only just recently bought this, although I’ve had my iPad Pro for 3 years. You CAN still technically do everything without the Magic Keyboard, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I’ve tried editing videos, and having a physical keyboard with shortcuts makes a huge difference, copywriting is pretty much a nightmare on the touchscreen. However graphic design is a dream with the Apple Pencil. Any Bluetooth keyboard will do the trick, however, I went all out and got the magic keyboard and I think its worth it!
I’ve spent the past week using my iPad exclusively, doing everything from copywriting to editing my YouTube videos.
The iPad Pro itself is a powerful tool. Editing and exporting videos is a breeze, I can scrub through 4K footage, and I’ve tested this on both iMovie (a free app which I recommend for beginners), and LumaFusion (an app for professional video editors). I use LumaFusion to edit videos, in some cases, it exports videos faster than my 16 inch MacBook Pro using Final Cut Pro X. As mentioned earlier, having a phsyical keyboard enables you to use keyboard shortcuts, which allows you to edit videos much faster. When I want to crop into a shot, thats when I use the touchscreen to pinch and zoom into the frame.
Browsing the web is a fantastic experience on the iPad. With recent updates in the last couple of years, Safari on the iPad is pretty much a desktop experience, and combined with the keyboard it totally becomes a laptop. I have exported videos using LumaFusion onto my iPad, and uploaded them onto YouTube through Safari. It is the exact same experience as using a laptop.
For my YouTube thumbnails, I usually use the Canva, which I would access through Safari on my laptop, but through the iPad, I use the Canva App. The experience is similar, although slightly more streamlined on the app, which I prefer. I also use Procreate and Affinity to design, an experience that the MacBook cannot replicate, especially if you use an Apple Pencil.
In terms of the Magic Keyboard, I love it. Its the best typing experience. I’ve used the old iPad keyboards, which in my opinion aren’t that great. However this new magic keyboard, the tactile keys are very satisfying when typing, and I’ve found that I can type faster using the Magic Keyboard over the Macbook Pro. The trackpad is small, but its not an issue as I adjusted the speed of the trackpad through the settings. I’m typing this review using the Magic Keyboard, and I must say, its much more enjoyable than using my Macbook Pro! The keyboard is heavy, in fact, its heavier than the iPad. This makes it just as heavy as my smaller 13 inch Macbook Pro. To some people, that might be a deal-breaker, but not for me. I like the weight, it makes it feel substantial. When I use the iPad as a tablet, it almost feels flimsy because its so light and thin. For me, the weight of the Magic Keyboard with the iPad isn’t a big deal at all, especially because of the benefits. You essentially get two in one, a laptop AND a tablet. I use the Magic Keyboard as a stand to watch movies, or when I want to read a book or draw, I simply take it off the keyboard and hold it. The Magic Keyboard also has a USB input, which is bloody brilliant! Now I have two USB C inputs when I use the iPad with the Magic Keyboard, which is perfect for charging my iPad whilst plugging in an external drive (Which I don’t really need to since I have the 1TB iPad).
For my job, I usually work off Microsoft Teams and Safari. The great thing about the iPad is the split-screen feature. It makes it really easy to have up to 3 apps open on my screen at the same time, which is more than enough for me. Usually, even on my laptop, I have one app open at a time, however, it is great that we can have 3 apps open at the same time on the iPad. I’ve used the front-facing camera for my Microsoft Team calls, the quality is better than my Macbook Pro. Overall, my experience using the iPad for work has been great. I have not experienced any downsides using the iPad for work.
Speaking of downsides, the only downside I can think of is, video editing is still better on the Macbook. Final Cut Pro X is amazing, and I wish they had brought that to the iPad. Don’t get me wrong, LumaFusion is great, and you can pretty much do everything on here. However it is still easier and better using Final Cut Pro X. So let me clarify, it is not the laptop itself that's better, its the software.
However, the App Store on the iPad is another huge factor that outweighs the MacBook Pro. You would think the App store would be similar, but the app experience on the iPad is very different.
Honestly, I’ve debated for months whether I should purchase the Magic Keyboard to complete my iPad pro. I’ve spent countless hours watching reviews on YouTube, and pretty much everyone that I have come across have all said that it does not replace the laptop. However for me, it truly does.
Let me put it simply,
iPad Pro < Macbook Pro
iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil > Macbook Pro
Thanks for reading!