/ Technology

Vox pops: Could a tablet replace your laptop?

iPad launch

When we popped down to Apple’s flagship Regent’s Street store for the launch of the iPad 2, there was one question we wanted to put to excited buyers in the queue – will their new iPad replace their laptop?

Apple’s has sold 15 million original iPads, and if the grins on the faces of iPad 2 launch buyers are anything to go by, the iPad 2 looks like it’ll be just as successful.Β But could the iPad and its tablet cousins put a nail in the coffin of traditional laptops? We put the question to iPad 2 queuers last Friday.

Ariel, actress

‘I’m hoping that the iPad 2 will replace my laptop because I need to get it replaced anyway. So if all things go well I won’t have to buy a new laptop.

‘I use my laptop for pretty much everything – internet, writing, emails, skype. I hope the keypad that you can attach to the iPad will mean that I can use it in the same way.’

Fred and George, buying iPad 2s for a ‘friend of a friend’

Fred and GeorgeGeorge: ‘I don’t know to what extent iPads are better than having a laptop, but they’re pretty handy and they’d be a nice thing to have just lying around the house.’

Fred: ‘I’ve got a pretty decent laptop and I don’t really see the advantages the iPad has over that at the moment. As George said, they’re pretty cool just to have round the house, so if I had the money I’d definitely have one. But, at the moment, it’s not really essential’.

George: ‘Yeah, it’s not essential, but it’s easier than opening up the screen and turning it on and booting up your computer.’

Jewels, first in the queue

Jewels‘Last year I was fourth in the queue and waited for 16 hours, this year I wanted to go three better and be number one. So when I get my hands on the actual iPad 2 it’ll be 33 hours.

‘I used to have a laptop but my iPad has now replaced it.

‘It’s my number one gadget – and it’s like a big iPod, so I use it for the music and watch videos on it when I’m commuting to work.’

Charlotte, queuing with her Dad, Malcolm

Charlotte and Malcolm‘I’ve got a MacBook at the moment, but the iPad’s much smaller so it can fit in smaller bags and I can use it as a much more portable thing for lectures.

‘I don’t think it’ll replace my laptop – I think it supplements it. It’s got smaller memory, so the laptop will be my hard drive and working computer, whereas the iPad will be what the laptop was to my desktop computer.’

Richard, computing student

Richard‘I’m not getting an iPad 2 myself – I’m here with my friend who’s getting rid of his Mac Book Air and replacing it with the iPad, so he seems to think that it’s good enough to replace his laptop.

‘I don’t agree with him yet – I think that when I get an iPad I’ll still want an iMac or something with a hard keyboard to go with it. But most things, like day-to-day browsing and Facebook, you can still do easily on an iPad.

‘People say they don’t really see the need for it, but I know that once I have an iPad it would make my life easier. I wouldn’t buy it for productivity; I’d buy it for enjoyment.’

So that’s what they thought – and you can listen to their vox pops above – but what about you? Do you think that the success of Apple’s iPad signals the beginning of the end for laptops?

DanielCake says:
31 March 2011

Agree with Richard – I could never see myself doing anything productive on an Ipad, but for browsing and general entertainment needs I think they’re brilliant.

Also agree with Richard – Ipads are entertainment rather than productive

Sophie Gilbert says:
1 April 2011

Agree with Charlotte and Richard. My laptop has replaced my desktop, and Ipads are for enterntainment only, a supplement rather than a replacement.

Paul says:
1 April 2011

I think an ipad with a separate keyboard is a good compromise that beats a single laptop (but not on price!).

For lots of work you can’t beat a traditional keyboard, especially some of the nice logitech ones.

Also has anyone considered RSI yet? This is a serious issue for some people, whether coping with it or trying to avoid it.

I have a powerful Mac desktop and also the original iPad. The desktop takes up too much room on my desk but it does have a keyboard. Does iPad 2 have a keyboard?

I have a Mac desktop and also the original iPad. The desktop takes up too much room on my desk but it does have a keyboard. Does iPad 2 have a keyboard?

surely there is a keyboard “dock” for the eyepad?

I could never use a touch screen for that long, as was mentioned earlier, RSI is an issue with any kind of prolonged usage.

You will always be more comfortable at a proper desk with chair and a mouse n keyboard, no matter how “portable” you try and sell it. I forsee new chiropractic treatment being developed for ipadstrain πŸ˜‰

I hate teeny tiny screens, had those in the 70’s no thanks