We Tried Using The 2019 10.2-inch iPad As Our Work Laptop For Two Weeks

Can it really replace a laptop?

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We Tried Using The 2019 10.2-inch iPad As Our Work Laptop For Two Weeks
Rojak Daily

Is the iPad really a laptop killer?

Have you always wanted to ditch your work laptop for something slimmer and lighter, because it's old, clunky and moves slower than a sloth?

Don't be shy to admit, because we absolutely hate our work laptop.

People want something lighter, something slimmer, something that can charge up in less than an hour but boast the same performance as a laptop.

So naturally, people turn to a tablet.

Thankfully for us, there are many tablets out in the market now that claims to be a 'laptop killer', but can we actually replace our old workhorse with a gadget that people dubbed as a 'Facebook machine'?

Could this be a work laptop subsitute?
We decide to put it to the test, so we got ourselves a 2019 10.2-inch iPad.

During a period of two weeks - one was before the Movement Control Order came into place - we tried subsituting our work laptop with a 2019 10.2-inch iPad (which came complete with the Smart Keyboard Folio and an Apple Pencil).

So, did it work? Here's what we found:


It's definitely a weight off our shoulders.

Pro: Our work bag is lighter

Before this, we used to lug around a 13-inch MacBook Air in our laptop bag, and after a while, you'll really feel the weight on your shoulders (quite literally). For the better part of two weeks, we took out our MacBook and substituted it with the iPad and we literally felt the load off our shoulders.

According to the Apple website, the iPad weighs just 493g, so it's not even that heavy to carry by hand. In fact, there were times where we just ditched our laptop bag entirely and walk out of our home with just the iPad.

Plus, the iPad's premium aluminium build is nice to hold and look at (we got the Space Grey one, so it's drop dead gorgeous).

The Apple Pencil is pretty handy.
Con: You need a something to hold your acessories

Now, the only problem we really had when we ditched our laptop bag is that we do not have space to put our accessories. When we work out of home, we usually carry around a charging cable, an Apple Pencil and the standard earphones, and let us tell you; there's no way that those things can fit in our pockets.

So, at the end of the day, you can't really go bag-less (unless you don't need an Apple Pencil, or earpods, or the headphone jack-to-lightning cable adapter). You would have to spend some money to get an iPad case that has enough pockets for you to hold all your essentials.


It's a fine-looking gadget.
Pro: It's as good as a work laptop

What we love about subsituting the iPad with our MacBook Air is that we can practically access the same websites and programs on it. 

The new iPadOS is a joy to use as well. When we're churning out news articles, the multi-tasking function has been incredibly useful as we can now have two seperate windows open side-by-side at the same time. 

We can now also edit articles submitted by our freelancers right on the iPad, edit those funny memes you see on our Facebook page (please give it a 'Like' here, thanks) on Photoshop and scribble down notes during a meeting. Speaking of which, if you're already using an iPad to take notes down, we recommend this app called Allegory.

During our typical work day on the iPad, the performance seldom slows down. Thankfully, we did not experience apps crashing on us when we multi-task, or when we run several apps simultaneously.

Also, we absolutely love the battery life on this thing; we've managed to squeeze in a full day's worth of work on one single charge, with some left for Netflix later at night. The battery lasts us almost a day and a half of heavy usage, so that's pretty good.

The Smart Keyboard is alright, but not great.

Con: It is not a work laptop

While the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil get the job done, we don't get the same satisfaction of typing on the keyboard, or the ease of using a mouse to point and click on certain things.

You could still use the iPad to perform certain tasks, but sometimes, that task requires a couple more clicks and a couple more apps to get done. It can be quite frustrating, especially when you're rushing for time. There were a few times where we got frustrated and turned on our MacBook, and got the job done in less than three minutes. 

Now, it's not entirely the iPad's fault, because, after all, it's an iPad. There are certain things that you can only do - efficiently, that is - on a laptop, and the iPad is just another backup platform for your laptop, especially when it's a MacBook as its Continuity function is really useful.


The speakers are pretty awesome.
Pro: It is also a pretty fine entertainment device

Once we're out of work, we usually turn our iPad into an entertainment device, and by gosh, it's an absolute beast. We used to binge-watch series on Netflix, live sports and watch video game streams on our MacBook...until the iPad came along.

We love how sharp and vibrant the screen is (it is a Retina display, after all), but the one thing that truly caught us off guard is the stereo sound system. The speakers are still located at the bottom of the device, but they are loud. Scratch that, they are extremely loud. Most of the time, our volume level is just at half, because any louder than that, it will wake up your whole house.

We've also installed several mobile games on the laptop for, you know, when we're tired of writing stories. We are currently playing 'Alto's Odyssey' and if you've played it before, you'll agree that the game is gorgeous. It's even more gorgeous on the iPad - thanks to the bigger Retina display and sound system - and we did not notice any slow-downs or crashes when we're running it in the background with other apps.  The build quality is premium.

Con: Some iPad apps are not as powerful as its desktop equivalent

While it is more convenient to have a Netflix or Twitch app on the iPad rather than opening the website on your MacBook's browser, we're kinda disappointed with the Photoshop app for the iPad. It lacks some pretty basic functions, like size-constrained crop and resizing. After trying for a while to learn how to crop an image for an article, we pratically just gave up and used an online tool instead.

And in case you're wondering, yes; the Facebook and Netflix apps work just fine on the iPad.


Here comes the important question: should you replace your work laptop with a 2019 10.2-inch iPad? Well, yes and no.

If your work requires you to use certain programs or apps, and a keyboard and a mouse to be efficient, the iPad will probably not do it for you. While we absolutely think that the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil are very useful accesories, they are not suitable for work that requires the precision of a mouse and fast typing (typing on the Smart Keyboard takes a bit of getting used to, too).

It is still a pretty handy gadget to have.
But, if you want a device that you can just bring along with you anywhere by hand which you could also use for some fast note taking, blog/website updating and story publishing like us, the 2019 10.2-inch iPad is the perfect companion device. At the end of the two weeks, we found that the iPad will not be able to replace our MacBook Air in some ways, but it complements it. 

The 2019 10.2-inch iPad is priced from RM1,449 and it's available for purchase on the Apple Store.

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