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iPad 2 as a primary computer for my brother: realistic?

This is a discussion on iPad 2 as a primary computer for my brother: realistic? within the iPad General Discussions forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; My 18-y/o brother's (I'm 20) aging 2003 Dell Dimension computer running Ubuntu bit the dust several weeks ago, and it's pretty much been up to ...

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  1. #1
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    iPad 2 as a primary computer for my brother: realistic?

    My 18-y/o brother's (I'm 20) aging 2003 Dell Dimension computer running Ubuntu bit the dust several weeks ago, and it's pretty much been up to me to help him find a suitable replacement while he finishes saving up money to pay for it. For the most part thus-far, I figured I'd just build him a middle-of-the-road tower, but a few days ago an idea popped into my head: get him an iPad.

    Allow me to explain. When it comes down to it, his demands for a computer are really modest, and just the fact that he was able to get by with the Dell Dimension is a testament to that. His needs: being able to access Facebook and all of its features, having some way to upload pictures / videos from his digital camera onto the internet, sending email messages and being able to watch videos on Netflix and Youtube. That's pretty much it. While the vast majority of his gaming is done on our PS3, access to flash games is a plus, but not necessary. It sounds like he's going to be working full-time for the next year or two, and won't be attending college anytime soon, so he won't have to write any term papers or anything like that, although some decent word processing capability and the ability to print to our (non-AirPrint) wireless printer would also be appreciated.

    I brought the idea up to him and he seems to think that it's a really good idea, especially with how active he is. Dad thinks we're crazy. So... would the iPad 2 be a good candidate for him or would he need a full-fledged x86 PC to suit his needs, and if the former, would you recommend the 32 or 64gb model?

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  3. #2
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    He sounds like a perfect iPad candidate! Probably a 20 year old is going to have a lot of music and video files, if this is the case then go for 64gb, I don't have much music or videos therefore have 12 free gbs from my modest 16 :-)

  4. #3
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    Just as a point of interest.. His browsing experience will be limited a bit because the iPad doesn't support Flash and a couple of other internet media formats... If he's a big net browser or into Youtube, then this might be a consideration.. Plus he will need a computer loaded with iTunes to be able to enable the ipad and keep it synced.... Of course someone he knows.. (such as yourself ) could donate the hard drive space...

  5. #4
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    Hi, it sounds like an iPad2 would be a great choice for your brother. It is true there are some limitations because the iPad doesn't support flash, but I haven't found this to be a big deal. Some sites have an app to make navigating their pages easier, so that can help. More and more sites are updating for the iPad every day. Plus there are so many great apps out there you could find one to do whatever you wanted (almost!). Watching YouTube videos has improved in the year since I have had my iPad. I don't have any issues with it at all. Netflix is awesome. Friendly for Facebook (app) makes Facebook very iPad friendly, easy to upload pics. You would probably need to get a camera kit for uploading photos from your camera to the iPad and from what I've read, it's best to buy the Apple camera kit rather than a cheaper knock off. You may also be able to get around the lack of a laptop for synching. There are many places on the internet for storing your data (or music). I have a laptop as well, so I use that for synching, but you could explore that option. I have a mobile me account and almost never actually sync up with my MacBook Pro. I just sync to Mobile Me.

    Later, if your brother needs to use the iPad for typing papers, doing presentations or making graphs and charts, Apple's iWork apps are great and would definitely work for a college student. Printing is not a problem either... There's apps for that.

    I know that sounds like an IPad commercial, but I have used Apple products for 20 years and there's just nothing better. I love my iPad, I take it with me everywhere. I'm even contemplating getting rid of my cell phone and using the iPad for that too.

    Oh yeah, I would also recommend a 64g, but as long as you have access to wifi you wouldn't need a 3G,4G. That will keep the price down too.

    Good luck!

  6. #5
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    Hi, good question. My input would be that the cost of an iPad 2 with full memory is exorbitant when you compare it to a laptop of any kind (not Mac). I purchased my 18 year old an HP laptop with ALL the bells and whistles for college for only $450. If she destroys it or loses it, then I can get another one and not feel so bad (even though that is still a lot of money). Don't get me wrong, my iPad barely leaves my side from the time I get up literally until I go to bed and I hate having to use my desktop for any reason, but for work, it IS simply easier right now. I can do things a bit faster and more efficiently. However, I do use Splashtop which can turn my iPad into my desktop when need be. And I use an Apple bluetooth keyboard when I really want to type efficiently (like now), so yes, I LOVE my iPad and use it whenever and wherever possible, but it is pricey and can't do, yet, all the things quite as efficiently as my desktop PC. Just my 2 cents.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYHorsewoman View Post
    Hi, good question. My input would be that the cost of an iPad 2 with full memory is exorbitant when you compare it to a laptop of any kind (not Mac). ....
    I think I'd agree. Though not nearly as trendy as an iPad, one can get a lot more computer (and a lot more storage space) with a $700-$800 Windows 7 laptop than an equivalent amount spent on an iPad. Your brother's current requirements can certainly be met with an iPad but if he stretches a bit, he'll soon be beyond what an iPad can do (easily.) I have a fairly tricked out iPad 2 with 64Gig storage, wifi only but a mobile hotspot, Apple wireless keyboard, small travel speakers, etc. Altogether the price begins to close in on $1000. If I had been on a budget (and was the only person using the device), it would have been difficult to justify the price. In fact, my little HP 11" notebook has considerably greater functionality (and three times as much disk space) as my iPad.

  8. #7
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    Did you said flash games? My iPad2 doesnt play online flash games and I do remember I read somewhere that ipad doesnt support flash.

  9. #8
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    That is correct. Something that folks tend not to research before purchasing their iPads.
    Marie ~


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  10. #9
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    Maybe a Netbook is a good compromise. They are lower end notebooks intended for light duty. Like the other commenters, I use my iPad a LOT. But is not substitute for a desktop or decent notebook. I remote into my home and work PCs with Jump Desktop all the time. You get the picture!
    iPad 3rd gen 64 GB 4G

  11. #10
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    Yeah, if he really wants to play flash games, then netbook is a go. or I think if he can play the games available on ipad store then ipad might be a better option, both have ins and out.


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