The iPad is on its way to replace your laptop, but detachable Chromebooks are already here and can do that for you today.
Detachable Chromebooks Are Better Mobile Computers Than Any iPad
Some of you may read the title and scoff at the idea that Chromebooks rival any iPad today. Duet – A Chromebook with removable keyboard/trackpad accessories included.
About a week ago I tested iPadOS 15 for the first time on the iPad Air 2020. After using the Duet as my main typewriter, I expected to be impressed. In terms of hardware, the iPad has a lot going for it, including a still unbeaten SoC, and of course this particular iPad costs almost three times as much as the Duet when you factor in Apple’s Magic Keyboard.
Just a few days later, however, I was a little disappointed. One-time tasks like watching a video or surfing social media worked decently on the iPad; However, the experience has not held up as well in my daily workflow, which includes a combination of research, writing and intensive multitasking. While there’s no denying that iPadOS has come a long way, it’s unfortunately still too limiting.
On its own, that observation probably wouldn’t be very interesting, but considering how passionately Apple is marketing the iPad as the only computer you’ll ever need, it’s surprising that a detachable Chromebook for $ 250 has surpassed so many areas.
Apple will be quick to point out the class-leading performance, extensive application library, and overall tight integration of the iPad ecosystem. But I would say that these metrics alone don’t guarantee a great user experience. Most of us don’t edit photos or manipulate graphics to make a living, and in most traditional productivity scenarios, multitasking and versatility are often more important than performance. Detachable Chrome OS devices do the former. , even with very inferior hardware.
Why do I think Chrome OS is the winner in mobile productivity? Desktop mode. The latter allows you to resize individual apps and position them however you want. There’s even support for multiple desktops, which Apple pioneered in macOS X Leopard in 2006.
One iPad can run apps side by side and a third can be moved around temporarily, to my surprise you can even use the keyboard to navigate the user interface. but two layouts just don’t offer as much flexibility for multitasking as floating windows or multiple tiles, as in some Linux-based window managers. Even the Galaxy Z Fold 3 lets you open three apps at the same time when it is unfolded. Even after hours or days of sleep, Chrome OS restores any previously running apps without reloading.
I could go on to say that my Chromebook turned out to be less frustrating in a week, but to save some time, here’s a quick recap:
Multiple User Profiles – Chrome OS has dedicated user profiles, much like Android, Windows, macOS, and even Apple’s tvOS. But there is no such separation with the iPad. If you share a device between family members, the better thing to remember is to sign out of your personal accounts in Safari and individual applications; the only alternative is for everyone to buy their own iPad, which is not ideal.
External Displays: Apple drew our attention to the Thunderbolt port on the iPad Pro, which has enough bandwidth for output with 6K resolution. However, you still can’t expand your iPad to an external monitor, it just mirrors what is on the screen. It goes without saying that Chrome OS has no such limitation and can adequately extend the desktop to as many displays as the port can handle. Unfortunately, the Duet’s USB port can only handle 1080p 30Hz displays, but newer detachable Chromebooks have a lot more bandwidth.
niche use cases: Despite all its performance, the iPad is still limited in many professional work processes. Take web development, for example. Chrome OS includes the full Chrome browser with DevTools. You can also install alternative browsers