Should I buy an iPad and magic keyboard to replace my old lap top?

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Hardware & Accessories

Dear all,

My Windows lap top is six-years old and quickly breaking-down (I used it to study for a doctorate that I completed last year). So, my question is: should I buy a new Windows lap top or some kind of lap top with a magic keyboard?

I don't really need something anymore for lots of in-depth work but just to access my e-mail, write the odd article for publication and to access the internet. I have had a lot of recent problems with connecting my Windows lap top to my Sky e-mail and had to call Microsoft for advice but my iPhone connected seamlessly when I connected my Sky e-mail to the suggested Yahoo server.

I also want something light and small for meetings, so, is an iPad and keyboard a good option? I have a lot of questions about, for example, what about connecting the Apple magic keyboard and bluetooth headphones to an iPad at the same time? Does Microfost Office work as well on the iPad as on a Windows lap top, especially Word and of course, I have to buy a new SMA for Jaws in December after 20-years of buying these, should I bite the bullet, save some money and spend what the SMA would cost towards the iPad and keyboard?

Thanks,

Steve.

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Comments

Submitted by Chris Hill on Monday, August 3, 2020

You mention writing articles. I'm sorry to say it, but I don't think there is enough there with pages to call it a ms word replacement. I think You'd be happier just fixing or replacing your laptop if you need to do real work.

Submitted by roman on Monday, August 3, 2020

Hey. a new laptop is better then an I-pad. word is more advance then the pages.

Submitted by Jeff on Monday, August 3, 2020

I cannot speak from personal experience, but I understand the Ulysses app is very good for writing. You can read the Applevis directory entry here:

https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/productivity/ulysses

Personally, I prefer Windows over iOS for anything that requires extensive keyboarding. But that's just my personal opinion. My sighted wife uses her iPhone and iPad exclusively and has done so for years. But the most typing she does is probably emails. Perhaps take the next few days/weeks and observe the computing tasks you perform and imagine doing (or actually do) those tasks on your iPhone. If you think you'd be satisfied, then go with the iPad.

Submitted by Soupy on Monday, August 3, 2020

Something else you need to consider is that navigating/selecting text with a hardware keyboard is beyond painful for anything but short amounts of text for VoiceOver users.

Navigating text fields by paragraph does not work.

It is impossible to select text by paragraph when editing text.

Line navigation and selection is better, but you will typically find VoiceOver wrongly indicating words as being misspelled because of the way that VoiceOver focus moves through lines.

This is why my iPad and Brydge keyboard have spent most of the past year gathering dust.

I bought the combo thinking that I would be able to transition to it most of what I do on my Mac. Yes, it was nice to be using some of the apps I already used and liked on my iPhone, but there are just too many times when typing with the keyboard would have me wanting to throw the combo at the nearest wall.

Having reported this several times to Apple, it seems that they have no intention of fixing it.

If you do pursue this further, you might also want to consider whether the Magic keyboard would be the best choice for you. Yes, by all accounts it's a darn cool bit of kit, but you are paying for a touchpad which offers nothing to VoiceOver users; thus meaning it's taking up space for nothing.

With a keyboard such as the Brydge, you pay a lot less and get some extra buttons which might actually have some value.

Oh, and I'm typing this on My Mac, not the iPad which is also in reach.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Monday, August 3, 2020

Get what you were using. Just get a new version of whatever you are using. Be it mac or windows 10 laptop. FYI. Words work with apple.

I just finished playing with word on my wife's ipad. There may be some way I can't find now, but otherwise it has a serious problem.

The program by default doesn't display much text at all, too many controls and stuff on the screen. I wouldn't call it efficient to use, if usable at all.

I tried pages on my phone, and it worked fairly well, until I tried to center a title, then two paragraphs at the top of the screen simply disappeared. I don't know if they were really gone, but voiceover couldn't read them.

In my opinion, neither Word Nor Pages is good enough to do anything real with.

I do like my iPhone 11 pro max but I use a window 10 PC with jaws. Microsoft have nice laptop or someone can check amazon for great deals. I think the Augost prime deal be coming due to the fact that the July yearly prime deal did not happen.

Submitted by Pepper Fox on Monday, August 3, 2020

The iPad has come a long way, but it sounds like you're more comfortable with Windows. I can tell you firsthand that MS Office shines the brightest on Microsoft's own platform. It's okay on Mac OS, but I wouldn't try to use an iPad for anything serious. At best, I consider it a note-taking device.

If you use keyboard shortcuts at all in word, they are all slightly different on the different platforms, and that can throw you for a big loop. I suggest you buy another Windows laptop. If you don't feel like paying for JAWS, try out NVDA. It's fantastic and free.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Having been a medical transcriptionist, using Windows PC and JAWS, and also trying to learn the Apple Pages or Ms Word on my iPhone, I wholeheartedly recommend that you stay with a laptop for serious work. Writing your articles shouldn't have to be painful but I think they would be, if you choose to switch to an iPad and keyboard. Since you have completed your PHD, I take it that you are a serious writer, Having the proper tools in your hands will allow you to focus on your articles and not on problems with the hardware.

It would be nice to have all our devices integrated on one side or the other, but from my perspective, you would be much better off spending the cash on a very nice laptop instead.

I also highly recommend the Microsoft 365 subscription service, as well. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely hated signing up for a recurring subscription service like this, having been a die hard, own your software person from way back, but since my finances currently do not allow me to purchase the hard copy of MS 365 now, I had to start the subscription. Although I'm probably never going to be happy about that, I am very satisfied in how well JAWS works with MS Office. Yes, you can utilize the suite of programs on the web, but you don't have to. I read an article on Microsoft's website that stated that Microsoft and Freedom Scientific are in direct partnership to ensure good functionality. I have the software downloaded to my Windows 10 machine and couldn't be happier.

I purchased my subscription from Best Buy. The installation couldn't have been easier. I purchased the individual package, which gave me one key, which can be installed on five or six devices, I for get which. This includes my iPhone and two computers. As long as the devices are all in your name, the one key will work on all your devices. If you want someone else to utilize MS 365, then purchase the family plan, where you get six separate keys, and 1 TB of cloud storage for each key.

On a side note, since you are a JAWS user, I recommend that you check out the Dell laptops. Both times I have purchased one, the biggest reason I did, beyond the fact that the vidio cards are always compatible with JAWS, is due to the arrow keys. I refer to the arrow keys as being broken out. What I mean is, there is no key on the left or the right of the up arrow key. Since JAWS users utilize the keyboard exclusively, it really speeds up productivity when you don't have to always fumble around, before placing your hand on those arrow keys. I'm sure some other computer brands may use this feature, but I am confident that, when I purchase another laptop from Dell, the arrow keys would still be broken out and easily accessible. I have purchased other brands and was very disappointed in this one feature so much so that I returned the device.

If you have read this long-winded article to this point, I commend you. LOL. I wish you well in your new career.

HTH

Submitted by steven carey on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Thanks all for your valuable comments. So, it seems as though I'll be looking for a new Windows lap top. I've been very happy with my HP ENVY 13, very light and quite powerful for it's time but I had to get the battery changed last year and now the keyboard has lost a line completely (A through to return), so, I'm using a USB keyboard at the moment. In terms of Jaws, as I said, I'm on the latest version and have been using it since 1999 when I started work after my degree, spending quite a lot of money in the process on SMA's but I guess I'll carry on giving money to Freedom Scientific then! Horrified to think how much I've paid them over the years.

I was thinking how an organisation like Apple could really miss the boat by not making standard wordprocessing applications accessible but I'll take that back because of the plethora of problems I've experienced over the years with their software.

Anyway, thanks again and I'll start looking.

Steve.

Submitted by mority on Monday, August 10, 2020

Hey all.

Just wanted to throw an idea out there.

As said above, stuff like Word or pages is abit difficult to navigate when it comes to basic or advanced document creation and formatting.

Wouldn't it work though if systems like markdown are used where formatting info is written down in plain text and then it gets converted into another format?

Markdown is just a basic example, I suppose if accessible editors are around, we could also use systems like Ascsi Doc, Latex, HR tech and what not.

Greetings Moritz.