With one small tweak, the iPad could replace the laptop


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CNET/CBS Interactive

While 2-in-1 and convertible PC sales are on the rise, the iPad is floundering. And yet in many ways, the iPad — particularly the high-end iPad Pro — is a far superior machine to most enterprise laptops out there.

What’s the missing ingredient?

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It seems that users I’ve spoken to know already what the missing ingredient is — mouse and trackpad support.

As much as Apple wants to believe that the finger and an electronic pencil can replace the mouse, for many, the lack of mouse support renders the iPad unusable. While you might be able to create beautiful artwork with an iPad, or use on-screen controls to battle aliens and monsters inside video game worlds, navigating around a spreadsheet, formatting a document, or remotely controlling a PC is currently painful.

It just doesn’t work.

Now, I’m willing to acknowledge that these problems could also be solved by designing better apps for the iPad, but not only does this not seem to be happening, it’s also a lot to ask people to change their workflow to accommodate what is essentially an artificial limitation built into the iPad platform.

And after all, people are used to mice and trackpads.

Mouse support would turn the iPad and the Smart Keyboard combo into a true competitor to the laptop, as well as position it as a direct competitor to devices such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro.

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