I own a ASUS monitor (VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort ports), and am about to buy a computer to use it with.

I usually use Apple devices, so I am oriented towards getting a Mac mini. However, I suspect that this could be an overkill, since the only two things I would be using on the computer would be browsing the Internet (PDFs, quick information, so no videos or detailed graphics involved) and use Latex (a lot).

So my question is, can an iPad or similar be more appropriate for this use case? Is it possible and realistic/convenient to connect it with monitor, mouse and keyboard and use it as a computer? I repeat: I just need something that makes Latex and Google Chrome work well, without delays or silly incompatibilities. So for example, the signal should arrive decently to the monitor, which is a 27''.

  • 1
    Considering that you choose to go for an iPad with an external keyboard, can you elaborate on use cases where you would be needing an external monitor? A mouse won't be required/can be used with an iPad. – Nimesh Neema Jan 20 at 20:55
  • You are right. I would use the external monitor because it is bigger and more practical. Moreover, I chose an EyeCare monitor, and I do find it more relaxing for my eyes, so I would like to continue using it. – W. Rether Jan 20 at 20:59
  • Also, a mouse would be more practical. Isn't there anything simple as an iPad (and - sorry if I mention it - less expensive than a Mac Mini) that is mouse supported? If not do not worry, the rest of the question still holds. – W. Rether Jan 20 at 21:01
  • 1
    Another clarification is needed here. You can certainly purchase adapters to mirror your iPad display. Unlike Macs and PCs, an external monitor cannot be simply used as an extended display. Only the apps specifically programmed to use an external monitor as secondary display can benefit from it. – Nimesh Neema Jan 20 at 21:03
  • iOS user experience is based on touch not click and is not designed/programmed keeping a mouse/pointing device in mind. – Nimesh Neema Jan 20 at 21:04

For your use case, I'd advise to take a systematic approach starting with researching if the desired workflow is possible to be performed on an iPad end-to-end.

By end-to-end I mean getting data onto iPad, checking on the availability and maturity of the tools/apps which will satisfactorily get the work done and getting data off the device to desired output (digital such as sharing it with other computer/people or physical such as hard copy).

I'd try to address your concerns one-by-one as asked for in the question.

First of all, unlike a desktop computer or a laptop, an external monitor cannot be simply used as an extended display for an iOS device (iPad/iPhone). You can however connect your iOS device to an external display using an adapter to mirror your device. For more details, you can get started with the following Apple Support document:

If you would not like to involve dangling and always connected cable, a slightly expensive solution could be to connect an Apple TV to your display and mirror your iOS device using Apple TV onto the display.

While extended display is not natively supported by iOS, certain apps are programmed to take advantage of an external display and show extended content.

Coming to keyboard, it's possible to use external keyboards with iOS devices. However, your typical wired/IrDA wireless keyboard won't work. Bluetooth keyboards can be paired and work fine. Apple Magic keyboard can be paired to work with an iOS device. Various 1st party and 3rd party keyboards are available for iPad with iPad Pro supporting Apple Smart keyboard.

Using a keyboard frees up screen real estate. Using Apple Magic keyboard would be recommended in your case as you are planning to use an external monitor to mirror content. This way you can use the keyboard detached from the device.

iOS user experience is based on touch, not click and is not designed/programmed keeping a pointing device in mind. Hence it's not possible to use a mouse with iPad.

Google Chrome is available on the App Store and can be installed on iPad alongside Safari which comes pre-installed. You'll need to research on the availability of Latex apps on the App Store.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .