iPad investigate

Bye bye MacBook, hello iPad: Why I'm taking the tablet

Many people are still undecided about whether they could use Apple's tablet instead of a notebook. There's no doubt in Seb Janacek's mind.

One big issue with replacing your laptop with an iPad is that Apple's tablet doesn't seem to age well. Photo: Apple

I tweeted the other day to no one in particular that I couldn't see my iPad replacing my desktop machine but I could easily imagine not buying another laptop.

I've given it more thought and as much as I had assumed I'd update my MacBook Pro to a MacBook Air in a few years, now I'm not sure I need to. The iPad is now the computer I use most.

The world's reaction to the iPad was muted at first. Like many others, I bought an iPad when it first went on sale in 2010 without a clear idea what I would use it for. Before buying it, I'd played with one for about 30 minutes, firing through 10 to 15 iPad apps in quick succession: the BBC app, Marvel comics, the Guardian photos app, and a graphically rich interactive book.

Steve Jobs mused about whether there was a space for a product between a smartphone and a laptop and decided the iPad was it. According to the Walter Isaacson biography, the polite applause and muted reception depressed Steve Jobs because the concept had been the culmination of several years of work.

Meanwhile, the tablet drew accusations that it was primarily a device for the passive consumption of content. Not anymore. The iPad is selling at pace far in excess of any previous Apple product.

There's no doubt that the iPad is a fine device to watch stuff on. One of the best descriptions comes from the journalist and TV writer Charlie Brooker who described it as a device "ideal for idly browsing the web while watching telly".

It performs this function very well, but two years after I first started to use it, I know it does a whole lot more. So much more that I suspect, based on my personal usage, that I can get by with a desktop Mac and an iPad and cut out Mr Laptop altogether.

Here is my home set-up: a mid-2007 24-inch iMac, a mid-2010 13-inch MacBook Pro and a third-generation 32GB wi-fi iPad. I would estimate my usage ratio as 20:10:70 for iMac:MacBook Pro:iPad.

Lack of a physical keyboard

Some people dismiss the iPad because they feel it's uncomfortable to write on due to its lack of a physical keyboard. But I found you soon get used to it.

I admit that even now I probably make more mistakes on the soft iPad keyboard than I do on a real one, yet these errors do not represent enough of a problem to stop me using it for writing and certainly not when considering the device's wider benefits.

On three occasions I've written full articles in the car - of course, not while driving. There's more room to work on trains with the added bonus that I don't need to worry about being within a couple of feet of a power cord.

For me, the iPad's key work uses are writing and editing articles - sometimes long ones - producing simple presentations, and viewing often tedious papers in preparation for meetings.

I use it as my main email and browsing machine. It's excellent for managing social media channels. There are endless Twitter clients and the WordPress app lets you post articles, review and publish comments and get headline traffic and usage data.

The Pages app is an excellent basic word processor, possibly my favourite since the Windows version of WordPerfect 5.2. Pages is used for making notes in meetings or at presentations, as well as writing longer articles. Note-taking on the iPad also means my jottings are legible, unlike my paper laptop filled with full of page after page of childlike scrawl.

A to-do app lets my manage priorities and a calendar app lets me manage time and appointments. Dropbox lets me access my files from anywhere with a wi-fi connection and presents documents and papers very well, although Excel spreadsheets less so.

Of all the common productivity applications, spreadsheets are the most problematic. I'm not a fan of either the Mac or iPad version of Numbers so still looking for a solution on this issue.

There will be many cases where a laptop is preferable to an iPad. But for someone who needs the basic functions of web, email, social media, productivity apps and other office-based applications, the iPad is starting to look like a worthy alternative.

It offers mobility and lightness, excellent user experience and a superior focus on tasks and work. Plus, in downtime, it's an excellent machine to watch stuff on.

Issue with iPad as laptop replacement

The one big issue I have with the iPad as a laptop replacement is device longevity. My first-generation iPad is becoming slow and unresponsive and despite my new iPad's quick performance I suspect that in two years it will succumb to a similar fate.

iPads don't seem to age well the way Macs do. Given their lower price, I suspect Apple - and possibly other manufacturers - see them as devices that will have a shorter upgrade lifecycle than laptops or desktops.

Despite being a mid-2007 model, my iMac is still in fine shape and will last another couple of years before being upgraded. The MacBook Pro is new and will give many more years of service.

This may be the core issue. A Mac laptop has traditionally lasted me five to six years before being upgraded. If the iPad continues to creep towards obsolescence after two or three, then the maths takes over. Will it be a smaller outlay every two years for a new iPad or a larger investment every five to six years for a new laptop?

However, cost aside, increasingly there's not really an argument for me over form and function. The iPad is winning the day.

168 comments
hoffmancapote
hoffmancapote

I use a tablet all the time. The sensible man's tablet a BlackBerry PlayBook and although it has replaced my notebook where mobility is needed and for ease of use but as a photographer and for my business use I do need a notebook. I do not think the tablet will replace the notebook for quite a while, for it to replace the notebook or the desktop it must offer the the capabilities of the notebook and at the moment it is still far from that goal. I would like many others appreciate a tablet that can do everything but if it becomes just as heavy and large as a notebook what is the point of a tablet with an open vulnerable screen where the notebook has a lid and a physical keyboard that just about everyone prefers. Brian

VytautasB
VytautasB

Went to a business meeting last week and was in a quandry as to whether to take my MacAir or Ipad. Glad I chose the MacAir because i was making a presentation and needed to frequently make changes which I then copied to Usb and gave to the projectionist. Could not have done that with an ipad. Planning to go to Brussels next week and want to practice my piano during my spare time in the hotel. Will bring a 3 octave usb keyboard and again will need the MacAir to play with sound. Also want to watch movies in the hotel when the TV only has foreign language offerings. The ipad can't hold that much and I don't want to use the hotel wifi to connect to itunes to buy or rent a video. Also can't imagine writing an article (footnotes, grab other saved reference docs) with an iPad unless you have a bluetooth keyboard and some means to get at your office archive of files. Then you might as well use the built in keyboard of the MacAir. The iPad is good for a general (if you had to grab and go with something quick) tool but still not enough to fill in for a business traveller who want to do real work and relax in the offhours.

koala777
koala777

for most people yes for developers and designers no its not possible to replace your laptop not for know probably in some 5 years from now

camcost
camcost

We seem to be repeating the old 'computer techie expert VS the end user' mentality that took place in the 80s. The computer tech experts were quite happy using the archaic M-Dos interface... printing on horrible pixelated dot printers. It was the users who bought-into the graphical interface and printed to laser printers that moved things ahead. Once again it seems to be the anti user/ anti Apple mentality who are trying their darndest to keep technology from advancing.

aiellenon
aiellenon

for me (ran out of room in the subject) Web browsing. I never have less than 10 web pages open at a time, unless the browser has not yet been opened after a reboot. Currently I have 2 Chromium web browser windows open, with 28 and 17 tabs open on them, plus I have firefox running with an additional 7 tabs, totaling 52 current browser tabs. I think I once had 125 total tabs open (downloading mods for Oblivion), find me a tablet capable of that. I have an android tablet and an android phone, and my biggest complaint is that I cannot open an email (say ZDNet tech update today) and fire open 6 or 7 article webpages (in the background) to read later, yes I know of "pocket" (formerly read-it-later) and I have it, although never really got around to using it. the problem is that every link I touch in my mail "has to" open the browser and leave the email app, then I have to wait for the page to connect and start loading before I switch apps back to my email, or "sometimes" the page loads up blank, or even is not there when I get back to the browser (Dolphin Mini, I hate the side panels of Dolphin HD, they always open when I am scrolling if the page is wider than my display). Even worse is when the links open in the same tab (have not seen that in more than 6 months though). I get a lot of emails suggesting I read this or that article/post on what ever website, I like to open those pages and delete the emails quickly so I have under 10 unread emails as much as possible; however I frequently have 125-150 unread emails to sift through because I spend most of my time on my phone or tablet and not on my laptop or desktop. It is such an inconvenience to manage email links that I just don't bother and ignore those emails till I have time to sit down and read on my laptop or desktop. Fix that and I'd gladly give up my laptop and use my desktop for file storage and occasional gaming.

user support
user support

Devices and software are a matter of choice. I can see the author's point of choosing the tablet over a laptop, at least for home use. I have seen presentations by VMware and Citrix of testing the iPad for enterprises. Enterprises are still using Windows laptops at this time to VPN and connect to Citrix servers. While Android devices may cost less, there are many flavors just like the Linux base they are built on. Support is still more for do-it-yourselfers. Except for the Word processing, the PDA (scheduling) apps, and looking for a solution for Excel, it looks like most of the apps are used for leisure. I think it is ironic however that this is in an Insight CIO column and the author admits that he makes more typing errors now than before. I would think a successful CIO would value his time better.

anil_g
anil_g

Anyone who wants to actual type has to use an additional keyboard, but that does not invalidate the iPad. There's no way you can type properly and do any serious work on a touch screen, but I'd be quite happy to carry an iPad and a wireless keyboard if the iPad was anywhere near providing other features that I need. This hysteria about iPad replacing other computers like laptops is confusing those of us who've just started using tablets. The iPad is more like a phone than a computer. It only lets you do what you've got an app to do. It has to operate in tandem with a cloud service and you're certainly going to want to access the cloud from a serious workstation to clean up and properly manipulate what content you may have generated on the iPad. The iPad is only a replacement for meeting support. Now we don't have to take our laptops to the meeting, we can bring an iPad, type in meeting notes to the cloud (with a keyboard, it's hard enough to keep up with the verbal flow on a proper keyboard, you're dead in the water with a touch screen) and you may be able to distribute meeting documents to others at the meeting. That's about it. I look forward to the evolution that it seems Apple is throttling (Apple is beginning to look like the new Microsoft). I think Apple wants to sell as many generations of iPad to you as possible before we reach the perfect tablet that will supply as much as a desktop as possible, within the confines of the size of the device. I mean, you will be carrying around 16GB of storage minimum with "the new iPad" but you can't even plug that into a USB slot and get / give a file? I hear Android tablets are more permissive. I guess Android is the lower cost platform that is not as well marketed, that has to win market share by offering features that people want, before Apple does, in order to compete with the marketing. Meanwhile, anyone who thinks they can replace a laptop with an iPad is obviously not doing any serious work. Maybe spending more time talking, possibly happy just to check and respond to some light emails, and browsing the web.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... you certainly prove that it can--and does--for your purposes. Explain to me how you're not using your notebook as a desktop as compared to your tablet for mobility. Your notebook is nothing more than a portable desktop where the tablet, even for you, is a true mobility device.

anil_g
anil_g

iPad is a great little device for catching up on email and reading the news online. You can even store shopping reminders and synch them automatically with your other devices. Wait, you can even edit photos and post them to Facebook! But I don't think anyone busy is going to drop their Macbook soon.

anil_g
anil_g

Better hang on to that laptop for a bit while longer. You might want to say "hello" again when you get back home.

anil_g
anil_g

Not at all. It's because I'm not satisfied with what the iPad offers that I'm complaining. You're holding back development if you're hysterically happy with what the iPad can do. And you're wrong again as well: it was the techies that invented the X Windowing system. Oh, and you're wrong again, again. I LOVE Apple and use it at home and at work. So your point was?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Nobody here who has stated the tablet is not for them has said tablets shouldn't be made. Nobody here who has stated the tablet is not for them has said nobody should have a tablet. Nobody here who has stated the tablet is not for them has made any comments denigrating a particular vendor. And nobody here who has stated the tablet is not for them has suggested that we keep technology from advancing. Why do those who embrace the new without questioning the need always seem to think that those who do question are "trying their darndest to keep technology from advancing", are "anti-[favored vendor here]", or are just plain Luddites? Are those who embrace the new without question incapable of understanding that "not for me" doesn't mean "against"?

anil_g
anil_g

Exactly. Your description shouldn't have been necessary, since everyone else will be having the same experience, but it seems like we've got to pretend it's easy, so that we can be part of the hysteria that says "bye bye laptop". Actually it's a pain in the neck to use at times. We don't mind putting up with limitations when the device is so portable but there's no use pretending that you can throw away your laptop. As someone else said, the size of the device is a big limit, compounded by the lack of mouse because fingers are a lot fatter. I think I'd really like an A4 iPad designed with mouse and keyboard as optional. Being able to use fingers is fantastic when it's enough, like just reading emails or browsing, but I'd love to be seriously able to use a tablet as my only device and just switch from hand held use to table use whenever I get the opportunity.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Keep in mind that we're really still in the second generation of tablet computing, the big, heavy Windows/Mac tablets of the last decade proving an obvious failure due to lack of software despite their ready power. Keep in mind that these tablets today still have more power than the first or even second generation desktop computer in both processing capability and available software. Taking these two factors into account, what you're asking for is not all that far away--possibly as near as within the next three years. Yes, it's true that tablets right now don't work with a windowed format; a goo part of that is that it's simply too small a form factor to even try using windows on the display; we're essentially back to the old 600x800 display capability albeit with much smaller pixels and as such much clearer text and graphics than you could get 20 years ago. Combine this with the touch capability and now you're 'clicking' a 20x20pixel button (or larger) rather than a 5x5 or less, so while reading and viewing and even gaming are pretty easy on these high-res displays, you still have only limited actual working area. Make them as large as a sheet of notebook paper (8 1/2 x 11 for instance) and you could 'scribe' on it as readily as you do a school notebook. The smaller the display, the less effective it is for taking those kinds of notes. If you look at your own laptop or desktop computer, you're using a much, much larger display at the same resolution as that tablet. I have to hold my iPad almost at arm's length to get the same apparent display size as my 24" iMac and the only reason my 20" laps over at full arm's length is that it's wide-screen, not 4:3 format.

anil_g
anil_g

I'd like to see an Android vs iPad good (practical) article. And I'd like to know how to install ssh on iPad, like some have mentioned. Just getting ssh would be a big step forward, I guess like using Citrix: the iPad becomes a terminal to a more capable server and you are then less limited by the iPad itself. However, you still don't have a mouse, so how accessing a normal graphic OS works I don't know.

danbi
danbi

In order to understand why people think the iPad is an productivity boost device, you need to actually try one. So, don't theorize, just get one and see for yourself. There are some extremely serious and high quality apps for the iPad and the most weird thing is, that their price is an order of magnitude lower than of similarly capable 'desktop' apps -- even from the same publisher. They just don't cary the unnecessary bloat of the desktop apps.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

In the enterprise this is probably the most common use for an iPad at the moment, but that's a huge step up from using a laptop, especially when you realize all the wiring that had to be done to let you connect your laptop to a projector for presentations. You simply lose the mobility capability that a tablet can offer even there. One minor change and an iPad could use that projector completely wirelessly, allowing you to walk around the stage/table and talk to an individual and still have control of the presentation itself. Your viewpoint is simply too limited when compared to the reality and the potential of a tablet device. You say you look forward to the evolution, yet you slip into a rant about Apple "throttling" the tablet while completely ignoring the fact that Apple has no control over Android devices which offer the same capabilities and lack some of those limiters--yet have gone no farther than Apple's iPad. Why? Explain to me exactly what evolution is currently being throttled that these devices should already have. Is it a full desktop OS? That's been available for over a decade now with almost no market penetration. Even with a touch-capable version of Windows, tablets simply went nowhere before the iPad showed up; and you can't blame Apple for that because there were Powerbook/MacBook tablets available as well and they simply didn't move. The difference is in the overall paradigm of the thing and as yet most people still don't know even what is possible, much less the overall potential of the form. Science Fiction has predicted such devices for over half a century and we're only barely getting started. I guess what really upsets me is that you want to turn tablets into a legacy computer rather than a future one. You want to inhibit it to technologies that are growing obsolete rather than pushing it into new paradigms. No, it's not Apple that's throttling the tablet but rather the people who insist it should be something it shouldn't.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... before you make comments about them. While I don't argue that they are limited compared to full out computers like laptops and desktops, they are still highly productive, some more so than others. The discussion of which tablet is best will be a long-running one, but they all have at least similar capabilities--again some moreso than others. The discussion in this article is how the tablet has replaced the laptop for the author by simply offering better mobility and better usability while on the road than a laptop while he still has his desktop to perform his heavy-duty work; he simply no longer needs his laptop. This is the same kind of reasoning I have read and seen with many other people who used to carry laptops everywhere. The tablet has become a convenient supplemental tool to the desktop that simply doesn't need to be kept as rigidly synched as a laptop to keep up with the data you're working with.

camcost
camcost

" The iPad is more like a phone than a computer." A phone!!??? Do you know what a phone is? It's purpose is to make phone calls. Period. Anything beyond that is just bells and whistles! The iPad is much, much, much closer to a computer than it is a phone. If you had made this statement two or three decades ago they would have locked you up. Especially considering how many things the iPad can do that computers couldn't do well back then.

danbi
danbi

Instead of make theoretical assumptions, you need to get an iPad in your hands and use it for various tasks. There are plenty of usages, for which the iPad is better suited than any laptop or desktop. One thing, people who start using the iPad begin to understand is that they have been subjected to extremely bloated and expensive software that offers "a lot" but is not easy to use. This is why you need all the complications and the 'requirements' on the desktop. When you use the iPad a bit, you will start to understand why you don't need to plug it in USB as a drive or do other stupid things, that archaic software and platform designs required you do in order to be productive.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

I simply don't need it any more when I travel. Traveling is the only reason I even had it.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

For the last three years the general consensus by "techies" has been, * "Tablets are useless" * "Nobody needs a tablet" * "Apple is just leeching more money out of suckers" * "Tablets will ultimately fail" Ok, so nobody here has specifically made those statements, but many of them have implied as much by their arguments that they are incapable of productive work of any kind and Apple in particular has been the implied, if not stated, culprit. There's a difference between questioning the usability with the intent to learn and questioning with the intent to denigrate. Many, if not all of the anti-tablet statements made even in this thread imply denigration rather than true curiosity. A curious questioner will approach a subject with an open mind rather than flat-out stating "It's not for me." How are you going to know if you don't actually try? Ok, some of you claim to have tried, but have you really? Or have you tried to use said tablet (no matter the brand or OS) as you use your desktop, without accommodating for the differences with the platforms? Nobody has ever said a tablet will replace the desktop but rather that the tablet can replace the laptop for mobility purposes. Are you going to write a novel at Starbucks? Or are you going to check your email, do a bit of web browsing or maybe do a little anthropological/socialogical observation and study of your fellow espresso drinkers? That big laptop on the table is a very visible, very obvious and usually very clumsy tool for that kind of purpose; a tablet can serve much better and doesn't even need to take up table space if you're with one or two friends/clients. How do you really know it's "not for me" if you insist on using it like a completely different tool? Ten minutes playing with it at the store isn't going to give you a realistic view of how YOU can use it; not even 30 minutes. Approaching it with a closed mind also isn't going to help you any; you're simply going to realize the limitations you're looking for rather than the benefits you're not. None of us knows how it can help you, specifically, but we can offer advice on how it helps us. There's a huge library of software out there for tablets now--specifically but not limited to iOS tablets--finding the one that meets your needs simply requires a bit of research and time. Even I don't know all the apps that are available but between I (a writer, photographer and IT consultant) and my wife (a charity organizer and IT Systems Administrator) we've discovered a lot of apps that are quite useful for our needs.

anil_g
anil_g

Hello again? We DID buy one. That's how I found out how limited it is.

anil_g
anil_g

I don't get how you can say I'm inhibiting when what I'm asking for is more. There's no point in dumping technologies just because we've been using them for a while. What, do you want the iPad to have no screen? No, we use a screen because it's USEFUL. So why can't I have a mouse with the iPad? That would speed up copy and paste by a factor of 100. Why can't I have access to my files independent of the apps I've got? I don't know, I'm not the interface or OS designer here, but using an iPad feels like drinking a bathtub through a straw and yet everyone is jumping up and down and saying "bye bye laptop". I'm just saying: no, I don't think so. As for Android I'm only quoting what I've been told and I did actually ask a question about that. I'd just like to see some actual objective evaluation and I wonder why there's no one out there who seems to be able to write a helpful article on iPads with practical information instead of this hysteria about throwing away your laptop because everything's changed. iPad has a long way to go before it replaces my Macbook.

anil_g
anil_g

I did. That's why I posted. But I was surprised, because as soon as I started using it I realised why it wouldn't be much help. If I was to write the article that would be my prime focus: the limitations; what it can and CAN'T do. But no-one seems to be willing to write on that.

anil_g
anil_g

Smart phone. Unfortunately the iPad can't actually make phone calls so it's not even a phone.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

are negligible. Both have processors, both have RAM, both have local storage, both can connect to remote devices. Other than that? Not much at all.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I can't afford to purchase one for myself on the possibility I may find it useful. It doesn't help that I don't trust web-based storage and am unwilling to pay for a cellular connection for it.

anil_g
anil_g

Hello? "those of us who've just started using tablets". It's because I've just bought one that I've suddenly found out: hey, this isn't a computer; it's a PHONE.

sorenbargmann
sorenbargmann

unless you completely discount the need to move data from one device to another, it is cheapest, fastest and most reliable way to date. How would you for example get photos from a camera to you iPad?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But it would be impossible for me. In my case and in many others, the iPad is simply incapable of providing (or obtaining) the "stupid" capabilities required in a portable computer: * Directly connecting to printers * Transferring confidential files without using public wifi * Updating CAD drawings * Typing at 60+ words per minute * Transferring files to equipment designed with only an RS-232 or RS-485 interface * Local storage of multiple image files * Many, many other tasks Archaic these tasks may be, but most employers require actual results of their productive employees and provide laptops so that we can perform these "stupid things".

camcost
camcost

Perhaps one the most accurate comments I've seen in a while. It totally flies in the face of prejudiced commentators who defend laptops and other platforms with the argument that iPad users are mindless sheep making Apple wealthy. My perspective as a user with much experience on practically all platforms (including Linux!) is that there's really nothing to compare to the iPad experience. It's really about as close to my perspective on perfection as an OS can get. I've used computers 25 years waiting for something like this.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

How I use my iPad depends on my location and what purpose I am using it for. I never argued that you can't use a keyboard, I argued that you don't [i]NEED[/i] a keyboard for most functions. I also very recently purchased one of the capacitive styluses for purposes such as handwriting in SQUARE (for credit card signatures?) and sometimes to simply make certain tasks a little easier as my hand doesn't cover the screen as fully when using it. Again, neither device is mandatory for use, but they are helpful. The same holds true with a stand, my particular iPad using Apple's early folding cover for protective purposes and a light-weight foldable plastic stand that raises it up about 5 inches when using it on a table which in my case will hold the iPad in either landscape or portrait orientation. Normally I choose not to use touch when it's on the stand once I'm in Pages (the app I use for writing), choosing to use keyboard shortcuts and arrow keys to move around the page. As for "heavy" editing, I go back to my desktop (which answers your latest question.) The majority of laptop users who use them for [i]mobility[/i] purposes no longer need one. This doesn't mean there aren't some, especially IT professionals, who do. For that majority, the iPad can do everything they used their laptop for before. On the other hand, I never claimed that the iPad as it stands will replace a desktop. Many people who own laptops use them as desktops and don't own another fixed-location device. Again, the iPad or any other tablet can fully replace a desktop only for those who don't use the full functions of their desktop computer, and that's really a comparatively small number. The tablet is a [i]supplemental[/i] device to desktop computing which replaces the need for that previously supplemental laptop.

anil_g
anil_g

Hmm, that's fascinating, Vulpine. I see you agree with one of my points, that a keyboard IS necessary for serious typing. Of course, that doesn't invalidate the iPad as a device (I hurriedly add before someone starts shouting again). It's funny, too, since last night as I was practicing on my iPad again I began to think about a stand in order to reduce neck strain; so interesting that you too have found the hand held mode needs to be dispensed with for more involved use too. After some instruction from this thread I found that there were more editing tools available for cursor positioning. I still found them very slow to use, to the extent where if there was a double space in error somewhere I couldn't be bothered to fix it because it would take too long to move the cursor to it. I also consider that when the iPad is on a stand, trying to poke it around with your finger for "mousing" purposes is going to be even more awkward, depending on your stand. How do you find performance here? Which stand do you use? And of course the 539 dollar question, do you also have another computer, other than your laptop that you are not using, that you do still use, or are you using your iPad exclusively for all your work, with no other computer? And what sort of work are you doing on your iPad? Are there any limitations for you?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

As to #2, yes, I do. Normally I use a bluetooth keyboard on my lap while the iPad is set up on a table with a stand that puts it just below eye level, making it very easy for me to see and use in almost any lighting conditions, indoors or out.

anil_g
anil_g

Ok, Vulpine, that's interesting. 1. Do you still have a laptop? If so, what and why do you use it? 2. What sort of work do you do on the iPad? Do you type and edit text a lot?

anil_g
anil_g

Oh great, Bart, so you've FINALLY started discussing the TOPIC. Welcome back. Thanks for your instructions, they are informative. I tried everything to get a cursor into the URL, I have seen the magnifying "bubble" before without knowing what it was for, but I didn't pop up at any time when I was trying everything to edit the URL. Perhaps I'll be more succesful now that I know specifically what I'm supposed to be doing. I have done some copy and paste before but the touchscreen doesn't seem to respond reliably and accurately enough all the time. Sometimes I get copy and paste pops up when I don't want it, and sometimes I can't get it to work when I do want it. As I've said, I'm interested in getting a stylus. Perhaps iPad should have a way of docking / clipping a stylus on. I think the same judgement prevails over this sort of functionality as over your typing comments. Ok, so you CAN do it, if you try and fiddle enough, but the speed and accuracy is not really there. Like I said, I love the iPad but it won't replace my laptop yet. I'm happy to carry a keyboard around with it so that I can get the flexibility of with keyboard / without keyboard modes, but I've yet to clearly see any argument from anyone that the iPad will replace their laptop. What about you, Bart? Do you find that the iPad has allowed you to sell your laptop?

camcost
camcost

Before I ever used the iPad 1, there were many comments online how it couldn't play YouTube videos. I agreed with online posts that the device must be somewhat useless. My Android tablet (which was released PRIOR to the first generation iPad) actually could play YouTube, but did a terrible job with constant stutters and stalls. I was amazed when I finally played with the iPad at a store's showroom and it not only could play YouTube but could play the videos perfectly... as well, or better than my laptop! It was at that moment that I began learning that the majority of the iPad's critics know very little about it.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Just saying "It won't work" leaves you open to the arguments you got. It wasn't until you noted that you had to carry disk images with you to re-initialize down systems and perform other, similar tasks that I, at least, understood your need. The statement as originally posted implied (not stated) that ownership of an iPad or tablet was a mark against the user, not the product.

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

Seems more like you love to point out (incorrect) limitations. On several posts I've responded directly addressing your incorrect information on what you say are limitations with the iPad (again, limitations that do not exist). You said you have to backspace and retype text stings if you discovered you discover that you previously made a spelling error because there is no way to insert the cursor where the error is.. Wrong! I explained how easy and fast it is to fix that sort of thing in the reply "Stinky would be..". In the same post I also explained how typing on the ipad can actually be almost as fast as typing on a regular keyboard if you do it right. Then in my reply to another misconception on your part about using DropBox and editing using apps (post titled "Wrong about DropBox"), I addressed that your understanding was errored and explained how you can easily edit a file from DropBox in another App. So, yes I have responded to the flaws in your information about (false) explicit limitations, how your information is wrong, and the fact that your understanding of how to use the iPad is more limited than the iPad itself. Which leads me to doubt that you actually have an iPad, or took the time to learn how to use it if you do actually own one. BTW.. The hyperbole you quoted above was something that I quoted from a post before mine. Links to threads referenced above: http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/discussions/102-391788-3671146 http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/discussions/102-391788-3671182 (Selected, cut and pasted with an iPad BTW)

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

From my first post in this thread: [i]The iPad may be best for you...But it would be impossible for me.[/i] It seems expressing my opinion about the iPad's usefulness [u]for my case[/u] got me a couple of downvotes. Am I not supposed to tell the truth?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

So trying to claim that a tablet can't serve the purpose for an average user simply because it can't serve [i]YOUR[/i] purpose is where we've been arguing all this time.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

What kind of work? Do you mean that you do all your office work in your car with a laptop? Do you mean that you type long novels on the airplane? Maybe you mean you create a complete slideshow presentation while you're sitting in the park. Really, exactly what kind of "work" are you talking about when you say that? How about that person who is trying to sell a building project to a customer? Is it easier that you keep him in his home or office to show him that presentation, or go to the building site and show him there? That's work, is it not? Yes, the iPad literally can replace the laptop that is used as a mobility device; the laptop itself is only a [i]portable computer[/i], not a mobile one. Why have a desktop and a laptop when most of your "real work" is done at a desk? Until you un-train yourself to believe that a laptop is absolutely necessary for your work, you begin to realize you have two different levels of work which can be served by two different classes of device.

anil_g
anil_g

Yeah. Like I keep saying I LOVE iPad and then keep bringing up specific explicit limitations and try to start a discussion on how to improve. But then the responses are fully off topic with all sorts of hyperbole and generalistic comments about "stop hating iPad" (I didn't) "stop hating Apple" (I don't) "go and buy one first" (I did) "no-one said that the iPad would REPLACE the laptop" (yes, they did) "the iPad is HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE" (what does that MEAN??).

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

Not to mention those that are obviously making an effort to take every opportunity to respond to every single "positive" post in an adversarial manor that puts down, degrades, points out almost nothing but the negatives (or more accurately.. the PERCEIVED negatives) of tablets in every response. As to "nobody here has stated..", sometimes, the whole is more than the parts. In other words nobody may have come right out and say "the iPad sucks", but there are a few on this site who seem to have made it their mission to counter every positive post on tablets (especially the iPad) with nothing but "this is why it's not as good as the hype" comments. Taken in that greater context, yes there are some people here who have said (through the sum of their posts): "Tablets are useless", "Nobody needs a tablet", "Apple is just leeching more money out of suckers" and "Tablets will ultimately fail".

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I've used a tablet for all of these, and it was neat. * Checking email * Web browsing * Document editing * Internet [u]Consumption[/u] But that's as far as it goes. I'm in retail support. I'm the end user tech at the front end of the service chain, the face of my employer to my customers. My primary responsibility is to service and repair the equipment retailers use to sell their products to their customers: computers, printers, scanners, scales, and the associated infrastructure and peripherals. I'm given no choice in what I will use or how I will use it. At work I have to connect to multiple devices–scales, scanners, thin clients, PCs, switches, hubs (yes, hubs), access points, printers, etc–and interact with those devices. Flashing, configuring, saving, restoring, etc., etc., etc. Many (but not most) of those connections are the same. But the scales and scanners are all from different manufacturers and have different interfaces, connections, and protocols. And some of the network devices require I connect through a console session to establish a TFTP session to transfer data off a CD or DVD. I carry six different interface cables and three different USB-to-something dongles so I can connect those cables to my netbook. Not to mention the standard USB A-B, mini, and micro cables AND the external floppy and CD/DVD drives AND the powered USB hub so I can connect multiple drives if necessary. The restrictions placed on me are intended to protect my customers and through them, their customers: loyalty data, phone numbers, credit/debit card info, etc. I understand the need for those restrictions and the necessity of complying with them. Perhaps I have not been clear about the need for those restrictions before. I know a tablet (the iPad in particular) is not for me at work because it simply does not have the hardware interface capabilities my customers' equipment requires and cannot be made to have those capabilities. End of line.

anil_g
anil_g

So the picture's becoming clearer now (as the hysteria fades): no iPad won't replace your laptop, but it may "replace your laptop for mobility purposes". Ok. Let's start a policy document and see how many clauses we need in the definition. So iPad is great if you are walking around a lot or drinking coffee, but as soon as you want to do some work, it's "hello Macbook" again. And I don't go to Starbucks either.

anil_g
anil_g

Oh, ok, the iPad is NOT a replacement for a laptop! Sorry, my mistake, I thought I heard someone somewhere saying they were going to wave goodbye to their laptop. Must have been some hysteria somewhere else.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

One week? Two? A month? Sure, a tablet isn't a full-out replacement for a laptop when that laptop is used as a portable desktop, but it can usually do what you need when you're standing out there in an open field trying to show your client what the project is going to look like, or selling them on a product or service, or whatever else you would have otherwise had to set that laptop down on the hood of your car to do. Tablets are mobility devices. Tablets are [i]supplemental[/i] to desktops. Laptops are desktop clones--desktop replacements. They're not supplemental devices, they're a whole, extra, full-priced computer that may just be surplus equipment in your office.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... you're asking for less. We need to move forward rather than insisting on retaining the past. We now have the connectivity to almost eliminate the need for most attachments. Why do we need to carry hard drives when the Cloud easily serves the purpose? Why do we need to carry thumb drives that are easily lost or stolen when the Cloud serves the purpose? Why, even, do we worry about stolen laptops when it is so easy now to wipe a tablet [i]without losing the data it carried[/i]? Yes, I do agree it's slower right now than physically-connected devices, but that's not that much of an issue when you remember that we're only in the second generation of mobility devices and most of that speed limit is due to the carriers' choke points rather than any hardware issues. Modern tablets are far faster than the first- or even second-generation PCs. As you come to understand the capabilities of a tablet, you can quickly realize that you usually don't need all the rest of that fluff you carry with you in a laptop. It's far more mobile, far more useable and far, far lighter than your average laptop while using far more efficient versions of your usual applications. It is very rare that you need a full-out version of Adobe's Photoshop when you're out on the field sending sports photos to your publisher, for instance. You can wait until you're in the office and at a desktop for that.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... as a mobility device. They're heavy. They require heavy supplemental devices (power brick, spare batteries, etc.) and in the long run become quite bulky--as large in some cases as a typical business persons' carry on for an overnight assignment. You can't even carry a change of clothing unless you stuff all that into a medium-sized suitcase or carry more than one bag. (The idea was for mobility--grab and go. A laptop just doesn't let you do that any more.) Probably one of the greatest examples of the "grab and go" concept is when Steve Jobs, Tim Cook and a number of Apple personnel were in a meeting discussing a supply issue. Cook said, "Somebody needs to go over there (China) to figure out the problem." Ten minutes later, Tim looked at a specific executive and said, "Why are you still here?" That individual walked out the door, rode over to the airport and spent the next year in China--not even stopping at his home to pick up clothing or other essentials. That, my friend, is mobility. The iPad or any other tablet, had they been available then, would have made his task just that little bit easier and a heck of a lot cheaper.

anil_g
anil_g

Then why is the article called "bye bye" Macbook? I'm not saying I don't like an additional iPad, but clearly it's not "bye bye laptop". That's whay I'm saying. Those of us who ran out in hope have had their hopes dashed and when we sober up we realise there's a fair amount of hysteria of how the iPad will replace laptops. No. It won't. Not yet anyway. Hello? You are in AGREEMENT with me, ok? Otherwise refer to my earlier post. The whole operation of an iPad is slow and awkward. Copy and paste requires repeated re-tries. If I want to manage multipel document sources from word processing documents, PDFs, web, text and other apps and put it together in another place it's going to be really hard. For some operations you have to search around for 5 minutes with various gestures and locations until you discover the app doesn't support the operation. You can't maintain a set of files on the device and expect to be able to manipulate them with all your apps.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

It can't replace a desktop computer or a laptop that is used as a desktop. Beyond that, please tell us exactly how limiting it is to YOU. This isn't hysteria, it's merely an attempt to glean facts and individual needs compared to the overall usability (nor non- if that's your view) of tablets in general. Meanwhile, it seems that tablets have become extremely useable to a significant population; some strictly as entertainment devices, for others, productive as well. It serves as both for me.

camcost
camcost

You're dismissing the fact that on a global scale, non-smartphones are still far ahead of smartphones in usage. A cellphone is a device to make phone calls, and some cellphones have capabilities which make them cross-over as being a limited computer. Any good smartphone today can outperform the majority of home computers sold in their infancy. The point is, if you are going to call an iPad a 'phone', it is terribly misleading terminology. It's almost like calling a motorcycle a car.

anil_g
anil_g

I've pointed out, and others have also replied, to indicate specifically the kinds of activities that are either unavailable or restricted on an iPad / smart phone. You have not responded to these comments so your reply is empty and not very useful.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I can make telephone calls from my corporate netbook, which has an embedded air card. The management software allows me to make voice calls from my laptop using the local cellular network and a USB headset. So the netbook changes from computer to phone, then back again when I disconnect the call. As I said, the differences are negligible. The [b]only[/b] addition to the smartphone relative to the computer in its traditional configuration are the audio circuitry required for integrated voice communications–microphone, speaker, and D-A/A-D converter–and the firmware to support it.

danbi
danbi

Today, the difference between an 'phone' and 'computer' is that the phone can make calls, of the kind the computer cannot make. That is, if the device can make calls via anything different than VoIP, it's an 'phone'. Otherwise, you find computers about anywhere you look today. In all sorts of equipment, that traditionally did not need one -- just because some things are done cheap with computer, than without. So, for example, the difference between the iPhone (a phone) and the iPad (an computer) is that the iPhone contains unique hardware that lets it make 'phone calls'. The 'processor', RAM, local storage etc.. do not define 'computer'. There have been 'computers' without those parts as well, at least not in the traditional sense of these names -- but it is understandable, that not many know or remember them. Yet those kinds of computers still exist, even today.

anil_g
anil_g

So I've just followed your instructions and found those options are not available with the apps that I've currently got. Yup.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

I am a photographer I am a writer I am an independent computer consultant That's when I'm not commenting on these boards.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But the probability of such going undetected is so low as to approach zero. * The client uses tamper-evident packaging, and * Fedex might take issue with your lack of faith in their physical security procedures. And, knowing what I know, I'm more worried about an MITM compromising the VPN than I am that a single package can be picked out of the millions Fedex handles every day, compromised, then returned to the system undetected.

danbi
danbi

Your client has... the physical shipment can be intercepted, disks copied, nobody will ever know.

anil_g
anil_g

That brings up another issue: how do you manage selective synching? With file management interface on my other Macs I can move files that I want to work on into and out of Dropbox, so that I don't have to pay for Terabytes in the cloud. Synching seems painful. I want to just have access to all my files if I need them. For instance, also I currently don't have videos synched with iPhoto because there's not enough space on the iPad, and I only keep last 6 months of photos, because again, not enough space.

anil_g
anil_g

Oh, good work, again, Bart, for making the decision to actually enter the discussion. Again, now that you are on topic, thanks for the instructions. I'll check it out. And, no, I'm not wrong again: you may notice those little things called "question marks". We use those to indicate a QUESTION which is DIFFERENT from something else that we like to call a STATEMENT. Do you know anything about Android? Someone told me Android has a better paradigm for files? Do you actually know anything about that and want to talk about it (objectively)? And as before, I'd love to know if it is just the rubber ducky you've stopped using now or have you stopped using your laptop as well? Vulpine seems to be claiming that he no longer has a laptop, but I've yet to see his reply detailing what kind of work he does.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Sounds to me more like your client is the one with the problem, though. I understand the need for security and the iPad can meet most clients' security needs to a general extent. Even the US Government and others are using iPhones and iPads in the field.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

A desktop works wonders when you're sitting in one place all day. Besides, who said he didn't use one?

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

..if you select a document (say a word .docx), and look in the upper right corner for the open-in icon (box with an outgoing arrow). Then select your app. In my case, I just opened a .docx document in Pages without a problem, and I can edit to my heart's content. When I'm done I can print the document to a wirelessly connected printer, or email the altered file back to myself as a Pages document, or PDF. or even as a Word Doc. Sorry, but I don't have any TXT files on DropBox to test with as I never use TXT documents. Excel will open in Numbers and works just fine. Again, get to know how to use the iPad and you might find it's more productive (or in this case you might be more productive) than you think.

anil_g
anil_g

I'd be surprised if even the author of this article has said "bye bye" to his Macbook. As someone else said, was this article written on an iPad?

anil_g
anil_g

Is it true that MANY others can say "bye bye" to their Macbook? Are there even SOME? Has THIS AUTHOR even said "bye bye" to his Macbook? I like Dropbox. I use it already so it's great that it works on iPad, but it doesn't automatically work with other apps, right? Can you explain? I can VIEW on the iPad any file in Dropbox but only if it's one of the standard docs? And I can't edit it. For instance, to edit a text file I have to get a text edit app. I've got one that works on a particular folder in Dropbox, but the file HAS to be in that folder, and if it's in another folder the app can't reach it? Right? How about fixing that? Does Android offer ability to work with files?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

As I said elsewhere, the deal-killer for me at work is the inability of the iPad (or even most tablets) to support multiple external connections, each with a dedicated (and active and visible) terminal or network session. I've used a tablet for personal use and liked it, but it just doesn't have the juice I need at work. It's kinda like showing up at a GP race with a Model T. It will get the job done, but it's going to take you a lot longer than it should...

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Two of my larger customers allow no wireless data transfer at all, over VPN or not. When the files change, I get an overnight shipment of DVD or thumbdrive. I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm saying I don't have the choice.

danbi
danbi

But please don't edit the essence of the quote. You may use USB with the iPad, but you don't have to. Single word, big difference. For the time you will plug in the USB drive, write data, remove it, then plug it in the other device, copy data, remove it - you will have transferred the data over the theoretically "slower" wireless network. If you don't know how to do something, this does not mean normal people don't. The archaic interfaces are stupid because given the choice to use what is available today, normal people will use the more convenient and productive method - which happens to not be the legacy.

sorenbargmann
sorenbargmann

'When you use the iPad a bit, you will start to understand why you don't need to plug it in USB as a drive or do other stupid things, that archaic software and platform designs required you do in order to be productive.' In what way do you see the camera connection kit as not being just another USB device that archaic software platforms forces you to plug in.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... but if you'll pay attention to available information, that connection kit is no longer necessary--it's wireless.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

You can comfortably send those files.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

I've lost data to hard drives that failed without warning, hard drives of almost every kind from spinning disk to solid state and these so-called thumb drives. Now my data is automatically synched between my desktop, my phone and my tablet and I don't even have to tell any of them to "start"; they just do it. I'm guessing you haven't heard of the Eye-fi SD memory card? Easy to tie to phone or tablet or laptop/desktop. Again, completely wireless. In fact, with the iPad the Eye-Fi sends to the iPad and the iPad automatically (you can disable) sends those same images to your desktop through the "cloud" no matter how far away it is. Now you don't even have to worry about losing your SD card and all the captured images in a card swap any more.

danbi
danbi

You get your photos to the iPad by either wirelessly transferring them from some networked device (including your own computer, or perhaps even the camera directly if it has the capability), or you use the Apple Camera Connection Kit, that let's you use SD cards and USB drives with the iPad. Not much different than any other computer (except most computers don't come with wireless sync capabilities by default).

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

I wasn't referring to you about the name calling. Personally I don't think the "stupid things" comment danbi made was helpful, but I do understand what he/she was talking about. Generally, for the things that you can do on the iPad you don't have to jump through hoops to get things done. I do think that it's difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to know what the iPad can do for their productivity without actually using one. I know several people who said that the iPad was only good for personal use, but not a business tool, only to have a complete change in attitude once they actually got one and started using it on the job. I do also know one or two people who just couldn't use it for work. But, the problem generally was that the user didn't like the format and had nothing to do with the iPads capability. I'm sure that there are people who simply can't use the iPad (or any other tablet) do to restrictions of capabilities, but those are fewer than not.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I see explanations of why an individual doesn't feel the author's choices will work for him. But I don't see name-calling. At least not from those who do not fit the mold. On the other hand, those who do not fit the mold and have posted here have been referred to (indirectly) as "archaic" and "stupid". The phrase "afraid of change" has been used in another thread. The tools you have work for you. But I work with proprietary data and cannot transfer it using cloud services; it must be a direct transfer between controlled devices via thumbdrive, CD/DVD, or VPN. I cannot update the software on the equipment I support using the iPad; it does not have either the ports or the communications support. I cannot store my PC image files on the iPad; there isn't enough data space. I cannot install Ghost to restore those images on target systems, nor is there an Ethernet port to allow the fastest data transfer. Therefore, the tools that work for you won't work for me and won't replace the traditional laptop or desktop in my work. It's that simple. Yet, I am somehow held to be "wrong" by expressing this.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

You use the $29 proprietary camera connection kit, of course! :p

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

I move my photos simply by taking them. Since I use iCloud, the photos I take (for work during my day-job) via my iPhone "magically" appear automatically on my iPad, iMac and my MacBook (as soon as I connect them to a network). Actually, this works really well. I perform audits on locations and equipment, and during the audit process I snap photos with my iPhone. Later in the day, when I get ready to review the results with the location manager I pop out my iPad and without having to do ANYTHING I open up "Photos", go to PhotoStream and start flipping through the photos. Pretty elegant if you ask me. For my part-time photography gig, I tend to use my Laptop (nobody said that EVERYONE can give up their laptops). For other files, I transfer almost everything via DropBox. It's simple and easy. Another quick way is to email a file to myself. Granted, these methods require a network, but that usually isn't a problem at work since most workplaces these days have wireless networks. Yes, I said "most". Why is it that when someone writes an article and explains how something works FOR THEM, and implies that the same is true for MANY others (maybe even MOST others), those who do not fit the mold feel like they have the right to call the author or those that agree which them names and point out how wrong they are because SOME people don't fit the same mold?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I said it wouldn't work [u]for me[/u]. I was then faced with a host of posts essentially telling me that yes it would, if I only took the time to discover all its possibilities. It quickly became obvious to me I didn't know what I was talking about because if you can do it with a modern laptop, you can do it with the iPad. /sarcasm

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

"It will never replace the laptop." If it serves the mobility purpose better than the laptop and the desktop serves all your "heavy lifting" purposes, then dog-gone it it has replaced the laptop! Your use of the laptop is specifically as a [i]Portable Desktop[/i] which is completely different and understandable. Far fewer people need a portable desktop than currently use one.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

If it was possible to get GB Ethernet speeds back to my home (or employer's) server AND connect the devices I need to connect, the iPad would be fine for me. But it's not, so it isn't.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

It seems obvious that you can't carry those on an incompatible OS. As I've said all along, [i]The iPad and other tablets are merely supplemental to the desktop/laptop (used as a desktop)--not a full replacement.[/i]

rwmanley64
rwmanley64

Look at the Asus line of Transformer tablets. They have Keyboard docks, you can connect a mouse either through usb or bluetooth, and they have a built-in file manager that is actually quite nice. If you do use a usb mouse through the keyboard, there is one more usb you can use to plug in an external hd drive.

anil_g
anil_g

I love the Harley motor but I've heard the brakes are pointless. I wouldn't get a Harley but I've never ridden one. I do have an iPad, and a Mac Mini, and a Macbook at work. And I love them. Simply LOVE them. I do admit to being prejudiced about Microsoft. I find it quite hard to be objective about Windows products. I think I'm allergic. So I think it's your prejudice that's showing.

anil_g
anil_g

Precisely. An unattached keyboard for real typing. Someone else who agrees with me. And for copy and paste, and that oh-so-unobtrustive little thing, placing a cursor half way along a line of text, I need a mouse. Someone mentioned "capacative pointing device". I'm going to get one.

anil_g
anil_g

Now I know why the economy is going downhill so fast. No-one is doing any work because they're typing as fast as you can type on a touch screen.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Or if I was permitted to use it that way, even better. See my rebuttal to danbi above for more explanation. The killer for me at work is the need to connect to multiple external devices at the same time. I do apologize for not making clear that the image files I refer to are PC and server images and not graphic images.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

That's the reason I brought up the points. I cannot connect to customer networks wirelessly; they do not allow it. Very few of them allow outside vendors or support techs to connect directly. If I need to print, I must connect directly to the printer via USB or, yes, IEEE-1284 parallel cable. Updating CAD drawings on a netbook screen is hard enough. I don't even want to think how much my eyes will hurt with the smaller tablet screen. Some of my tasks require I open both a console session AND a network session. For one task, because of the file sizes involved, I must connect an external drive in addition to the other connections. I'm not aware of that capability in any tablet, much less the iPad. My current corporate portable is a netbook with only USB ports, which replaced a full-size Dell notebook with serial, parallel, USB, and PCMCIA ports. It's bad enough I have to carry around six or seven different proprietary cables, but the additional dongles I now have to carry to replace those missing ports more than compensate for the weight savings in the smaller computer and add three or four pounds to the load of thumbdrives, external drives, CDs, DVDs, and other minutiae I already have to carry with me to support all my customers. Oh, yes, there's also the powered USB hub for those occasions when I need more than three external devices connected. Your solutions may work for some, but they would simply slow me down or, in some cases, prevent me from working at all.

camcost
camcost

Some people believe a Harley Davidson is better than other motorcycles. That's their opinion and it's based on various factors... some quite legitimate. Apple is obviously the Harley of the computing world. Don't dismiss them. They do much that is just so much better than the competition, and should be acknowledged (at the very least). Sure, there are also some arguments against the company, but if you focus only on the negative, you rob yourself of making good decisions in your computing arguments.

camcost
camcost

95wpm is quite fast. It's definitely far past the average. You should stick to a keyboard. But, for the many countless (millions) of users who are quite slow at typing, they should give a touchscreen a go. They might actually be faster on it.

anil_g
anil_g

I'm seriously interested in how you can type just as fast on a touch screen. I type around 95 wpm for practical purposes. I'd honestly guess that if your touch screen typing is as fast as your keyboard typing you must be around 20-30 wpm?

anil_g
anil_g

Yeah, like can, umm, TYPE? Please? Now after that, can I have a MOUSE? So I can SELECT TEXT quickly and accurately? Fully behind you. I've heard, as I've said before, that Android tablets can do more. I don't think we have to live with these restrictions, it's just Apple trying to slow down the evolution so that we have to buy more devices during the upgrade route. I'd love a tablet designed to work with keyboard, mouse, and file manipulation built in.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... much less the iPad's. * Wireless connection to printers -- even across the country. * Transfer of files using 3/4G wireless without even touching wi-fi if you don't want to. * Viewing and referencing Cad drawings in the field with, I believe, annotation capability (AutoCAD) * Typing at 120 wpm (using an unattached bluetooth keyboard so your client can view what you type) * Local storage of thousands of image files. * Many, many other tasks. A tablet is intended to be a mobility device, supplemental to a desktop computer; it's not intended to be your sole computer (unless you simply don't have need for more than one offers.) We have already seen many employees become more productive--not less--with tablets.

danbi
danbi

I never said the iPad is best or even good for anyone, or for any task. That would be silly. In any case, some of the questions you rise are common misunderstanding and let me comment on them: - direct connection to printers. So, when you want to print from your laptop, you directly connect the printer via.. perhaps Centronics (most people know it as 'parallel' and many haven't ever seen such cable)? Or, you just print to a networked printer? So, with the iPad, you just print to networked printer. Same as with the laptop! - any transfer, over any network is 'insecure' as long as you don't use any form of authentication and encryption. Doesn't matter if it's tablet or laptop. Curiously, tablet software (at least on the iPad) is written with these security concerns in mind. So chances are you are more secure using the iPad in public wireless than your laptop. By the way, unlike many other tablets, the iPad has fully working and secure VPN software. - you can update CAD drawings. Of course within the limits of input technology and current software. Try AutoCAD WS. (they had recent update that add mode updating) - Never measured my typing speed. People tell me I type extremely fast. Still, haven't' seen my typing being much slower on the touch screen. Admittely, at the moment I find it harder to correct mistakes on the touch screen, but this will improve. - there are almost no laptops anymore, or desktop computers sold today (same age as the iPad) that have any of these connectors either! You do the same with the iPad when you need connectivity to those devices, as you do with the modern desktop/laptops: you use an external adapter hardware. - don't quite get your restriction on storing multiple image files. you store as many files on the device as their is space for.. not any different than any other computer with local storage. Like I gave another example, once upon a time, we were using punch cards and line printer output. We even were drawing pictures with ASCII (or rather, EBCDIC). But then we began using personal computers. Then later, high resolution graphical displays and.. mouse! :)

anil_g
anil_g

So you FEEL great about iPads, but you have no response for the genuine practical issues I raise.