iPad

Apple iPad 2 review: Why it's still winning with business users

While lots of companies want a piece of the multitouch tablet market, iPad competitors have been unable to match Apple. Even business users prefer the iPad 2. Learn why.

It's been over a month since the arrival of the iPad 2 and Apple still can't build them fast enough for all of the people who are ready to buy one -- let alone keep the retail shelves stocked. Meanwhile, the iPad's two most widely-hyped rivals so far in 2011 -- the Motorola Xoom and the BlackBerry PlayBook -- have been greeted by mediocre reviews and tepid sales.

Even more surprising is the fact that most business users are choosing the Apple tablet over the ones built by enterprise stalwarts Motorola and RIM. After evaluating the iPad 2 for a month, this review explores the reasons why most business users still prefer the Apple tablet and looks at where the iPad 2 still has work to do from an enterprise perspective.

Photo gallery

Apple iPad 2: Unboxing, accessories, and comparison photos

Specifications

  • Carrier: Verizon, AT&T, and international carriers
  • OS: Apple iOS 4.3
  • Processor: 1GHz dual core Apple A5
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB internal; no SD expansion slot
  • Display: 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS display; 1024x768, 132 ppi
  • Battery: Lithium-ion polymer with 6930 mAh capacity
  • Ports: 30-pin Apple connector, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Weight: 1.33 pounds (21.28 ounces, or 601 grams)
  • Dimensions: 9.50(h) x 7.31(w) x 0.34(d) inches
  • Camera: backside 720p video recording at 30fps; front-facing VGA
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, aGPS, digital compass, ambient light sensor, three-axis gyroscope
  • Keyboard: Virtual QWERTY
  • Networks: CDMA or GSM; no LTE
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Tethering: No
  • Price: Wi-Fi: $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB), $699 (64GB); 3G: $629 (16GB), $729 (32GB),

Who is it for?

As I've said before, I think business users are the unseen force driving a large proportion of the iPad's bullish sales numbers. Nearly everyone I know that has an iPad is a business user who bought the tablet for business meetings, answering emails from the couch or the bedroom, watching movies during business travel, reading news and books, and occasionally handing it to a kid to keep him busy using Angry Birds or Stack the States. While Apple's marketing and promotional videos predominantly show kids and college students and average consumers using the iPad, in the real world, I'd suggest that at least 50% of iPad users are professionals. Of course, the interesting thing with the iPad is that it's a combo work/personal device, and that may be one of the things that's driving its success since many professionals have increasingly blurry boundaries between work time and personal time.

What problems does it solve?

There weren't many desperately-needed fixes after the success of the first generation iPad. The biggest complaints were that it was a little heavy to hold for a long period of time, that it didn't have cameras for video calls, that its screen wasn't nearly as impressive as the iPhone 4, and that it wasn't very powerful as a content creation device. Apple made the second generation iPad 33% thinner and 15% lighter than the original iPad, added front-facing and back-facing cameras (albeit low-quality ones) and FaceTime software for video calls, slightly upgraded the LCD to a brighter, more colorful screen, and added a dual core CPU and a few new apps (GarageBand and iMovie) to help increase some of the iPad's content creation mojo -- though it's still not great for complicated emails (w/ attachments) or document creation.

Standout features

  • The one button solution - As far as tablets go, it's still tough to beat the iPad's simplicity. It's essentially just an app delivery mechanism with multiple screens and a home button. That's it. It doesn't really dazzle you with its UI, and the multitouch user experience could still be enhanced to make it more effective for working with files and documents. Nevertheless, the user experience is simple enough that even the most technophobic old school business executives (who've traditionally had their assistants send all their emails) can pick this thing up and figure it out.
  • Burgeoning ecosystem - Again, since the iPad is primarily an app delivery system, its strength is the huge (and still growing) catalog of third-party apps. That includes a lot of enterprise software that has jumped on board the iPad express, including apps from Citrix, Cisco, Oracle, SAP, Wyse, IBM, SalesForce.com, and more. Plus, there are lots of clever business apps from smaller players like OmniGraffle, Penultimate, Roambi Visualizer, QlikView, and Board Vantage.
  • 10+ hours of battery life - As I've said before, the real world battery life of 10-12 hours of peak usage is the iPad's quiet killer feature. It allows you to work consistently all day, make it through a cross-continental or overseas flight, or forget to charge the iPad overnight and still have juice to use the next day. Other tablets such as the Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab max out at 7-8 hours and don't quite approach the iPad.
  • The price is still right - While Apple added upgrades and new features to the iPad 2, it kept the same aggressive pricing structure, starting at $500 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and scaling up to $829 for the 64GB 3G models. Other tablets have struggled to match the iPad's price tag for a number of reasons, which I've written about.

What's wrong?

  • Email app needs major improvement - My biggest complaint about the iPad is the email application. It's very bare bones, and even a little awkward in terms of the way that it always leaves a message open in the preview pane as you scan through your mailbox. It also doesn't integrate any of the features of popular email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail, and it does not handle attachments very well.
  • Cameras are awful - While Apple added front-facing and rear-facing cameras to the iPad 2, the cameras are very low quality. Both the photos and videos taken with the iPad 2 are grainy, pixelated, and disappointing. The cameras are mostly there for video calling, since taking photos with a big tablet like this is pretty silly. However, with that in mind, Apple should swap the cameras. It should put the higher quality camera on the front and put the low-res camera on the back (used only for showing what you're looking at when you're on a video call). All in all, the cameras on the iPad 2 are worse than the cameras on the Motorola Xoom, BlackBerry PlayBook, and Samsung Galaxy Tab. I suspect that the low-quality cameras are a result of Apple trying to keep the price of the iPad down. Still, Apple should have done a better job here.
  • Enterprise is an afterthought - While Apple has spent a lot more effort making the iPhone and the iPad friendly to the enterprise than it ever did with the Mac, the enterprise features of the iPad are still an afterthought to Apple -- simply an additional revenue stream. Steve Jobs has made it clear that he does not think very highly of the way things work in the enterprise. As a result, I doubt we'll see Apple do the kinds of things Samsung is doing to court the enterprise, such as drop-shopping 10,000 Wi-Fi tablets at a discounted price, integrating hardware encryption, and partnering extensively with enterprise software companies.
  • Apple lock-in - One of the greatest obstacles that the iPad has to overcome with some business and IT professionals is that, like most Apple products, it's locked into the Apple ecosystem and doesn't play very nice with other products outside of that ecosystem. For example, unlike other mobile devices, the iPad 2 doesn't support DLNA for wireless streaming to TVs -- it only supports the Apple TV's proprietary protocol. While Apple is certainly not alone among tech vendors in trying to push its own software and services on its customers, it is the most aggressive. And, while Apple often does this in the name of streamlining the customer experience, it can lead to annoyances and frustrations for many customers who have a diverse coterie of tech that they work with on a daily basis.

Bottom line for business

The iPad 2 is a minimal refinement of the original iPad that adds a better screen, a slimmer form factor, and a dual core processor (the new cameras are barely worth mentioning). However, by retaining its great battery life, simple user experience, huge catalog of apps, and low price, the iPad 2 has enough to maintain a stronghold over the nascent multitouch tablet market. Even among business professionals -- many of whom use the iPad for both work and personal use -- the iPad 2 remains the tablet of choice. And, judging by the early competitors so far this year, it's not in danger of being dethroned in 2011.

Competitive products

Where to get more info

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

80 comments
HansPille
HansPille

I totally fail to understand this article. quote Nearly everyone I know that has an iPad is a business user who bought the tablet for business meetings, answering emails from the couch or the bedroom end quote quote Email app needs major improvement end quote quote It also doesnt integrate any of the features of popular email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail, and it does not handle attachments very well. end quote ... and out of the window the ipad flies ... Does anyone read these articles? Does anyone try to understand them even? Are business users indeed happy using email apps that are next to useless?

mjd9ed
mjd9ed

Don't know what Xoom the reviewer was using but mine gets way more battery life than the 7-8 posted here. Now before anyone says that I just don't use it as much, I'd like to say this thing is glued into my hands almost all day and the only time its not is when I am asleep.

peterpk85
peterpk85

S iPad have some problem in accessing outlook. But i am using outlookreflex for access all my outlook emails in desktop from iPad.

mailtousmani
mailtousmani

There is a simple solution for enterprise security. Cisco any connect client for iPad if you have cisco ASAs in the network. Sync to the exchange calander so excellent in meetings for note Excellent for WebExs Runs sales force and other CRMs the only issue is document creation.

arrobajay
arrobajay

I have an iPad 2, and also a MacBook 17" Pro... I'm not involved in the Mac vs PC debate, as I still do have a Desktop PC at home. Don't use it much, but don't hate it, I'm a web developer so it's useful for checking compatibility of sites etc. I chose the MacBook after having a couple of laptop's die an early death in the past, so thought I'd give the Mac a try... I have to say very impressed, but that's not to say I've any issues with the way my PC laptop's performed. I think the issue that's becoming clouded with the iPad, is people's perception of what it is for. I never envisage the iPad replacing my MacBook for my work, nor do I want it to. Processing power, memory, storage space... None of those suggest it should even be suggesting ditching my MacBook. It sounds like the major complaints have come from people with a more advanced technical ability... Granted, there are tablets our there that may cover some of the issues they're addressing, but it's not really what the iPad is aimed at. Bar the high end Mac desktops and laptops, Apple's products are aimed at the masses. Don't get me wrong, some of those features may well be handy, but for anybody who requires that much functionality, surely they'll own a laptop at least. I find my iPad fantastic for presentation, and would highly recommend it to anybody looking to use it for that business purpose. It actually helps to have the "limitations" brought about by not having my laptop. It can become increasingly frustrating with clients echo-ing "can you just?"... With the iPad, for most part they're wow'd by the device, and they don't expect me to be able to do quite so much with it as my laptop. It's purely a presentation, so no straying from the matter in hand, and I can make amendments and do my work later in the comfort of my own office. All in all, a great product. I don't really have much use for the camera's, so I've not really got any comments to pass. My main criticism will always have to be the Apple/Adobe flash issue; As a web developer, a lot of the sites I may frequent use flash... I don't really use flash any more, but that's not to say it doesn't have its uses... Maybe one day Apple and Adobe will find a processor friendly way of running flash... Or not? That's just one of the many reasons an iPad will never fully replace a PC or Mac, but I guess it was never meant to anyways...

jbartoli
jbartoli

what drives me nuts, and not just with the iPad, but all these new devices, not one of them offer direct printing! yes you can print if you have wi-fi, but what about using for a sales person on the road? being able to print to a mobile printer, print a web page while using a 3g connection would open this up to a whole market for web apps or other POS packages!

Robert Csida
Robert Csida

I am a business user and everything I need is better served by the playbook with its security, email, word/excel attachement, web surfing (streaming videos) and tethering to my blackberry...all the rest is comparable, except for all the apps...typical American obsession that more is better...who needs all those mindless games and plug ins.

ceso_softdev
ceso_softdev

Yet another shameless apple "paid advertisement". I know you fanboys are hell bent on convincing other to cross to the dark side of the force. I agree that Apple makes great consumer products, but they are still light years away from the enterprise. Pulling magic numbers like "50% of iPad users are professionals" out of you know where doesn't help your case.

julio.coutinho
julio.coutinho

There's plenty of DLNA apps for the iPad and iPhone. Some work pretty well indeed with certain DLNA renderers. The problem seems to be with the DLNA protocol it self. It is notmreally realiable within my experiences. I later bought an Apple TV and attached it to my DLNA TV. Since that, I am using it instead.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

I still don't see why business users need an iPad. There are smartphones with HDMI output which is sufficient to do presentations already. I'm also pretty sure there are no mobile device that can beat the Blackberry for emails.

jayohem
jayohem

It sounds as if it would be best in a meeting or travel environment, especially if the user has to prep material or read a number of documents. As many iPad 1 folks seems happy with that edition, which works as well in many ways, the older model may still be a good option. At a price $100 below the new version it is in direct competition dollar-wise with netbooks. As one reader noted, he uses both (though he uses iPad 2). Now I don't know whether to wait for the third generation to show up or to sping for last year's model. :-)

rstoeber
rstoeber

I have three clients (I provide tech consulting and software development) in construction, painting, and other typically low-tech, non-office worker businesses that are buying iPads as fast as they can get them to their employees. They are used for estimating jobs, filling out work orders, inventory management, scheduling and other things that were typically done on a clip board. Size (phones are too small), battery life, simplicity, durability, are the big advantages. These companies don't have any "enterprise" infrastructure to worry about so integration is easier for us.

chrisbranning557
chrisbranning557

Listen, one of the posters above mentioned that the apps will catch the ipad2 up with business needs and that could not be more obvious. I use mine quite a bit for work. All the people whining about iTunes I don't understand. I never have any issues with it at all. Maybe they can't figure it out, but I can't fix stupid. The killer app that would absolutely change the entire business landscape, and make Microsoft a sheetload of green cabbage, would be to put out Office for the iPad. I don't care about the challenge of making it. If they put that out for $100.00, they will sell MILLIONS of them.

NO_CARRIER
NO_CARRIER

It started off good enough, but it's missing probably the 3 most important things an Enterprise device requires. 1) SECURITY. 2) Easy deployment & device management from the IT group. (i.e. ability to update all devices to the same software at once, without needing to recall each individual device and hook it up one by one.) 3) Blanket licensing and ability to maintain those licenses. Meaning, ability to purchase an office productivity suite for a group of users, and to keep those business-level licenses if the employee decides to leave for another company. Purchases (i.e. iTunes apps) need to be billed to the company. If the employee decides to purchase personal software/music/etc. they have to be able to pay for it themselves. (i.e. won't be billed to the company's credit card / billing account). Likewise if the employee leaves those licenses/purchases must be able to be kept by the employee where they may want to use that software (which they legally purchased) for the next job they're in.

Laurentian Enterprises
Laurentian Enterprises

Business friends that I know are the same gadget freaks who have to have the latest, and don't care if it's practical, all their friend have it (Fad) and they have the money to spend. So if they can find a practical business use (any thing at all), they can convince management to buy them or allow them in the business. Certainly some tablets have a place in business functions, but many people are desperately trying to justify uses that could just as easily be covered by a light notebook (and better suited).

Handy Randy
Handy Randy

Just a followup. I have a new iPad2 and love the thing. It is much faster than the older model...which my son has...and I enjoy being able to use it for work. The fact that I can show videos that are used in our marketing processes to clients who have not connected to our Facebook site to see them is much better than trying to show them on my laptop or iPhone.

JulesLt
JulesLt

. . . or perhaps, just a different one? Most IT shops I know settled on a single-stack strategy in the 90s/early 2k - largely MS - and it's been difficult for anyone to break into that. Kudos to RIM and Nokia for creating products that was so obviously superior to the WinMobile phones that were the initial preference of most IT departments - which I think paved a lot of the way for Apple. (One small point - Apple will do bulk deals well below their list prices - provided you are a serious customer - i.e. an educational institution or area authority, University, etc. I doubt anyone can get a deal on iPad 2 right now, due to the supply issues though, but - like Dell - the price on the website isn't neccesarily what businesses pay. Even as a consumer it's worth knowing that their online store will price match).

william.gavin
william.gavin

I've been using an HP Slate 500 for over a month for work related to academic and business projects. It runs Window 7 pro and out spec the iPad2 by far. The unit I have gives rock solid performance an par better than most netbooks but with touch and pen interface. I run full MS Office 2010 suite using Outlook as one mail client and Thunderbird as a second. Database applications with locally residing Access files as front end to data tables residing on server work well via mapped drives. When seated in the included docking station that has a HDMI prot, one can connect to projectors for giving PowerPoint presentation. For internet access where WIFI not available I connect the Slate via its bluetooth signal to my smartphone which serves as modem. Given this mobility of an desktop environment, why isn't the product getting the attention of the IT world?

krikit
krikit

You say "Enterprise is an afterthought .. I doubt we???ll see Apple do the kinds of things Samsung is doing to court the enterprise." "...10,000 Wi-Fi tablets at a discounted price ..." Samsung discounting tablets for enterprise is an attempt to get their foot in the door of a market not 'court' it. "...integrating hardware encryption..." Hardware integrated encryption is something the iPad has done since day 1. Please see the following: http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/integration/ "... partnering extensively with enterprise software companies ..." What does this matter when they can publish to the app store? Why would Apple want any contracts with 3rd party software vendors? The iPad is incrediblyeasy to lock down and control, and isn't that what most 'enterprise' environments look for?

cristiano.oliveira
cristiano.oliveira

This Tab is the real and more powerfull rival for Ipad 2, its has more screen resolution, better cameras, memory card slots, Flash support, .... Just google for "Apple iPad 2 vs New Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1" and w'ill see the differences...

la mere
la mere

I haven't heard any mentions in any review about the addition of a Mic for audio recording. What is it like? Will it work with Dragon to record meetings, etc.? Or, am I wrong assuming it has a mic if it has a camera for Facetime?

ShockMe
ShockMe

Is that despite some missing features, it is a long-lasting, instant on, for short form input and long form consumption device. It can be used comfortably in more places than a notebook, and has a larger interaction surface with larger targets than a similarly specced smart phone. It's closest competitor is the Netbook. The Netbook is superior at text entry to the tablet but that is it's only advantage. Products like the transformer from asus attempt to address this weakness by adding a keyboard dock. Long form reading and database entry as well as stylus input for sketches are where these devices shine. Add to this presentations, note taking, and impromptu cloud based recording of meetings in a much more convenient way and the tablets uses are obvious to anyone.

slickjim
slickjim

The battery life of the XOOM is rated at 9 hours as tested by others... Another thing, the XOOM charges in half the time so you get roughly 18 hours of use for the same amount of charging time that the Apple gets you in 11 to 12 hours. Also, going from New York to China or Australia with any stop over will leave the tablet short on power. Now remember, even the competitors are over 10 hours when all the radios are turned off so you're not going to see a huge advantage either way.

Jeff Tyler
Jeff Tyler

I have to concur with more comments submitted. The iPad was developed to meet a perceived consumer need and not business needs. I intended to replace my ThinkPad with an iPad for business use. With the Pages, Numbers, Keynote and SG Project this is possible but not easy. Mail is mostly functional but lacks a local storage capability. Major business tools requiring the use of Flash 7 are restricted so, now instead of dumping my laptop in favor of the iPad, I take both with me on trips; the laptop for work, the iPad for other that it can handle. Again, the iPad is a business toy, not a business tool.

owenslto
owenslto

The idea that the iPad is not designed for business may be the cart before the horse thinking. I am reminded that the original PC (personal computer) was not designed for business, but business people used the PC for business. Software companies produced software to help businesses do business on their PC???s. In time the PC became a viable business tool. I see this same process happening with the iPad.

generalist
generalist

I'm a Windows IT guy but would love to use Apple products. But iTunes truly sucks so much i'm giving up. While i know that iTunes is the subsidy that Apple calls "income" it's a damn shame they don't treat Windows users with more respect. However, i hear my Mac friends complain about iTunes too. Can't the famous Jason Hiner nudge them a little?

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

You may have some tough luck with non-Apple products but I have some old IBM T60(pentium M) and some Pentium 4 HP Compaq lappies. Your dead units do not justify the entire lines of PCs and FYI, the old glorious Apple PowerPC architecture are long gone and no longer Apple's. Today, Apple machines are merely powered by X86 processors and a Unix based OS. It's not much different from a Linux powered PC except it's not "Mac apps compatible" and it's not being totally controlled by Apple.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Tell me: How well is it performing all those duties? How's the battery life on your Blackberry now that you've tethered your Playbook to it?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Apple itself has announced that iPads are in over 60% of the Fortune 500 companies one way or another. I personally know that iPads are in use one way or another in almost every major bank in the US, if not the world. I don't work for Apple, though I will admit to having worked for one of their manufacturing suppliers years ago. I know what kind of thought goes into their products and I can fully believe that Professionals have realized the benefit a tablet can bring to the enterprise.

rstoeber
rstoeber

Phones are powerful and convenient, but the size is too small for many applications, and older people who have trouble with the screen and keyboards. The iPad is bigger so easier to use in many situations. Notebooks are powerful computers, but awkward to use while standing and walking around. A lot of people work on their feet all day and can't use a notebook.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

jayohern, you've just hit the nail on the head: a tablet is a MOBILITY device, not a desktop device. Too many people seem to think Apple is trying to replace desktop devices with the iPad when it's really eliminating the NEED for a laptop. Yes, laptops still have their purposes, but most people use one as a portable desktop rather than owning a desktop and a mobility device. The iPad takes the mobility use out of the equation, opening the user to purchasing a desktop as a base station for their computing. Personally, I see this as just another step towards a future where mobility and desktop computing are completely separate, yet integrated capabilities.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

The business itself can push the apps it needs or wants onto the iPad, which then means that any iTunes-related software or music have to be purchased by the individual. It seems to me your complaints are groundless.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

This review, http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20020363-1.html, points out the Slate 500's biggest drawback, the fact that there is little to no touch-based software available for Windows which severely limits the Slate's usefulness away from the docking station. This is the same crippling problem Windows-based tablets have had for over 10 years. The only way that problem can be resolved is by eliminating the mouse as a pointing tool and forcing software developers to adapt to touch.

mikroland
mikroland

Of course there are better alternatives to the ipad, but people will buy anything with a lower case i in the front of the name and made by Apple.

ShockMe
ShockMe

But it has to ship first. Then, not only must it have the ports it must have the drivers to make all those nice ports work as well as the fonts and printer support we see on more traditional notebooks. Then we have to decide whether it needs SD or microSD or HDSD or all of the above and perhaps support for USB 3 or light peak and so on. Then of course it has to have a hardware keyboard and a track pad and perhaps an optical drive. Or you could just install an SSD in your notebook and call it a day.

ShockMe
ShockMe

But for recording meetings I prefer a nice Shure pancake microphone in the middle of the table. I've not had the best luck with Dragon speech recog, but when it works it makes creating minutes and transcripts of the meeting much much easier. In practice I just forward the audio file to my admin assistant and she transcribes it more accurately.

mikroland
mikroland

A netbook has a REAL keyboard with a REAL CPU and a REAL Operating system.

Hazydave
Hazydave

The battery life of the Xoom and other Android tablets is a large part a power management issue. Nearly all the top tablets ship with the same ~25Ah battery capacity. A few, like the iPad, use fairly power hungry IPS displays, most use the lower power "plain old TN" type displays. They're all using about the same kind of processors... the Xoom if anything should have a small advantage over the iPad 2, given slightly smaller chip geometries and a other power saving issues. It's interesting to note that the same thing's true in the PC world. Apple's making fairly standard x86 laptops, using the same chips as everyone else and higher current IPS displays. They have good sized batteries, but nothing crazy large. And yet, Macs last a long time too. In short, Apple is really good at power management; Windows and Android, not so much. This could be fixed, but until it's priority, keep that charger handy.

prabirc
prabirc

I quite agree with Jeff. Actually the iPad is a boon for people who want something simple, that means not having to tinker with settings and other weird requirements. It works seamlessly with the laptop, Mac or Pc , and if you have an iPhone or an iPod it integrates perfectly. Frankly net books are a pain. They are small and slow. The keyboard is difficult to use, because it's packed together.the iPad by contrast has a better display, can be held up, and the keyboard is pretty useful. An extra line of keys with arrow keys included would help. IAWRITER a word processing app has this additional key line.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

I have yet to find any software that does what iTunes does better than iTunes does it. Maybe, despite having over 15,000 tracks and numerous movies and other videos I'm just not working it the way you people do. Please, tell me how you're using it to have so many problems!

nwallette
nwallette

I really love Apple products for what they are. I can deal with just about every item in the "Cons" column except iTunes. It really is an overbearing, poorly-optimized, my-way-or-the-highway pile of ... opportunity. I hear there are viable 3rd-party replacements for syncing media, though. I'm looking into using Foobar 2000 with the portable device plugin. Would still have to use iTunes for firmware updates twice a year, but that's better than always having to beat it into submission to get a new CD added to my library.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

I've complained about iTunes for years. In fact, in the past I've called it the second worst piece of popular software ever (with Lotus Notes being No. 1).

arrobajay
arrobajay

Diversifying from the iPad point, but... Not sure you completely understood where I was coming from with my point on my MacBook? All I merely said was that my PC laptop had died, so I'd give the Apple a try. I have no issue with PC's, as I said. Mac's are certainly nowhere near as competitive on price for lower end machines. In fact, a fairly decent PC laptop is a lot cheaper than the bottom end MacBook Pro 13". I'm certainly not knocking PC's, but I have to say I am very impressed with my MacBook Pro 17". X86 chip or not, it's a great machine, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with Mac OS also. Was sceptical at first, but have no complaints.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

But the look and form factor play quite a role as well.

cristiano.oliveira
cristiano.oliveira

I think none of the Tabs is a good alternative or can replace completely a notebook, but for accessing web and using for making phone calls, or even else for carrying some important documents, photos or videos could be a good choice!

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

A netbook has to be set down to use that REAL keyboard. A netbook uses a MOBILITY CPU. A netbook uses a grossly INEFFICIENT OS. A tablet uses both a VIRTUAL and a REAL keyboard. A tablet uses a MOBILITY CPU. A tablet uses a REAL OS and uses it better. In other words, for 99%+ of users, the tablet is simply the more effective tool for the purpose. You can do things on the tablet that you cannot do on a netbook, though I'll grant that you can do some things on a netbook that you cannot do on a tablet--because the software isn't yet available to let it do them. Sorry, the netbook is obsolete and the market is already showing it.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

I don't mean that you're wrong about how the iPad is being used, but rather wrong about how you should approach using one. As you said, prabirc, "the iPad is a boon for people who want something simple," and simplicity should be a priority in any corporate environment for efficiency and economy. The average corporate user doesn't need everything that's in MS Office; it's a grossly overloaded, over-featured and over-burdened package that caters to the needs of a mere 1% of content creators and goes far, far beyond the needs of the average salesman, secretarial pool, manager or executive. The old rule of K.I.S.S., Keep It Simple and Stupid, is just as viable and important today as it was 150 years ago. Flash 7 is not simple but it is lazy; just a little more effort will give you capabilities that are far more efficient and long-lasting. Don't blame the tool for being too simple, blame the software for being too complicated.

Richard-H
Richard-H

I'm a Mac fanatic (of sorts) but find iTunes a dreadful counter-intuitive piece of software. In fact I think it is bad enough to have been designed by Microsoft :-) I just can't face the task of trying to sort out my music files into some sort of coherent form on iTunes and instead am waiting for the day when I can find the time to find and load a decent program to handle my music library. hostgator coupon

MytonLopez
MytonLopez

Not sure if that works for an iPad but for iPod. Transfer your music and photos to and from your computer to device. Easy to use.

hthyne
hthyne

I agree...the only reason I even have that blasted program is to convert apple music files back to MP3...ones I get from my apple-slave friends.

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