Posts Tagged ‘Laptop’

iPad as Laptop Replacement?

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Since it was first announced, speculation about the possibilities of the iPad’s uses has run across a fairly broad spectrum. It immediately was compared to e-Readers like the Kindle, though they are completely different products. Others have gone as far as attempting to replace their laptop with the iPad. I know someone who intends to do just that, so I decided to take up the challenge and see if it could work.

My first thought was that the iPad couldn’t replace a laptop. Steve Jobs said so himself when he announced the product. This is an in-between device. Nevertheless, I was going to see how far I could get with it. The primary argument I was given was the Citrux application which enables access to Enterprise Microsoft applications. Armed with the basic non-3G iPad and several accessories, I started my test.

I’ve been trying to migrate my computing activities to the cloud over the last year or so, which actually made my tests a little easier. I was already used to storing data and even running image editors like Aviary in the cloud. My primary daily activities are checking e-mail and blogging, which are both possible on the iPad.

Any device with a browser can check Gmail, which is what I use for my primary e-mail activities. The iPad was able to view Gmail just fine, so it passed the first hurdle. There are a number of Google apps available on the iPad, which scored it several points. I then moved on to blogging.

I installed the WordPress app and decided to test it two ways: one with a keyboard and one with the native on-screen keyboard. I started with the device alone. A few weeks ago I made my first iPad post. I was able to type, though slowly. I got a post of substantial length done and uploaded it. I had to go back in on my laptop to add a couple of images, but overall it worked. My second test was done with a keyboard docking attachment. This test was considerably easier. I was able to type much faster. I had the same limitation with the images, so I submitted it as a draft and finished it on my laptop.

Just to round out the process I also typed a post with the WordPress for Android app from my Xperia X10. It was much harder to type on a 4″ screen than it was on the iPad, but I had similar results. I made it most of the way through and touched it up from the laptop.

With the primary tests out of the way, I simply used the iPad for a while. I browsed websites, downloaded apps, and spent as much time as I could on the device. I found a lot of Flash sites along the way, clearly limiting my choices.

While I certainly found the device useful, there were plenty of limitations. I was able to do quite a bit with the iPad over the last couple of weeks. I browsed the web, successfully managed my e-mail accounts, posted blog entries, and more. Based on my tests, I think the iPad is certainly a good entertainment device. You can get to the web quickly with the iPad, and it is convenient to pick it up and run a quick Google search without waiting for a laptop to boot. My netbook offers similar speeds though. It also comes with a built-in keyboard and webcam. As fun and convenient as the iPad is, my conclusion is that it cannot replace a laptop for my day-to-day activity. As I mentioned before, it wasn’t meant to.

Have you used the iPad extensively? Have you been able to replace your laptop? Let me know in the comments.