I have an IPad 2 with quite a few games and a lot of books and comics. However, I use it sometimes for work (gasp!). I’m a translator/copywriter with a background in IT, data management. At one point I wondered: could the IPad be used for work-related activity? And how would it compare to a laptop?
I travel by train occasionally, and lately I take my IPad with me. There are many text-editors for the IPad, both free and paid. I had an idea for some text and at that moment no time to put it down in writing. So I put the IPad in my backpack and in the train started up myText lite. Within an hour I had my text on file and regretted not having a G3 Ipad.
I have tried the virtual keyboard right after I purchased my first IPad, and that was a pleasant surprise. I have no problem at all with typing on the IPad’s virtual keyboard. I have considered buying a hardware keyboard, there are several of those, but I don’t think this is necessary, at least not for me.
This was not the first time I found out, that the IPad can be an alternative for a laptop. I have downloaded several apps which enable you to remotely manage servers and databases, and that worked remarkably well. I have played around with several remote desktops, and my experiences are good. I may write a review on these apps.
So when would an IPad be more convenient than a laptop? Anywhere, I think, but having said that I add, an IPad does not always replace a laptop, not yet.
A laptop drinks power a lot faster then the IPad, for one. It’s bulkier, it takes a while to start up, and it asks for more space. Then again, the IPad is rather limited in the apps you can install for working in a Windows environment, a laptop is more versatile. However, with a connection to a remote desktop a lot of these drawbacks are negated.
I have been on call outside office hours, which usually means you have to stay near your home and phone, and your pc or laptop. Going out to visit friends, well, you can if you take your laptop with you, but I would be reluctant to go visiting with a bag with my laptop in it. An IPad takes a lot less space. If you have a wifi-connection you can connect almost immediately to a remote server.
So, think about it, an IPad is not just a toy, you can use it for work as well.