“I got an iPad when they went on sale in early April, a few weeks before I left on a five-day business trip,” Mitch Wagner reports for Computerworld. “On the iPad, I can do 90% of the computing tasks I need to do. I can use the Web, check e-mail, use Twitter and Facebook, and, most important, write. Theoretically, I should be able to use it as my only computer for a short time.”
“As an experiment, I decided to see if I could use the iPad as a notebook replacement. Not forever — just while traveling,” Wagner reports. “I know the device isn’t intended to replace a full-blown laptop, but that’s what experimentation is all about, right?”
Wagner reports, “Now my business trip has come and gone, and I’ve learned a lot about the iPad’s strengths and weaknesses… The main problem I had with the iPad was that it wasn’t the tool I’m accustomed to using. I kept getting tripped up while performing everyday tasks.”
MacDailyNews Take: Adapting to new paradigms takes time. The paradigm shifted with the release of the original iPhone, but its screen size inhibited a lot of people from trying to do a five-day business trip with one instead of a laptop. Now people are finding that they have to get used to things like: no mouse, editing with finger touches, trying to use online tools and text input boxes that were designed for mouse-driven GUIs, etc., etc. etc. This is’t an instant transformation, but it’s moving along rather rapidly. As more and more iPad-specific apps debut, the five-day iPad-only business trip will become routine.
Wagner reports, “I do recommend that if you want an iPad and haven’t gotten one already, opt for the 3G model. It costs only $130 more than the Wi-Fi model (starting price, $629 for the Wi-Fi + 3G iPad) and you can get connectivity from AT&T starting at $15 per month, with no contract required. If you don’t use the 3G, you don’t have to pay the monthly fee. Think of the $130 surcharge as connectivity insurance.”
Full article, in which Wagner concludes for now that he’s ordering a MacBook Pro this week, here.
MacDailyNews Take: We’re still testing, but some of our articles lately, including the one you’re reading right now, have been posted from iPads, not our usual 17-inch MacBook Pros. Obviously, when we need to create a graphic, we’ll need our MBPs. Pixelmator for iPad, please! Our old-fashioned browser workspace that was long-ago built with frames (list of commonly-used links in a thin left column, Expression Engine CMS on the right) still works in Safari on the MBPs, but iPad doesn’t allow cut-copy-paste into frames. That’ll have to be replaced with a folder in the browser bar. These are the sorts of things that require you to actually use an iPad for your work first and then go about figuring out new ways to work. It’s also MDN posts require more more typing than you might think at first glance; excerpts have to have quotes and author attributions, Takes and Notes are written and re-written (believe it or not), links have to be added, etc., but the iPad’s virtual keyboard has not been an issue. It’s big, easy-to-use, and it works well.
Right now, our articles done with iPad take somewhere around 1.5 – 2 times longer than with our MBPs, depending on complexity. That’s encouraging after only having used the iPads for such a short time for MDN posting. (We’ve posted articles via iPhone (and iPod touch) before and, compared to iPad, it’s something only to be attempted only in a pinch. The screen size changes everything. As far as posting articles (not managing email, etc.), iPhone use on MDN is limited to fixing typos (often), adding a line or two to a Take here and there, monitoring the feedback (yes, we do it sometimes), and emergency posts from the tarmac or in-flight (for some reason, Apple likes to spring software updates on us where we’re about to take off, in the air, or waiting to deplane). iPad, however, is a whole different ballgame and we’re using iPads much more often and for much more than iPhones, especially as we now have 3G iPads.