How Apple’s iPad 2 became my favorite computer

“It’s possible to use an iPad as one’s primary device for professional-level content creation,” Harry McCracken reports for Technologizer. “Actually, scratch that. I’m positive it’s possible–because I’ve been doing it for the past three months, and I’ve been having a really good time.”

“This hasn’t been one of those experiments-for-the-sake-of-experimentation in which someone temporarily forsakes a PC for another device in order to write about the experience (like, say, this). No, I’ve been using the iPad for my daily activities–running Technologizer, writing for TIME, CNET, and, and more–because I find it to be the preferable tool in multiple respects,” McCracken reports. “I’ve been using it about 80 percent of the time, and using my MacBook Air about 20 percent of the time. I have no desire to go back.”

McCracken reports, “It all started in August. I read Walt Mossberg’s review of four portable Bluetooth keyboards for the iPad 2 at All Things D and was intrigued–especially by the ZaggFolio, which cleverly builds a truly notebook-like keyboard into an attractive case. So I bought one. The ZaggFolio changed the way I use my iPad, and that changed my life. Without the ZaggFolio, I used the iPad mostly for reading and light productivity. I’d happily type brief e-mails on it, but never anything as long as a meaty blog post or article. But Zagg’s no-compromise keyboard made typing every bit as comfy as it is on a notebook. All of a sudden I could write hundreds of words on the iPad. Or thousands of them.”

Much more in the full article here.


    1. This is an article that shows that some people just can’t quite figure out what an iPad is. It is complete stupidity to try to make it into a laptop by connecting it to such a keyboard. If it was such a good idea, Apple wouldn’t have sold it without a keyboard. Get off the Blackberry physical keyboard idea and try to use the iPad for what it is.

      1. This is just silly. The bluetooth keyboard doesn’t change the iPad, it expands its capabilities.

        Not everyone needs a physical keyboard, but it can be useful for some tasks for some people.

      2. It’s not like he’s trying to hammer in a nail with an iPad, he’s trying to make it easier *for himself* to type long documents on it. Now add Siri and let us dictate to Pages or whatever app you prefer and then you can ditch the keyboard.

      3. Ordinarily I would agree with you; as I had argued the point about the convenience of portability with my Android trotting net/notebook loving friends. iPad is too uncomplicated for their tastes. IMO, until the first time they recline in bed with an iPad, they won’t get it.

        However, in this particular case of reversed position, allow me to argue the author’s point. My MBR may not be the best thing to watch movies on, but I’ve watched a lot of movies in bed on this (before iPad) than on my big screen TV in the drawing room. In other words, sometimes we do things on computers and gadgets that aren’t necessarily best designed for those tasks but we make do. Similarly, iPad is what you make it. If the author is happy to use it as a primary device for doing things he would normally would have on his MBAir, then who are we to say, “he’s holding it wrong?”

        Sure, it must be annoying for many of us to schlep around a keyboard and doohickey dongles just to type etc., defeating the purpose of a tablet (with serious touchscreen capabilities). But maybe he just leaves the keyboard at work, and plugs it in for mostly for work. Rest of the time, it’s a minimal typing computer on the go. He’s having best of both worlds where PCs, even laptops with dedicated keyboards etc. are slowly being relegated as trucks.

        Once Siri and nuanced powered rich dictating applications (A.I. powered punctuational and grammatical corrections on the fly etc.) start popping up for the next generation of iPads, well you know the rest…

        1. While I was busy writing my usual long response, both steveH and Tony had succinctly expressed the point I was clumsily trying to make. Please, ignore my long comment, as usual (better yet, please delete it MDN).

  1. My Dad does a lot of writing but has never been comfortable with computers. I got him an iPad and a Rocketfish keyboard case, and he’s very comfortably using it as his “laptop”. He’s not using it as his primary writing machine yet, but it’s only a matter of time before his comfort level carries him in that direction.

  2. No, just no. The iPad is not a replacement for a notebook computer. It has its uses but I couldn’t imagine working with one exclusively all day long without falling back on my MBP.

    I see it more as an entertainment and media consumption device. Some light email here and there, nothing too complicated. Looking at spreadsheets is fine but manipulating cells in a complex spreadsheet, I think not.

    Still, I find it a useful companion to my MBP and iPhone. Now if only it were more portable, as in 7″, I’d actually bring it everywhere with me tucked away in my jacket pocket or the back pocket of my jeans if I’m headed out to the bar.

      1. The IPad fits fine in my Louis Vuitton Speedy Bag. On rare occasions where a clutch is appropriate, I can get by with the iPhone. The handbag option isn’t there for (most) men, though.

    1. In my opinion the Zaggfolioit is the best keyboard/folio on the market. The keyboard is equally as big as the iPads built in keyboard and it is a lot easier to use. The arrow keys are awesome to have.

      You can use the Targus or Apple Bluetooth keyboard if you need something bigger. The Targus brand is made specifically for the iPad so it has a number of dedicated iPad keys.

      Btw this artical isn’t about keyboard reviews it’s about using the iPad as a content creation device. MDN is welcome to delete this for being slightly off topic.

  3. Harry still doesn’t get it. Steve Jobs created a new category for the iPad. It was not the iPad’s intent to replace a laptop or desktop computer (or the iPhone). However, as new technologies come out, computers will become smaller and faster. It’s good news the iPad can do so much already (thanks to current technology and developers!). But, we haven’t seen nothing yet! More great products to come!.

  4. Like the author I swapped from writing on a laptop to the iPad, permanently, and for the same reasons. Plus there’s one more thing: I got the original iPad and the ZaggMate cover /keyboard, as this allows you to stand the screen in portrait mode, and see a whole A4 page of writing at once, something no laptop I know of can do. I write plays and novels and being to see the whole page has always been a priority for me. I chose Homeword running on an Apple II as my first wordprocessor because it had a miniature screenmap of the whole page. When I swapped to a Mac I used a Radius Pivot monitor, that system cost megabucks. And now a £500 iPad + Pages does the same thing. Thanks Steve

  5. I have had the iPad for about a year and I can safely this the best device I have ever used. I found myself not watching tv for several. So I terminated the tv service. Everything I need, I see on the iPad. I have the 3G model that gets me averything anywhere. I use the iPad for over 90 percent of my computing – editing photos, writting documents, carrying all sorts of documents, filling forms, evening signing documents that I have written without ever physically printing them, and a lot more. I even do some video editing on tv. This utility plus the convenience of doing everything anywhere makes this number 1 by far in my experience. I agree with the. This device be use ALMOST as the primary computer. That is what it is for. I surprise poeple with what I can do on the iPad. I ak able to develop unique graphics and documents on the fly. I love the iPad!!

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