My husband recently received an iPad as a Christmas gift. I took the opportunity to see if the machine was a viable option to purchasing either a laptop or netbook for business purposes. My husband wanted the machine in order to go paperless in his flying pursuits. Flight charts are constantly being updated and pilots must replace them on a regular basis, (which incurs quite a cost), but there is a program called ForeFlight that allows you to obtain these charts electronically. So he needed something that would be good for viewing these electronic charts, as well as, provide the appropriate visibility at night. You can see the clarity and visibility in these photographs taken from a recent night flight:
As you can see, the iPad is a terrific way to view this content. But that is exactly what an iPad is good for – content viewing.
In my opinion, the iPad is a terrific tool for those whose only purpose is to view content. If you need to simply surf the web, obtain email, or if you are a salesperson or business owner who wants an easy, portable means of showing product presentations without the burden of carting around a laptop – then the iPad is the machine for you.
However, if you are considering purchasing an iPad as a replacement for your main machine, I would advise against it. The keyboard on the tablet is not effective in creating high volumes of documentation – such as Microsoft word or excel document creation or editing. Yes, you can buy the associated peripherals and accessories, but by the time you purchase the keyboard, viewing stand, external DVD drives and other necessary items, you will be well beyond the costs of a good laptop or a strong netbook. I have a Samsung N150 netbook which is a super light weight, powerful machine that satisfies my business needs as a consultant on the go.
Unfortunately, many of you parents out there were probably convinced by your children to buy these as a holiday gifts for a classroom tool. It will be interesting to hear the feedback in six months. These machines are like high-heeled shoes, they may make you look sexy, but you can’t walk great distances in them.
For those of you looking to purchase an iPad, I suggest you watch Ebay over the next several months. I have a feeling that sheepish college students will be selling them off in droves.
TIP: Use Bidslammer so you are not staying up till 1:00 am bidding.
When I used the iPad all I could think of was that I wished it were a really big phone!