Thoughts on a PC Purchase, Part V - iPad vs Laptop - Page 2
No Office Apps
What about standard office applications typified by MS Office or Open Office? Not on iPad, and another aspect of that endeared itself….when we type on a keyboard, the keyboard is usually flat on the desk, and the screen in front of us. With an iPad, you’re typing and looking down, which is a strain on the neck. Holding the unit and typing with one hand degrades your speed. Yes, you can dock it and get an external keyboard, which is a must if you’re typing long documents. But, that defeats the purpose of carrying a small, self-contained device.
The iPad could work in doctor’s offices and repair shops, shipping facilities, or other lines of work where you fill out forms. It’s fine if you need to load a (non-Flash) website or dash off a quick email. You can use it to show a pre-made presentation, but you cannot create the presentation on it. You are not going to type out a lengthy corporate report or contract, calculate the NPV and IRR of your next enterprise level project, or create a corporate presentation on an iPad. If you find some app that will do it, the experience will be very clumsy at best. Third show stopper.
Limited Hardware Connectivity
Your sole hardware connectivity is the same 30-pin connector used on iPods and iPhones. That’s acceptable for those handheld devices. It is not acceptable for a device that’s supposed to supplement or replace a laptop. That was the final show stopper.
Laptop Deal Sealed
Continued on the next page
My 10-minute session with the iPad sealed the deal. There was no applause, no whoops of joy as I exited the Apple Store iPad-less. I bought an Acer Aspire 5740 laptop. It replaces my desktop for blogging, PC-based email, and office apps. I can pack it in a bag and take it with me at a moment’s notice. I can patch into a GigE LAN or use 802.1n WiFi. No WiFi? No problem. I slap my Virgin Broadband Modem in a USB port buy pre-paid service for as little as $10 or up to $60 for 5GB of transfer in a month. I can use the built-in webcam for video conferencing and blogging. The cost for all this? $700. If I don’t have the laptop with me, I can still open the iPhone cam and be broadcasting in 10 seconds flat. The iPhone is in my opinion actually more functional than the iPad.