Tools & Technologies

iPad for "Serious Work" – Forget About It

Peter links to a review of the “New iPad” in a “Post-PC World.” The final paragraphs of Alexander’s review state:

Just to clarify, I really enjoy using iPads, and continue to believe they are great media consumption devices. I love to read books on them. I love to read magazines and newspapers on them. I even watch the occasional movie or play a game. And for all these purposes, the improved screen resolution of the new iPad as well as the 4G LTE network capabilities are fabulous improvements.

But for any expression of creativity, for software development, for photography, for cinematography, for journalism, blogging, marketing, science, engineering, architecture, … in other words for any serious work … tablets are somewhere between mediocre to useless. For all of these fields the PC – be it Windows, MacOS, or Linux based – has been and will be the essential tool of any creative mind. Therefore, I firmly resent the hubris of people proclaiming this to be a “post-PC world”.

I’m with Alexander on this. I’ve experimented with using an iPad for blogging at conferences, taking notes during interviews, and other tasks that represent “serious work.” It doesn’t work, even with an external keyboard. I’d go so far as saying it’s a failure, and gets in the way.

I greatly prefer a full laptop when out-and-about, and a full desktop with a large display when in the office. The iPad is good for some things that we could previously only do with a PC/Mac, but having a PC/Mac remains an essential requirement for anyone doing “serious work” (Alexander’s phrase).

On my recent trip to Europe and London, I almost left my iPad behind since most of what I needed was delivering presentations, taking notes, and keeping in touch with my family. I did eventually pack it though, for reading PDFs on the plane. It worked great for that – better than my MacBook Pro – but for pretty much everything else, I was using my laptop.

Net-net for me: I don’t need the “New iPad.” I’d rather spend the money on upgrading my MacBook Pro to a MacBook Air. That’s where the sweet spot is for me.

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