iPad review: the conclusion (and can it replace my laptop?)
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

iPad review: the conclusion (and can it replace my laptop?)

As I wind up my four-part review of the iPad, I must revisit my theory (or maybe it was a hope) that the device could replace both my iPod touch and my MacBook. It will definitely replace the former. As for my laptop, not quite and not yet.

With the revealing of iPhone OS 4, I think the iPad could do just that before year's end. I say this with a caveat: I'm not a road warrior. I do most of my computing on an iMac and will be using my iPad as a Mac companion/Mac complement. If you do a lot of work -- or heavy duty work -- on your laptop, don't plan on trading your MacBook or MacBook Pro in for an iPad.

As I've said before, the tablet device is a great device for media consumption. As a device for creation and productivity, it has a way to go.

Apple offers iPad versions of its iWork productivity apps: Pages, Keynote and Numbers for $9.99 each. I've only used Pages, so I'll use that as my yardstick for getting work done on the tablet device.

First of all, I simply can't use the virtual keyboard that comes with the iPad. Or, rather, I can't use it quickly. Without the tactile feedback from a physical keyboard, I have to look at the keyboard while I type. That's not conducive to writing articles as I do, though it's okay for responding to email and posting short blips on Facebook.

Also, if you're used to the iPhone keyboard, you'll need some adjustment time for that of the iPad. On the iPhone, the Delete key is on the lower right, above the Return key. On the iPad, it’s in the upper right corner, and the Return key is next to the L key. The iPad adds a right-side Shift key.

However, with Apple's US$70 iPad Keyboard Dock or a Bluetooth keyboard, I can write just as quickly and intuitively as I can using Pages on my iMac or MacBook. I love the Keyboard Dock and, though you can use it okay with a lapdesk, its size makes it awkward to put in a carrying bag. If you plan to be writing while on the go, I'd recommend a case that lets you prop up the iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard. I have an Apple Bluetooth keyboard. It paired with the iPad instantly and worked seamlessly. There was zero delay in the interaction between the keyboard and text popping up onscreen.

As an online tech journalist, I'm constantly moving info between emails, Pages and Safari (where I post articles for this web site). Currently, that's a pain with the iPad. I must copy the info from one app (say, Pages, where I've written an article), quit it, then open another (such as Safari, where I post stories via a content management system). When I get ready to finish or edit another article, I have to quit Safari, open Pages and start the process over. iPhone OS 4's multi-tasking should alleviate this problem, but right now my workflow is much more seamless on my Macs.

Still, I"m not ready to give up my laptop yet for this reason.

Others have complained about the lack of a camera and USB ports on the iPad. I'm betting we'll get a camera (and iChat) on the next rev of the device. As for the lack of USB ports, considering the minimalist approach Apple was going for, this makes sense. But it's another reason why you need a Mac in addition to an iPad.

Speaking of Pages, overall, it's a credible take on a word processor/text editor for a new breed of device. Plus, Pages documents can be attached to e-mails as Word docs. They, in turn, can be downloaded from the e-mail program, opened in Apple software, edited, and re-attached to e-mails with changes intact. There will be some formatting snafus, but, overall, it works pretty well.

You also need to keep in mind that the iWork apps have no Save command. Documents are auto-saved every 30 seconds. There's an Undo command, but if you get carried away and make lots of changes, you may be not be able to revert back to an earlier version of a document. What's more, file sharing via Pages (and, I'd suspect, Keynote and Numbers) on the iPad is a hassle.

As Mac guru Ted Landau has noted, the feature works, but not with the sort of user interface that we've come to expect from Apple. Ted has offered a thorough look at what file sharing entails; you can read all about it here: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/file_sharing_with_an_ipad_ugh/ . He recommends that "for starters, Apple could permit iPad apps to both export documents to and import documents from a MobileMe iDisk. This would make it much easier to shuttle files back and forth between a Mac and an iPad." Amen, brother.

So should you buy an iPad? I have no trouble recommending it as a Mac companion. I don't recommend it as a Mac replacement.

When it comes to ratings, I'd give it 9 out of 10 as a media consuming device, but only 5 out of town for content creation. We'll revisit this again when iPhone OS 4 arrives for the iPad this fall.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

iFFmpeg 6.2.5 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a comprehensive media tool to convert movie, audio and media files between formats. The FFmpeg command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does all the hard... Read more
DaisyDisk 4.4 - $9.99
DaisyDisk allows you to visualize your disk usage and free up disk space by quickly finding and deleting big unused files. The program scans your disk and displays its content as a sector diagram... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.07 - Customize Multi-T...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.071 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.07 - Customize Multi-T...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
PDFpen 8.3.2 - $74.95
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
DiskCatalogMaker 6.5.20 - Catalog your d...
DiskCatalogMaker is a simple disk management tool which catalogs disks. Simple, light-weight, and fast Finder-like intuitive look and feel Super-fast search algorithm Can compress catalog data for... Read more
Things 2.8.9 - Elegant personal task man...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
PDFpenPro 8.3.2 - $124.95
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Create fillable forms and tables of content... Read more
Things 2.8.9 - Elegant personal task man...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Pokémon GO Generation 2 evolution guide
At long last, Niantic Labs finally unleashed the Generation 2 Pokémon into the wild. Pokémon GO trainers are scrambling to grab up this new set of 80 Pokémon. There are some special new tricks required to catch all of these new beasties, though.... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
It feels as though the New Year got off to a creaking start as far as mobile games go, but that's changed over the past few weeks. The last few days alone have seen the debut of a number of wonderful games, so we thought we'd take the time to... | Read more »
Recruit more scallywags and discover new...
Get ready to show off your sea legs all over again in Oceans & Empires’ new grand update, which aims to make the act of rising to the role of seven seas ruler even more fresh and appealing, thanks to a richness of new content on both iOS and... | Read more »
Mage the Ascension: Refuge (Games)
Mage the Ascension: Refuge 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The groundbreaking roleplaying game Mage: The Ascension manifests in our turbulent present with Refuge, an... | Read more »
Vampire: Prelude (Games)
Vampire: Prelude 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The classic roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade returns to digital games with a Prelude of things to come. Experience a... | Read more »
Digby Forever Guide: How to dig to the d...
Digby Forever is a sparkling homage to arcade classics, and while you may be tiring of the number of arcade games being thrown at you, this endless digger finds many ways to stand out from the rest of the pack. The game manages to be challenging... | Read more »
The best sales on the App Store this wee...
It's been quite the week in mobile games, but if the latest releases(there were some pretty darn good ones, in case you missed out) aren't really doing the trick, perhaps some of these discounted games will. Many of these premium games had their... | Read more »
Why the new Fire Emblem Heroes update sh...
It’s exciting to see Nintendo delving into the mobile sphere, regardless of whether it’s to give fans another platform to enjoy their fans or simply a sound business venture. Two of the company's announced mobile games have finally come to... | Read more »
New Fire Emblem Heroes update adds new h...
Fire Emblem Heroes received a sizeable update first thing this morning. The update features a batch of fresh content along with a few updates to the game's systems. [Read more] | Read more »
The Deep Paths (Games)
The Deep Paths 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 25% off launch sale!!! The Deep Paths: Labyrinth Of Andokost is a first-person, dungeon crawling RPG, with traditional grid-based... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up...
Amazon has 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP including free shipping: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray: $2720.38 $79 off MSRP - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: -... Read more
13-inch 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for...
Newegg has the 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MMGG2LL/A) on sale for $1029.99 including free shipping. Their price is $170 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Choose Newegg... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $1...
B&H has 12″ 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1149 $150 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz... Read more
InTouch Health Expands iOS And Windows Produc...
Specialty telehealth enterprise provider InTouch Health has announced an expanded range of FDA Class I listed medical devices and software solutions for ambulatory, non-acute and non-emergent... Read more
iMobie Airs World’s 1st iCloud Manager with M...
iMobie Inc., an Apple-related software company, announced their newly-updated iPhone manager AnyTrans with exclusive feature to sync and manage contents across multiple iCloud accounts. With it,... Read more
New Proactive Apple Support Professional Cert...
Watchman Monitoring has announced Proactive Support Professional Certification at MacTech Pro. Watchman Monitoring is a premier Proactive Support Software as a Service (SaaS) tool for IT... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina Apple MacBook Pro on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A): $... Read more
Back in stock: Apple refurbished 13-inch Reti...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $360 off original MSRP, starting at $1099. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* macOS Systems Integration Administra...
…most exceptional support available in the industry. SCI is seeking an Junior Apple macOS systems integration administrator that will be responsible for providing Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.