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

Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm...
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm your mind with nature sounds and illustrations 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Healthcare & Fitness Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Spending time in nature helps you to... | Read more »
Dr. Panda Racers (Education)
Dr. Panda Racers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: STEP ON THE GAS, RACE AND WIN!Fasten your seat belts and get ready to race! Speed your way to the finish line while doing... | Read more »
ROMANCING SAGA 2 (Games)
ROMANCING SAGA 2 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $17.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Romancing SaGa 2, originally released only in Japan in 1993, has been completely remastered and now receives its first... | Read more »
WRIO Keyboard (Utilities)
WRIO Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Utilities Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 40% OFF DURING LIMITED INTRODUCTORY OFFER | Read more »
Hatoful Boyfriend (Games)
Hatoful Boyfriend 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The hit PC game that everybirdie loves has now migrated to your mobile device! Now you are free to explore the wonders of St... | Read more »
Warp Shift (Games)
Warp Shift 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: [ CHECK YOUR HARDWARE: Warp Shift does NOT run on iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPod touch 4G or older devices! It requires at least iOS8... | Read more »
Lifeline: Whiteout (Games)
Lifeline: Whiteout 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: Alone in a frozen wasteland with no memory of how he got there, a lost adventurer’s only hope is his last line of... | Read more »
Castles of Mad King Ludwig (Games)
Castles of Mad King Ludwig 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
How to command and conquer in Raid HQ
Raid HQ is a satisfyingly deep base building game with over-the-top macho action and explosions. This little free to play bundle gives you a lot to do from managing a squad to building the most powerful base you possibly can. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1379.99 $120 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1189 $110 off MSRP - 21″ 1... Read more
Kanex Introduces GoPower USB-C Rechargeable B...
Kanex has announced its GoPower USB-C portable battery for the USB-C MacBook, featuring the new industry standard connector and cable used for connectivity and power. Providing users with a new... Read more
Convertible and Detachable Devices Winning Ov...
According to the latest figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC), Western European shipments of ultraslim convertibles and detachables posted positive growth (44.7%) to account for... Read more
New MacBook Pros And Will MacBook Air Be Upgr...
With my mid-2013 13-inch MacBook Air closing on its third anniversary come November, I’m in system upgrade mode. Actually the Haswell CPU equipped Air is still doing a fine job, but my good wife is... 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, and... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more

Jobs Board

Editor, *Apple* News - APPLE (United States...
Job Summary The Apple News team is looking for a passionate and knowledgeable editor with experience covering entertainment/pop culture and experience running social Read more
*Apple* Nissan Service Technicians - Apple A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Support Technician II - Worldventure...
…global, fast growing member based travel company, is currently sourcing for an Apple Support Technician II to be based in our Plano headquarters. WorldVentures is Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.