Three Places the iPad Beats a Notebook
The iPad may not be able to completely replace a notebook, but it is pretty darned amazing at beating out a notebook in several situations.
Over the past two weeks I have been testing out notebooks from the 13″ MacBook Air up to a 17″ Alienware M17X, but despite the larger screens full fledged software and powerful processors, there are still several times where the iPad beat the competition.
Working on the iPad presents a new set of challenges, but sometimes these challenges are easier to deal with than those that come with using a notebook.
When Quiet Matters
This past weekend I was giving a large standardized test, which demands quiet. I could have surfed the web for hours or slacked off, but instead I opened up Pages on the iPad and knocked out several posts for GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. The on screen keyboard may slow some users down, but when you need to be quiet, it’s amazing.
This past week has also been a whirlwind as I move across town. I can’t count on daylight hours to work or respond to emails, so I have been answering emails and completing other tasks in bed without waking my wife. There is no notebook around that can deliver such silent typing, especially when laying down.
The new split keyboard in iOS 5 has really helped the situation, allowing me to hold the iPad while I type. This keeps bounces and the click of the case against a desk from destroying my silent productivity.
Cramped and Odd Locations
The iPad is well known for being the best tray table productivity device on airplanes, but it is also an amazing tool while working in a car or trying to stay out of the way as other people are packing or unpacking around you.
As I have been on the move I have found myself working on random countertops, banisters, a deck and in at least one occasion next to the washing machine while I waited for a load to finish. The iPad is able to go where I go and let me keep working, while i need to do other things.
If you have moved recently, you’ll know there can be a lack of places to sit. This leads to lots of standing work. Unfortunately, not the type fo stand up work I enjoy. I don’t know if you’ve tried to use a notebook while standing, but let me tell you, it is awful. Even a light notebook like the Air won’t let you type long with one hand.
The new split keyboard in iOS 5 comes in handy once again. I can switch between portrait and orientation mode with ease and find a comfortable grip to get work done while standing up.
What Apps I Use
When I want to get things done on the iPad in these situations I keep it simple. Instead of using 10 different apps I rely on Pages for the iPad, Evernote and Safari for email. I’m still not sold on the stability of WordPress on the iPad, which is why I compose in Pages. If I need to, I can upload a draft from there, but most of the time iPad composed posts need a little more editing than their notebook counterpart.
Are you going to run into all of these situations on a daily basis? I hope not, but if you do, I hope you have an iPad or Tablet handy. Whether you are trying to work in a new house or in need of 15 minutes of productivity while in line, the iPad may be the best tool for the job. I don’t move every week, but I definitely find situations each week where the iPad is the best tool in my bag.
You can try to replace a notebook with an iPad or Android tablet, but the more I use the device, the more I agree that the Tablet is poised to be a third device — just as indispensable as our smartphones and notebooks.
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