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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Where does the iPad fit for business travelers?

Without doubt, the Apple iPad is an extremely cool device. Watching the video on their Web site, I would definitely like to have one.

But where does the iPad fit for business travelers? Here's my two cents:
  • If I was going on a day trip and had no plans to do any writing of more than a few paragraphs, a Wi-Fi-enabled, 3G-enabled iPad would be a great device for checking emails, watching a video or reading a book on the plane, writing a short blog post, etc.
  • If I was visiting a client and wanted to make a presentation, the iPad would also be a great device.
  • However, if I was traveling overnight or longer, would the iPad be my device of choice? Maybe, but answering 50 emails would likely be more difficult than on a laptop or netbook. Writing multi-page reports would be even more difficult.
Admittedly, I have not held an iPad and can't evaluate its virtual keyboard more thoroughly. However, I'm not sure I would want to lug around both an iPad and my MacBook Air on a trip. (That said, I will probably end up getting one at some point.)

So, where do you think the iPad will fit for your business travel?


Blogger DanitaZ said...

I think it will depend for me on how "locked down" this device is. Right now, on my iPhone I can ssh into a Linux server in a pinch, telnet to my mail servers, VPN to various networks, VNC to a Windows device, handle email, calendaring, manage tasks, deal with Twitter, RSS feeds, NNTP, read books, create documents, update my client billing (need I go on?). And I can type 47WPM (just recently did a test to show a colleague) with my thumbs on the iPhone, so I'm not sure the iPad will be faster overall because it will be a different typing style on a virtual keyboard.

So, your example of showing a presentation to a client on a "larger" screen than my iPhone, but smaller than my 17" Macbook is about all that I can think of for the iPad at present. That said, with the larger screen, it's possible that more business apps will come out that could sway me. However, the iPad has to be more of a bridge between what I can already do on my iPhone, and what I need the Macbook for before I will say I "need it" for business. Does that mean that just because I don't need it, I won't get one eventually? No way! :)


January 28, 2010 8:48 AM


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