Field Testing the iPad: An Unexpected Turn


As mentioned previously, I am currently in the process of a month-long “field test” of the Apple iPad as a laptop replacement. Not in the conventional sense of “I have a laptop, could the iPad serve as my primary computer” (although I suspect for many home users this could be true), but “With an iPad, do I need a computer that will ever leave my desk”?

But for three days recently, I got to find the answer to the other question. Deciding that, even if the conclusion of my little foray into mobile computing was successful, I would still need a larger hard drive, my computer went into the shop, and I was left with just the iPad as my link to the world.

What did I have to do those days?

– Schedule a meeting with my advisor, and several other faculty members
– Manage the soon-to-be submission of a paper I am the author on
– General life related tasks, planning for a trip to the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting (where I sit writing this) etc.

The result? The iPad heroically held the line while my computer was in the shop, and even when it got back was invaluable as a means of keeping everything together – including the occasional documentation lookup as I got my main machine back up and running from a complete reinstall (see a previous rant of mine about serial numbers for the last time this happened).

The field test continues, and a more in-depth post is forthcoming, but for right now, having just an iPad for three days, while occasionally inconvenient, was hardly disasterous.

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