My laptop is a 15″ unibody MacBook Pro. It’s a fantastic computer, however after you factor in the bag, power adapter and cable, mouse and any other necessary accessories needed to make the computer useful you’re usually pushing 10-12 pounds of dead weight. It’s like carrying around a boat anchor. At the end of the day, when you find yourself using your computer to check email, chat with friends, manage your social networks and sometimes entertain yourself with some news and games there’s no reason you need to slog that entire production around. That’s why I bought an iPad.
My parents have an iPad, they’re both in their mid 50’s and have integrated it into their daily lives without any technological or operational hurdles.
Sure, it cannot do everything that my laptop does; it does not run flash, my entire suite of content creation applications (Adobe CS5 Web Premium, Final Cut Studio, etc) and it doesn’t have a physical keyboard. You know what it does have? A 10+ hour battery, a fantastic amount of apps out of the box, a low sticker price, 64gb of memory, 3G access (my iPhone is jailbroken and acts as a hotspot), a tiny charger that also works with my iPhone and a total weight just shy of 2 pounds when you account for all the “accessories” that you need.
Riding the MBTA Commuter Rail from Providence to Boston, armed with nothing more than my iPad. Music, news, chat and whatever else I need for the 1.5 hour train ride.
It’s the ultimate device for a road warrior. No longer do I pack up my laptop for a personal trip where I’ll be gone for a couple of days, I bring my iPad. It is liberating to not worry about an expensive piece of hardware that contains your life’s contents and files. Being able to grab the iPad, a charger and fly out of your house on a whim is terrific. You know that if something bad happens, it isn’t the end of your life. When it all boils down, the cost of replacing my $2500 laptop and the data that sits on it (Yes, I have a backup) far exceeds the cost of buying a new iPad and syncing it with my Google Enterprise account and iTunes.
Killer App: The New York Times
For those of you that bitch about the iPad’s shortcomings, and believe me it’s far from a perfect device, you have to appreciate all the things that it allows you to do. The ability to leave your laptop at home and still have the ability to do 95% of what you need to get done with such an ultra-portable device is worth the money.
Maybe in another post I’ll write about the way it’s changing media consumption and application development. For now, remember to try one the next time you’re at the Apple Store.