Technologizer

One Year Later, the iPad Is Still My Favorite Computer

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Harry McCracken / TIME.com

Back in December of last year, I reported on one of the most unexpected things that had ever happened to me as a user of gadgets. I’d begun using an iPad 2 with a ZaggFolio keyboard case as my primary computer. I found that I really liked it — and that for me, at least, the conventional wisdom that iPads were only truly useful for consumption, not creation, was seriously out of whack with reality.

As I explained in that story, I had my iPad-first epiphany during a trip I made to Berlin to attend the IFA tech conference. IFA 2012 is going on even as I speak, so it’s official: I’ve been doing this for a year.

Back when I started, the notion that an iPad could largely replace a conventional computer was, um, a tad unusual. Some of the people who read my story, in fact, seemed to maintain that it was impossible, or at least that I was a moron for doing so. As one commenter put it: “This article is irresponsible. The iPad 2 is still an accessory to your REAL computer. To say that an iPad can replace your primary computing device is misleading and false.”

(MORE: Coming Soon: 15 Interesting Phones, Tablets and Hybrids)

My fellow tech journalists were more polite about the whole thing. But as I said at the time, none of them rushed to join me. They said that the Zagg keyboard wasn’t comfy enough for them, or that the iPad’s screen was too small, or that the apps were too wimpy. I was having a great time, but I felt like an outlier, and I thought it might stay that way.

That was then. This is now — and even though just a few months have passed, an awful lot has changed. I still run into doubting Thomases — one commenter recently informed me that my case for the iPad as a content-creation machine was “thinner than prison soup” — but I also have plenty of company.

Mac guru Andy Ihnatko, for instance, is mostly using an iPad with an Apple wireless keyboard, and calls himself a charter member of the post-PC Generation. Not only is reporter Casey Newton happy with his iPad and ZaggFolio, but he says I provided the inspiration.

And a few months ago, I attended a meeting of the national board of the American Society of Business Press Editors where four of 13 attendees were toting iPads with external keyboards. I don’t think any of them would describe themselves as hardcore geeks or lovers of bleeding-edge technology; they were doing it because they found it useful.

I’m pretty sure it’s not just journalists who are using iPads as computers. I see people doing it in airplanes. I’ve seen them doing it on the subway. When I’m out and about, strangers run up to ask me about my keyboard. Something’s happening here, and it’s happening quickly — and so I thought I’d update you on my experiences as of the one-year mark.

Would you mind if I continued on by interviewing myself?

So are you still using your iPad for most of the things you do?

Oh, yes. After a year of this, I have no desire to go back. I’m not trying to ditch conventional PCs; they’re better for some stuff. I also don’t insist that what I’m doing is for everyone. (If using a tablet like a laptop doesn’t make sense to you, I’m pretty sure you’d be unhappy doing it.) But for me, this is the best way to work most of the time.

Remind me again what the benefits are?

Powerbag

Powerbag

These are the five key ones:

  1. Battery life. I can head out in the morning with a fully-charged iPad and use it into the evening without babysitting the battery gauge or hunting for a power outlet. Generally speaking, I don’t bother to take a power adapter with me, a move which would be unthinkable with a notebook. (I do admit that I’ve bought a Powerbag, a clever little bag with a built-in battery and charging cables for multiple devices — I sometimes use it when I travel or when I need to use the iPad for more than nine or 10 hours at a time.)
  2. Simplicity.The iPad doesn’t do as many things as a Windows PC or a Mac — and much of the time, that’s a feature, not a bug. I like not having to wrangle windows; I like not having to hunt through dozens or hundreds of features; I like not having to stress out much over security issues; I like completely unified software updates.
  3. General robustness.The iPad isn’t 100% rock-sold; apps do crash from time to time, and I encounter occasional glitches I can solve with a reboot. But in my experience, it’s far less susceptible to odd behavior than any conventional computer. The more reliable the device, the more time I can spend doing whatever I’m trying to do.
  4. Embedded Internet.Being able to turn on the iPad and get online with no additional steps is a huge boon to my productivity, and worth every nickel I pay to Verizon. On-board broadband is still a fairly rare feature with Windows laptops, and it isn’t available on any Mac.
  5. Portability. I tuck the iPad under my arm, go out for the day and pretty much forget I have it with me. The iPad-and-keyboard setup also works fine in even the most impossibly cramped airplane seat. (I once wrote a time-sensitive story while riding the Tokyo subway.) It’s true that something like an 11″ MacBook Air would be in the same ballpark, but only if you don’t count the power brick which you’ll almost certainly want to take everywhere.

What percentage of the time are you on the iPad?

Hmm. About two-thirds of the time. Most of the rest of the time, I use either a MacBook Pro (owned by my employer, TIME) or my own 13″ MacBook Air. Or, sometimes, a Lenovo ThinkPad running Windows 7.

Wait, you’re backsliding. Last year, you said you were using the iPad 80% of the time.

Well, I was. But when I wrote that story, I was working as an independent blogger, and I didn’t have an office. I don’t even have a work space at home. I just took the iPad/Zagg everywhere, and anywhere I could find a chair became my office.

When I signed up to work for TIME in February of this year, the fringe benefits included a snazzy office in San Francisco and the aforementioned MacBook Pro as my official work computer. When you’re sitting at a desk and have a computer plugged into power and Ethernet, the iPad loses some of its edge: You might as well use the machine with the larger screen.

In theory at least. Even though the MacBook Pro is theoretically faster than the iPad, it’s more prone to getting bogged down by piggy applications (*coughcough* Outlook) and troublemakers such as Adobe Flash. So I often use the iPad even when I’m sitting in my office. Like, for instance, now.

One other note: When I travel, I bring a laptop with me maybe 50% of the time. But I don’t always get around to using it.

What do you use a laptop for?

Serious graphics projects, for which full-strength Photoshop is still the best tool. I do plenty of graphics on the iPad, too, usually in the tablet version of Photoshop and including some fairly ambitious jobs. But I can do more sophisticated, precise work on a Mac or PC, and I can do it faster.

When I do web-development projects, such as putting together new WordPress sites, I usually work on a computer, although I’ve also done it on the iPad. I also use QuickBooks on my MacBook Air, but that may be more out of laziness than anything else; I could probably switch to QuickBooks Online on the iPad if I put my mind to it.

For some tasks, such as putting together presentations, it’s kind of a toss-up. I might do it on a computer, and I might do it on the iPad. But there’s nothing I do on a regular basis which is simply impossible to accomplish on the iPad.

Surely it’s harder to work on the iPad now that you’re working for a big fancy outfit like TIME?

Blogsy

Blogsy

Nope. Most of what I write — including this article — still goes into WordPress, the blogging platform we use at TIME. (It’s the same one we used at the stand-alone version of Technologizer.) I do about 98% of the required work in the splendid iPad blogging program Blogsy, and finish it off with WordPress’s own web-based tools in Safari.

When I write for TIME’s dead-tree edition, I compose my stories in Apple’s Pages word processor. Then at the last moment, I export the file to Word format so my coworkers can read it in Microsoft Office on their Macs. They’re none the wiser.

Which apps do you use?

Dozens of them. I’ve already mentioned Blogsy, Pages and Photoshop. Other essentials include Calendars, Dropbox, FastZip, Flipboard, Gtasks, iCab, Imo.im, Instapaper, Keynote, Kindle, Paper, Procreate, Rdio, TripIt, Tweetbot and TuneIn. I keep adding to my toolbox, and some of the apps –most notably Blogsy — are getting better at a dizzying pace.

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60 comments
gregt
gregt

have you any view on using ipad mini as a computer

greg

Tina Hampton
Tina Hampton

i loved mine until the internal speaker failed after 6 months and they tried to charge me close to full msrp for the repair due to a case dent that happened the day i took delivery.

en_a
en_a

Seriously, who cares?

Sardonic_Soul
Sardonic_Soul

The biggest problem I have with Ipad is I don't trust Apple -- they steal.  The steal your time, your energy, and ask Bruce Willis --  even your music.  THEY get to decide what's yours, and what's not.   Don't be surprised to find the Op system changed at whim, and everything you've done non-operative in the new version.  Or something you thought you had.. suddenly gone without a trace.  Ever work with an Apple Genius?  His solution is to sell you a new one and so solly.

Lastrova
Lastrova

Keep hopping back between three keyboards?  Enough with the advertising already!

Karl Klept
Karl Klept

iPad is nice for reading/viewing stuff though still too heavy for extended periods but to suggest that anyone could use this as a computer replacement is absurd. This is such a compromised experience regarding basic input, multitasking/switching, file management, etc. and to then suggest that these limitations are features is the mark of a committed cult member.

Nicco Janelli
Nicco Janelli

We get it, you want to marry your iPad.  It's starting to feel like your whole career is based on extolling the virtues of Apple products.  Don't get me wrong, you're entitled to your opinions and they aren't too far-fetched, but I think you will start to lose your credibility if  you keep churning out the same Apple fluff-pieces.

Electra Bellizzi
Electra Bellizzi

Wow!  What timing.  Today I decided, just for kicks, to use a friend's iPad for my daily "finish the tasks on laptop what is impossible on iPhone" session.  What I learned today is that an iPad is IN NO WAY A COMPUTER.  It is an oversized mobile entertainment device and in no way should be mistaken for an actual computer.  Mac or PWith the worst freakish hybrid of a keyboard configuration I have ever used.  And I have more accuracy with the touch screen on my phone.  

Hey Apple, when using your brand new electronic device for first time only gives you a whole new appreciation for the capabilities of your decade old Powerbook, YOU HAVE FAILED.

Don't me wrong.  I love Apple.  I hate viuses and My first computer was a Macintosh Classic.  I have an iPhone 3GS, and my vintage Powerbook G4.  But I have no internet connection at my home, which means I have used my iPhone basically to do pretty much everything I would like to do on my laptop simply out of necessity, and attempted to make the browser content as much like a computer as possible.  While this feat was reasonably possible with Safari,  it is 10 times easier with the new Google Chrome for iPhone.  It's like the actual Chrome browser and not like the Safari browser "app" on iOS.  No more constant redirection to useless mobile sites, and no more forced redirection to the worst app EVER - YouTube.     Because I have no other choice, and I am stubborn, I have become the master of outsmarting the eternal default of everything into lame mobile mode. It has been clearly demonstrated thus far that  pretty much everything that comes in app form is watered down in some way.  The content is largely filtered or altogether ABSENT, and very basic capabilities are consistently missing from these apps.  Sharing someone else's picture or link on a Facebook app someday would be awesome.  When it comes to apps versus actual internet content, the difference between "Safe Search" and "Unfiltered."  The difference between Cliff Notes and ACTUAL literature.  When I need a computer, and iPad will suffice, but is by no means a replacement. And while I am sure to many readers this article sounds like a giant plug for Apple, I do understand how one would be willing to promote Apple's products for free.  They are streamlined and user-friendly.  They are great for people who want to the "computer experience" without the hassle of knowing anything about computer. The thing is, as great and innovative as they are, I AM TOO POOR TO AFFORD TO LOVE APPLE  ANYMORE, as their M.O. seems to be "innovation to obsolescence."   Don't to buy or can't afford a new iBook because yours seems to do?  Don't worry, Apple will eventually make everything on the damn thing un-upgradeable and obsolete so you have no choice but to buy a new one.  I can't even sync my iPhone to my own Apple iBook because I can't update iTunes to the newest version because its not supported on an operating system I can even put on my computer.  Irony is being to forced to use someone else's Sony laptop to have a functional Apple iPhone. The person I explained this to the other day told me he still has parts of his first PC in the PC he has now.  The arrogance of Apple with regard to owners of its own old has almosted turned me to the dark virus infested side.

So sure, if you can afford to keep all your Apples functional and compatible, and have no desire whatsoever to use technology in a way that isn't completely homogenized, and dumbed down for the lowest common denominator, by all means replace your laptop with an iPad infotainment device.

Corbett Baker
Corbett Baker

 I used an identical setup for more than six months, it was quite nice. Unfortunately, an Orderly at Bangkok Nursing Home (Hospital) jacked my iPad2/Zagg, I hope he's putting it to better use.....I found that tablet to be incredibly useful.

Kaddrius
Kaddrius

Meh.  I'll stick with my laptops.  The lack of multi-tasking and reliance on cloud-computing are game killers.  Some times it's good to have hard-wired access to programs and files.  Synchronization can happen later.

Explaining that you couldn't get work done because the weather was bad, the wifi connection failed......just doesn't cut it.

And what are you doing to have stability issues when you use Outlook?!?  My Dell Latitude (winXP), running enterprise software and security all over the place because it's a work computer, and my Compaq CQ with Windows 7 Home rarely ever act up for any reason, even when I've got a large game paused and minimized, or 30 IE windows open, or Photoshop and all of the above......

Is that an Apple thing, to have stability issues?  The brochures always claimed it was the other way around.

Smail Buzzby
Smail Buzzby

If all you are creating is text then it is understandable that you are perfectly happy with an iPad.  You could link a bluetooth keyboard to almost anything and be just as happy, but whatever.

JeffKLassJr
JeffKLassJr

It all depends on the apps and how clever the designers have been in incorporating touch functionality.  Over the past 2 years there have been many truly jaw-droppingly clever approaches to achieving goals via fingers on tablet and smartphone screens.  As time has gone on, mental boot-strapping loops seem to have evolved to progressively improve apps based on previous surprising achievements.  Apple itself has set a high bar with its own  iWork apps (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) and Bento database app.  I have this feeling that we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the potential ingenious means to productivity ends for touch-screen devices that await us in the future.

Fatesrider
Fatesrider

I DARE you to post the comment I just made.  I'm thinking you don't have the guts.

Fatesrider
Fatesrider

A TABLET???  What you have on your picture is a LAPTOP.   The new Windows tablet hybrid (among others) is EXACTLY the same thing as what you've created.

You have turned a consumption device into a laptop at a far greater expense than a decent (read not Apple's low-end Mac but any OTHER manufacturer other than Dell or HP that goes for under $1000.00) laptop would have cost.  You make these gigantic concessions to the inherently poor functionality issues of the tablet form factor and call it a good thing?  If you were truly interested in simplicity, you would have gotten a laptop (regardless of make) from the start since it can do all of the things you want to do without extra pieces or parts to pack, track, lose, break, have the batteries die on and pay for.

Your pretzel-like accommodation of a hamstrung form-factor is something an objective person would look at and wonder why you're such a fan of spending money on a badly utilized device that doesn't do all the jobs you need it to do.  It's not cost-effective.  It's less productive.  There's more to break and break down.  There's more parts to lose.  It's less convenient. 

That's not simple.  That's complicated.

All your article indicates is a very bad basic understanding of computers, an obvious hatred of Windows (because the hyperbole with which you describe the Windows "issues" is about as unbiased as Fox News) and an obvious bias toward Apple.

ALMOST ANY TABLET COULD DO WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR IPAD.

More to the point, EVERY LAPTOP COULD DO MORE, FASTER AND BETTER.

Your idea of simplicity comes at a cost, financially, productively,  in time and intellectually.  It appears you would rather be happy being poor, less productive because of the extra steps to pack and unpack your gear and technologically ignorant than be happy being less poor, more productive, faster and more technologically savvy.

It's your life, your choices, your decisions and the consequences thereof.  But please don't pretend that others are automatically going to be willing share your obsessive/compulsive behaviors by putting them out there.   What you've got there is a mess.  How you run your computing life is a mess.  If you want simple, go with two devices: A home computer for when you're at home and a laptop for when you're on the road.  I don't care if they're Windows or Apple.  Tablets are toys.  To pretend otherwise is to throw good money after bad.   If being inefficient, poor, slow and unproductive is your thing, great.  You've certainly proven that to those of us out there who believe in getting work done so we can then use our computers for play.

This article reads like a three year old trying to show off their mud pie to a world of sculptors.  To those of us who know better, it isn't at all attractive.

Olivia Backer
Olivia Backer

Of course iPad is the most convenient thing in the world) It helps me to be in touch all the time

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

I use CAD and need high resolution big screens for most of that, but for most other content creaton, my HP Envy Ultrabook is more than satisfactory.

But I am also truly looking forward to the new IPad Mini (and appropriate tiny keyboard) so I can have a really portable and still useful useful content creation device in addition to all the nifty Apple stuff.

Had a Kindle Fire (sold it on E Bay 3 days before release of Fire HD).

Fire was not good for content creation, not impossible, just really not good.

The new HD Fire will be better, because at least it will permit a blue tooth keyboard, but it's still no IPad. And it's primarily an Amazon sales tool.

The Google Nexus has great hardware, but Ironically what it is missing is Amazon (or Apple)

The Dark Horse is really the Microsoft Surface, probably better than the IPad for content creation, but Apps are lacking and the jury is out. Microsoft is big enough to confront Apple directly, but whether they are going to do so effectively is still in question.

Probably Apple and Microsoft will both come out of this winners (and so will we).

HiDezNutz
HiDezNutz

An iPad is not a Computer you should change the title of your article.

harrymccracken
harrymccracken

If you really think that Apple pays people like me to say nice things about its products -- well, you don't understand how journalism works, and nothing I can say will convince you otherwise.

Jonas
Jonas

Very interesting read, especially for someone who takes it one step further - my iPhone (yep, read that right) has all but replaced my laptop for everything but heavy duty media production, and music recording and mixing. Yep, and when I'm not dabbling in pretend rockstardom, I'm actually a journalist and a writer. And for all the doubt and denial I see thrown my way, I just keep finding new ways to ensure that I do not have to bring my laptop next time I go travelling. 

What's so good about having a year of experience of a smartphone as a computer replacement is that it doesn't matter if others call my claims preposterous, or explain away my experience with the belief that I am a very casual computer user. With the exception of some highly specialized tasks (such as the media production mentioned above), I KNOW that my claims are fact, and that I can perform any of the tasks they proclaim impossible on a smartphone. I know, for I have already done so for a year. And to argue with that kind of empirical knowledge, they'd have to go all a priori, subjective idealism on my behind. Whereupon I can gladly point out that perhaps their laptops and desktop workstations might not exist at all ;-)

This means that I agree with just about everything in the article, but also know that it can be taken several steps further, with amazing, and above all mobile, results.

On another note, I know that it is customary not to take jailbreaking into account (which is strange enough in itself, given that it is an extension and removal of limitations of the capabilities of the device, especially valuable for someone looking to replace a laptop with an iPad), but in this case, I think it could figure into the article in a big way. Access to the file system, traditional multitasking, and many other power features, all unlocked in a matter of minutes in a guided and readily accessible process, could be a great boon to an 24/7 iPader such as yerself, and definitively matter to possible adopters.

zaglossus
zaglossus

Did you get a nice big payola check from Apple, writer? No one who spends a lot of time inputting wants to stare or work all day at that little screen or figure out where there files are. Nevertheless, I do have an iPad and its great for when I'm sitting on my couch or when I'm on the go.

Rohit Singh Jain
Rohit Singh Jain

Disagree.The iPad can never replace my PC or laptop. it is only secondary. true, I use it for news, social emdia and emails, but no, it can't replace my powerful laptop.

  -Rohit Singh Jain, http://goo.gl/kvGN5

undeadcow
undeadcow

I wouldn't hire someone who can't even half decently conceal it's a sponsored article.

You sir, fail at your job as a writer.

David Hamilton
David Hamilton

What converted me on the 'creation' front was seeing an ad agency friend creating a piece of music on the iPad in 90 seconds: drum synth, swipe to keyboard to lay down a hook, swipe again to effects pad to pan effects over the loop.

I figured out that it would take 5-10 mins on a laptop to do the same thing: Maybe slightly faster if you could memorise the keyboard shortcuts. 

Bottom line: where customisable/flexible input is needed, a tablet completely kicks a laptop's ass. Nowadays, whenever people trot out the 'iPad not for creation' thing, I just laugh.

Electra Bellizzi
Electra Bellizzi

They are coming out with an iPad mini??  Don't they already make iPhones?

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

I don't understand their anger, but I wouldn't worry about it.

Anyway, I agree with you, love my iPad.

David Hamilton
David Hamilton

If you'd read Harry's articles for any length of time, you'd know how ridiculous your statement is.

It does say more about you than this article that you cannot conceive that this might actually be the truth. I have a film-director friend whose working life has been transformed by the iPad - he is able to carry all the (previously very bulky) film scripts, and communicate/collaborate about them, using the one, highly-portable, device.

Your job, as a reader, is to approach any matter with an open mind, and in that aspect it is actually you that has failed.

harrymccracken
harrymccracken

"Sponsored article" = anything that you don't wholeheartedly agree with, I'll bet.

undeadcow
undeadcow

Did you even read why i think he is a terrible writer??

-----------

Copy/paste for you:

 You should thank me that I 'm doing a job for you. As a writer who claims a tablet can replace a computer,  you are supposed to present a set

of trade offs, show strengths and weaknesses of tablets/laptops. Tell

which is more suited for whom and then let the reader decide what is

good for him/her.

I don't care what you use or what is your familiarity with technology

over years. As long as you can do research and produce a well balance

article, you are a good writer. However, you just produced an articles

full of praise for iPad which oozes with fanboism and/or sponsorship,

but I guess nowadays journalism is not about professional opinions

anymore...

--------------BTW your director friend must not be too smart if he didn't know portable laptops existed way before tablets...You know that iPad is not the only portable computer that exist right? Talk about being open minded...

undeadcow
undeadcow

Seriously?

My needs are totally different, one monitor is not enough for me. I'm merely showing how your arguments are terrible. Please reply to all my points with a reasonable explanation why iPad is so much better. People who have any tech-intelligence will know that there is little difference between tablet+keyboard and a netbook. It all comes to preference.

You should thank me that I 'm doing a job for you. As a writer who

claims a tablet can replace a computer,  you are supposed to present a

set of trade offs, show strengths and weaknesses of tablets/laptops. Tell which is more suited for whom and then let the reader decide what is good for him/her.

I don't care what you use or what is your familiarity with technology over years. As long as you can do research and produce a well balance article, you are a good writer. However, you just produced an articles full of praise for iPad which oozes with fanboism and/or sponsorship, but I guess nowadays journalism is not about professional opinions anymore...

As i was saying, you should write for lifestyle section, not technology one.

PS. Why write only about iPad and not TABLETS in general if you are not a fanboy?

PS2. It's a rhetorical question, i'm observant enough to see how CNN/TIME is hiring writers who produces a lot of Apple friendly content.  So called democratic media is a joke.

PS3. I do appreciate the fact that you're at least communicating with readers in comparison to most writers.

s0cialseven
s0cialseven

microsoft and xbox responded to this article in their recent news release... xbox fans, check this out goo.gl/obx6J

undeadcow
undeadcow

Sorry i take it back. After going through some of your articles, i can conclude that you are just an Apple fanboy. They didn't even have to pay you.

Still, you fail at you job as a writer for a tech section. Your tech-savvyness is at a 10 year old level and you can't even present sound argument to why iPad can really replace a computer for work.

1. Battery amp; portability

Carrying a 2,2 pound power bag is surely more convenient than a small charger. Anyone who does any serious work cannot be away from a electricity source for longer than few hours and cannot be any efficient with a small screen.

2. Instant internet

Plug a usb modem (or your phone) into the computer. How hard is this? Yes, it's a little more bulky, but then are you really going to be writing without any form of a table? A QWERTY on a phone is 100x more efficient for writing on the road than a touchscreen. I guess you must wrote a piece on iPad in a subway to show-off...

3. Simplicity / troubleshooting

Get a laptop, don't install anything but a good (=not IE) internet browser and you can do everything for your non-technology related work in cloud based apps.

Computers don't crash out of the box if you don't start installing software that is troublesome. If you consider yourself a tech-guy, your computer should have no issues. Just need to put a little effort choosing what software to install. I encounter a software crash maybe one a week and don't remember when was the last time my PC froze.

I have not met a single tech-guy who complains about having more options. Simplicity is for technologically uneducated consumer who don't know what to do with features that a software might provide.

This article can be sum up in one sentence - "If all you do is word processing, you can replace a computer with a tablet+keyboard for a little bit of convenience" and it should be placed in lifestyle section, not technology section. Btw, why even specify iPad if you get no benefit from endorsing it?

YES, you fail at your job as a writer. You shouldn't worry much though as most writers for TIME are mediocre nowadays. I'm not sure why i'm still visiting, maybe because it's even worse elsewhere...

undeadcow
undeadcow

Wow what part of the sentence you do not understand? Your reading skills are pathetic... so sad.

 

"As a writer [Harry] who claims a tablet can replace a computer,  you are supposed to present a set of trade offs, show strengths and weaknesses of tablets/laptops. Tell which is more suited for whom and then let the reader decide what is good for him/her."

 

It's NOT your job to show me those example, although i do appreciate it.

I came to this article to find out how tablets can be used for work and YOUR 1 COMMENT was more informative than this garbage article.

 

Again, the AUTHOR was supposed to give those examples, NOT you. I'm not a mind reader, I can only absorb information that is written. However, the only thing i got from this article is - iPad is sooooo great because one can do blogging on it.

How can I approach something with an open mind if it is NOT written? Have no idea why you keep defending terrible journalism...

Just because professional journalism is out-of-date nowadays, it DOESN'T make

blog/opinion centered journalism a good thing. It just shows how people are

increasingly stupid, have little expectations of anything, and how our society is heading toward mediocrity.

undeadcow
undeadcow

Wow, you still don't see it??

You're basically proving my point. This is supposed to be Harry's job to show examples how iPad can be used for work, not yours.

You are showing how technology can be used, while Harry is simply rubbing Apple's ass by trying to convince people that iPad is soooooo cool because he can write blog post on it.

My first point is still valid, the author should be writing for lifestyle section, not technology one.

My second point is also still valid - my reading skills ARE much superior. How can i open eyes to something that is not written in the original content and need you to write it down in comments? Am I supposed to telepathically read people's mind to find out how tablets can be used for work? It's writers job to present it out for me. That is why I read technology section.

Seriously, did journalism and the expectations of its quality fall so low nowadays?

David Hamilton
David Hamilton

Thank-you for raising the one point I didn't cover in my second reply (but was in the original).

You have a very closed view of what a journalist should write, one that is increasingly out-dated in today's blogger-driven world. Harry never offered this as a balanced product review, but as his experiences using a new and (still rather) niche product on a day-to-day basis.

You did not represent a second side of the coin in your posts, since you have totally failed to make a positive case for the status quo.

Let me give you another example of why the tablet (yes, iPad in this case) beats a laptop:

Just after the iPad2 comes out I met a friend, who is in the ad industry, on the train. He pulls out the iPad and some headphones, gives me an earpiece and he then gives me the demo that he was giving at media conferences.

He proceeds to create a piece of music, from scratch, in 90 seconds (yes, that's less than it would be in length - he wasn't recording it!).

Pulls up a drum sequencer, starts a loop, swipes to a keyboard plays a hook, then swipes again. Now he's panning effects over the loop and we're into a perfectly good dance track.

He grins and says "It sounds awesome over a huge PA"

Afterwards I tried to figure out how long that would have taken on a laptop, without the ability to swipe and touch notes and pan-pads. 10 minutes? Would it have been possible to do in the same way?

That's when I realised that the key thing about a touch tablet was that its inputs could continuously be reconfigured to match the task in hand. That is  incredibly powerful, and can never be matched by the keyboard. Yes, the keyboard is incredibly good at one task, but it is really appallingly inflexible.

Since then I can't hear the words "iPads are not for creation" without laughing. Actually, I think that's what tablets will be incredibly good at.

You claim that your reading skills are superior, yet you're failing to comprehend what people are saying. You're wasting your  energies on rhetorical debate, when you could be opening your eyes that the world of computing is changing in a fundamental way.

undeadcow
undeadcow

So sad why people nowadays don't know how to read...

Me:

"As a writer [Harry] who claims a tablet can replace a computer,  you are supposed to present a set of trade offs, show strengths and weaknesses of tablets/laptops. Tell which is more suited for whom and then let the reader decide what is good for him/her."

You:

"Read your stuff. You think everyone should be a tech geek and use computers the way you do, cos that's the 'holy grail'. I get that. "

How did you infer from what was written that i want everyone to use tech at high level????

I merely presented a second side of the coin that the author forgot in his article. Harry is too busy drooling over his iPad to include a good comparison between tablets/laptops and actually tell what kind of work iPad is GOOD for and what it is NOT GOOD for.

Therefore, he is terrible at his job.

If you (and i guess so many other people) have problems understanding few simple sentences and can't even recognized what makes a good writing than there is little hope for this country...

David Hamilton
David Hamilton

For some reason my reply went into the moderation 'black hole' when I fixed the grammar. Answer #2 (shorter):

Read your stuff. You think everyone should be a tech geek and use computers the way you do, cos that's the 'holy grail'. I get that.

My friend has a job to do, and it doesn't involve computers. It involves making films, and a laptop with a 4-hour battery life would be about as much use as a chocolate teapot for shooting on location.

The iPad is more interesting (both for this article and generally) because, by abandoning more legacy features, it brings both more challenges and more new opportunities.

Having watched PC software become bloated with complexity over the last 25 years, I find the opportunity to strip the computer back to basics and start again is an exciting one. 

You clearly don't. Different Strokes, as they say...

David Hamilton
David Hamilton

Yup: read your rants. You come across as incredibly controlling: You want everybody else to use computers exactly the same way you do, as if you've found some computing 'holy grail' that everyone else must follow. You also seem to expect everyone to change that way they work to fit the technology, instead of the technology fitting the way we work.

For my film director friend, it's not about the technology, it's about getting the job done, which involves having a vision in his head and then working with other people to make that happen. The last thing he needs is to be messing around with laptops: A tablet is a highly portable, instantly-on device that lasts all day on a filming set without charging. It fits the way he needs to work, and the iPad does that (specifically the iPad because it has a very good range of PDF editing amp; annotation apps).

You suggest a portable laptop, which has a battery life of what: 4 hours? For a 12 hour on-location shoot? The phrase 'as much use as a chocolate teapot' comes to mind.

I know very well there are other tablets out there: so what? What makes the iPad so particularly of note is that it jettisoned many 'legacy computing' artefacts, and yet is in many cases as useful as (sometimes more useful than) the devices it replaces. Other tablets are not as extreme in the legacy functionality they remove, which would have made the story less noteworthy.

Harry's article was a personal discussion on how this new technology works for him - this wasn't a product review. He wasn't recommending it for everyone (although he did mention the kit that helped him make it work). Again you have a very closed view of how journalism should work - one that seems increasingly out-of-date in a world where professional blogging has commingled with formal journalism.

vrf
vrf

 I'd be a lot more inclined to agree with you, Harry, if the file management situation were better. While you mention that as a small nuisance, it is a major part of my work taking files from others, working on them, and giving them back. This is huge for me. Also, there's not a single app in the store that allows me to perform the kind of commenting/reviewing that I can get with desktop Word-compatible programs.

Sara Rose
Sara Rose

Hey everybody, it's a Nerd Fight! Cool!!

undeadcow
undeadcow

...it's sad people can't even read with understanding nowadays. I didn't even state my opinion, just showed how badly this article is written.

A good writer create a well balanced informative article, then presents an opinion at the end.

This however, is a long piece of author's opinion with no useful info whatsoever, unprofessional writing at its best.

harrymccracken
harrymccracken

You know what? You're describing a different set of tradeoffs that fits your particular needs better than an iPad would. That's fine. Like I said in the story, you're in the majority, and it would be crazy for you to use an iPad. But why the need to belittle needs that are different than yours as childish? In what respect are your desires so canonically intelligent that they trump those of other people?

If I suddenly decided to use what you like rather than what I prefer -- after thirty-four years of using basically every sort of computer for a whole lot more than word processing -- would I magically become a sophisticated user with great taste rather than an infantile fanboy?

AhmadZainiChia
AhmadZainiChia

Gee, what a bigot.

Your opinions are all yours, and u have a right to them. Just because you disagree and you feel an ipad can't be as useful as a pc to u, than fine, that's your opinion, which you're entitled to.

But the writer is sharing his experiences, and he finds that an ipad, for him, works as his main computer.

Everyone's entitled to their opinions. The writer is just sharing his views, you don't have to agree. You're the one who's forcing your opinions on others.