One Year Later, the iPad Is Still My Favorite Computer

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Harry McCracken /

You keep saying “iPad.” Can we assume that you’ve upgraded from the iPad 2 to the new iPad?

Yes, but only recently. After reviewing the new model when it was released, I waited a while, then picked up a black one with 64GB of storage and Verizon LTE. I’m happy with it — in part for the super-high-resolution Retina display, but even more so for the LTE wireless broadband, which, at its best, feels zippier than my cable modem at home. And being able to use the iPad as a wireless hotspot for other devices, at no additional cost, is a significant plus.

The new iPad is slightly thicker and heavier than its predecessor, but I’ve never noticed any difference as I’ve toted it around town. I have found, however, that the battery life feels a tad shorter than that of the iPad 2. That’s an unscientific impression, and your experience could vary. And even if it is slightly briefer, it’s still better than what I’d get from any laptop I was likely to carry.

Are you still using the ZaggFolio keyboard?

Not at the moment. I keep hopping back and forth between it, Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Cover and Logitech’s Solar Keyboard Folio. I like them all a lot, but don’t find any of them to be perfect.

Brydge iPad keyboard


Right now, the Solar Folio is my daily driver: I like the fact that it never needs recharging, and it’s relatively thin while still protecting the iPad on both sides. (The Zagg makes for a chunkier rig.) The Solar Folio’s only major downside other than the price ($129.99) is the unaccountably illegible reddish color which Logitech chose for the Fn-key functions on the keycaps.

Then there’s Brydge, the Kickstarter project which does its darndest to turn an iPad into a mini-MacBook. I backed it on Kickstarter in May and have been impatiently waiting for mine ever since.

Is it tough to jump back and forth between the keyboard and the touchscreen?

I’ve been doing this long enough that I don’t give it much thought. I definitely don’t pine for a mouse or trackpad.

The lack of unfettered access to the file system must just kill you.

Hey, that isn’t a question. Anyhow, I’ve found it more of an occasional nuisance than a headache. Between iCloud, the clipboard, file attachments, the Camera Roll and the “Open in” feature, I can get the documents and other stuff I want in and out of the apps I use. But I do wish there was a way to pull files off a thumb drive: When someone gives one to me, which happens quite often, it’s barely more useful than a floppy disk.

Well, the lack of full-blown multitasking can’t be good. Can it?

It hasn’t proven to be a serious problem. I can tap my way from app to app as quickly as I can move between programs on a garden-variety computer. But there are a few cases in which more multitasking capabilities would be welcome: It would be nice if more types of apps had more freedom to download and upload in the background, for example.

Why won’t you admit that you can only use the iPad for real work because you’re a writer?

I didn’t expect this self-interview to get so combative. But if you’re so sure that the iPad can’t be used for other creative expression, you might want to take it up with people like Cynthia Wick and Glen Mulcahy.

How do you print?

Doxie Go scanner


I don’t! I have an aging HP OfficeJet printer which doesn’t support Apple’s AirPrint technology or HP’s ePrint. The next time I buy a new printer, I’ll get one which makes it easy to print from an iPad. But I’m trying to think of instances in which I wanted to print and couldn’t, and no examples are coming to mind.

Speaking of peripherals, I use a nifty portable scanner called Doxie Go to scan paper “into” my iPad. More specifically, Doxie can send paper documents directly to Evernote — no computer involved — which means that they’re instantly available in Evernote on the iPad.

What could Apple do to make your life easier?

Let’s see. I wish that Safari’s “Add to Home Screen” feature, which lets you create an icon for a web page so you can launch it with one tap, was a full-blown Single-Site Browser option akin to Fluid for OS X, so you could treat web apps more like native apps. (Instead, it sends you to a tab within Safari.)

I’d also like a more cohesive way to deal with all my apps and all their settings and files as one giant lump of bits. It should be possible to back up everything with one tap, and restore it with one tap. But as far as I can tell, you can’t do that — either with iTunes or iCloud. Every time I set up a new iPad, I fumble my way through the process.

As long as I’m asking for things: I’d love more space. If there was a 128GB iPad, or even a 256GB model, I’d probably buy it. I want everything with me all the time — photos, music, movies, PDFs and a whole lot more. More and more, my iPad is replacing not only my PC, but also my library and my TV.

Anything else you need?

Gmail, which I depend upon as much as any single productivity tool I use, isn’t a terribly satisfying experience on the iPad:

  • Apple’s Mail app is fine, except it doesn’t give you seamless and reliable access to all the mail on the server.
  • Google’s own Gmail app is a major disappointment — it supports only one account and doesn’t deal well with messages with links in them.
  • The browser-based version of Gmail is great, but I’d rather use a self-contained app.
  • There are various third-party Gmail solutions, but all the ones I’ve tried have technical glitches, usability problems or both.

Basically, I’d be thrilled if there was anything as good as the Gmail app for Android. Maybe the creators of Sparrow, who are now part of the Gmail team, will make it happen.

So will you switch to Microsoft’s Surface once it’s available on October 26?

Like everyone else who cares about this stuff, I’m intrigued by Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet. With its keyboard cover and general emphasis on productivity, it seems to be aimed at people like me. However, its most obvious theoretical selling point — the fact that it includes more-or-length-full-strength Microsoft Office — isn’t inherently exciting to me; I can use CloudOn or OnLive to use Office on an iPad right now, and do so only sporadically. As with any other new hardware platform, I think Surface will ultimately thrive or flop based on the overall quality of its apps, so I’m rooting for Windows 8 to be a hit.

How about Asus’s Transformer Infinity tablet, which provides a detachable keyboard?

It too looks interesting. But the selection of Android tablet apps remains skimpy, and the Transformer’s battery life falls short of the iPad. And it isn’t available with embedded broadband. I’m glad it exists; I’m not sure why I’d choose it over the iPad.

Any final thoughts for people who aren’t convinced what you’re doing makes sense?

Sure — I’ve stopped caring! We live in a remarkable era for users of computing devices. You can choose to use a hulking desktop PC with two or three humongous monitors as your primary computer. You can use an iMac or one of its Windows knockoffs. You can use a big laptop or a dinky one or something in between. Or you can use an iPad, as I’ve been doing for a year.  Or something else, like a Chromebook. Or some combination of two or more of the above.

If  you find that confounding or irritating — something to be explained away rather than welcomed — I’m not offended. But I do feel sorry for you.

MORE: Ask Techland: iPad with a Keyboard or MacBook Air for an Adult Student?

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have you any view on using ipad mini as a computer


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.


Seriously, who cares?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.



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).


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


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.


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.


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,


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?


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.


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


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


--------------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...



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.


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


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...


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.


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.


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


"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."


"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.


 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'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.


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?


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.