The first in a series of articles documenting an experiment with an iPad, a consultant and a sense of adventure, If you are considering usig an iPad as a replacement for your laptop then read on...


For some time now I've been toying with the idea of replacing my trusty but dating 13 inch MacBook Pro with the smaller lighter MacBook air, this is largely due to the size and weight saving but also as I have realised that I do not need masses of processing power when working away. If there's an intensve task to carry out I can usually plan to do this on the days that I'm in the office

Given that I've identified that I can get away with less processing power, you might find it ironic that the only thing that keeps me from indulging in actually buying the MacBook air is its comparatively lower performance; it simply does not seem like good value for money. The current MacBook air is approximately equivalent performance-wise to the MacBook pro that I want it to replace, but without the advantage of a 500Gb hard drive, and try as hard as I might, I simply cannot convince myself that the investment is a worthy one. 

Having bought an iPad for development some time back, and then ending up never using it (it was hijacked by the powers that be and then later by my 2 year old), I recently decided to revisit the development of iPad apps for a new business venture. Rather than try to procure the existing iPad from my 2 year old, which would no doubt end up in tears (probably mine and not his), I decided to invest in the new version. The old iPad was a first generation device which did not have a camera, and the additional functionality would be necessary for the apps I planned

When I bought the first generation ipad, my initial impression was that it was rather limited and not possible to use day to day as a laptop replacement. Whilst this may still hold true for some tasks, having lived with both the iPad and an iPhone for some time, I now have a very different view. This is mostly as there are now many apps to fill in the gaps that existed when the ipad was initially launched, but also as it simply takes a while to figure out the true value of the ipad. 

So armed with the new iPad I've decided to conduct a bit of an experiment. I've decided to see if I can use the iPad to do all of my work on and leave the laptop in its bag. I will be posting progress updates to let you know what apps I have been using and how I have been overcoming any issues

I'm convinced that it is actually possible to make the iPad work for me as a day to day replacement for my laptop, and am looking forward to the challenge. Obviously the idea is for the iPad to be a productive tool and not hinder my workflow, so everything will be related to how it's use compares to using the laptop. I expect that this will show inadequacies in some areas such as ease of use but better in other areas such as portability.

For brevity I will split each observation / test / app / comparison into a separate post. I will also explain at this point that the client I am working for also grants me access to their computer system, so I have the ability to log in to thier PCs to use web based services via a browser and also have the ability to print. This means that I can access documents via dropbox or web mail to print if required. Again this may or may not align with your own usage expectations, but for my purposes works fine

Let the fun begin...