Technology | Entrepreneurship | Fitness

Is iPad the new laptop?

As there would be mixed answers to this question, I am struggling to figure out whether the iPad (and devices alike) can replace the laptop. Let us try to analyze the various benefits each has to offer.

Laptop:

It is pretty much the desktop these days. The various features a decent laptop provides:

  • Portable computer
  • WiFi + Bluetooth (3G with add-on hardware, or with a netbook)
  • Dedicated keyboard
  • Dedicated mouse-pad
  • Multimedia such as speakers, microphone and webcam
  • Decent-to-good battery life
  • Touch screen option in tablet computers

iPad:

A self-contained mobile device that has anything one could ever ask from a computer. To name a few, the features an iPad has to offer:

  • Touch screen tablet computer
  • WiFi + 3G + Bluetooth
  • Touch screen UI keyboard
  • Multimedia such as speakers, microphone and webcam
  • Decent battery life

The iPad offers sophistication, portability, and convenience of a touch screen. Many B-schools, such as the HULT international business school offer iPads to all incoming students. But, can it replace the laptop? Can it offer the same productivity a laptop does? For instance, if I were to perform the following activities on a laptop:

  • Type a 10-page word document
  • Browse 10 different websites on the internet
  • Chat with friends for an hour

and then repeat them on an iPad, would I be able to accomplish all of the tasks in about the same timeframe and with the same ease on an iPad as I would on a laptop? No. Of course, it would be fun to carry the sexy touch screen wherever you go, but then it would be very tedious to use it even as a personal device for longer durations.

THE VERDICT:

I personally use a laptop, but I also carry a wireless keyboard-mouse pair. Basically, I have three standalone pieces:

  • Laptop
  • Wireless keyboard
  • Wireless mouse

The laptop is needed majorly as a housing unit for the processor and the screen. The speed that can be attained on a real keyboard, I don’t think, can possibly be achieved on an on-screen keyboard, which in turn blocks the screen. More importantly, the greatest invention of all peripherals, the mouse, is so hard to do away with! Also – do not forget the ergonomics aspect. The screen at the eye level is desired, with the keyboard and mouse within a short reach.

Logitech came up with an interesting app, Touch Mouse, which turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a wireless trackpad and keyboard for your computer. Maybe manufactures should commercialize the iPad and other portable touch screen devices with a projectable keyboard and mouse: productivity and portability, both accomplished. 3G is enabled on my laptop, and I carry the three pieces wherever I go. More importantly, I can’t do without the fingerprint scanner that saves all of my passwords. It would be nice to see the iPad come up with, say, an iris scanner in the camera to store all passwords. Now, how cool is that?

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One response

  1. Pingback: Desktop and Laptop: Outdated? « ellanti

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