iPad over a laptop? YES!

Back in July, I made a pretty drastic move. I completely abandoned my Windows based laptop for the iPad. I didn’t supplement my iPad alongside my laptop…I made a complete move. It was drastic for a couple of reasons. One is that, at the time, almost every article I read said it wasn’t possible to use an iPad as a laptop replacement. The critics were pretty sure about this and I understood why. If you compare an iPad with a laptop on paper alone, there is no comparison. The iPad is not nearly as powerful, doesn’t have near the storage capacity, and lacks key components (cameras and USB ports for example). Even the Apple salesman at BestBuy was a nay-sayer. When I asked him his opinion he said, “Well, the iPad would be fine for my wife to sit on the couch and surf the internet, but it won’t do for a power-user like me!” My first thought was, “Playing World Of Warcraft is hardly being a ‘Power User’,” and my second thought was, “I hope you don’t work on commission!”

The other reason the move was drastic is because I’m a Microsoft Certified contract trainer…that is to say, I teach people how to use Microsoft’s products, and I’m certified as an expert in Word and Excel. To move completely away from this world was a little scary.

But even after considering all the articles and critics…and moving away from the comfort of Microsoft would mean, I still felt like the iPad could indeed be a viable laptop replacement and it was a move worth making.

That was 6 months ago…and do I regret the move now? NO WAY! In fact, I’m extremely satisfied with my iPad!
Perhaps you’re considering a similar move, or maybe you got an iPad for Christmas and want to make the most of it, or maybe you are just curious about the device. Whatever the case, I want to offer a few blogs on the iPad to share what I’ve learned and help those in need to make the transitions as seamless as possible.

So let’s start with this….
What the iPad can do
I use my iPad to do just about everything I did on my laptop.  Let’s start with the basics:

It’s fantastic for email and internet. Browsing the web with a large, hand-held device you operate with your fingers is just cool. It also comes with a Calendar and a place for my Contacts so all of my Outlook information has been moved over (I’ll blog about HOW I transfered them over soon). In addition, I also do the following: Basic word processing like writing sermons and lessons, writing memos, building forms and proposals, etc.; Basic spreadsheet development like doing invoices, professional expenses, budgets, shopping lists, etc.; Creating presentations for my sermons and lessons; Brainstorming and Mindmapping; Blogging, Bible study and sermon prepping; project management; note taking; and much more.

In fact, there are some ways my iPad functions BETTER than my laptop.

Reading, for example. Like most pastors, I have a large digital library. In fact the MAJORITY of my library is digital. I find reading on a laptop screen to be difficult, so in the past I would print out articles and use hard copies for reading and annotating. But reading digital books on the iPad is amazing! Almost all of my books from my Logos Bible Software can be accessed from the iPad using the Logos App. For me that’s over 600 titles! In addition, I’ve downloaded the Kindle app, the Nook app, the iBooks app, and even ChristianBook.com released an app! Having my entire library on my iPad is truly a great blessing.

Watching Videos with my iPad is better than my laptop. The screen of the iPad has HD capabilities and I’ve found movie watching to be a real joy. Once again, there are several apps available including ABC and NetFlix. I was surprised at the speed of download and the quality of the videos.

Reading Blogs with iPad is a great experience too. There are several blog reading apps that are fantatic. I use BlogShelf and FLUD. Both are great and I find myself reading much more than I used to.

Another key advantage is it’s portability. I can take it much more places than I could a laptop and therefor I use it much more. For example, I no longer print my sermon notes. I simply use the iPad from the pulpit. This would have been awkward with a laptop, to say the least.

No device is perfect, however, and there are some limitations and frustrations.

So let’s talk about….What the iPad can NOT do
One of my biggest frustrations was that I couldn’t even start my iPad without first connecting it to a machine with iTunes. It syncs with iTunes for backups, music, movies, etc., which I understand. I don’t get why you MUST connect to a computer before you can even use the device. This also makes it impossible to be a completely stand-alone device. I used my secretary’s computer to do the sync.

Another big frustration is that the iPad’s email software doesn’t allow for Meeting Invitations. There are solutions, but this should be native to the machine.

Other limitations would be movie making, and editing; HTML editing and website updating; limitations with some internet browsing.

For what it’s worth,I’ve overcome all these limitations with a simple App…LogMeIn Ignition. With it, I can log into my home computer, the church computer, and even my old laptop (which now lives in a refrigerator in the back room of the church…no kidding) and use my iPad just like I would a Windows machine. It’s pretty amazing!

After 6 months of use, I’ve loved the transition so much that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back. The iPad is faster, much more portable, and much more enjoyable to use than my laptop. My productivity has not been hindered…in fact, I would argue a gain in some areas. So, take THAT, smarmy Apple salesman…and go get your wife off the couch and take for out for a date!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad



7 thoughts on “iPad over a laptop? YES!

  1. We bought an IPAD back in October (also at a Best Buy). We activated it in the store (we were traveling … 1000 m from home). We used it for navigation on the way home.

    At the house now used mainly for guests (adult children needing access to the Internet); some games (Wife with Scrabble). I also have LogMeInNow. Very nice.

    If you have Type you can save and retrieve word documents (.doc suffix) from a WebDav location (I have that with my email service … fastmail.net). So for example I am doing a wedding this weekend. I’ve uploaded the wedding service to the Ipad.

    Thanks for your article.

    (I don’t see the IPAD replacing my MacBook)

  2. Hi Jim!
    There are several good cloud based solutions for office documents. Ive tried several and will blog about them soon…right now I’m mostly using Pages and just emailing documents to load on my GoogleApps account, though DocumentsToGo is another great tool.
    Most people arent quite comfortable enough to abandon the laptop…I really didnt have a choice. My church laptop died and we could only afford one machine…so I made the move. Thanks for the commments!

  3. Hey Jamie! It has been while, but I have enjoyed these posts about the iPad. I just got one, and am typing this on it now. I am excited to see what all I will do with it, but for now, I can see I will return to PastorHarts blog!

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