Taking the tablets

Two months have passed since I acquired my Apple iPad, and so I have had a little time to explore whether this is the future of computing, or indeed of entertainment and mobile-everything. The verdict so far: I’ve been taking it everywhere, and have been using it principally as a notetaker at meetings, as a mobile internet browser and as an ebook reader, probably all three in equal measure. I occasionally (but more rarely) use it as a music device or as a viewer for video content, or as a tool for presentations (when linked to a projector). The combination of document creation and editing, and reading books, somehow makes it a perfect tool for an academic, as far as I am concerned.

So am I persuaded? Absolutely. There have been a few moments when not everything is as intuitive as I would like; for example, it took me longer than it should have to work out how to transfer documents between the iPad and my Macintosh, and indeed it somehow annoys me (not sure why) that I have to do this via iTunes. I also had to learn to switch off all wireless functions whenever I wasn’t using them, as they run down the battery much faster. But on the whole these are minor gripes. Overall, the device is doing everything for me that I wanted it to do, and as an ebook reader it is as close to perfect as I could wish for.

So what about the competition? Obviously, Apple didn’t invent the tablet concept, though it certainly has turned it from something that frankly wasn’t finding a market to something that is now visible everywhere. But there is no reason why others shouldn’t get in on the act. So far, I don’t see anything. But there are announcements. HP ha announced two different models for 2011, and LG (a company which often impresses with the visual style of its gadgets and equipment) has declared that it will shortly launch something that will be much better than the iPad – you can read a prediction here that it will fail in that perhaps rather bold ambition. Apple itself may be unveiling a new iPad or two early next year.

Competition is always good. And this user of a tablet at any rate is persuaded that the market for this kind of device is going to be big. Very big.

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4 Comments on “Taking the tablets”

  1. Vincent Says:

    So, you like it then. Have you tried it with a different sim outside of the State. So you don’t have nutzoid roaming charges. I know you must have salted a bit away over the years but no one has that amount of money.

    Does it have a phone ?.

  2. colummccaffery Says:

    I’ve stayed with the Sony reader because of its screen. It’s so paperlike that I can read comfortably for hours. How do you find reading sessions on the iPad?

    By the way, competition is not always good:

    http://colummccaffery.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/consumers-and-naive-belief-in-competition-an-economics-lesson-from-aer-lingus/

  3. Simon Woodworth Says:

    There are several apps that make moving files to and from the iPad much less painful. I use Dropbox which allows you to synchronise files across several platforms. I also use Air Sharing which mounts the iPad as a virtual hard drive on your Mac. To be honest, I’m still experimenting.


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