Travel or not to travel

Laptops have for years been the preferred computer for the road warriors, and it has in recent years been challenged numerous times in regards to mobility.  Several hard and software companies have attempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to develop smaller and more portable computers in an effort to make working on the road much better.

As a result, consumers have been introduced to ultra-portable notebooks, net books, tablet PCs, Smart phones and other patented inventions – all in the name of portability.

Ultra-portable notebooks are mainly a slimmed down version of the standard notebook, so it has a smaller screen (around 12-13″) and may come with CD/DVD drive built-in.  It’s fairly portable, meaning it’s weight is around 1.5-1.7kg.  However, it is still in most cases running Windows, so the user is still depending on the boot time of Windows.

Net books, often also running Windows, is an even smaller version of the notebook.  It’s coming in around 1.3-1.5kg, so even more user-friendly in regards to portability.

The Tablet PC never really hit it off as a mainstream notebook, but has been very useful in some industries.  It’s not portable mainly because of its weight and tablet functionality.

The mainly problem for most portable notebooks is not necessarily the weight, but the time it takes to boot.  This is one of flaws in the Windows OS and how it loads the drivers.  Also, some Windows versions require a fair bit of RAM, which the smaller notebook ranges can’t accommodate.

That means mobile users have 2 main challenges; Windows speed and hardware performance.

On the smart phone stage, Palm dominated the early days of smart devices (phones), but HP (together with Windows Mobile) soon tried to challenge these with their mobile phone and the iPaq.  Neither the HP phone or the iPaq managed to get a foot hold in the market, and ended up in the drawer or forever docked in the cradle.

Even Nokia tried to enter the market with the Communicator range, but it was too cumbersome and expensive, and didn’t allow users to view or work on files (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)

The introduction of the iPhone started a mobile revolution, challenging the traditional mobile phone interface and usage.  This article will not get into the shift of IT support from corporate IT to the end-user, which is another article, and it will not go into detail with some of the useful corporate features either.

The iPhone paved the way for the introduction of the iPad, and the iPad has taken the World by storm.  It’s light, easy to use and extremely portable.  There’s no stopping or denying the impact the iPad has had on end-user computing.  We just have to accept its here and that we need to incorporate it into the computer portfolio.  One thing is for sure, the iPad is here to stay.

With that in mind, here are 6 reason why you would travel with your iPad instead of your notebook.

Avoid Excessive Luggage

These days, many people travel frequently, and not only by plane, and are carrying around several kilo of computer, accessories and files.  No wonder people start asking for paperless environments.  The iPad only weighs 1.5lbs (little less than a kilo), so it is by far a lot lighter than the “famous” Netbook or other so-called portable laptops.

Excellent Battery Life

Whether with my iPhone or my MacBook, I can’t count the number of times that I’ve started watching a movie on a plane only have the power give out partway through. I seriously can’t imagine how that would ever happen with an iPad. Depending on the task, I’ve gotten well over two hours of battery life after getting the 20 percent warning.

– remember to bring the USB cable, just in case you do need to charge it.

Work easy while travelling

Planes, trains, airports, bus, etc. you can pick up work anywhere.  Obviously, you might not have internet or 3G connection all the time, but you can still work on documents saved to the iPad.  just remember to turn the “Airplane Mode” on/off when on a plane.

Just the size of a book

The iPad is slim and light, and almost the same size as e.g. Time magazine.  It fits neatly into most bags and using the right case will protect the screen from scratches – even if Apple says it can’t be scratched.

News on the go

because of the simplicity of installation and accessing information on the iPad, you always have News and email at the tip of your finger – literally.  If your mail is connected to work email, then you will never miss out on important emails or sales requests.  But more importantly, you can easily keep up-to-date on current affairs and clients with the easy to access internet – as long as the site doesn’t use Flash!

Keeping information current

There are applications available for the iPad, such as EverNote, which allows you to take notes during meetings or seminars.  This might sound simple, but what’s more impressive is that EverNote actually works across Mac and Windows.  You can install the client on multiple machines and synchronise content while on the go.


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Filed under Portable Devices, Review

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