Shopping for a new work laptop? If you already have an iPad, you may not need to bother.
A growing number of professionals are using iPads for more than just reading, listening to music, and surfing the Web. They’re actually replacing with tablets the laptops they once toted from place to place.
In fact, it’s pretty easy to use your iPad for just about everything you already do on a laptop.
But what about… typing?
And printing? And connecting to USB peripherals? Wouldn’t you need to do all of those things to replace your laptop with an iPad?
Believe it or not, the iPad is already capable of handling these tasks, assuming, that is, that you perform some modifications. The first one would be to add a bluetooth keyboard. One of the most popular models is the ZaggFolio, which is easy to start using immediately.
That said, it’s still an iPad. You will still use the touchscreen the way you always have – no mouse or trackpad – but the traditional keyboard will make it convenient to use the tablet for more than just sending emails and posting tweets. You can use it for content creation, too – something that makes the iPad significantly more useful with the keyboard than without one.
Printing may present a problem, but it’s one that’s easily solved by using a printer that’s Airplay-compatible. Airplay is Apple’s wireless printing application, and it can be summoned easily via the iPad.
To access USB devices that are connected to your home computer, you’ll need to purchase the Logmein Ignition app. Sure these modifications will cost you, but they make it outrageously easy to use your iPad for virtually anything a laptop can do.
Already better than your laptop?
Another thing many iPad owners are noticing is that their tablets are, in many ways, already more capable devices than their laptops.
How’s that? One factor is battery life. You will simply get more hours out of your iPad’s battery than with virtually any laptop on the market.
And then there’s wireless connectivity. The iPad can connect to broadband networks anywhere in they’re available (think 3G). No other Mac laptop will do this – not even the Macbook Air.
While you’re limited when it comes to multitasking with several applications at once, many iPad users report this as a positive. Traditional computers may make it easier to operate a smorgasbord of applications at the same time, but doing so can be distracting. By only using, say, one application at a time on your iPad, you may actually increase your productivity.
The iPad, of course, won’t be everyone’s perfect laptop alternative.
Anyone who works with images absolutely must have a larger screen. And without a mouse or trackpad, many graphic artists just wouldn’t be able to do their work.
But for many professionals, the iPad may hold more benefits than meet the eye. And since it’s less expensive than many laptops – even with the modifications and accessories – ditching your laptop for an iPad may not seem so radical in the years to come.