October 28, 2010

A few reasons for a laptop

I was thinking today about all the reasons why I actually need a real laptop, given how I almost exclusively rely on my iPad for day to day activities. I wanted to enumerate everything I still needed it for and see just how long that list really was. Clearly this excludes responsibilities from my day job; I don't expect the iPad to be a developer machine.

Music composition and editing with Logic Pro. While there are a few solutions for getting audio into the iPad, it's not the best solution for editing and re-mixing. My portable recorder (Boss br-600), which my band uses to record our rehearsal sessions, has no software for the iPad. It also pales in comparison to Logic's collection of samples and plug-ins for composing a new song from scratch.

Japanese book exercises. While I have scanned my Japanese book and workbook so I have it available at all times in GoodReader, I can't easily go back and forth between the book and my answers to the written exercises since all apps are fullscreen and I need a separate app in which to write the answers. It's fine for the workbook, as i can write directly on the pages with Note Taker HD, but the actual book exercises leave me little choice. That said, the array of learning tools for Japanese on the iPad is quite impressive. It's a nice compliment to the book.

Audio importing and managing my music/video library. Sorry, I still buy cd's. I need a cd drive to rip them. The same is true of movies. For playback, however, the iPad rocks, and being able to take my media on the road for a really long trip (without the laptop) is heaven.

Photo management. The iPad is good for viewing photos, but geo-tagging, organizing, and editing is non-existent on the iPad.

Teaching and presenting. The iPad has Keynote, but it lacks support for presenter notes. Entirely. In fact, it will delete them if you give it a file with any. As a result, I still need to lug my laptop around for presentations. Suck. I would love to leave it at home.

Scanning and printing. iOS4 on the iPad may alleviate printing somewhat, but probably not given that I don't have one of those new printers with the right built-in support. It also doesn't solve the scanning issue.

PDF creation. From time to time, especially with my Japanese studies, I need to create PDFs. Preview is an excellent app for taking pages from a variety of sources and combining them into a single PDF. There's really nothing equivalent for the iPad.

That may seem like a lot, but in all honesty, it's only about 5% of what I do with a computer at home. For everything else, such as composing this blog on the couch, the iPad is usually the better choice. It's my go-to device, and after 6 months, I still love it.

I saw Amanda's 11.3" brand new MacBook Air today. Wow. I think Jo's next laptop will be one of those. She needs Flash a bit more than I do. Something to do with all that online shopping. Though I guess there are other ways to solve that "problem". :-)

Posted by pinkerton at October 28, 2010 3:46 PM | TrackBack