When you do work-things, you use your laptop. When you travel, you carry your laptop with you – either because you carry work with you, or you use the laptop as a data-vault, transferring data from external sources onto your hard drive.
Well, when you do non-work things, what do you use? Your laptop. And why is that? Is it really that you even now need the humongous computing power that MATLAB also needs? Or the keyboard? Or the very large screen?
What you DO need, is:
1. a device that you can use comfortably – lazing on the sofa, lying on your bed.
2. a device that has the bookmarks that you saved, either on that very same device, or on your work machine.
3. a sturdy internet connection.
4. a device that you can use for reading – blogs and online newspapers on the one hand, ebooks on the other.
If you’ve ever used an iPod Touch (as I have started to, recently), you have perhaps realized that the ideal device for the above, non-work things that you do, is not necessarily your laptop. Yes, the laptop is more powerful and gives you a more generic (as opposed to specific) experience, but it’s not as convenient as the iPod Touch for doing some leisurely things.
Also, if you’ve used the iPod Touch, you’ve perhaps realized that there are indeed limitations to the things that you do on it – you wish the blogs and the ebook pages were larger; that you didn’t have to scroll horizontally as much as you end up doing; that you had a larger virtual keyboard for instant messaging conversations.
And that is exactly where the iPad will come in.
The general idea about the iPad seems to be that it does nothing that either the iPod Touch or the laptop computer does not do. Well, neither of those situations is what the iPad is designed for!
When you’re done with work, you want to simply turn that computer off – you’ve seen enough of that keyboard for the day. And yet, you do need to be on the internet for other things. The iPod Touch addresses a lot of those needs, but it has an inevitable constraint – it needs to fit in your pocket. And that has built-in limitations that you cannot avoid.
The iPad seeks to be the device that you use when you’re not working, but not the device that you carry around in your pocket when you go to the grocery store.
I was skeptical, like everyone else, when the iPad was first introduced, but now that I’m using the iPod Touch, I can perhaps better acknowledge the role that the iPad might play. And to those that say the iPad is “just” a larger iPod Touch – well, sometimes, that’s exactly – and all – that you need.