Feeds

Road test: putting the iPad to work

Can the Apple tablet hack it as a laptop substitute? Only one way to find out...

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Can the iPad ever replace the netbook or notebook? There seemed only one way to find out: take the Apple tablet to Intel Developer Forum and leave the laptop at home.

That's what I did, and after four days spent checking email, browsing the web, posting on Twitter, taking notes and writing up stories, I can say the iPad comes darn close.

But not close enough.

It's easy to say that conclusion was the obvious one, and I knew that some tasks might be impossible to perform on the iPad. But I figure you have to try these things rather than rely on assumptions. And, in fact, most of the tasks I put the iPad to were not impossible, just a little harder to achieve than they would be on a laptop or netbook.

Free laptop beside an iPad

Device vs device

So, with the exception of photo editing, there's nothing I could not do using the iPad. To make matters easier, I took along Apple's iPad Camera Connection kit and its Bluetooth keyboard. The latter was clearly a better text-entry device than the iPad's virtual keyboard, but I have to say that I found taking notes, writing email and producing copy in the iPad's keyboard more straightforward than I expected. Get your muscle memory right so you can type quickly, and you're fine.

An important benefit of the keyboard: cursor keys. The iPad's virtual keyboard lacks them, but for quickly selecting areas of text for cutting and pasting they are essential. Apple's Pages app makes a fairly decent word processor, though for the work I do the iPad's bundled Notes app would have sufficed.

Selecting and moving text is something computer users do without thinking, and it's a shame it's not well implemented on the iPad. It could have been - it's a software limitation, not a hardware fault. Apple, please take note.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.