Feeds

Road test: putting the iPad to work

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

What it can't do

And since the iPad is effectively just a screen, it was certainly easier to lug around and use while standing, for example. Old-style Tablet PCs? Just too bloody heavy in comparison. And the iPad is a much better media playback gadget than a laptop or Tablet PC. A 12-hour flight to San Francisco? I watched movies most of the way there and the iPad still had plenty of juice left after I arrived. Its display is certainly bigger and better than your average economy class seat-back screen.

Still I could have been stumped in some situations. The hotel internet connection, for example, was Ethernet only. Had I not had my now-discontinued Netgear portable hotspot, I couldn't have used my Wi-Fi only iPad back at base.

Apple Wireless Keyboard

Wouldn't have been necessary if the iPad had virtual cursor keys

Had Intel or any other firm handed out press material on USB stick or even CD, I would have had to work without it. The USB adaptor in the Camera Connection Kit only works with self- or externally powered devices, which rules out Flash drives.

Now, some of these issues will solved by newer tablets that sport USB ports - though I haven't yet seen any with Ethernet on board. I'd not want to use a 7in tablet for this kind of work - nothing smaller than the iPad's 9.7in screen will do - but there are 10in Android-based tablets on the way.

For me, getting good Bluetooth keyboard support - a current Android weakness - and the productivity apps needed for word and picture work - ditto - would be essential before staying with the device type but shifting to a different OS.

But it doesn't matter - I'll be taking a notebook - my 11.6in Acer Aspire 1810TZ, most likely - next time. Relying solely on a tablet made for an interesting experiment, but not one I'll repeat on work trips. Holidays, yes, but not assignments. You see, there are really only two, small things the iPad lacks for productivity work: a pointer and a mouse to steer it. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.