iPad Really Replace a Laptop?

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When I do short vacations or trips like the one I did last weekend to escape for New Years I often only bring my iPad 2, iPod Touch and leave the laptop at home. Generally for most things I can use an iPad 2 to cover just fine. I have a wireless bluetooth keyboard which is the best out of 5 I have reviewed, this is the Targus Bluetooth Keyboard.

Unfortunately, a crisis occurred where I had an account hacked and money charged to my Paypal. I quickly realized that I needed to double check security on many online accounts and found this to be a pain on the iPad 2 as compared to the PC. The lack of multi-tasking and being able to have multiple items like email and bounce back and forth between email and a web page without going to the home screen first was a bit of an annoyance.

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B001I907I2″ alt=”Apple iPad 2 MC770LL/A Tablet (32GB, Wifi, Black) NEWEST MODEL” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31mRJLNfKlL.jpg” align=”center” width=”361″ height=”500″]

I also found that most mobile versions of websites make it very difficult to find your settings and make account changes on mobile versions. Good luck trying to find your Twitter account settings from a mobile device, there is no link for it in your profile area.

Overall I just didn’t have the efficiency and speed I needed that I had with a PC when multitasking, though I think this comes mostly from being more comfortable with a mouse and having icons/items to click on, open up and a task bar to have multiple open things to select. This was the first trip where I felt handicapped by not having my PC.

Ironically when I was on a 12 day cruise in Italy, I had only my iPad 2 and didn’t really feel the need for a laptop. This time however, not having my files and information that is only stored on my PC was felt. Also I don’t want to put my sensitive documents in Dropbox, that would be an option to have the files available to my iPad.

One other option is you can’t easily use images in written content, I miss being able to drag/drop or simply insert images into posts or into media with ease. The WordPress app for iPad doesn’t let you insert/place images and nothing like Live Writer exists. Facebook through Safari on mobile doesn’t let you select images when you try to upload from computer, no websites I know of let you select files on your iPad to upload at all actually.

These are minor limitations but hard to get around when you are using only an iPad 2, I think an Android tablet has a little less because it allows full access to files and has a file explorer and acts more like a Unix OS filesystem.

Meanwhile, overall I was able to do everything I needed to, just didn’t have the efficiency to do it all. I do think the next generation of kids will find no trouble adjusting and using a touch screen device to navigate to everything as a primary method, but I am rooted to wishing for a mouse/keyboard combo fairly often. Curse Windows for drilling the point/click concept into a habit that is needed.

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Updated: January 3, 2012 — 1:31 pm