I would say a good 90 percent of the debate on the iPads usefulness as a computer is coming from writers and casual users and this is where I find the debate getting a little one sided. Of course a writer would like the ipad. The tools most needed to get their work done are right there for the taking, you can hunt and gather all day long and it does make a fantastic, distraction free space to write in.
Speaking personally, my job revolves around: writing and debugging software, manipulating production graphics design, and supporting customers. I’ve tried to do all of these tasks on an iPad, and while all are possible, at least in part. There isn’t any task that’s made easier by the iPad. And most are made much more difficult.
The argument for why the iPad doesn’t work as a laptop replacement is just as valid for why it does. There are a lot of folks, like John and Isaiah, who are using professional-grade software to do design work, app development, photography and video editing, and more. The iPad of today can’t handle that.
What the iPad of today can handle is most all of the standard tasks of most average users. Email, Web browsing, Facebook, movies, music, games, and more. What will things look like 5 and 10 years from now?
I like this summary paragraph from John’s article:
As it stands, the iPad is amazing. I use it every single day for writing, browsing the news, sketching ideas, and reading though email or tech riders and I love every minute of it. It complements my daily life and on days when I don’t need to get any real work done, I leave my laptop at home. But when it comes to honest creative work I can not help but find the iPad as little more than a sidekick. I can say with certainty though, that this is far from the last word on this. I can clearly see a future where touch screen devices such as the iPad become more and more viable for the kind of things I have discussed here today. It is still new territory being explored and I for one can not wait to see where it takes us.
Side note: remember when the conversation was about whether or not the MacBook Air could be your only computer?