As I anxiously wait for Apple to start selling the 3G version of the iPad, I am reading all of the different iPad user experiences posted on the web with great interest, gathering ideas for how I will use my own iPad. Pat Moorhead posted a great write up of his experience of using the iPad for a week instead of using a PC. He only made exceptions of using a PC for vital tasks that could not be done on an iPad.
I don’t think anyone seriously expects an iPad to be a person’s sole computer for work, though I expect many are considering whether or not they could use an iPad on business trips. For the people consider taking the iPad on the road, I think Pat’s write up will be very informative. For example, Pat notes that while the iPad comes with very good apps for viewing e-mail attachments, opening the attachments to edit Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files is different than on a PC because you have to open the associated program first rather than directly open a file from a file explorer. You also cannot directly add attachments from within the iPad’s e-mail app, instead you have to go into Pages or Numbers and e-mail the fiile from within those programs.
In summary, the things that Pat liked about using the iPad at work was its battery life, weight, size, and “instant-on” capability. The things that Pat found to be problems were lack of MS Office publishing capability, lack of USB printing, local storage, file management and search, and multitasking. Pat focused his efforts on using a stock iPad to do his work, but I think some of what he experienced could be overcome by using LogMeIn Ignition, which is a remote desktop application that I intend to try out with my Windows and OS X computers and the IPad. Microsoft might also provide a potential solution with the web-based version of MS Office 2010 that will be available next month, provided it works well with the Safari browser on the iPad.