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Thoughts about iPad in a Windoze home/work environment?


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#1 of 16 ONLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted May 11 2010 - 02:45 PM

Hi, y'all.


Not sure if this is the right place to ask this.  Was originally going to post this in that humongo iPad owners thread, but decided I should probably start a separate thread instead.


Anyone here using his/her iPad in an otherwise Windoze home/work environment?  Are there any issues w/ that and/or potential pitfalls to consider?  How are you finding it?


I read the first and last couple pages of that humongo iPad thread, but don't have time (yet?) to go thru it all. /img/vbsmilies/htf/blush.gif


Sam's forsale post started intriguing me about taking a closer look into the iPad -- not that I'd be ready to jump on the iPad he's selling of course. Posted Image


Still, I'm pretty much in the market for another (inexpensive) home computer -- possibly something to replace our flaked out laptop as well.  And this might be time to start looking at something not Windoze-centric although I'll probably continue to need something at home that plays well w/ work for the forseeable future -- and my old main PC can still serve that role right now.  But whatever I choose will need to play nice in a Windoze-centric environment anyway.


FWIW, I gave my wife my 32GB iPod Touch (since getting a Blackberry Tour from work), and she's apparently seriously hooked even though she really doesn't do that much on it.  She's been using it for reading emails, maybe some lite web browsing (and checking stuff like the weather) and some free games and such -- I don't think she actually listens to music on it even though that's pretty much all I have loaded into its 32GB space. /img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif  Pretty funny (even ironic perhaps) that I'm an IT professional (w/ traditional comp sci background, etc.) and have a growing family that's nearly computer illiterate. /img/vbsmilies/htf/blush.gif /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif  Anyhoo...


Thanks for any/all info/advice on this...


_Man_


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#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted May 11 2010 - 03:19 PM

Regardless of interest in mine or not I'd say:  Should be absolutely no difference.  Every thing you can buy on the iTunes store is available on either client.  You just can't develop on a PC.


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#3 of 16 ONLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted May 11 2010 - 03:54 PM

I thought I read some comments that people are using their iPad as a lightweight laptop substitute.  How viable is that?


What's the likelihood that you can effectively run Word, Excel and such on it?  I'd probably also need/want it for portable movie watching and such -- maybe I'll finally find a use for the occasional digital copies on various BDs, but I guess I'll probably be ripping some DVDs for it, if I get one.


I guess I should say I'm not just looking for a bigger version of the iPod Touch -- the notion that it's probably just a bigger, moderately snazzier version of the iPod Touch was basically what kept me from being all that interested before.


Thanks.


_Man_


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#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted May 12 2010 - 01:06 AM

The file sharing between host computer and the iPad is not fully baked yet.  A lot of users are finding DropBox to be better than Apple's solutions.

I bought all 3 productivity apps from Apple and have hardly used them.  That's not what I want out of my iPad.  I have taken meeting notes on Pages a few times and it's OK for that.


I use Handbrake to rip my own DVDs and it couldn't be easier.  I'm sure the PC solutions are just as good.


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#5 of 16 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted May 12 2010 - 02:05 AM

I am also interested in replacing a laptop with an ipad, because my son's laptop is dieing. Right now he mostly uses it for internet, but he will be off to college in a year. Can the ipad do word processing and other "work related" functions? Is there any software that is compatible with the windows software. If so how expensive is the software? Is the ipad something that will work in a college application?



#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Fredster

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Posted May 12 2010 - 02:28 AM

Why not just pick up another entry level laptop? Costs are about the same but a laptop (arguably) does more than an iPad and is (arguably?) more useful for college or work.



#7 of 16 OFFLINE   lvicious

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Posted May 12 2010 - 02:50 AM

What Fred said^


I would give the iPad and pad market time to develop more as the iPad is not a complete replacement for the laptop... yet.  I would love to have my laptop in the form of a iPad and still retain all the laptop functions and options but it's not there yet.  Give the competition some time to progress as well.

Remember iPad is not the only pad out there but they set the standard.  A competitive market is healthy for everyone and incites progress.


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#8 of 16 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted May 12 2010 - 05:24 AM

I thought that a new ipad would be modern and more sexier than another laptop. If Apple could add some features that allow it do me more than just an entertainment system, they could steal a lot of business from the laptop market being as they are in the same price range. They also need to add a CD/DVD drive. I guess another laptop is in the future.



#9 of 16 OFFLINE   lvicious

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Posted May 12 2010 - 05:45 AM

I just think right now it's very situational.  I have friends who are the typical Starbuck's drinkers and love the iPad, business friends who use it for notes on the fly.  My father is a surgeon who has already used one in surgery.  My mother is a real estate agent who is trying a friends out but yeah it has it's limitations.


She wants it to do more of what a laptop offers but she easily favors the streamlined iPad look.  Several others have had issues with holding one comparing it to a iPhone, screen glare, etc, etc.  Mostly stuff that can be fixed down the road.  My father also uses his at home browse the net and read and make notes but even in that regard it has it's limitations.. right now.


It's back and forth and too early to pass judgment based on longevity of use and a healthy trial and error period for developers and users.


I read this yesterday:  http://www.technewsd...ew-report-0536/


There is no telling what the iPad will eventually become and where it's versatility and consumers practical needs will take it.  It is easy to see though even now that bulky laptops. even the most streamlined ones out today.. are on their way out if Pad tech evolves to incorporate both worlds into one fully.


Or.. maybe it will evolve into something completely different and laptops will be a necessity and in the market for a long time.. idk but give me a slim iPad that does everything a laptop does or even a windows pad version and I'm all over it.


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#10 of 16 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 12 2010 - 09:42 AM

First of all: go to the Apple Store and spend some time playing with one. I think a 30 min demo will give  you a good sense of what it does and if it might fit your needs and lifestyle. But here's an attempt to categorize some use cases:


...why you should buy an iPad

Are you tight on computers at home? The iPad is a great internet / game system. A coworker, family of five with one PC, bought a iPad 3G on launch. He says his family loves it. It double the computers that can go online, check email. Kids love a few of the games. He gave me a 20-min demo and clearly thinks its the bees-knees.


Are your typical computer uses internet and consumption-centric? If you see that your main computer use is email, web, music, watching video the iPad be perfect. If your "serious" can be done on another computer already in the house, the iPad can be a great complement.


Are you a mobile worker that needs to carry his life from home to Starbucks to the airport and across the country? There have been a few reports online from such people trying out the iPad and finding that they can replace a lot of gear with an iPad and do what they need with the long battery, internet access, and the productivity tools on it.


Do you use a laptop around the house for email / web but get frustrated at having to recharge it every 3 hours? Get an iPad with its 10+ hr battery.


Want a travel computer for vacations? Something to entertain your or the kids? For maps and GPS in strange cities? For keeping you intinerary? For checking email /Facebook / HTF while away? For having cheap 3G access instead of paying $10/day at the hotel? iPad seems like a winner.


Are you an early adopter and want the latest, greatest gadget? Buy it.



...why you shouldn't

Are you frugal? It's a spendy gadget. Even at the cheapest, at $499+tax+applications can easily push you to $600.


Are you conservative / not an early adopter? If so, wait a year. As the iPad follows three iPhones, this is not "Gen 1" device the way the first iPhone was. But it's still clearly trimmed down to hit that $499 pricepoint. Next year, it will (I speculate) be much more mature. More RAM, more storage space, a camera, faster CPU, perhaps higher res screen.


Do you do need serious content creation tools? If you do a lot of note-taking, document creation, video editing, finances, etc. this device may not be for you. It seems great for modest work. But it's too soon to know how it goes for heavy work.


Is your work a conventional office with IT-controlled computers and software? The iPad doesn't seem like a good fit for that situation. Except for some travel, where you can use it for email and perhaps basic document reading and editing.



#11 of 16 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted May 12 2010 - 02:40 PM

Now I could get the ipad and give him my old laptop. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif I use a another desktop for work.



#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Dennis*G

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Posted May 12 2010 - 03:25 PM


I guess I should say I'm not just looking for a bigger version of the iPod Touch -- the notion that it's probably just a bigger, moderately snazzier version of the iPod Touch was basically what kept me from being all that interested before.


This is what I personally feel it is.  It is just a bigger design of my ipod touch, but with 3g and GPS support. But thats just my take.



We have two networked windows computers, wifi setup and no laptops.  The iPad is great for playing app games and surfing and mail, but if I was a college student trying or someone who has to use lots of productivity type apps (papers and graphs) it would kill me, definitely go for a cheaper low end laptop and get more use out of that the the iPad.



#13 of 16 OFFLINE   lvicious

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Posted May 12 2010 - 05:29 PM

Exactly.  As I said it's situational.  It's not that it's an inferior product or not useful in today's society.  It's that it's functions and applications may not suit the needs of each person's situation.  Don't handicap yourself with a product that may not provide you with everything you need but ask questions, make a list of your needs and make an educated decision based on your situation.


The iPad and others that will follow are really a thing of beauty in our ever advancing technological society but...


It's easier than you think to enable yourself for advancement in life by making up your own mind than blindly following the next step society offers you.


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#14 of 16 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 13 2010 - 12:52 AM

Originally Posted by Man-Fai Wong 


I guess I should say I'm not just looking for a bigger version of the iPod Touch -- the notion that it's probably just a bigger, moderately snazzier version of the iPod Touch was basically what kept me from being all that interested before.


The best response I've seen is, "A swimming pool is simply a bigger bathtub." Meaning: increased size can bring entirely new functionality. Which the iPad does. This is seen most immediately as the iPad has iWork while the iPod Touch / iPhone does not.


I think that spending 15 minutes with one will make it clear whether it's an immediate fit for your lifestyle and needs :)



#15 of 16 ONLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted May 13 2010 - 03:19 AM

From the sound of it, the iPad probably does have a place in my family/home although I may indeed be best served to wait for the 2nd gen version, which is probably just fine in my case.


One thing.  Is iWork basically the Apple counterpart to MS Work, ie. Office Extra-Lite?  We definitely wouldn't need something as heavy/bloated (and user-unfriendly /img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif) as a recent incarnation of MS Office (or even Word for that matter), but something that can do reasonably basic wordprocessing and spreadsheet handling and good compatibility w/ Word/Excel docs would be ideal -- heck, I'm still using Office 2003 at home and refuse to upgrade (although I guess I may be forced to for a new PC running Windows 7).  I also wonder about how effective it can be to do such things w/out a physical keyboard -- I used to love the idea of handwriting recognition functionality and even took to Graffiti for a while, but I don't suppose Apple's still going in that direction anymore since dumping the Newton.


Anyway, I suspect our iPod Touch will suit my wife for now, and I'll just get a new main PC first.  I'll keep an eye on the iPad development in the meantime and see if it won't indeed serve us well as a laptop replacement a bit further down the line, especially when the next gen comes out a year or so from now.  And when I get a chance, I'll drop by a local Apple Store to check one out in person -- hmmm...  maybe J&R has a section for this as well and be much more convenient for me to visit.


Thanks for all your input so far...


_Man_


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#16 of 16 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 13 2010 - 03:55 AM

iWork is an productivity suite made of three programs: Keynote, Pages, and Numbers.These are, respectively, presentation program, word processing and page layout, and a spreadsheet. My recollection of MS Works was it was MS Word and a handful of lousy and ugly stand-ins for the rest of Office. iWork is a reasonably robust set of programs. I'm familiar with the desktop versions; the iPad suite have much but not all of the desktop capabilities, according to reviews.


I like iWork. I use it at home for all my personal stuff, such as agendas for Toastmasters club, and finance planning. It's not a replacement Office 2003+ for serious business use, though. And some people find the apps too sluggish for their home use (particularly Numbers, the least robust of the three).


If you were interested, I would give them a go. If I had an iPad, I would buy the iWork apps with second thought, but I know my personal needs match their capabilities.