October 13, 2010

Mobile Experience: Relying on an iPad Entirely for Business Trip

I attended a 2-day conference in Chicago this week for the first ever Mobile Commerce Forum (more on my feedback later) and I've decided to not take my work laptop to see how an iPad can fare.  I wanted to minimize my traveling weight and see just how the iPad can live up to its name. Along with the iPad will be my iPhone 4 which works out great for two reasons: 1). both devices can share one charger to further minimize my weight and 2). I'll be using SimpleNote app on both so I can update conference or meeting notes on either device and both are sync'd to the cloud.

Setup:  iPad 32GB, iPhone 4 32GB, SimpleNote App, Griffin Elan Passport

After spending two days at the conference with the iPad, I was very impressed with its battery life.  After a full day of turning it on/off, taking notes, surfing the web via WiFi, checking/sending emails, the tablet still has over 60% of battery life at the end of the day.  Typing on the iPad was a total pain in the ass, I really hated it.  I pretty much typed with two fingers and constantly struggle with spelling, caps, auto-correction and switching for symbols like (* or %).  I did noticed a lady several seats away from me brought her Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, I think she definitely 1-up'd me on that front.  SimpleNote worked out great for the conference; it would save a copy of my notes on the server so I can pull them up from my iPhone while walking the Exhibit hall to make edits or add more notes on the fly via my iPhone.  The iPad case I used was the Griffin Elan Passport which worked out really well, not only would it protect my iPad during the traveling, the card slots helped me organized all the business cards I had been collecting throughout.  The iPad helped me keep connected for almost all of my normal work (reading emails, reports, etc...) with one exception where I could not fetch a file that was on my laptop for a co-worker.  I still need to figure out a solution to the work file access in the future.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the iPad's performance.  It's light weight and long battery life (no Laptop I've been issued from work has lasted more than 3 hours at the conference).  I will likely bring my iPad along for future business travels.


Keith said...

Good report, thanks! The auto-correct can be intensely irritating if you're trying to take notes, but you can turn this off. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard and try disabling Auto-Correction and Check Spelling.
The on-screen keyboard isn't as good as a physical one, but in landscape mode I find it quite workable... to the level of writing my fortnightly magazine column (1300+ words) and a number of product reviews solely on my iPad for the last four or five months.
For my iPad case I use a 30-year-old Soviet army satchel-style map bag. Room for passports, tickets, pens, headphones, etc, all handsfree and looking safely untechnical. http://www.soviet-power.com/detail.php?pid=392


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