Friday, March 26, 2010

iPad – what’s it for again?

Sitting here in an airport (with free wi-fi – are you listening BAA?) about to embark on six hours of travelling, involving two flights and a bunch of hanging around, I feel like I should be in an iPad advert. Surely this is what the iPad was invented for?

And yet, I’m struggling to think of what I would do with it that doesn’t require both an internet connection and a physical keyboard.

A touch-only wi-fi slate really wouldn’t help me right now. I love the idea of having all my daily news appear Minority Report style, and being able to swipe my way through colourful online magazines, but at the end of the day I also need a keyboard, and the ability to work offline.

You don’t need a big screen for music, an iPod will do, so the only real value is in watching movies, which I can do already on my laptop. My laptop also has the advantage of a hinge, so whilst its base is sitting flat, the screen is at a convenient angle.

There is a solution to this, apparently. As the BBC Click presenter so gushingly put it – it’s not until you see it propped up on its stand and with the physical keyboard attached that you really get it. No, I thought – you really don’t get it – it’s now like a laptop, only worse, as all the bits that were so carefully engineered to fit together have been taken apart and spread out all over the table. As a laptop, it’s rubbish.

[Disclaimer: All of the above ignores the fact that I still want one, and it will undoubtedly be a great success. I  just won’t be getting rid of my laptop any time soon.]

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