Last Updated Apr 5, 2010 6:01 AM EDT
The Apple iPad is an exceptional business tablet for five reasons:
- The size: It is 1.5 pounds, half-inch thick and about 10 by 8 in dimensions, which is the equivalent of carrying around a small legal pad. I got the overpriced, but handy case, which adds a few millimeters to the girth. It fits in my small messenger bag and weighs less than any of the books I've written. Yeah, I'm traveling with this and leaving the laptop.
- The speed: The iPad is fast. Apps open and close quicker than any other Apple mobile device. The online connection is also impressive: Internet pages open in less than a second and push notifications came as fast as the iPhone. I synced my email for the first time -- it took literally two seconds for my iPad to have my email archive.
- The compatibility: The iWorks suite has three programs: Pages, Keynote and Numbers. Mac users have had the equivalent for years, while Windows users have Word, PowerPoint and Excel. The iWorks programs will save for the Mac programs or the competing formats and can be sent via Apple iWork website, email or syncing the iPad to a computer. Better yet, the suite is easy to use and the three apps are $9.99 each. And yes, this post was written on an iPad.
- The apps: The Apple iPad launched with 3,000 apps and my BNet colleague Erik Sherman already found 8 free iPad business apps you need. Imagine how these apps will make your business run smoother -- and how many better apps will be available by year's end.
- The battery life: I have to agree with the top critics: The Apple iPad has great battery life. It can continuously play multimedia for about 10 hours on one charge. One caveat: It also charges slower, so it is definitely an overnight charge device, not a two-hour-layover-in-Houston one.
- The security: Studies found the Apple iPhone was one of the most vulnerable mobile devices. The iPad obviously used the iPhone as a blueprint, but Apple has been mute on how security has been improved on the new device. If you work with sensitive info, like Coke's secret formula or Tiger Woods' Rolodex, you'll want to wait until more research comes to the surface -- which will be very soon.
- The price: A basic,16 GB wi-fi enabled iPad runs $499.99. A full-fledged, low end laptop will run for half that price. It comes with a real keyboard, too.
- The missing Flash: I believe that Adobe Flash is going out the window, but it still is a major component to the New York Times and several top websites. Until HTML 5 gets fully adopted, expect to see missing pieces to your pages like cutout holes in a newspaper.
- The missing multitasking: As I've discussed, the iPad only does one app a time. Want to create a graph while working on a document? Leave the word processor Pages, open Numbers, create the image, save the file in the iPad "share" area, reopen Pages, export image. All intel says this multitasking issue will be fixed by this summer.
- The missing ports: No USB. No printer port. A software update can't fix that.