Apple iPad Review: Ideal for Entrepreneurs, Road Warriors

Last Updated Apr 5, 2010 6:01 AM EDT

Apple sold an estimated 300,000 iPads on launch day. One of those is now mine. After standing several hours in the long line, paying my money and spending the weekend with it, I found the iPad is a great device now ,with even more potential in the near future. It is not a full laptop replacement, but it is near ideal for entrepreneurs and heavy travelers.

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.
Before envisioning a parade of nerdy Don Drapers hauling iPads to the office, keep in mind: My verdict: Light, portable and versatile, the Apple iPad is a must-have for entrepreneurs and road warriors. Corporate climbers will miss the ports and old-school software options, so they may be better off waiting until the next iteration. RELATED: