May 09 2010

Why I dumped my iPad and bought a new MacBook Pro instead

Published by at 3:55 pm under process,technique,Tools


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First off I have to admit that my iPad was the wonderful shiny new toy that others are raving about. As an iPhone owner the new device was intuitive to operate and a delight to behold.

I was even an early adopter. I made a cross-country reservation to pick my 1st-day release iPad up in Arlington, VA after taking a red-eye from LAX to Dulles.

ipad hero 201004031 Why I dumped my iPad and bought a new MacBook Pro instead

The one that got away

The first issue was that I was taking on a new work assignment where I didn’t have a wifi network set-up in either my place of work or living arrangement. It was like being all dressed-up with nowhere to go.

I managed to impress some customers at my local Starbucks and the iPad was great for taking notes at a new media conference.

I loved playing games on Labyrinth HD Lite, The Pinball HD and the 10-hour battery life was impressive. I downloaded the Kindle app and Chris Brogan’s “Social Media 101” and enjoyed the true interactive reading experience between reading words like they were on a page and jumping to the web references.

I enjoyed the New York Times app and applaud Time Magazine’s reinvention of the news-magazine.

There were three things missing for me to be a hit though. Even after I set up my wifi network, I saw the real value of the iPad was as a road-warrior traveling companion. I wanted to use the wonderful Google map application while I was driving and connect to email and Twitter even when I couldn’t get a wifi connection.

I also recently discovered the value of Evernote to organize the new media information I’ve been collecting.  The iPad has a good Evernote app, but I wanted to send new information from Safari to Evernote like I could on my laptop or MacPro.

Clearly the 3G version would be more useful for travel. The other drawback is not having the junk mail filter as part of the built-in Mail program. By having a very public email address for years, I get way too many offers for Viagra, and unclaimed funds from Nigerian princes that I needed to delete before reading the important emails.

The biggest reason that I offered my iPad up to my friend Martin Trailer was not having a compelling need for the device. What I needed was a new laptop.

My old laptop was one of the original Intel chip machines that I used mainly for downloading photos in the field and web browsing and email when I was on the road.

When I started working on my professional communication project for the American Diabetes Association I was using my laptop as my main computer.  The old machine just couldn’t keep up with my increased demands and I saw the opportunity to essentially trade-in my iPad and get one of the new 15” MacBook Pro machines.

overview gallery3 20090828 Why I dumped my iPad and bought a new MacBook Pro instead

What I'm using instead

It too has the advantage of a much longer lasting battery compared to my old laptop, and it’s the tool I need now instead of the experimental toy that the iPad represents.

Six months from now, with new killer apps and junk-mail filtering activated, I may get one of the new 3G machines, but for now I’m happy with my new MacBook Pro.

What has your experience with your iPad been? Are you still a true believer or did you trade-up to a 3G model? How have you used the iPad as a tool? Or is it still a great toy that is well worth the price?

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

3 responses so far