v6.2.3 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Will the iPad save the desktop computer?

I was reading this story back in february on Wired and I opted not to comment on it until I got my hands on an iPad to test, and evaluated my computer usage. Back in the day I owned a desktop (I suppose I still do, even though it's a "family computer", but I digress). In later years I exchanged the desktop for a laptop - as a graduate student I needed to bring something to class, take notes, write papers, plug into the data projector so I can do a presentation and so on.

My PowerBook still works (barely) so the time has come to really think about what my computer usage is like. Would an iPad suffice or do I need a computer? If I get a computer do I need a laptop or a desktop? I am still a graduate student (although in December I will be finishing my fourth, and final Master's degree, so I guess I won't be a graduate student for much longer), so I do want to bring a computing device to class so I can take some notes, mindmap and present. I don't however need a laptop. In recent years the laptop has just been staying home, dormant under the sofa and it only comes out when I have a paper to write or when I want to update my website.

So I guess I don't need a laptop - a desktop would be a nicer alternative, an iMac, with a larger screen, speakers and iSight in the Office where both K and I can use it, and the best thing of all: I don't have to lug it around to class, and I still have access to it if I need to do things that I can't do on an iPad.

Conversely, the iPad is light, with iBooks, Stanza, Kindle and the B&N app my book requirements are met, with a pogo stylus I can take some handwritten notes, I can add PDF articles on it and I can annotate them, and I can have my media (television shows that I am catching up on mostly) for when I don't want to read. With Pages and Keynote I can start writing papers and creating presentations and with a little dongle I can use the iPad for in-class presentations. With both Vimeo and YouTube now using H.264 video I can pretty much use most of the web on that device as well!

So will I be buying an iPad? Yes! That is, "Yes, eventually". I won't be getting a 1.0 iPad, but rather I will wait for the second version (maybe the third) hitting stores next year - by that time I will have assessed my post-grad-school needs and the hardware will be better than what we have now.

So can the iPad save the desktop? Yes, for a certain segment of computer users :-)
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