The iPad vs. the laptop – a case study

As a follow up to my post this week about how I’ve moved to using the iPad 2 with a bluetooth keyboard instead of a laptop, I thought I’d post this recent example to further emphasize the point.
Last week I was in a client meeting out of town. The meeting was in an older area of their building, one in pretty dire need of renovation according to the client (and I agreed). There were very few power outlets and, get this, no wifi for guests.
I was with three of my co-workers. They all had laptops and I had an iPad 2 with a bluetooth keyboard.
We started at 9am and worked until 1:30, having lunch brought in. I was the only one who was online because I had the iPad 2 with AT&T 3G. I was also the only one that never had to connect to power. In fact, we went from their office to the airport where I used the iPad while waiting for the flight. Then I used it the entirety of the almost two hour flight back. And I never had to charge the iPad the entire day, still having 15% battery life left when I was reading on the iPad later that night before bed.
We all took notes on Evernote, which works just as well on the iPad as it does on a laptop.
I know long battery life and cellular connectivity aren’t some kind of advanced iPad technology, but the fact that it does those two things and laptops today don’t, make it a far better travel computer than anything else out there for me.


  1. TS on January 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Long batter life, agreed.   Data connectivity is something the laptop can do though, with a card of course.  Which bluetooth keyboard do you carry?  I’ve always thought it’s funny to be typing on a device, using a  keyboard that’s larger than the device itself.

  2. Joe Koufman on January 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    OK you win, Jeff.  That is a pretty good case study.  You gotta think that laptops will catch up soon…

    One thing I do like doing (and it works great on my T-Mobile G2) is wirelessly tethering my mobile phone to my laptop.  It works great when WiFi is not easily available.

  3. Jeff Hilimire on January 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    TS, the bluetooth keyboard I use is a lot smaller than the iPad. It’s a great size, you can see it here: 

    I’ve looked at ones that fold, ones that bend up, ones that project…this one seems to be the best.  And yeah its way easier to have built in connectivity than using those cards, which also have to be charged up.  Soon laptops will all have that capability built in though.

  4. Raghu Kakarala on January 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    you make this seem as an iPad advantage – ok somewhat – but there is a much bigger story here involving the future of Intel – this has 90% to do with chipsets and 10% to do with iOS itself (though it was designed for the chipset, but so is Android).

    A Macbook air (or Windows laptop) that transitions to ARM chips and low power chipset designs will have a lot of the benefits power and battery wise.

    Also device tethering/hotspot capability needs to be made easier – sucked for the other people in the room – the carriers need to make this easier.

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