The iPad Experiment

Starting at 2:30 PM today, I embarked on a grand experiment. I want to answer the question ‘Can I use my iPad as my primary laptop for a week?’ I’ve tried using the iPad as a primary machine before but failed because I found that the lack of a physical keyboard made it too difficult to compose emails, documents, and the like.

In order for this to work, I decided I needed to go get a new case with an integrated bluetooth keyboard. I went to the Best Buy near my office and I purchased a ZAGGMate case with built-in bluetooth keyboard.

Setup of the keyboard was slick. A quick bluetooth pairing and everything worked well. The keyboard includes special function buttons to take me to: the iPad home screen, search, start a slide show, hide/show virtual keyboard, quickly black the screen, manipulate songs (prev, next, play/pause) and volume. and switch to international keyboard layouts.

The keyboard is quite small compared to my laptop (a Lenovo X301) but very usable. I am using it to type this blog and I do not think my speed nor accuracy are being negatively affected. The iPad fits snugly into the case when not in use for protection.

The only complaint/concern I have with the case so far is that the plastic piece that holds the iPad in place when its in use seems flimsy. This piece needs to be extended and retracted each time the iPad is taken out of, or put into, the case, respectively. Only time will tell how long it is before this critical piece breaks off.

So overall, the first step in the experiment seems to have gone smoothly. The case was on sale at Best Buy for $79.99 and I am quite happy with it so far.

There are three immediate problems I have run into:

  1. The WordPress app is not properly inserting the photo I took of the iPad in the new case into the blog posting. This might be a firewall issue as I am currently connected to corpnet and I will try this again from home tonight.

  2. The WordPress app on the iPad allows me to categorize posts under existing categories but not to add new categories. I was able to add the category using Safari on the iPad and then apply the category in the WordPress app.

  3. All of my calendar items (synced from my corporate Exchange server) are 2 hours off. 2 PM meetings show on my iPad as 4 PM. I have triple-checked the time zone settings and everything looks right. I’ll update you if I fix it.

Next steps:

  1. Fix the calendar time issue.
  2. Find a good solution for writing documents.

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