Notebooks are getting thinner and lighter every month, but they still require something to rest the notebook on. And while notebook keyboards have improved over the years, it’s still impossible to find a completely silent keyboard, especially if you want to type with any semblance of speed.
We ran into both of these settings over the past few days and, while we had a MacBook Air with us, we chose to use our iPad to type thousands of words.
First, we spent most of Friday standing in line for the iPad 2 at our local Apple store. Without a chair or a podium, it was difficult to use the MacBook Air, but easy to hold the iPad in portrait mode and type up our iMovie Trailer Tutorial while standing outside the Apple store. We did need to use the MacBook Air to put finishing touches on the post that either can’t be done or take too much time on the WordPress iPad app, but for the bulk of our work the iPad was better than the notebook.
Next up, we were helping deliver a standardized test on Saturday morning. While the test takers spent 2 hours answering questions about Art and Phys Ed, I was able to type up a portion of our iPad 2 Review on the iPad. While the MacBook Air has a relatively quiet keyboard, the click and clack of each key resounded like a snare drum from GarageBand. Rather than slow our typing to a quiet speed, we switched over to the iPad 2 and Pages to type.
The virtual keyboard on the iPad is perfect for settings like these. Because there are no keys to push you can type almost silently, without slowing down your typing. Many people would prefer a Bluetooth keyboard for typing as much as we did on the iPad 2, but we’ve found that like with any keyboard the iPad 2’s virtual keyboard can be mastered the same way a new notebook’s might be.
In both of these settings we also appreciated the limited multitasking capabilities. While we could switch over to any of our other apps, the deliberate need to stop, double tap and tap again, kept us focused and on task. If needed, we could jump over to one fo the 7 apps that turns the iPad into a notebook, but we didn’t run into that need in either setting.
The lesson learned, isn’t that the iPad 2 can replace a notebook or that the tablet is inherently superior to notebooks and laptops, but that every device has strengths and weaknesses. If we recognize what those are, we can more easily pick the best tech tool for the task at hand and in turn be more productive.