When we first received our iPad, it was an iPad 1. At that point, deciding whether iPad could takeover the role of a traditional computer was a big question on my mind. I hoped so, but needed to see. With a few hours I was sure that it could not... but the iPad 3, the new iPad, far exceeds what you can do on a computer.
For most people, an iPad could replace their computer just perfectly for everyday computing (and more).
It has only been a few days since everyone in the family has had their own iPad. Me included.
Before that we were at a family with 2 iPad devices which is a lot better than one iPad, but is still equivalent to having five people needing access to an automobile, and only having 2 cars!
But I didn't know this before we had five them! I figured we were getting good at sharing. :)
Now that I have my own I am using it for things FAR BEYOND what I was using it for before. Not only that, but another new iPad (iPad3) has me discover my little boy has a propensity for photography, my eldest used his new iPad to catalog his stamp collection, and my little girl is utterly delighted to have an iPad with just HER things. She can draw, decorate, play and learn on her own device, at her own pace.
But I digress (slightly), the fact that an iPad can be each of these things for kids of different ages... as well as a laptop replacement for mum or dad... is literally amazing.
There are people who think that you can't do what you can do on a computer on an iPad. And they are right! You can do WAY more!
For instance, I just needed to run in from the rain because I was dictating in the front lawn. This would be something I would not do if I was using a computer... sitting dictating on the lawn, I mean.
The question which most people start at is around TEXT. Words. They ask about inputting text into documents, like traditional Microsoft Word documents on the iPad. I'll admit, it is something that until having an iPad, I too thought was important.
Yes, this has even been the reason people have delayed purchasing an iPad, and continue using their old technology.
However now, after many many moons of using the iPad, the idea of putting text into Word is laughable. Why would I want to? I now deal with text on iPad in more ways than I ever did on a computer. Many more ways than I even thought was possible on anything other than an hefty computer.
Believe it or not, much of the text that I create on iPad is done in Notes, then emailed, messaged, or sent to wherever I need it, or whatever app I need it in. The days of spending time formatting any document, and laying out the formatting with tabs, which would inevitably jump all over the place, are gone forever.
With a simple text formatting program like Apple Pages, new cannot input and format text in a simple touchable way.
Plus, iPad takes dictation!
The fact that you can remove TYPING from the equation changes the way in which I, for one, and able to process and verbalise sentences that I would not have the spare mental capacity to do otherwise. I feel much of that available brainpower would have been taken up keeping my fingers tapping the keyboard, rather than constructing intelligent sentences. And I wouldn't even notice the kookaburra sitting in the tree opposite me!
You can manage spreadsheets (Numbers), take and eMail photos (or documents), instant text message, create presentations, manage data, connect to office networks, browse the internet, send eMails, play games, watch movies and TV shows (that you download), and much more.
So as a professional, computing for over 15 years, my opinion is this: if you're only using a computer interface for email, browsing the web, sorting photos, and typing letters, then yes you definitely can replace your computer with an iPad...
However I would keep or buy A COMPUTER (a Mac, we reckon), because you'll need it to back up all of your iPad data!