February 25, 2011

The grab and go iPad setup

What if you didn’t need a fully fledged computer all the time? Let’s face it, most of the time we’re just browsing the web, checking in on Facebook, send tweets and write emails anyway. Not exactly tasks that merit a powerful computer in your home.

Does this merit a workstation at home? Do you really want one? Wouldn’t you rather do these casual things from the comfort of your living room couch, for example? Sure, you can bring a laptop but it won’t be ideal for longer periods of time, and sometimes you have a ton of things you want to read up on.

Wouldn’t an iPad do for you at home?

Here’s what I’m thinking.

The iPad is starting to become a serious alternative as a personal computer (albeit no workstation). Most of the things you do on your computer you can just as well do on your iPad. So what if we took that all the way?

At the office you prop your iPad in a stand, with a bluetooth keyboard for quick text input. As a writing machine, the iPad is more than enough for most of our needs. This post is actually written in Simplenote on my iPad, and if I need more traditional word processing power I just fire up Pages.

So the iPad sits there in your stand, ready to be used.


Time for a meeting! Grab the iPad and go, leave the keyboard (but consider a sleeve). The iPad is a great tool at meetings, quiet and without the obtrusive screen as a wall between you and the other participants.

Off to lunch with your colleagues. What was that specification again? You brought your iPad so you pull it up easy enough, it’s in your Dropbox folder after all, and there’s an app for that. Sounding like a commercial? Actually I’m just calling it as I see it, this happens all the time.

That’s all for today, time to go home. Don’t pack your computer, just grab the iPad and go. At home you’ll stick to the iPad for browsing the web, additional writing, emailing and stuff like that. If you can’t do it in the iPad’s web browser, chances are there’s an app that’ll solve your problem. From connecting to your home media server, to reading up on RSS feeds, chat on IM, or play games, your iPad will most likely do.

No more lugging the computer, no more bringing work home. Sounds great to me, so great that I’ll try it for a week later this year, when I’m back home in the daily grind of going to the office (or rather: leaving the apartment) on a daily basis.

And all you need is a nice stand and a bluetooth keyboard to make it feel more like a work setup at work. You can even have that at home, for those rare occassions where you need to wrap up something so badly that it can’t wait for tomorrow.

There are some things you just can’t do on your iPad yet, however. I’ll whine about them later, for now I’m too intrigued about the possibilities a grab and go iPad setup might open up for me. Or rather, the sense of freedom it might convey.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.