One of the things I love about the iPad is that it’s such a great time management and optimization tool.
Concrete example; on Wednesday I had a doctor appointment set nominally for 9:45 AM. In reality, my name got called just before 11:00, and the consult lasted longer than I had anticipated. Some of the frustrated folks in the waiting room queue were fuming about the holdup, and I might have been, too, if not for having my iPad with me.
However, thanks to the wunderslab, I was able to work on a story for a looming deadline, utilizing what would have been a wasted hour. Yes, I could have done likewise with a laptop, but the thing is I didn’t have any of my laptops with me. The iPad slips slickly and easily into a portfolio case I use to carry papers, documents, and such with me, so I did have it as a workaround enabler for an unforeseen circumstance.
A summer neighbor and friend has no Internet service at her cottage, since she’s only here for a few weeks a year, and the hookup cost for that short a time just isn’t economical. However, she’s able to drop by with her iPad mini and check her email while having a cup of tea, or, if we’re not home, to log onto our WiFi outside the house. Again, this would be possible with a laptop, but much more cumbersome.
Because of its instant-on approachability, I’m much more likely to pick up the iPad to check something with a search engine or file an idea or thought for future reference than I am with a laptop. This is partly psychology in today’s context, as my Haswell MacBook Air with its SSD wakes up from sleep just as instantly, but addressing a laptop always feels like a less impromptu exercise, especially if the lid is closed.
I also find my iPad frequently fills the “best camera is the one you have with you” role. For instance, last week my wife needed a quick photo of a cane chair to send to a re-caning repair person. Both she and I have digital cameras, but it was so much easier and quicker to just walk across the room with the iPad I already had in hand, snap a couple of shots, and email them for her to forward. It all took only a minute or two, and was a lot less time-consuming than rustling up the camera and its USB cable, then snapping the shots and connecting it to a Mac to download the image files for emailing. Even the poky 2 megapixel camera in my iPad 2 produces adequate results for such purposes, although I’m very much looking forward to a higher-resolution shooter in my next iPad.