The following is a Plus Edition article written on an iPad by and copyright by Dick Eastman. Please do not forward this article to others without the author's permission.I have written about the new Apple iPad several times in recent newsletters. You can read my earlier articles if you start at http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=ipad&domains=eogn.com&sitesearch=eogn.com&btnG=+Google+Search+.
This little one-and-a-half pound powerhouse is a delight to use. Its operating system is designed for a touch-screen interface, not some cobbled-up modification of an Apple, Windows, or Linux operating system. It is powerful, and the device responds more-or-less instantly to all commands. I have enjoyed using the iPad but still have wondered, "Can I really use it as a replacement for my laptop computer? Will it do everything that I normally do with the laptop?" I decided to find out.
I scheduled a trip to a four-day ham radio conference held in Dayton, Ohio. I decided to travel light by taking only a single carry-on bag with me on the airline flights. I didn't check any luggage. Since I had to carry this one small bag through the airports and even through security, I also wanted to minimize the weight. A one-and-a-half pound computer seemed like an ideal solution. Even adding in the power charger and the optional external keyboard only added a few more ounces. I believe the combined weight of the iPad plus accessories is less than two-and-a-half pounds. That left plenty of space and weight for clothing and other necessities.
The question was: Could this tiny portable computer perform all the chores I normally need to do when traveling? Could I read and write email messages? Could I surf the web from most anyplace to check airline flight statuses, weather forecasts, and the schedule at the conference? Could I write new articles for the newsletter, such as the one you are reading right now? And then the biggest task of all: could I create and send the Plus Edition newsletter from this tiny powerhouse?
I decided to put the iPad to the test.
I packed my one small bag, inserting the iPad, keyboard, power charger, and a Mi-Fi 3G wireless modem into my one small carry-on bag. (I'll write more about the Mi-Fi device later in this article.) I left the laptop computer at home. I then headed to the airport for a 6 AM flight.
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