Photo: Anirudh Koul
I’ve become interested in a pretty straightforward question — how easily can an iPad step up and take the place of a computer?It obviously depends on many things, such as what you do for a living, if you’re a computer gamer or not, if you prefer a large display, and many other things.
As an experiment, I spent the morning seeing if I could do my job using nothing but my iPad and a few accessories. And I could.
I’m lucky in that my work doesn’t require loads of horsepower out of a computer. As long as I can write and resize images, nearly any device will work well.
But there are little extras, like instant messaging and news reading, that the iPad can still handle with aplomb if you use a worthwhile app.
The verdict of my experiment is that I can do an overwhelming majority of my job from an iPad, even when I absolutely need a computer to tackle more esoteric tasks like uploading an image via a web form. Using one of several Virtual Network Computing (VNC) apps available for the iPad, you can access and control your home computer over the internet.
How easily could you shed the computer and work exclusively off of your tablet? Give it a try and let us know how it goes.
If you want to do any sort of extended word processing, get a Bluetooth keyboard and pair it with your iPad. Your fingers will thank you.
I like the Logitech iPad keyboard. It sells for $50 on Amazon.
If you're an RSS warrior and use your computer to stay on top of the news, you'll want an RSS reader such as Reeder. It syncs with your Google Reader account, meaning you can switch between devices and never read the same article twice.
There are always the occasions where a full-blown computer is required. But what if yours is at home or on the other side of the country?
That's where VNC software like iTeleport steps up to the plate. It lets you remotely access your computer, move the mouse around, and type as if you were sitting directly in front of it.
Plenty of workplaces use specific software that you might think is only available on a computer. But plenty of companies have taken their software to iOS as well.
For example, the support ticket system ZenDesk has a very robust iPad app that's just as handy as its computer counterpart.
Take a search through the App Store to see if your company's preferred software is already there.