December 20, 2010
The iPad’s Limitations as a Business Device
I love my iPad. Let me just start with that. I’ve found lots of use cases for it, and it’s very useful here and there for work. But I’ve seen a bunch of people trying to use it as a primary business device, which I can’t quite figure out. Here are the things that prevent me from making it my main business device:
- lack of keyboard (can mitigate with the keyboard dock, which I have)
- lack of mouse (not a killer limitation, just takes some getting used to, also the arrows on the keyboard dock help)
- lack of connection to files and true Office compatibility (this can largely be mitigated through a combination of the Dropbox or Box.net app and the QuickOffice app)
- lack of multitasking (this is the main killer)
Much of the time, I need to be rapidly switching between and simultaneously using email, the web, and multiple Office documents. Having to basically shut down each one and then fire up another instead of having them all up at once on multiple monitors or at least easily accessible via alt-tab is a big pain, especially when trying to cut and paste things from one to another. The iPad is awesome for many many things, and for limited work usage (other than complex spreadsheets), it works “well enough.” But I would find it difficult to make it my primary business machine other than for a fairly short (1 day) business trip.