This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a quick, but great, trip to the Florida Keys. You’ll be hearing a lot more about what I did down there soon, but let me assure you that it involved riding persona water craft at 50 miles per hour through some amazingly beautiful settings.
Since the trip was a fairly short one, I decided to use it as a travel experiment of sorts. Generally when I travel, I take my laptop along so that I can stay in touch via e-mail, surf the web, and get some writing done while I’m on the go. Now, I love my MacBook Pro, and when compared to most laptops on the market, it is fairly thin and light, but even with that in mind, it still adds bulk when you’re trying to travel light – something that I always seem to be trying to improve on.
Enter the iPad. Apple’s tablet was released this past spring, and has already had an impact on the way we consume media, surf the web, and think about how we interface with our computers. I bought an iPad on day one, and a week later it came with me to Nepal. On that trip, I realized how amazing the device is for travelers. It can hold all your music, serves up HD video, allows you to e-mail friends back home, and generally does most things that a computer can do, albeit in a much smaller package. It also serves as a good e-book reader and allows you to bering along digital magazines as well. When you throw in the outstanding battery life, in excess of 12-hours, you get a hint of what the iPad can do.
On this most recent trip however, I had the chance to test the iPad as a productivity device. I’ve now had it for several months, and I’ve adapted to its on-screen, touch keyboard quite well, and with the addition of Apple’s Pages app, I had a full featured word processor on the tablet. With all of that in mind, I took the bold step of leaving the laptop behind, and traveling solely with my iPad.
I’m happy to say that my little experiment was a big success. Not only did the iPad keep me well entertained and connected while traveling, it also allowed me to actually get some work done. With several writing deadlines looming, I was able to use my time on the flights to actually get some things accomplished. Yes, I actually worked on multiple articles/stories right on my iPad, and felt like I was missing very little at all.
Factor in the fact that the iPad weighs just 1.5 pounds and can not only replace your laptop but the books we carry with us when we travel, and you really can improve your ability to travel light. I also had a huge smile of satisfaction on my face when I passed through security without having to take my iPad out of my bag. Laptops, without exception, always have to be removed.
All of these factors and more, make me very happy to have an iPad to take with me on future adventures. It really is my perfect travel companion.
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