I've had my iPad for about 4 months now but this is the first major trip I've taken with it (New Brunswick). Since I have been travelling with my MacBook laptop I was curious about how I would make out with just the iPad. As for weight and size, there's no comparison. I'm able to take a much smaller carry-on backpack. The battery lasts about 2 or 3 times as long which is great for those long flights - I was able to make it across Canada with about 50% battery life left. On long flights I always like to have about 4 different things to do to pass the time -read a book, do crosswords (cryptic), watch some videos, read a magazine. The iPad provides MOST of this. I brought several ebooks and didn't pack one paper book; I had downloaded for off line viewing several TED videos; and I had an online copy of WIRED magazine. The only thing I can't seem to get on my iPad is some good, cheap (free) cryptic crosswords. I'm getting used to reading on the iPad, even in bed, but I can't say I prefer it. It's a bit heavy, and awkward to hold at times but the convenience is definitely worth it. I just finished the 3rd installment of The Hunger Games series and I have a few books I've downloaded from the library.
It's also great for sharing photos - I bought the little gizmo that let's you transfer photos from an SD card to the iPad.
The biggest drawback has to be inputting text. This post will have taken me about twice as long to type as normal. The auto-correct can be annoying. Not all web pages render the same way on the iPad-sometimes there are missing features. Even when writing this post I was unable to type in the 'compose' text-box and had to use the 'html' view. The inability to have tabs on a web browser makes actual work (marking assignments, etc.) painful. I need at least three tabs to mark a math assignment!
I'd say that for actual traveling the iPad wins hands down. I'd more than likely prefer the laptop when I'm here however. Presumably I won't actually have to work much when I'm traveling.
Oh this took more than twice as long to type.
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