I keep telling people that if I wasn’t a programmer, my iPad would be my laptop. Think about it: what do you do with your laptop? Everyone I asked (this wasn’t a statistically significant sample) says that they surf the internet, check email, watch Hulu/Netflix/movies, and upload pictures to their Facebook accounts. Basically, it’s their fun couch computer. My assertion is that my iPad does all of those things better than my laptop (or at least equally well). With the added bonus that I actually like reading books on my iPad.
Surfing the internet is downright obnoxious on a laptop — especially while I’m sitting on the couch and the trackpad is right up against my stomach. On my MacBook, the multi-touch scroll helps, but it’s still not ideal. On my iPad, I touch the screen to scroll where I want and pinch the things I want to zoom in on. I directly press the links instead of moving a mouse cursor all the way over. And the iPad fits on my lap better.
Typing emails on my iPad isn’t bad at all, because I generally don’t write dissertations in my emails and reading through emails is a breeze. I sync my photos to my iPad through iPhoto, but I can also connect my camera directly to my iPad (super handy while on vacation!), making emailing photos and posting pics of how much fun I’m having very convenient. Who needs a laptop for that?
While I was overseas for a month, I survived by watching TV shows and movies on my iPad that I bought on iTunes, Handbraked, and streamed on Hulu+, in addition to reading books that I bought using the Kindle app and the iBookstore app. I would call it a lifesaver for me. Yes I could have done most of that on my laptop, and brought some paperbacks with me, but holding a laptop sideways while laying in bed watching a movie isn’t very pleasant!
Basically, the only thing I use my laptop for these days is programming. And writing this article. :-)