Whether you dig it yet or not, the success of the iPad is undeniable. While it hasn’t reached the epic proportions of the iPhone – yet – the tablet has garnered plenty of merit: more than 1 million iPads were sold within the first month of its U.S. launch.
Of course, critics have questioned whether the tablet is suitable for business use, or if it’s just a trendy hipster gadget. And naturally, business professionals are also curious to know if this is a product relevant to them.
The quick answer is: yes.
As a business traveler, you likely already have your go-to bag of gadgets and accessories that you can’t travel without. Why not update things a bit? Many mobile professionals have already added the iPad to their mix of lightweight and efficient tools. Some business folk on the road have even gone as far as replacing their larger technologies with just the sleek and slim iPad (mainly for short one and two day trips, and with back-up plans too.)
And, to sweeten the deal, there are all those iPad applications designed specifically with the mobile professional in mind.
For those on the fence, here are a few points to consider. (Rest assured: Your hesitations are relevant. We all want to know if the iPad has that “magical” quality the iPhone has. We rightfully want to know if we should wait for the next generation of tablets. Please share your thoughts below!)
The iPad is lightweight.
The multi-tasking device clocks in at just a pound and a half – no more shoulder and back pain for those who were carrying around bulkier 3-10 pound machines.
“It is so easy to travel with,” says Michael J. Fraser, executive director of sales and marketing for Tortuga Bay in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Fraser travels all over the world presenting the PUNTACANA Resort & Club property to potential investors. “It... [really takes up] less room. I keep up with all work-related emails on the go.”
The iPad has a long-lasting charge.
These days, it’s hard to find a piece of technology with a decent battery life. The iPad banks up to 12 hours in battery use between charges, which comes to about four times the battery life of a notebook and two times the battery life of a netbook. A well juiced iPad battery also means you don’t have to carry the adaptor around for those pesky mid-day recharges – great for cross country flights.
iPad-wise, size matters!
At nearly ten-inches, the screen makes presenting and displaying information dazzling.
“I literally hand over the iPad to clients for presentations and they control the photos and information,” says Fraser. He was recently at a conference that marked “the first time in over a decade that I left my PC and netbook [back home].”
The iPad is airport security friendly – mostly.
There's a mixed response on this one. Many travelers say you can get through TSA security checkpoints with significantly less hassle than when traveling with a laptop. “You don’t have to remove it from the case and place in into a separate bin,” a security person at JFK airport in New York says. “It doesn’t need a more detailed inspection.”
Meanwhile, I’ve read in conflicting accounts about whether or not the TSA considers an iPad to be like a laptop. Whatever the case, it’s your call (at the moment) as to whether you will leave your iPad in your carry-on bag to test the situation.
The iPad embraces multi-tasking for the multi-tasker.
That little portable thing does most of what you need as mobile businessperson. Note-taking, info-gathering, digital personal-assisting, language translating, invoice-tracking, voice recording: it does it all.
It’s another Apple product with exciting applications.
What would an Apple product be without a store full of innovative applications? There are already a plethora of applications dedicated to the iPad, not to mention the 200,000 applications that were designed for iPhone and iPod Touch that are compatible with it, too. (Consider these free favorites: Evernote, Square, WebEx for iPad, and Dragon Dictation, and check out this handy guide to the top 20 iPad apps for business users.)
The iPad is easy to use and has a definite "wow!" factor.