When I got my iPad back in April I questioned whether I could get by sometimes with just using my iPad instead of my MacBook Pro. Since that time a lot more Apps have come out and a lot more functionality is there. I don't see the iPad replacing my laptop any time in the near future, but I could certainly see using it solo on short (non business) trips where running my full range of Creative Suite desktop apps is not needed. Last week I took a pleasure trip to New York for a day. Before I left I thought about what I would be doing on this trip and figured that there was technically nothing that I would "need" my laptop for. I knew I would be checking email, social networking, responding to blog comments, browsing the web, reading my RSS feeds, etc. I couldn't think of a single thing that I would "need" to do that I couldn't do on the iPad. So I decided to force myself to use just the iPad the entire, albeit short trip. Just in case: I did bring my MacBook Pro too. However, my goal was to never take it out of the bag.
I did it
I got through the entire trip without touching the MacBook Pro. I have the WiFi-3G version and I was able to be connected anywhere I went. However, AT&T service in the Times Square hotel I stayed in was horrible. For this reason I pulled out my AirPort Express and connected it to the room's ethernet cable. This gave me much better wireless internet in the room. The only time I was tempted to pull out my MacBook Pro was when I need to type large amounts of text in responding to an email. While I can use the onscreen iPad keyboard just fine, I don't enjoy using it for more than a few words at a time. I was thinking that I should have brought along my keyboard dock.
The next thing I bought
Although this little experiment was a complete success, I saw the immediate need for a keyboard. While I already own the Apple Keyboard Dock, it's not really designed for travel. Then I remembered a Bluetooth Keyboard/Case that a buddy (Mike) showed me and I thought, this is the one I would want to use on my next trip.
I bought it in the airport Brookstone (yes I paid too much) on the way home! They even offered to sell me one that was charged up. I declined as I wasn't going to use it right then and there, but that is a great thing that you do for your customers. Kudos!
I didn't test it until I got home and charged it up. It connected/paired as advertised. However, I hit an immediate snag on the very first thing I typed. I went to repsond to a Twitter comment with "Thank You" and I noticed right then and there that there is no Shift Key on the right side of the keyboard. I thought, "you've got to be kidding me?" Sure enough there are arrow keys, a return key and all the other keys you would expect, but no right side Shift Key. I happened to be on the phone with Scott Kelby (a popular writer/author) and I thought for sure he would share in my shock and frustration and he said "I never use the right Shift key." That floored me! I wondered was I the only one using both Shift Keys on a standard keyboard? Anyway, I can certainly train myself to use just the one on the left, but I thought it was an odd sacrifice for space. Otherwise the keyboard is comfortable and easy to type on. It rocks an impressive 90 hour battery life on a single charge!
While this case/keyboard is GREAT, it does add a little extra weight onto the already slightly heavy iPad. This will not be my day-to-day case. It will definitely become my travel case!
Brookstone charges $99 for their version of this keyboard/case, but you can get it here for only $69.