An article in today’s Morning Links has GigaOM’s Mark Crump explaining why 2014 will be the “year of the iPad” for him. It basically comes down to this: the iPad can’t do every computing task he wants to do. But it can do all the ones he needs to do on the go. So he’s getting a desktop for the tasks where he truly needs a full computer, and using the iPad as his portable machine.
I’m almost there with him. I currently have an aging Macbook and two iPads, and I’d like to streamline that down to one machine and one tablet. My ideal would be something like a Mac version of the Microsoft Surface Pro—a full Mac OS X machine with a detachable keyboard so that the screen can function like an iPad does currently. But in the absence of such a magical device, what should I be using?
If money was no object, I’d trade in both my iPad 2 (which I use like a laptop) and my iPad Mini (which I use like an ebook reader) for the lighter iPad Air, which could be both. And then I’d get a new Macbook Pro to go with it…or would I? Since most of the tasks I do on my laptop are things like mucking around with Calibre, which doesn’t use the keyboard very much, the hybrid Windows laptops also have some appeal. This was an option I had not considered when I resolved earlier to buy a Mac again. But there is one called the ‘Yoga Laptop’ which looks very cool. It can be used in standard laptop mode, or the screen can be flipped around into a sort of slate mode. I could rest it on my lap, on the couch, and use the touchscreen to do my little Calibre edits. It would be heavier than an iPad, sure, but it would give me the tablet form factor with a full computer experience.
Either way, I know I have too much right now. I got the Mini because the iPad 2 was too heavy to hold like a book, but I regret that now that the Air is out. And, Mac loyalty notwithstanding, a laptop that can be used in multiple form factors could be a very interesting companion to it. So, what to buy? Probably nothing right now, unless I get any takers for an iPad Kijiji posting. I’ll probably run my two iPads to the ground before I make a decision—and by then, my dream device might be a step closer to reality.