tabletAn article from Business Insider titled “Why I Sold my iPad” came to my in-box at a timely moment. I’ve been starting some research into the current computer scene because I plan to replace my five-year-old Macbook at Christmas, and I have been wresting with some of the same questions as the article’s author, Steve Kovach.

The difference is, he and I have wound up on opposite ends of the same conclusion: He gave up his iPad because he finds he can use his laptop for most of his work just as conveniently, and I am contemplating a lesser ‘main’ computer because I find the iPad as suitable.

I have a few conundrums, though:

I do see Steve’s point that many laptops are so small and light these days that they are just as easy to pack and go as an iPad. But the three I looked at this weekend on a reconnaissance trip, all of which were in the same price range as a mid-range iPad, averaged three to five hours of battery life—half of what I can get on the iPad. The bigger models, which had more robust battery lives, were priced comparably to the lower-end Macbooks.

tabletMeanwhile, the Beloved’s mother just shelled out $700 for a Microsoft Surface tablet with all the fixings, and she’s in love, and has told him we should get one.

I admit, her setup is pretty sweet, and I like the idea of just having the one machine (the tablet runs a full Windows OS so it can run apps like iTunes and Calibre, which are the primary reasons I still need a computer and can’t get by with just an iPad). But it does seem a lot clunkier than my iPad does. It’s better than carting around my Macbook, but it’s not quite Macbook Air calibre lightness just yet.

So, what will I do? Will I get the cheap ultrabook, keep it plugged in as a media server and for e-book work, and use my iPad as my main on the go device? Will I keep the iPad mini, sell its big brother and get a Surface Tablet as my main computer? Or will I shell out for a Macbook Air since I won’t get much battery life on a baby-sized ultrabook?

I haven’t decided yet. We’ll see what the Christmas shopping season brings!


  1. I have a desktop machine with a big monitor for work that requires a computer, and I use my iPad on the go. With the desktop, I got more processing power and a much bigger screen than a laptop, for less money. It’s working well for me, and I don’t miss the laptop at all.

    From what I’ve been reading, you wouldn’t be happy going from Mac to Surface. I don’t recommend that option.

  2. Your comment about Calibre got me to thinking and wondering about what Calibre in the Cloud might be like. I don’t theink that it worl work well on the device itself because of the sandboxing that militates against inter-application communication but a cloud version might be good. I use Calibre server to maintain a library for my students so we’re part way there already.

  3. As you travel you will find that outlet connectivity is just as prevalent as wireless and it is always free so you find little dependence on battery or annoyance with auto battery screen saving. Touch screen keyboards have bothersome shift routines. Screen covering is more effective with laptops and thin models such as Apple Air are not much more to carry than tablets.

    I use two matching Apple Air laptops, one for home master and the other for travel. The interaction of these is very useful prompting file and folder exchanges and overall resident backup.

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