By July 18, 2012 Read More →

Is the Apple iPad the ultimate working from home station?

Is the Apple iPad the ultimate working from home station?Today’s guest post comes from Broadband Genie, the consumer comparison site:

If you believed the hype, it would be easy to think the iPad is the ultimate gadget – as well as being able to do the washing up, cure the common cold etc. But what’s the real truth behind this high end tablet PC?

Let’s start with the basics. More recent Apple iPads have a 10-inch touchscreen and a smartphone operating system, meaning they’re essentially oversized iPhones. That said, they have a powerful processor that wouldn’t be out of place in an average laptop, alongside front and back cameras and up to 64GB of storage space on board.

Unlike laptops and home PCs the user interface is app rather than program based. This can be a deal breaker, depending on the kind of software you need for your work. If you need complex programs that don’t have Apple app equivalents, that’s the end of that. However, if you’re going to be working directly online via websites, just using it for email and social networking, or using the likes of Microsoft Office programs, an iPad is certainly an option.

While the memory size is restrictive compared to a home computer, this can largely be circumvented via ‘the cloud’. More and more companies are moving their servers into the cloud and out of the office, freeing up space on your machine. Of course you’ll need a pretty permanent broadband connection to make this feasible, but this isn’t an issue for a iPad – especially if you opt for a model that boasts both Wi-Fi and 3G.

What this means is that you can connect the iPad up to your home office broadband via Wi-Fi (or that in a café, friend’s house etc), but you can also connect to mobile broadband thanks to the 3G (although this will incur an additional monthly or Pay-as-you-go cost – you can’t just use your phone’s allowance).

An upside of the smartphone operating system is quick start up times, alongside reasonable battery life in comparison to a laptop.

One possible downside is the onscreen QWERTY keyboard. While using it is fine for putting in a web address or typing a quick message, prolonged use soon gets irritating. On the plus side it’s very easy to set yourself up with a keyboard; Apple has a few different wireless options available, alongside a variety of other add-ons to make your computing experience more laptop like.

Which of course leads us back to the question; is an iPad the ultimate working from home station? In short, it certainly will be for some; it’s a smart, stylish and well-built piece of kit that ticks an awful lot of gadget boxes. However, there will be as many or more who see too small a screen and too little processing power for such a hefty price tag – especially when there are similar models on the market running the equally reliable Android operating system at a fraction of the price.

This article was contributed on behalf of the broadband, smartphone and tablet consumer advice site Broadband Genie.

Posted in: Technology

6 Comments on "Is the Apple iPad the ultimate working from home station?"

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  1. I bought a bluetooth keyboard off ebay for £12 and now its even better and i can wrote my books on it!

    • Judy says:

      Oh, I love it when technology comes cheap, so satisfying! Have you got one of the stands San talks about, or do you stick with the cat, Lee?

  2. Jonathan says:

    The Blackberry Playbook is doing it for me, no need for an additional data contracts just links via your Blackberry.

  3. San Sharma says:

    The new iPad, coupled with this ‘origami’ workstation is replacing my MacBook Air for work outside of my home office. The operating system lends itself to distraction free work – no multiple windows, etc. – so it’s ideal for writing; I use it for note taking too and reading. I love it!

    • Judy says:

      As usual you are streaking ahead in the technology stakes, Mr Sharma! I like the idea of distraction-free work. No more sneaky surfing or email checking sounds good. Maybe I’ll miss out the MacBook Air completely and go straight for an iPad – thanks for showing the way 🙂