How the iPad 2 Became My Favorite Computer

Harry McCracken:

You can devote nearly every second of your time to the task at hand, rather than babysitting a balky computer. I don’t feel like I’m “using an iPad to write.” I’m just writing. It’s a far more tranquil, focused experience than using a PC or Mac.

Additional benefits of the iPad with a decent keyboard: almost all-day battery life and integrated wireless broadband. If you travel often, need consistent and reliable access to the Internet, and writing is what you do most of the time, then the iPad, a keyboard, and a few well selected apps might be all you need.

I love the simplicity: an iPad in a keyboard case. Grab it and head out. I really wish I could do that. But I’ve optimized how I write based on how I work. I am home most of the time so there is little need for all-day battery life. My wired broadband connection is fast, reliable, and affordable. I use two 960×1200 windows on my 17-inch MacBook Pro with source materials on the left and the WordPress admin window on the right. This is exactly how it is at this very moment.

Just a couple of hours ago I was watching Frank Chimero’s Do Lectures presentation and thought, “This sucks.” Not the presentation mind you, but the experience: the video and the audio. So I dragged a couple of Yamaha speakers and a 1986 Inkel receiver that weren’t getting much use into my home office. Oh what a difference! Now this is how presentations should be watched.

You could almost replicate this experience with a good set of headphones connected to the iPad, but I have sensitive ears, and I don’t mean discerning ears: My ears are sensitive so I haven’t had much pleasure with over-the-ear headphones. The white Apple earphones are generally sufficient, but I prefer a good pair of speakers hooked up to a good receiver. Then there’s the difference between a 9.7-inch 1024×768 display and a 17-inch 1920×1200 one.

So what am I saying. I guess all I’m saying is that I’ve found an optimized setting based on how I work. Although the thought of a simple setup like an iPad and a keyboard is very tempting, I am a sucker for minimalism, I’ll stick to a more efficient, fuller experience that is just as tranquil and focused.