Once more with feeling: Yes I can work with the iPad mini

Summary:I use a lot of different devices productively, and it's not unusual to hear that a particular gadget I use is not the best for that. Mentioning the iPad mini as a productivity tool sets some folks over the edge.

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ZAGGkeys Cover with iPad mini -- Image credit: James Kendrick/ ZDNet

//Rant mode on

I get it. There are a lot of folks out there who refuse to believe that the iPad, and especially the iPad mini, can be used productively. Every review of a keyboard for the iPad or the iPad mini I write guarantees responses for months that the tablets from Apple can't be used for real work.

I understand that many don't want to use iPads of any kind for production. I'm fine with that. I am used to hearing repeatedly that they are mere toys and thus not capable of being used for work. I know that there is often a knee-jerk reaction to the very thought that iPads can help some of us to get things done.

See related: Two keyboard cases for iPad mini from ZAGG change the game | Logitech Keyboard Folio mini for iPad mini: Small case, big keys (hands on)  | Definitive guide to keyboards for iPad and iPad mini (Spring 2013)

What I never get used to is the statement I hear all the time that I cannot use an iPad/iPad mini for my work. Yes, even articles I write explaining how I use them for such work are met by some with exclamations that I cannot actually use them that way.

Using an iPad/iPad mini productively might not work for you, but don't tell me it can't work for me. It makes no sense to deny what I do or how I do it.

I'm not sure why the thought of using iPads for production sets some people off, but it does, every single time. As if reading about it isn't clear enough, a recent incident in a coffee shop blew my mind.

I was sitting at a tiny table using the iPad mini with the ZAGGkeys Cover I recently reviewed . I was writing as I always do, touch typing at a good clip. A guy approached me and watched me using the iPad mini for a bit and then asserted that what I was using just couldn't work.

I sat back considering how to respond to that when he repeated that the iPad mini with such a small keyboard could not be used productively. Without saying a word I resumed writing without missing a beat to show him that I could indeed work productively with the setup in front of me.

He watched me for a couple of minutes and then left, muttering that no matter what I "said," the iPad mini cannot be used for work purposes.

I was blown away. He watched me using the iPad mini productively, yet he still couldn't admit that it could be done. Unlike the comments claiming the same in reaction to my articles detailing how I do this, that same reaction by someone actually watching it in practice was surreal.

Most of the people who refuse to believe I can get work done with an iPad or iPad mini are likely folks who don't like the tablets from Apple. That's OK, they're not for everyone. But that doesn't explain why so many refuse to believe that I can use them for my writing. It's as if they think the earth will shift off its axis if they admit they can be used productively.

I am the first to admit that using a bigger system is better. When I head out for a long work day I usually bring a laptop with me. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new MacBook Air,  as a matter of fact. For shorter work days, I may throw the iPad with keyboard in my little gear bag.

I carry the iPad mini in a little keyboard case when I head out and don't plan on working. The tablet is so small it's easy to carry and comes in handy when an unexpected writing opportunity comes along. It's nice to have it if I need it, and that's it. It came in handy for writing this article while this whole thing was fresh in my mind.

To be clear, I am not nor have I ever suggested that others should do what I do with the iPad/iPad mini. I use them occasionally because they work so well for me. They might not work for you, but don't tell me they can't work for me either. It makes no sense to deny what I do or how I do it.

And don't tell me that your HP, Dell, Apple, Surface Pro, or other laptop would be better for this. They might be better for you but they aren't for me, as I have proven time and time again. I have four laptops at home but the best tool for the job is the one I have with me.

//Rant mode off

Topics: Mobility, iPad, Tablets

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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