Deconstructing Travels with Gartenberg: Two weeks of on the road with an iPad

Analyst Michael Gartenberg once spent time traveling with just a handful of smart phones. That adventure was followed by a recent two weeks with an iPad. Guess which combination of mobile technology won?

Analyst Michael Gartenberg once spent time traveling with just a handful of smart phones. That adventure was followed by a recent two weeks with an iPad. Guess which combination of mobile technology won? Despite their mobile processing power, I've never thought that smart phones can be a replacement for a notebook and Gartenberg's experience shows why. Yes, things like screen size and keyboards matter. However, I was interested in Gartenberg's two-week trip with the iPad. He posted both articles on SlashGear. For anyone hoping to replace their notebook with an iPad when traveling it's useful reading. He offers 10 "lessons," some of which were more valuable than others.

Two weeks of traveling is a real test. Gartenberg said the iPad, even with an external Bluetooth keyboard, dropped 5 pounds from his bag. And he had little problem with battery life, something that any road warrior faces. The lessons are good tips. Some of his concerns about file management will be worked out this summer with the introduction of iPhone OS 4.0. And the capabilities of applications will be met as software developers address the needs of iPad customers. As I wrote the other day, we are witnessing the beginnings of the iPad UI experience and the determination of what feature sets customers want and will pay for. This is the opposite of the desktop and notebook software markets. Some apps are way underpowered and my guess is that developers will hear that from customers. If they don't heed their users' advice or try to position iPhone, iPad and Mac applications too narrowly, customers will quickly find an alternative. There's a lot of churn in this market. Yes, the iPad is the 'wild west' of mobile UI Most revealing is Gartenberg's analysis of the iPad's competition with netbooks. "Why not buy a netbook?" is the line I hear only from PC users, never Mac users.
Overall, I’ve been pleased with the experience and find that there’s enough functionality to make the iPad useful for not only content consumption but content creation. So why not just use a netbook? Easy, while netbooks offer much of the functionality I lack on the iPad, it comes at too high a price. Lower screen resolutions, slower than my laptop performance and cramped keyboards are too many tradeoffs for me. The instant on capabilities, fast performance combined with a full XGA screen make the iPad experience unique, not quite a laptop but certainly more than just a large iPod touch. For me, it’s now a valuable travel companion.
Exactly.