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Freelance Writer Buys an iPad

writer's ipadTwo evenings ago I bought an Apple iPad. What a wonderful, ultimate gadget it is.

I’d been thinking about buying a laptop for quite awhile. I do most of my work in my home office on a desktop. I like the larger screen and the ergonomically sound Microsoft Natural Ergo Keyboard 4000, I also use a Kneeling Chair. The combination keeps my carpel tunnel at bay as long as I work regularly with my chiropractor.

I don’t have a TV and I wanted a way to watch movies, listen to music, surf the net and handle a bit of email in my living room. You know, on the coach rather then in work mode in the office. My son kept urging me to get an iPad and finally I went to the Apple store and after one of their great (young) reps spent almost an hour with me decided I wanted one.

It’s the size and weight that made the difference. I thought about lugging even a light-weight lap top in and out of hotel rooms or on the train. This thing weighs a whole pound-and-a-half. I got a leather case (!) that let’s it sit up so I can watch it easily. NetFlix seems to have enough movies and TV programs to keep me going for years. Plus there’s a whole slew of free apps, books, and who knows what else. In fact all I want to do at the moment is play with the thing.

Now, it does have a keyboard which displays on screen – touch typing won’t work because the screen’s so sensitive. That means you’ve got to pick out the letters one at a time. I’ve gotten decent at it in a surprisingly short period of time, but it would drive me nuts to try to do any real writing. But I have trouble with laptop keyboards too, a different kind of trouble – their flatness  makes my wrists hurt in a hurry. There is the little Apple external keyboard and I may get that, but not now.

Of course, I didn’t get it for work, or at least not the writing side of work. There’s a good calendar, and I can email as much as I like, and receive it too. But mostly I want it for movies, reading, playing and wandering around.

It was great in Twiggs, a favorite coffee shop – I had the coolest device there. I was able to set up my home wireless network easily with the Cisco-Linksys E3000 High-Performance Wireless-N Router. Apparently the problems people used to have have been largely solved.

Do I think the iPad is the equivalent or a substitute for a laptop? No, it isn’t. Do I think every writer needs an iPad? Heavens no! But for a single person with some entertainment needs and some light travel needs so far it’s perfect.

What’s your second computer? What do you watch on TV?


Photo by iLounge found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ipodlounger/4309335779/

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • I do a lot of writing, though I try to stick to outlining with the iPad and writing on my laptop. I use Outline Pro to make the actual outline, and even though I could export to Pages or IA Writer (or any number of writing apps) I find myself often sending it to myself by email so I can finish on my PC in Word. I think the iPad just isn’t that great of a content creation device yet, but it could make a great travel replacement (or in my case, outlining tool).

  • Sal

    @Lori – “I’m a bit like a magpie – the shiny and new attracts me” You just described me to a tee (well, except for the looks…I think).

    I am a techno-junky. I have two laptops, one with Windows and another with Ubuntu, a Blackberry and an iPod touch (3rd gen – REALLY want one with face time).

    @Anne – WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT DOWNLOAD THE ANGRYBIRDS APP. It is a black hole and will suck out all of your spare time. Trust me, I am speaking from personal experience. I say this as I am launching birds at green pigs…*turning iPod off now…

    Also, if you don’t like the flatness of the keyboard laptops, the Apple laptops are very similar. Make sure you play around with one before you buy it and see how it feels on your wrists.
    Sal recently posted..The Most Despicable FreelancerMy Profile

    • Thanks… I won’t try angrybirds… at least not at the moment. I’m in enough trouble with movies! And yeah, apple keyboards make me crazy… at the moment my inclination is to leave the iPad as mostly a toy – there is an app that would let me see my desktop… I’m not getting that one either.

  • Oh, and as for Netflix and things to watch – try Ballykissangel. It’s a BBC series, and remains my favorite show of all time.
    Lori recently posted..Driving Traffic the Organic WayMy Profile

    • I actually have seen some Ballykissangle… I generally like BBC stuff.

  • I’m a bit low-key techno these days. I’ve pared things down to what’s essential – computer, all-in-one printer, laptop, paper shredder, regular cell phone. I’m a bit like a magpie – the shiny and new attracts me – so this is my response to that urge. Live simply. 🙂

    I’m glad to hear the good review. I’d wondered if they were useful.
    Lori recently posted..Driving Traffic the Organic WayMy Profile

    • I figure since I’m TV free I can still claim to live simply, at least by US standards… certainly not be world ’round standards. I’m loving it.

  • I use a laptop mainly for writing, because I write at my Dad’s house (he has Alzheimer’s and I go there daily) – although I’ve forgotten the mains lead a few times which is annoying! I am a gadget lover, and if I had the money for a Ipad, I’d love one for the pure shininess of it but here in the UK they cost far more than the States (as blooming usual) at £430/$690 whereas in the USA they are $499.

    I have a desktop, which I use for admin mainly now, i have my spreadsheets on it, and most of my ebooks which i then transfer to other devices. But I’d been toying with an ereader for a while and finally bought one which is just like a mini ipad! it’s a quarter of the size and has music on it, internet which just connects to my wifi – or mobile wifi when i’m out – but mainly i have it to read ebooks for review on Speak Its Name as I hate reading ebooks on the PC or the laptop.


    It was cheaper than that, too!!

    I watch far too much TV – I have it on all the time when I’m home, mainly for background noise, but the programmes which are Never Misses are: Mad Men, Big Bang Theory. I also enjoy sci fi like SGU, and fun shows like Chuck. I’m a huge fan of English costume drama and the latest, Downton Abbey was just fabulous.

  • I’m so jealous! I was going to buy myself one as a gift after I sold FWJ but never got around to it. I’m hoping Mr. Ng will gift me one for Christmas, if not, I’m buying mine soon after.
    Deb Ng recently posted..Why Good Enough isn’t Good EnoughMy Profile

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