Maybe you missed it but I was trying to separate out personal use from professional use. You highlight many professional uses that frankly will only get more demanding of computers in the future. However these are not the things most people use a laptop for when traveling. Frankly I also need a laptop at work, however that laptop stays there.
Originally Posted by mstone
You may be right but personally I can't see the iPad as anything more than media consumption device.
I suspect you work real hard to convince yourself of that. It is a very good tool for people on the move. Especially when the ease of cellular data use is figured in. Between cell and WiFi you are always connected something that can't be said for a laptop.
Speaking of which, if Apple where to produce an AIR with cellular and always on connectivity I might be tempted to get one and to use it like I do my iPad.
In my work I spend the day ssh -ing into various unix boxes, copying files by ftp to various servers, ssl batch credit card uploads, tons of Adobe CS, SQL and AutoCad work, web development, networking to Windows boxes, scanning, printing, etc.
That is important to you but 99% of the rest of the world would say who cares.
Sure their are some apps for these tasks but I absolutely could not do my job without an OS X machine. Right now I rely on a Mac Pro 8 core with a 30" Cinema and a retina MBP. To work from home I use an iMac.
In a way you are sorta supporting my point. Even laptops come up short when doing demanding work.
I have the retina iPad, iPhone 5 and plan to get a mini when/if it is released but other than an occasional extremely brief email or txt, the iOS devices are never used for work whatsoever.
This is interesting because I got an iPhone for personal use thinking I'd never use it for work. Come to find out it is extremely handy even in my line of work.
Love the new MBP when I'm traveling. I always take my iPad too, why I don't know because I really don't need it but at least the new mini will be lighter and smaller.
You should just try leaving home without the laptop a few times. You have to adjust your way of doing things on the road but I prefer an iPad by a large measure when the bulk of a laptop isn't absolutely needed.
People who do a lot of computer related file management tasks verses memo writing type office related work can not get by with just an iPad in my opinion. I'm sure people will chime in that they can do all of that from their iPad but they are just simply being masochistic because it has got to be painful.
It depends. One thing you have to accept is that the software landscape is really just getting off the ground. Do the apps for iOS and IOS itself need work, most certainly but that doesn't mean they aren't useful. Apps are rapidly evolving for the iPad too, DWG viewers have rapidly evolved to the point that they are useful for example.
However iOS was never intended to be a product that exposes the file system in a way commonly seen on UNIX boxes. I'd be the first to say it isn't perfect but it is a new way to look at the issue of how humans interact with a computer.
I agree iCloud is completely useless to me because it cannot accept my file types.
I hate to say this because the comment will likely draw much negativity but I think Apple has a very long way to go before iCloud will be useful. It is sort of useful now in a limited sense but some of the design decisions just blow my mind and lead to frustration. Some apps are working well within the iCloud framework though, my password manager for one.
I suspect that your problem with iOS devices is that you have a lot of time invested in and skills developed around Mac OS and or UNIX like systems in general. That isn't a bad thing at all but I'd be willing to bet that you would find most Windows PCs just as unappealing as iOS devices.
Personally I revolted with Windows around the time Windows NT service pack 2 came out and trashed a well running machine. I went to Linux at the time as Mac hardware was just outrageous. The thing that drew me to a 2008 MBP was the underlying UNIX and the iPhone. The things that keeps me on the platform is the ease of maintenance ( far less breaks with each update), integration with the iOS devices and the general direction that Mac OS has been moving in. What I'm trying to say is my perspective is rather broad, but in many ways my iPad is a lot more useful to me than most of the old machines that I no longer have. That even if there are real frustrations along the way. In the end I have a computer that is more powerful than almost any of the machines I had in the past.