Anyone made the switch from Netbook to iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Newbie, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Newbie
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    I use a netbook daily (along with iPhone), mainly as a way to carry full records of each project (plans, orders, contracts, spec, etc) almost all in pdf. I use Windows "briefcase" to sync these files to my desktop. My folder organization is critical (a folder for each job, within those a folder each for design, product specs, etc.) I do not have a broadband card, tried it, didn't really use it much for the added cost so turned it in, but having the capability built-in would be nice.

    I like the form of the iPad (slim, big screen, touch screen, fast on/off, long batt life) but not sure it can keep my files in the same organized manner I'm used to with Windows and Briefcase. It's also handy to use my bluetooth printer I carry with me when I need to print something out on site. Lastly, I have a contact manager (ACT!) and a custom database in Access for making task lists for each vendor on each project. Can't afford to give those up easily, especially the database. I sync daily and my little routine works quite well, but I'm always looking for ways to speed things up, or eliminate multiple platforms/systems.

    Does anyone do anything similar to this? Any help is appreciated.


    TIA
  2. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you may be stuck with a windows laptop if you want to do everything exactly like that.

    iPad doesnt print, there are 3rd party printing apps but from what i have seen they are a joke.

    The ipad is not a laptop replacement, however its amazing how useful it really is.

    Many people do use it for business and I use it for work in IT. But the iPad is more of a consumption device. checking the web, getting news, reading emails, watching movies, playing music.
  3. Silken
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    As already mentioned, for your requirements I'd say stick with the netbook. Maybe grab an iPad just for web browsing etc.
  4. 4phun
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    4phun iPad Junkie

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    iPad and PDFs

    iAnnotate does what you want. It can wirelessly sync an entire folder structure using the Aij interface. I keep hundreds of PDFs on the iPad that I update when I am on the same wifi network as a desktop. I keep one hard drive which shares PDFs between the mac and Windows. I sync this one to the iPad using iAnnotate. From iAnnotate you can send the files to other iPad PDF apps like iBooks if you want to.


    In most cases printing is best done from the desktop. Why print when the whole idea of PDF is to keep a digital version of a file? When I finished a project someone asked me to print thirty pdfs to store in a file cabinet. This person simply did not get it! I did not print any thing either! I don't have time for people who still think pre digital. The iPad saves a ton of paper when used properly. A room full of files are always in your hand if you need them.

    Also the person who says it doesn't replace a laptop simply has not adapted their thinking to the strengths of the iPad which far exceed any laptop in many business settings. It is a unique new tool.

    IAnnotate also has a tabbed browsing feature so you can instantly switch among opened PDFs when working.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  5. Newbie
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    4phun - you're on the right track.

    I am in fact trying to adapt how I work to take advantage of it's capabilities, hence the post soliciting experienced suggestions. The need for printing is for when the numerous subcontractors I have lose their damn prints and I have to print out a copy, or I can print out a task list for them on the spot. Most of these individuals, and a large majority of their organizations (if they even have one) are not big on tech gadgets, so printing is pretty important but not truly mandatory as I've been getting by without it for the last 3 months.

    The other thing that concerns me, and there's probably a solution, is I need to keep good records of e-mails as they can someday be considered a legal document if there is a dispute about who said to do something and who is going to pay for it. I use Outlook on my desktop and only check them on iPhone, copying myself if I do send something. I know I could simply use the iPad in the same way but it would be nicer if they could somehow synch without the duplication I'm doing now.

    Seems like a horse race right now, for every neat feature of the iPad, seems like I give up a neat feature of the netbook. I suspect within 12 months I'll switch as it matures.

    Thanks for any additional comments or solutions offered.
  6. 4phun
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    4phun iPad Junkie

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    If email is an issue use Gmail. They have a 7GB per email account archive. Just archive all your email to refer to them later. I use over a dozen Gmail accounts to keep things sorted out.

    You can feed them all into the iPad email program.
  7. Adrenochrome
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    I'm a graduate student, so carrying a big bag stuffed with books and a computer to and from the office every day is a necessity. I used to carry a very nice little Linux netbook with me, but it got stolen. As it was my only laptop and my primary work machine, I replaced it immediately with a Macbook Pro (a fairly cheap option at my school).

    But the weight became an issue, and ended up giving me shoulder / back problems. When the iPad came out, I dithered on whether to buy for a while, but eventually caved. I'm happy to say that it's become my daily workhorse computer. It's not as robust as a laptop or even a netbook, but it has the functionality I require, is incredibly lightweight, and more slim than any other option I could shove into my backpack.

    All in all, for my needs, the iPad is an excellent replacement for a work computer.
  8. Bremen
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    You can also simply set up email on the iPad to leave messages on the server, then use your "main" desktop computer to keep legal email records....

    The iPad no doubt can be made to do what you need, the question you have to answer is if it is worth the effort to do so. Cloud computing (like Dropbox...etc) is a big help, along with apps like Documents to Go. A Windows netbook (as you know) would work right out of the box, but if you want the extreme portability of the iPad it will take some extra effort and even work arounds.....
  9. TJK
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    When I started my own company I came real close to buying a netbook but grabbed an HP 12" notebook for not much more money that is also a worthy desktop replacement. A few months later I grabbed an iPad and find that I can do just about anything that I need to do remotely (email, documents, investor presentations, blogging, spreadsheets, etc.) with the iPad. I even connect a headset and use Skype to stay in touch with my biz partner and development team. I also use the GotoMeeting app to log into presentations that I need to do jointly. And the ipad screen is a lot more comfortable propped in your lap watching a movie on the airplane or the hotel bed!

    To keep all of my mail synced up and staight I use GMAIL set up as IMAP which syncs across my iPhone, iPad, and Outlook on my laptop. I also use google calendar sync to sync calendars across all devices including Outlook. This all works beautifully and ensures that mail on all devices is always synced. Google docs is actually something we are playing with for certain spreadsheets that my dev team needs to access. I am also syncing my contacts through google.

    For your PDF storage you could also look at another way of doing this which is DropBox. DropBox gives you 2GB of free online storage that is accessible from any device and is also synced. It installs on your Windows desktop and acts just like a folder on your hard-drive so you can drag and drop files into it and setup any file or folder structure you want. In addition you can set up security for folders and grant access to clients if you want. We have ALL of our corporate documents in DropBox and have limited access folders set up for our dev team, lawyer, accountant, etc. - when working on proposals my partner and I can drag and drop in and out of DropBox rather than email files back and forth. The beauty is that there is no manual or active sync required. Set it up and it IS synced. If you need more storage they have paid plans up to 100GB I think...If you are hyper paranoid then back up your DropBox folders to a local external HD. It keeps a record of updates and any activity or "events" in and out of your folder and you have access to older versions of documents. Not a full blown CVS or SVN service but still better than what you get with Windoze.

    There are DropBox apps for iPhone and iPad. Again - this gives me seamless access to any of my critical files no matter what device I access them from. (I can even get at them from a clients computer or even set up a folder so they can access their documents any time they want - something to think about for your clients who are constantly losing their prints - give them 24/7 secure access. Any changes you make will be available to them instantly.)

    I am not familiar with iAnnotate but I do plan to check it out. However another must have iPad app IMHO is Goodreader. This is a .99 cent app that is arguably the best PDF reader available. AND IT WILL SYNC TO DROPBOX. So - you can set it up to access DropBox directly.

    What I like about the DropBoox / Goodreader combo is that it is seamless. I don't have to drag and drop files or remember to sync anything to or from my iPad. As long as I have access to WiFi or 3G I can get at my files.(in fact I rarely attach either my iPhone or iPad to my notebook anymore except for a software upgrades or to load in provisioned apps or beta iOS updates for testing...)

    Printing is truly the biggest achilles heal. If youer customers have access to a printer you could simply email them a PDF attachment and let them print it. HP has a new line of printers coming that will automatically print email attachments but I think we are still a way off from those being portable.

    Personally, the printing does not bother me at all. I rarely print from my laptop so I don't miss it on the iPad.

    Like I said upfront - I find the iPad a worthy replacement for most of what I need to do remotely. I have even taken short biz trips and let the laptop at home.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2010

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