The tablet as the new main computer? Quite Possibly.

My tablet seems to be so fast at everything that I am starting to wonder if indeed this might be the next portable computer for the nimble professional. What makes this plausible are a number of (obvious) factors:

  • the new iPad has a near perfect screen, and it’s ridiculously fast at everything I’m doing with it so far.
  • ingenious cover solutions exist that give you a Bluetooth keyboard coupled to a stand, so you get the laptop experience, though this may mean you need a trackpad or mouse to go with it
  • storing your data in the cloud is clearly now a no-brainer
  • remote desktop makes it possible to access a powerful desktop from any location, and these are increasingly available on the web browser as well
  • as a software developer your code is probably on Github and you could use a cloud IDE, and surely you have an automated build system
  • online drawing tools are plenty and some are really good, so you can create your architecture diagrams or other documents without requiring a software running locally and have a comfortable experience
  • rather than printing, you can email, share via to an online share point, place documents on an online collaboration tool
  • to top it off, if you lose your tablet you can remotely wipe it out, or use the find my device feature to help the police trace it

So, what’s left that would tie someone to a desktop, or a laptop? Clearly not very much. Surely, such a transition will come at the price of some inconvenience. Not everything will be perfectly smooth at the start but people will accommodate, akin to the situation where “fail whale” (regularly crashing web sites) came to be tolerated for the convenience of being online.

Google’s vision of Chromebook still intrigues me though, unless it would cost less than $100 why wouldn’t you get a tablet instead? If the new iPad is anything to go by, even Apple may wake up to a time when the traditional MacBook buyers are migrating to the iPad. Unless you are running several Operating Systems on your laptop you may not need to carry it around if you’ve got an iPad. The implication is that the next PC laptops and MacBooks would have to match 2011 servers, those may become more of a niche for the really power hungry IT professionals or media producing consultants.

I read all the buzz about the new iPad screen and I thought, blah blah, sure. But what I’ve experienced is that the whole experience is astonishingly smooth, and that really gets you thinking.

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