Can an iPad Replace My Laptop?

We've had a few clients asking us lately if they could begin replacing their laptops with iPads and other tablet computers.  The answer is a resounding "no".  Well, not yet at least.  

The most difficult hurdle most offices that dream of a tablet-only-office would face is that of operating business critical programs. While there are an increasing number of vendors that are offering versions of their software in tablet friendly package the vast majority still don't.  When you do find a version of your software for a tablet it is often not capable of performing all the tasks that the full-blown version provides.  As tablets increase in popularity more software and apps will become available and you may indeed find yourself in a situation where your office can function perfectly fine with only tablets, but just not yet.


Work efficiency is still inhibited in the tablet space as well.  Most tablets will only allow you to perform one function at a time and it can take 15 to 30 seconds to switch from one application to another.  Most offices will find that their employees are multitaskers and that this limitation will prohibit them from working quickly and efficiently.  The tablets that do allow you to run multiple applications at once will be noticeably less powerful than their laptop and desktop counterparts and the slow down will be felt.

So, in light of this, what are tablets good for?  Anyone who finds that they need access to email and a handful of very specific applications while rarely being in the office would be very happy to own an iPad.  Tablets are far superior to smart phones for access to email, web browsing, and Angry Birds (but who plays that, honestly?) and a lot easier to carry around and access than a standard laptop.  

Tablets aren't quite ready for everyday use by the standard cubicle power worker so don't replace all your workstations with iPads yet, but we very well may see that happen within the next decade.



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