My iPad is great but no way can I give up my PC. I long for a device that combines the benefits of both.
Last December in Tablets versus PCs I wrote that tablet computers do not replace PCs. The iPad is a great way to consume information plus its form-factor and screen paradigm create an experience different than a PC.
I create a lot of content, however, so cannot go for long without the full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. On short trips, where I don’t have time to do more than e-mail anyway, the iPad is fine (with a Bluetooth keyboard). But on most trips, I create enough content that I must bring a PC.
Someday, I hope that compromise won’t be necessary. The Intel-promoted Ultrabook design – a thin, light-weight, fast-starting, and touch screen PC – is a promising if expensive replacement for bigger notebook PCs (see, e.g, this recent Engadget report). But even an Ultrabook running Windows 8 remains fundamentally a PC with some tablet-like features.
It’s great that both the Mac OS and Windows are moving toward touch screen interfaces but that does not make them table substitutes. My ideal machine would be like a super lightweight computer where the screen detaches from the keyboard and, when detached, behaves exactly like a tablet. I might settle for an iPad app the emulates a PC though it would have to support a pointing device other than a finger.