What's your opinion: the iPad trip, for or against

Since August 2011 I am the proud owner of a 64GB iPad 2 with wi-fi. For economic reasons I do not want 3G access: I'm leaving on a trip too often to want to drive up the sales of my ISP in mobile telephony. Over the last 6 months I used it as a nice gadget, a luxury toy that can surf from my couch without cluttering my knees with a laptop. But I finally tested the iPad trip, in the most common situation of my professional activity: a blogger trip.

The characteristics of an iPad?

Digital tablet the world's best selling iPad was launched on the market in April 2010 and has sold 3 million in 80 days and over 15 million in total over the first nine months (Wikipedia reference). The iPad has a camera of 5 megapixels, can shoot HD video, share them immediately on your social networks with a few clicks, reading emails and respond easily, and surf your sites and favorite blogs. With a size smaller than an A4 page in the iPad is a handbag current size, in a backpack or a briefcase.

For those who do not know, here is what looks like an iPad, front and back:

What are the advantages of an iPad while traveling?

Above all: its weight! 601 grams instead of only 2.99 kg of my MacBook Pro 17 inch (add to that the weight of the MacBook Pro charger in your suitcase against the simple cable iPad iPhone compatible). And its size: 18.5 cm against 39.3 cm wide for my computer Dell Inspiron N5010 .

On the iPad you can store many files (text, spreadsheet, photos, videos) as well as music. As to your computer, except that your computer will not allow you to shoot movies properly as you can do with an iPad. In November 2011 I was able to share some footage on Facebook just minutes after being shot. Accelerated interactivity, a second significant advantage with respect to my work.

On the other hand the iPad will allow you to use applications specially dedicated to travelers that make life easier on the ground at the other end of the world or away from a computer. Note nonetheless that to use the majority of these applications you will be connected (WiFi or 3G), as with your iPhone. Applications that you will not have on your computer, but you will find their services for surfing the web browser of choice.

To summarize: weight and compact size, ease of use, and immediate connection with social networks, web and emails.

A few weeks ago I decided to do without my computer for 5 days. I unplugged the MacBook Pro M5010R after downloading the iPad all applications necessary for the performance of my work in optimal conditions and also after downloading all documents and files I needed for the week, and after have synchronized some of my email accounts.

Result: what a pleasure to return to my MacBook Pro then!

But what a pleasure also to work almost normally with a digital tablet fun, practical, light and efficient! ...

My test of the iPad: pros and cons

E-mail: I own a dozen different email addresses that I use as my activities. During those five days I chose to read only three that I had synchronized by connecting the computer with my iPad. Synchronization operation very fast and very simple. Then I managed to read all my incoming e-mails without any problem on the digital pad (although I was not able to read Excel files that you sent me because I have not yet downloaded the App that allows Excel spreadsheets and Word).

Pros: ease of synchronization between your computer and the iPad; settings very easy on the iPad to decide how often you receive your mail, images to be displayed or not and to receive alerts, reading e-mails very Intuitive and easy on your iPhone with the possibility of filing in folders, archiving and deletion; possible reading of all e-mails at once or via box if you have multiple email addresses, and set off walk from the reception desk very easy for your help to suspend or resume reception and thus limit your subscription costs if necessary.

Cons: I am a real typist, I use my 10 fingers on  keyboard (yes, without looking!) With a speed that some describe as impossible. So I just with the touch screen even though I noticed a progression of my typing speed over the day. The predictive text me also pertubée: Read "grouper" when I had entered "merdoum" (sorry ...) made me laugh and realize that even for the exclusive attention of his friends do not use this type of language in writing. Note that you can buy an wireless keyboard, Bluetooth with iPad (about 69 € add to your budget).

Cons: clumsiness or timing error? The day I wanted to synchronize my e-mail between computer and iPad I lost all my email archives on the relevant accounts on my computer! Grrr ... On the other hand it has lightened, in spite of myself, from the weight of my email archives on my computer.

surfing the web: I'm a compulsive surfing the web (after the many newsletters that I receive each day) and on the computer as iPad I use the browser on all the computers embedded Apple Safari. IPad you can sync your favorite pages through synchronization with your computer.

For: easy access with a fast connection and a screen of proven quality.

Cons: read on a small area bothers me every day, so I have not found the pleasure of surfing that I can have a trip when I use the screen of my MacBook Pro 17-inch or 27-inch one which is connected to the house. So I contented during this test to connect to my blog and its administration interface, using social networking through Facebook and Twitter apps for example, and read a couple of my favorite blogs especially for judging their adaptability to a reading tablet.

photos and videos: an iPad is not meant to replace a camera, we agree. I tried to get to the bottom. Certain circumstances may agree to a shooting of a quality "average" (for example air, more discreet than a big camera), but if you want to take home quality photos rather than invest in a real device . Shooting with iPad had come in handy for fans of the publication on social networks, because of the ease of transfer from the iPad to Facebook and Twitter. But this use should be fun above all. Regarding the movies I did not even try to use them to make a real editing before publication, it is apparently possible. However I have not found the option to put a copyright on it before mailing.

For: a lighter camera, and can transfer immediately to social networks or e-mail. Practice can also take pictures and then navigate directly after on an app for taking notes to record the circumstances of shooting, that does not allow a regular camera. Applications easy to use touch-ups or allow adding filters to your photos. Nothing like a real photo editing software of course, but it's fun.

Cons: poor image quality, screen very difficult to read when shooting in bright sunlight (your framing is then blind), attention to "shake" the fact that we must learn to keep your screen from any two hands by clicking the button shooting. No flash, and a bad report (grain) when the light is low.

Editorial: my passion for writing and thereby my work blogger and editor prompts me to use every day, and even several times a day, applications drafting. I complete lists, I note the recommendations of books, music, ... and I write articles. I am a stubborn, so I refuse to buy the Word compatible application (I use Pages on my DellBook

,comprehensive, and compatible Word). Also I read on forums buying the Word application (Excel, PowerPoint, ...) will allow you to read and correct but not retrieve your edited document to your computer! Why?! IPad (and iPhone) I simply use the application "Notes" as a notebook in U.S.. I'm used to, and it is more than enough: when I sync the two devices with my MacBook Pro I get all my notes via Apple's Mail application, copy / paste text into my software, or directly to the administration my blog, and presto it's ready to use. Notes is a true application as Post-It!

This article was written from day to day, in real conditions, on my iPad, then corrected directly in the admin interface of my blog before adding images captured from my computer. I could publish this article saved on my blog administration, directly from my iPad if I want.

For: practice, instantaneous, free, the application note opens a split second and keeps track of all notes and all the texts I have written. Easy synchronization with the computer to recover then my rough drafts of texts which I can then add or correct. I'm a fan of this opportunity to note at every turn and slightly more so as any backup is useless, it is automatic. During the 5 days of testing I made a real diary of my trip to Malta where I'll be able to use excerpts to write different articles.

Cons: no possibility of layout on the Notes application installed automatically on the iPad. If you want to go further than you have to buy an app equivalent to your usual text or software to your page after synchronizing with a computer equipped with conventional text applications.

My favorite apps iPad trip:

Apart from essential apps (Facebook, Twitter, Notes, Skype) here are the ones that I use when I move away from home:

- Mobile travel guide MonNuage: whether in the form of free app downloadable from this community of travelers who share their experience, or as a guide in PDF format that you can customize to suit your interests, it is a virtual location scouting (in French) that I carry with me always. Beautiful, practical, ergonomic. Also note that this

Application was elected App of the Year by Dell Vostro 1510


- ECurrency: I use it already for a long time under iPhone, and the developer has not evolved as iPad so it appears limited in iPad format which does not prevent it from working perfectly. Updated at each connection (wifi) to immediately convert any currency.

- Snapseed and Instagram: fun apps to turn your photos and give them the character (even though we are so many millions to use these same filters ...). You can apply these filters and instantly with a few clicks on pictures taken with your iPhone or pictures you have imported your iPad from your computer. Fun. But I'll do without Instagram I think since the announcement of the buyback Instagram last week by Facebook (ad that was widely publicized) because I did not really want to find my photos Instagram free availability of Facebook one day, or can not enforce copyright on a photo Instagram).

- Mappy, WiFi Finder, My Airport: you can guess their practical and indispensable travel ...

- Live Weather: a beautiful iPad app that lets you select various parts of the world to anticipate what to add to your suitcase before leaving. Immediately displays the temperature and weather conditions to local time including the wind chill (may be different from that announced by the local weather service). Also announces the humidity, the rate of precipitation, barometric pressure and visibility (useful for web browsers). What I like? Displays the 4-day forecast (reasonable so) with the minimum and maximum temperatures for each day, and the trend of the day (sunny, cloudy, rain). Can anticipate as the photo work to select the best conditions.

Conclusion of my test trip on iPad:

- It is almost unthinkable for me to write an entire article for my blog from the iPad: I am not sufficiently used to the touchpad and I would have anyway prepare my pictures before leaving in order to format them, apply my copyright and save them on the iPad. Solution: prepare items in advance of the administration of my blog, and keep for no longer having to press the button "publish" as I did recently for two recent articles. I do not see myself using apps (paid) or Photoshop Lightroom although I know others do, nothing beats the use of such software on a large screen and a mouse.

- Managing images taken on assignment is difficult or impossible if there is indeed an Apple connection kit to connect your camera directly on the iPad it will not allow you to download or save your images (thus emptying your cards) only displays your images and probably delete those you do not like. This may be sufficient to use a traveler on vacation, this is not satisfactory because of the photo when a trade. I will consider buying a hard charger (independent of the iPad) to clear my cards on the field without having to take my computer, for short trips only. I am not convinced.

- The display of images is against fun, easy and high quality. By synchronizing your pictures between your computer and the iPad (via iPhoto on a Mac, I do not know on a PC) then you get a magnificent gallery of your best photos, sorted by folders (portfolios) if you take care and time to do earlier in iPhoto. The display then slide through your photos is really worth. For a photographer it is one of the best portfolio that I know, and one of the most practical.

- The ability to watch a film (eg when flying at night or in a hotel that does not have a television in your room) is interesting: using the supplied headphones with your iPhone, or connect your earmuffs like me (I ' Sehnnheiser uses the very effective to get away from noise) and you'll see your favorite movie without having to pack a DVD player or open your computer, provided you have downloaded in advance on your iPhone in the film question.

- Video footage and broadcast "live" on your Facebook or Twitter: very easy, very friendly, and very fast. But not very professional (or so I'm not optimize!). Must agree not to waste time editing as I do in my normal way home travel. The video is good for viewing on social networks even though sometimes I noticed some of my videos on a small sailing including pink on white clouds (can someone explain to me why). Impossible to apply to your video before downloading it on a web, a copyright to protect your digital assets, but few care about.

- Keep in touch with family and friends while traveling is a breeze thanks to the iPad and it is an important asset if you do not want to exchange e-mails from your iPhone. Must still be Facebook user and / or Twitter, have synchronized at least one email account to receive and send messages.

- Skype application very easy to use, economical and practical as that on a computer. Lets join family and friends from any wireless connection in France or the world. Indispensable and free. Excellent reception quality for video conversations.

I am convinced of the usefulness of an iPad for short trips. By cons I've seen in recent months iPad users that made me shudder: couples come with their dinner each iPad, place orders, and then install their digital tablet in front of them and ride their separate while at the same table, on her information, she on a magazine. Pass me the salt ... Brrrr ...

But regarding my traveling needs and long-term user of the Internet to my frantic work the iPad can not replace your computer. Storage capacity still limited (my digital camera cards reap 8 GB each (for about 250 pictures at best) while my iPad stores up to 64 GB only), screen size, which reduces my enjoyment of surfing Internet, can not work properly on my images as is done on a computer screen or on a conventional size, all that I will book the iPad chip breaks 24 hours to 5 days. Then, we must return to the comfort of a real computer and its attached hard drives, in order to also send attachments remain on your computer.

In short, the iPad is the finest digital tablet that I know, a beautiful showcase for your photos, a reading light (e-books, magazines, PDF) very nice, and a communication tool that can be critical ( web, social networks, Skype, e-mails). But this is not a computer, it's just a work tool or additional troubleshooting your computer.

My iPad is handy in the living room and followed me in all my appointments now because ... even my Reperages Travel magazine can be read as iPad, I tested too!

If you have experienced the use of the iPad during your travels I would be curious to hear your opinion! Maybe am I missed out on some tips or apps that would allow me to increase my productivity tool on luxury which nevertheless I am not ready to give up.

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