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iPad For Business? Get A Laptop Instead

We've purchased an Apple iPad for inhouse use and the feedback we've got from users in the office when it comes to business usage is mixed.

On one hand, the device is unbearably sexy and attractive and earns kudos for its aesthetics and finish; on the other side though the iPad is still too basic to be considered as a fully-fledged corporate device.

You cannot type on it for long journeys because it is simply too cumbersome and buying a Bluetooth keyboard will only ruin its fantastic portability, limiting it to indoor use.

Then there's the sore lack of basic connectivity. You can't connect USB devices out of the box or insert any memory cards in it like in all Apple products (bar the Mac Mini).

So what good will be the iPad be for businesses then? Well, there's anecdotal evidence that carrying an iPad to visits clients has a wow factor - although this may potentially be eroded over the next few months.

It is a great tool for presentations provided that you have the appropriate adaptor to connect it to a projector. You may also use it as a giant remote control during presentations.

Last but not least, it also suffers from a number of nagging issues like the fact that only some applications can display on an external screen and simple assumptions, like expecting a movie to display on the iPad's screen when connected to an external source, no longer hold.

The iPad, like the first iPhone, is an incredibly promising, yet underwhelming product. The first iPhone was 2G only while the current iPad loses points on connectivity. But expect it to change as Apple's rivals churn out competing products faster than they did for the first iPhone.

In the end, we cannot possibly recommend swapping your laptop for an iPad for a business usage.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.