Recycled Computing

The iPad May Change Your Laptop Upgrade Plans

- 2011.04.07

The only thing that is keeping me from eternal iPad bliss isprinting from the darn thing. Printing wirelessly. Not usingAirPrint.

I'll get there, and I promise to tell you how I did it. But today Iwant to talk about why the iPad may force a different computer purchasedecision out of me. I had been thinking about an 11" MacBook Air, since I am afan of extremely portable computers, but now I'm not too sure. - andmy iPad is the reason.

A Laptop Replacement

I've discovered that the 'Pad can replace my laptop in many (if notall) situations where I am on the go.

ZAGGmate iPad Case
The ZAGGmate iPad Case

The real accessory that has made the difference for me is theZAGGmateBluetooth keyboard/case. I protects my iPad and allows me to writearticles for Low End Mac. If you want to do any word processing on theiPad, you need to have a physical keyboard, and the ZAGGmate not onlyfunctions as a protective case but also does not add much extra mass orsize to the iPad. The tiny keyboard still causes occasional "fatfingering"; but if I could get used to the eternal keyboard for theNewton MessagePad, I can get used to anything.

With the ZAGGmate, I can use my iPad in "laptop" situations, whichmeans I could bypass the 11" MacBook Air and think about a 17" MacBookor 13" MacBook Air. I feel the need for more screen real-estate due tothe changing situation regarding my commitment to digitalphotography.

Digital Photography

Low End Mac's publisher Dan Knight made a wonderful point to me theother day. In the past, film manufacturers would produce improved filmthat was usable in old cameras, so you didn't need to replace yourcamera to take better pictures. Nowadays, if you want better qualityphotos, you must buy a better camera.

One way to print from your iPad....
One way to print from your iPad....

However, digital photography also allows tremendous amounts of imageprocessing after the image has been taken.

Now it was possible to use "darkroom magic" to fiddle with yourphotos back in the day, but the degree with which this was possible waslimited. Comparing what I did back then to Photoshop or Aperture todayis like comparing a Yankee Clipper sailing vessel to Star Trek'sEnterprise. But to truly make use of this technology, I need an Intelcomputer and some self training on an image processor application. Andlet's remember that I want to make an image just like what I saw, soright from the start, I am a little suspicious of doing too much andending up in a process that I get lost in.

I Need More Power

To use these programs, I'm going to need a much more powerfulcomputer than the G4 PowerBook that I have. I'm also going to need morescreen size, since the PowerBook's screen is only 12". I'm kind ofleaning towards a 17" Mac laptop, but that means mucho dinero.I'm a little concerned about buying a used one, since Apple appears tobe abandoning Macs with Intel Core Duo processors as it moves forwardwith OS X Lion, and who knows which ones it will abandon afterthat.

Decisions, decisions. At least I know what camera I'm going to buy. LEM

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