Home computing is not the way it once was. 15 years ago every home had a big white/off-white box in one room of the house where people would spend hours typing and clicking away. Today, you do that same time wasting twice as fast and from your couch in front of the TV. We are getting much better at consuming multiple sources at once, but the content is being more dumbed down because it’s usually distracted by another source. Whatever the case may be, we may need to better think how the home computer is classified.
I often get asked what computer someone should buy. This usually leads to a conversation about what the computer will be used for, and 99% of the time I hear “just surfing the Internet and maybe an Excel spreadsheet here and there…”. The conversation usually starts with replacing Their 5-7 year old desktop computer with a laptop so it can be carried around the house. I like to squash that thinking because most people do not need a full fledged laptop or even a ultrabook. I would say 80% of home technology usage is done in an Internet browser or Microsoft Office application. This leads me to believe that almost anyone should have an iPad instead of a new laptop or desktop computer.
Why an iPad and not a surface or one of those generic Android tablets? A Surface is a full computer masquerading as a tablet. It’s great for on-the-go computing but Microsoft Windows is just not the place for tablets. On an iPad you get a mobile operating system that can function on a high level like a desktop operating system, but still have that simplicity you expect from a mobile device. Microsoft has been dumping a lot of their hard-earned money into developing for Apple products. Because of this, the Microsoft Office suite is better than ever on iOS and OS X, some say it’s even better than the Windows version. If you are already paying for Microsoft Office, you may not know this, but you get the ability to install Office on several different devices. This means you can play Candy Crush, surf the web, check your Facebook, and type up long blog posts, all from the comfort of your couch with an iPad. This experience is so rewarding that you’ll find yourself doing it more often and getting into more apps on the iPad than you knew existed. If you look over into the other room, you will see your old laptop or desktop just collecting dust. Why go turn it on, wait for it to boot, login, and open up Internet Explorer? All that time you just wasted could have been spent smashing several levels in Angry Birds or finally balancing that check book in Excel. If you already have an iPad or other tablet, think about the last time you touched your big and powerful laptop or desktop… It has probably been a while.
If you don’t have an iPad, find a friend with one or visit the Apple Store and try for yourself on how much you can actually get done from this mobile device.
I know this idea doesn’t take into the account the power user who uses a computer to rip DVDs, encode video, edit photos, or develop apps. I’m one of those users and when I have to do something that requires the full-blown desktop experience, I usually put it off because I’m much more satisfied with using an iPad. I don’t have the data to back it up, but I’m pretty sure these power users also have a third device such as an iPad they can do day-to-day tasks on.
It’s pretty simple, all you need is an iPad and the will to try something different. One thing I didn’t mention is how you can do all that normal stuff from literally anywhere. What’s the greatest thing about a mobile device, writing emails from the bathroom!