iPads: they breed like, er, iPads

By: Craig Sharp

Date: 26 January 2012

Two rabbits{{}}

iPads might not quite breed like rabbits, but it’s close

A couple of weeks ago I received a stream of emails from a client. They wanted to know about iPads. The questions grew increasingly detailed but the thrust of the query was whether an iPad could both replace their laptop at home and link back to their main computer at work.

We’d previously set up a remote access service for the client. This allows them to access the desktop on their main PC from other computers, so they can run their usual software and access all their files. And yes, this makes it possible for them to bring up their desktop on an iPad too.

Have you experienced iPad breeding?

They were pretty much sold on the idea of getting an iPad (it is, after all, one of those gadgets that people ‘just have to have’ once they’ve seen it for real) and just wanted to make sure they picked the right model.

But it reminded me of the increasingly common phenomenon of iPad breeding. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, it’s an easy concept to understand. It starts simply, when a member of staff brings an iPad into your office one day.

Like a mother with a new born baby, a small crowd of people gathers to coo and pet the new shiny-faced device, while steadfastly trying to hide their envy.

Next thing you know, that original iPad has a brother. A co-worker buys one, having been seduced by the seemingly endless opportunities offered by its glossy screen.

After that, the trend has started. You see the number of iPads in your office grow and grow.

There’s nothing wrong with that – iPads are a dream to use and can do lots of things.  But they can't do everything.

Can it do what you need it to?

Let’s go back to that person who was asking me about iPads. In their case, there was an issue: although they could use the iPad to access their main computer, they found that without a proper keyboard, it didn’t work well.

Additionally, they spend a lot of time working on complex spreadsheets – and with half the iPad’s screen taken up by its ‘virtual keyboard’, there wasn’t enough space left for them to view the spreadsheets properly.

The aim of this post isn’t to criticise the iPad. I have one and I love it. However, before you spend over £500 on one, think about what you actually want to use it for – and work out whether it can meet those needs.

If you’re not sure, it’s certainly worth seeking advice from an independent IT supplier who can understand your needs and help you decide whether an iPad is best, or if you should be looking elsewhere.

In this case I was able to demonstrate the experience on an iPad. The client saw clearly that it would not work for them. They plumped for a replacement laptop instead, which is much better suited to their needs.

Craig Sharp, Managing Director of Abussi