Have iPad – Will Travel?

When the first iPad came out, I was one of those who was like, “I’m not getting caught up in the hype.  I’ve got a MacBookPro, and the iPad is just a big iPhone.” Blah, Blah, Blah..

Then one day, while with friends, I tried one.  I played  Angry Birds; I checked my email; updated my Facebook status and from that point on, I knew I had to have one.  As I did the research I learned that a new model was predicted to come out 1st Qtr 2011.  So I waited. Sure enough the predictions came true and I was in line on March 11th enthusiastically anticipating how great I was going feel once I had that gadget in my hands.  This new toy was going to be my new travel companion.  No more carrying my heavier MacBook, or having to take it out at the airport for additional TSA screening.  I could carry it everywhere.

I decided to put my “iPad only” experiment to the test on a 4-week vacation starting from San Diego to Las Vegas to San Diego to Seattle to Santa Rosa to Hawaii to San Diego to Las Vegas.

There are so many features that I love about the iPad; all the different apps, FaceTime, it’s lightweight, and it’s cute.  But cute doesn’t cut it if you want to get any real work done.  The touchscreen keyboard is not conducive to quick typing, and I thought I would just scream each time the screen flipped one way when I needed it to be in another direction.

I am old school, in that I like to hold my books, so reading books on the iPad book reader is a new experience and one I did not like too much. I found the glare and back lighting to be a distraction

I purchased my laptop because of its portability.   I also purchased the iPad for the very same reason, but not only is the iPad not just a smaller computer but it I had less functionality, less efficiency, and the one window at a time set up is not really good for longer term, regular daily usage.

Do I regret that I purchased it?  Absolutely not.  I’ve actually found it to be a more useful tool while at home.  On numerous occasions I’ve needed to look something up and I was not in my office, but my iPad was right there.  And, If I’m going away for a few days or an extended weekend vacation, the iPad is a great carry along.   However, if I plan to be anywhere more than 5 days, I need my notebook.

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About Terri Lundberg

Terri Lundberg is an American expat currently residing with her husband in Saudi Arabia, but she calls Seattle and San Diego home. She’s a travel writer, an avid photographer and is a resource and cross cultural trainer to expats relocating to Saudi Arabia. She's been to 100 destinations, 30 countries, and counting.


  1. I agree fully with your assessment. The iPad is a great adjunct to a fun vacation, but if there is serious work needed to be done, I prefer a ‘real’ computer…

  2. Have you seen the Zaggmate keyboard? I got one before my recent trip and it made a huge difference. It has real keys (nothing mushy like the Brookstone), is super light and you can type on it really fast. I actually got a lot of writing done when I was away.

    Of course, I do agree–for doing serious stuff (like making big changes to my blog), a regular computer makes more sense.

    • Hey Lisa,

      I connected the wireless keyboard I use to my IPad once and was like, “this may make a difference”, but it still will not help me with my photography, and developing my raw photos, but a portable keyboard could make the difference when on a short (less than a week) get away. I will checkout the Zaggmate next time I’m in the states, which may be in October. Thanks for the recommendation!