If you don't already have an iPad, you may be wondering why you need one, particularly if you already have a laptop or netbook. And if you already own an iPad for personal use, you may want to know how you can use it for your business. There are five main advantages that iPads bring to business computing:
1.    Portability. iPads are significantly smaller and weigh less than even the smallest notebook computer, yet they're powerful computing machines. At 1.5 lbs. and half an inch thick, you can take them practically anywhere, with 3G wireless or Wi-Fi giving you immediate access to the Internet. Why not just use your cell phone? The iPad gives you a “big, beautiful Multi-Touch screen” as the Apple.com website describes. It gives you the perfect balance between using your laptop (more portable) verses your phone (bigger screen). They truly are the next generation in mobile computing.
2.    Battery life. Because they are smaller than laptops or netbooks, they have a much longer battery life – up to ten hours, depending on the tasks you're performing. (Compared to most laptops which give you only 3-4 hours of use.) And should you need to recharge, you can do so quickly and easily from any standard electrical socket. You can also use a car adapter to keep charged on the road.
3.    Cost. The entry-level Wi-Fi iPad costs $499; the fully-loaded 3G version runs $829. For less than the cost of the typical desktop computer, you can be up and running – literally – and managing your business from anywhere.
4.    Flexibility. Many smaller pieces of personal electronic equipment were one-dimensional, performing just a single task. But with the iPad, you have everything from a calculator to a GPS system to a calendar to a word processing system right in your hands. If you try to compare the iPad with a Kindle or Nook – unless your only goal is to read books electronically, there's absolutely no comparison.
5.    Software. With thousands of apps designed specifically for the iPad – and over 200,000 more for the iTouch and iPhone – you've got a world of software designers working round the clock to make your iPad even more useful, powerful, and just darned cool. Many apps are free, and most cost less than $2.99 (compare that to the $280 you'd pay for Microsoft Office 2010!).
Perhaps the best way to convince someone they need an iPad, though, is to simply put one in their hands. They'll immediately think of a million and one ways they can harness its power to streamline their business activities. But if you would like some ideas, the next series of blog articles should help. Stay tuned!!