That was a question / dare posted on Twitter by my pal Mike. Here’s the full tweet:
It’s a tough question to answer, since we all have different objectives and tasks that make up our daily activities. Plus, there’s a bit of a learning curve in going from a tab-cmd environment to a hunt-and-peck one.
Still, my answer is ‘absolutely’.
Before I picked up the new Mac Mini, I was using my iPad as my exclusive workstation. (My MacBook Pro was quickly moving from a world-class sprinter to a fasciitis-stricken crawler.) Once the Mini arrived, I decided to make the iPad my full remote machine for all types of outdoor activities. And it’s worked. Really well.
I went on a two-week conference / family binge in June, then hit another week conference in September. In both cases, I had a few minor blips that were easily remedied with some creativity. (This was pre-iOS5 release.)
I have a few more trips coming up that I’ll be testing this theory on: one day trip, one overnighter, one weekender, and one very long trip. I’m confident my new system will keep up with me.
And why shouldn’t it? I’m able to access the Internet whenever / wherever. I’m able to turn documents around quickly. I’m able run through email / twitter / other communications with ease. I’m able to build design prototypes for upcoming campaigns. I’m able to continue my development education. I’m able to keep up with all my readings (especially now with the updated, and very slick Instapaper – Congrats to Marco!).
Looking beyond the features and functions of the iPad, there’s the toll my body and mind is able to skip. Specifically, I don’t have to lug around that darn laptop and mangling of cords. Once my WINGStands arrive (the delay is starting to get annoying), the ability to prop up the iPad for reading / working will be a cinch and less stressful on the back. I can make an Amtrak run from New York to DC and back on a single charge. The battery life and weight are just too good to pass up.
I know Mike is moving in that direction, and I think he’ll get there soon. It won’t be whether he’ll be comfy using the iPad all day, but rather being able to hook into development-type services that are now available to the remote workforce. Cloud9 is the latest entry and I have a sneaking suspicion there will be a few more coming down over the next few weeks and months.
Keep an eye on Mike’s place.