iLove the iPad

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The iPad is going to be sweet. It will change the way law students learn the law, and it will be a benefit to practicing attorneys. The iPad will not do anything that another device can already do. It will simply do those things better.

I use my iPhone all the time during client meetings. I can pull up documents using Dropbox. I can access the web to lookup various things: public records, company information, etc. Sometimes we need to make recordings, which is also easily done. I would love to take notes on my iPhone instead of by hand, but it is too annoying.

The iPad can do all of that stuff, and do it better. You can pull up documents on Dropbox and read them without zooming in. You can turn your iPad around and show it to a client. You can access the web and the client can look with you at the same time. You can make recordings. I could also take notes if I wanted.

Could I use a netbook to do all this? Sure, with a smaller screen and a lame interface and operating system. When I need it, my iPhone is a nice sidekick during client meetings and the iPad will be even better.

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  • iThink you may have iConvinced me to iBuy one, if only for client iMeetings in our iConference room.

  • iLove it!

  • Joel Anderson

    I disagree that the iPad is superior to just bringing in a notebook. Many netbooks have a 10 inch screen, which is slightly larger that the iPad’s 9.7 inch one, and a macbook screen is 13 inches. Also, I don’t see traditional desktop OS’s as inferior interfaces. They enable you to do so much more, including type at full speed with all ten fingers, and you probably already have one, so the price is right.

  • In function, you are right, Joel, but a notebook or netbook operates as a barrier and a distraction during client meetings. So does an iPhone, as Randall points out. The iPad is more like a legal pad, which is a natural part of any client meeting.

    We weren’t having much luck figuring out the best way to get information from an iPad into our file system, though. Web forms would work well, but not if you lose your in-progress form data every time you switch to another app or browser window. The lack of multitasking dims my enthusiasm yet again.

  • I’m sure the iPad is going to sell like hotcakes, but I don’t see how it will be that great for actual productivity.

    The benefit to a netbook is that it can run *exactly* the same programs as your main computer. And something like Dropbox enables perfect file synchronization.

    The way I understand the iPad, it’s a big iPod Touch. It certainly has lots of apps, and it will be great for entertainment. But it’s not a full-fledged MacBook.

    Personally, I take my netbook to court, meetings, everywhere. I make sure to put it toward the side a little when meeting with a client, so it’s not directly between us. But nobody ever has a problem with it.

    I suppose time will tell what the iPad can truly do.

  • Randall Ryder

    @ Joel and Andrew – I think the iPad is a benefit to attorneys for client meetings. I do not want to type away on a Netbook, or my MacBook, in front of clients. I want to be able take notes, pull up things, and show them to a client.

    I do not view the iPad as a substitute for a computer, I view it as something completely different.

  • Randall, I agree that using a traditional laptop in a client meeting (or in court) is obtrusive if being used to take notes. Consider trying a slate like Motion Computing’s 1700LE tablet PC and running Microsoft One Note. All your notes (typed or handwritten) are stored electronically and searchable. A helpful site on tablet use by attorneys is http://www.tabletlawyer.com.