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Can iWork on the iPad?

Okay, so it’s impossible to shield yourself from the iPad hype. Especially for an Apple fanboy like myself. I mean, an entire episode of Modern Family revolved around it.  I’ve read the mammoth Arstechnica and iLounge reviews. I’ve stalked early adopters on New Jersey Transit to take a sneak peek. It got to the point where my wife limited my iPad talk to one mention a day.

But let’s take a step back for a second. Leading up to Apple’s announcement of the product with all of the rumors circulating, I was most interested in the business case for the iPad. Why would someone want such a device, and how would it fit into their lives? Up until January this year, this space was mostly filled with netbooks for people who wanted smaller laptops to run Microsoft Office, check email, and browse the web. Sure, there were a few tablets still out there leftover from when Ja Rule was still popular. But by and large, tablets hadn’t caught on.

What is the iPad good for? Whenever anyone asked me about the iPad, this was my answer: inherently, the laptop is a compromise. When you’re at the office, it isn’t as fast as a desktop nor does it have as big a screen built in. And when you’re away from the office, out of the box, it isn’t as light, simple, intuitive, fast, always connected, and long lasting battery-wise as I want it to be. In my dream world, I’d have a 27” iMac at work for all my power user creation needs (design, video, multimedia library, MLB.tv), and everywhere else, I’d have a supremely portable, simplified, thin client to do basic work (email, presentations, word processing/blogs, spreadsheets, calendar, address book) and browse multimedia content for inspiration (music, videos, magazines, newspapers, books, websites)without carrying around a lot of paper.

So after my extensive research which was essentially an exercise in delaying the inevitable “buying a first generation device when it’s obvious you should never do that but you’re powerless to stop yourself,“ I took the plunge recently and ordered my iPad 3G. As the head of a hosted collaboration software company, I’m always looking at the next horizon for new ways of working digitally. It truly is a new day.

Since I couldn’t find that many blog posts out there reviewing the iPad exclusively from a work perspective, I decided to set out on an ambitious five part series (I’m prone to never ending blog post series on bootstrapping and Economy 2.0) to delve into my experiences over the course of a month of using an iPad for work. Along the way, I’ll be inviting a few guest commentators to weigh in with their experiences.

Although this is all probably just a ruse to finally convince myself to pull the trigger on an iPad, I figured others out there are wanting to know the answer to this burning question:

“What would happen if I never turned on my laptop/desktop for a week and just used an iPad?“

Stay tuned to find out!
-Justin

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