This past week I went to the PASS Summit 2012 in Seattle (more on that in a later post). But I did something that I haven’t done ever. I went to Seattle without my laptop.
Now, if you have ever been to a tech conference, first off the wifi and network in the hotels are slow because you have thousands of geeks doing the same thing. 3g/4g slow too, so you are already hampered by that fact.
Next, you are up early, to breakfast/conference sessions all day, usually till 6:30 pm, and you then have conference events every night till 9, 10, 11 whatever, so you aren’t in your hotel much, maybe to sleep, shower, drop your bag off.
I found that I could “get by” without my laptop, but there were things that weren’t easy, and things I couldn’t do easily when I wanted to.
First trial was an email sent to me with a PDF that asked “can you sign this and get it back today”. Ok, let’s see. Download a PDF signing app and do it in iOS. Works. Little hokey to get the file back and copied and back in the email, but works.
Then, a couple of days later, “go here and fill this web form out”.. well, let’s cross our fingers it works in mobile safari or chrome without issue. It was clunky but worked.
I would say the biggest gripe though I had was this: lack of keyboard. Now I know with iPad (and things like Surface with the touch cover) you can get a keyboard, but I don’t have one of those cases for my iPad so I was just winging it with the iPad.
With no keyboard, it is *very* hard to sit down and bang out paragraphs at any fast type of rate. Blog post? Not quickly. It is just a slow down without a physical keyboard to type on. Other things like emails, twitter, web, whatever, work fine with just the iPad. And of course consuming/reading content is great. Just that typing something like this post here, I waited till I was at my desktop at home to write it. I think I would pull my hair out just trying to use the soft keyboard on the iPad.
Overall it got me by like I said, but there are still some gaps, at least for me, in what I need to do that can’t be handled without a laptop or physical keyboard. Maybe next year :)