Everybody wants an iPad but if we're really honest with ourselves, most of our reasons aren't exactly business reasons.
The iPad has a lot of great uses but it's amazing how often I see its business use limited to email and web browsing. If you've already got a work supplied mobile phone with these capabilities, blackberry for instance, then what is the business case for duplication?
Right now, the iPad is still a little pricey for mainstream business use but it's not a bad idea to start building your usage patterns with a cheaper device.
I recently picked up an eBook reader (from MiGEAR) for under $100. For comparison, the iPad costs about $700 here. The main advantage of the eBook reader over the blackberry is proper PDF file support.
The eBook reader I got didn't support DRM (although I've since downloaded and installed a patch which fixes this). I'm not bothered though because as a business tool, it doesn't need to support DRM.
I'm finding that it's very useful for saving all kinds of quick-reference data on. Sometimes in text format and sometimes as PDF. There are plenty of free PDF converters/printers available for download and the capability is now built-in to Lotus Symphony, Open Office and apparently, Office 2010.
Some of the great things you can store on your eBook reader for easy reference include;
- Lists of important IP Addresses in our system
- Contact Lists
- Our Disaster Recovery Plan
- Important Notes.INI settings information
- Redbooks from IBM
When iPads (or their sucessors) eventually become standard issue at my workplace, I'll be ready but in the meantime, the eBook reader is getting me used to working "portably".
You might think that a reader is no good for taking notes on but the fact is that most of my notes, including this blog entry, are done on the blackberry while using public transport. I don't need a larger device to write, only to read.