The iPad vs. Notebooks

Like most people, the iPad has certainly grabbed my attention.  I recently moved out of Boston, MA and now face a 30-minute commute to work.  Because I utilize public transportation, I have a half hour of down time each way.  This gives me an opportunity to catch up on some work, or in this case, even write a blog entry for our IT recruiting firm’s website.

Now I just need to find the right technology to maximize my time.  I started researching the iPad and various lightweight notebooks about two weeks ago.  I began reading technical reviews online and began asking some of our technical specialists and IT recruiters their feedback and exposure to each.  I explained that my first priority is finding something lightweight.  My second is speed, with third being memory.  Since I’m not a gamer, and will spending most of the time working online or utilize Microsoft Office, there aren’t many additional features that I really need as an owner of an IT staffing agency.  Having said that, this already narrowed my search considerably.


I first researched the iPad.  It doesn’t get much lighter at 1.5 lbs.  Apple has loaded the machine with almost all apps known to mankind.  Additional features include Bluetooth, WiFi, optional 3G wireless, 10 hours of battery life, typical MAC creative features that include vibrant pictures, photo frame, moving rentals and excellent gaming options.

On the flip side, the iPad does not come with Microsoft Office (although apparently there’s a software than you can download which will at least let you read MS Office docs).  Additionally, since there is no physical keyboard, just a touch screen (that is quite small), it may definitely take some getting used to.   The iPad also does not have a disc drive to download software, listen to CD’s or watch DVD’s.  However, in today’s information technology age where you can download the software, as well as music and even movies, you don’t lose all that much.

The consensus from all of the IT recruiters Boston who we polled is the iPad is amazing if you want something very small and light just to do some reading, net browsing and hold pictures/videos.  It won’t replace most of the functionality of a laptop.  Therefore if you’re looking for a notebook (for typical laptop use), this probably isn’t your best option.

Toshiba Protege R500

Next, I spoke to a number of high-tech professionals and researched all of the lightest notebooks on the market.  I narrowed my choice down to the Toshiba Protege R500.

Still light, weighing in at about 2.5 lbs, the Protege has a 12-inch display (obviously much larger than the iPad).  The battery life doesn’t last very long (5 hours) in comparison to the iPad’s, but it certainly ranks well versus many of the other laptops on the market.  The speed and memory are average, but can be upgraded if needed.

Some knocks on this desktop are the lack of a WebCam and mobile broadband antenna, as well as the fact that the machine has a tendency to heat up quite a bit (which also launching a fairly loud fan to cool the system down).

To summarize, the iPad is the lightest machine, but not having Microsoft Office or even a physical keyboard (especially for someone in the IT recruiting industry who types constantly), is a big turnoff.  Since the lightest of the notebooks is still only about a pound heavier than the iPad, but includes all of the necessary features, the decision is an easy one.  Apple will have to wait to get my business.

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AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.

One thought on “The iPad vs. Notebooks

  1. Great article! I really enjoyed the reading. I am hoping to read more from you. I think you have great insight and vision. I am highly impressed with this information.

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