I am replacing my MacBook with… an iPad!

My MacBook is nearly 4 years old. It still works pretty well, but it is beginning to show signs of decay. The trackpad, for instance, has grown ultra-sensitive. Sometime, even pressing a key like the spacebar will cause a “mouse-click” on the trackpad, which in turn seems to want to select all of your text. Of course, when you type fast, as I do, the very next keystroke then wipes out the selected text, which can grow tedious.

I could replace the laptop, of course, (it is no longer covered by Apple Care) but it seems silly to get a new laptop and an iPad. I’ve seen enough of the iPad to know that it could fill in for the laptop in most situations. Of course, writing on an iPad is up in the air, but when I am not home, I often use Google Docs for my writing and that works with an iPad. And when I am writing at home, I still have my trusty iMac, which currently acts as our central home server.

So yesterday, I placed an order for an iPad 2.

I ordered a 64 GB wifi-only edition. I have no need for 3G since I get that on my iPhone and use a lot of cloud apps that mean updates on one device will instantly be available on the other. In a Puckish moment, had it personalized so that the back will read: Jamie Todd Rubin, Science Fiction Writer. It just seems apropos that a science fiction writer should have a device like an iPad. It is very science-fictional.

At this point the new iPad is schedule to arrive toward the end of May. I will, of course, post when I have received it, and once I’ve used it for a variety of tasks, I will post on my experience with that as well.

I am looking forward to using it for a number of things. Aside from experimenting with writing on it (I already own a wireless BlueTooth keyboard), it will be handy to have at my side when I am reading issues of Astounding for my Vacation in the Golden Age. I usually take notes for each issue using EverNote on my laptop, which means I usually have to have my laptop nearby when reading the issue. Now I can have my iPad at my side and take notes while I read.

I am looking forward to writing blog posts with the iPad. It will be convenient not to have to be in front of an actual laptop or desktop. Of course, I can do this via my iPhone, but it is a little too tricky. An iPad should be perfect for this.

I’m also looking forward to reading on it. I can install the Kindle app and read my books on the iPad.

I’m looking forward to using the device to read manuscripts for my writers group. I can comment on them and read them all in the same place which is convenient.

I am looking forward to traveling with the iPad and leaving the laptop at home. I won’t have to take it out of my backpack to go through security.

Finally, I’m looking forward to its multimedia capabilities and the fact that it can stream videos from my iTunes shared library at home. My iPhone is too old to be able to take advantage of that functionality.

So stay-tuned. I’m sure I will have a lot to say how I use the iPad as a writer and as a reader.


  1. Um, so I’m a Mac-Girl. I’ve gone from an Imac to a MacBook and we use Iphones and have an Ipad as well. So, I can only say, you are making a wise decision.

  2. I would like to get an iPad, but first, we really need to get MacBook Pros (we’re both on iBook G4s from 2004). And at the moment, it’s difficult to justify the expense…

  3. I have a MBP but for trips under a week long, I usually get by with just the iPad and bluetooth keyboard. I do any writing in PlainText, which is the best simple text editor out there, and do any plotting or brainstorming in iThoughtsHD. Very simple to pull both of those back into Scrivener when I get home.

    1. Jon, I am very interested to see how well the iPad will work for writing. I have two things I want to try:

      Using something like PlainText to be able to sync with Scrivener.
      Using Google Docs for writing when I am using the iPad and pulling that into Scrivener.

      When I ordered the iPad I wasn’t in any particular hurry to get it but the end of May is beginning to seem so far away… πŸ™‚

  4. “(why Pro?)

    By the time we’re outfitting the MacBook with what we want, we’re paying enough that we might as well go for the Pro. Our lifestyle is such that we don’t have a desktop machine; our laptops are our main machines, on which we keep all the documents needed for our lives.

    As for why two, well, technological parity. We used to upgrade one machine at a time, so one of us would always have the more advanced machine, but we realized at one point that that didn’t work for us.

    1. We have never been in technological parity. One of us or the other always has something better. My MacBook is 4 years old; Kelly’s is 2-1/2. Eventually, I’ll replace the desktop with the latest and greatest Mac Mini and then I’ll be ahead again. But we share everything anyway so it doesn’t make much of a difference in the end. πŸ™‚


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