Forum Question: Will an iPad work for me?

My wife and I have just returned from a trip to Europe where we carried around a MacBook for a number of reasons. With weight restrictions and the like on airlines, I am really thinking there must be a better way to be able to stay in touch and do things we presently use the MacBook to do. I have been reading a lot about the iPad in the hopes that I could use this to accomplish most if not all that we do on the MacBook.
Photography is a serious hobby for me. I use the MacBook to download my pictures, I then do the first cull of the pictures there. Is this something I could do on the iPad as well? I use both Compact Flash and SD cards when I travel.
I back these pictures up to a small portable drive I carry using TimeMachine. Is it easy to back up an iPad?
I know I can read and send email with the iPad, is it possible to log into bank accounts so you can track things like credit cards and the like using the iPad? Firefox has been my main browser, I guess with the iPad that would have to be Safari. I guess my big concern here is that some of the websites we use seem to like Firefox but can be problematic when Safari is used.
I’ve seen the odd person take pictures with the second generation iPad but really can’t see that being a big feature for me. However, my understanding is that the Apps you can get for the iPad would permit something similar to say Elements/CS5 being used to alter pictures if you wanted. Is that correct? If so, any suggestions as to must have Apps would be appreciated.
Lastly, there is a difference in price if you go with a 3G version. Is this worth the extra cost? I am not a huge fan of cell phones given the cost here in Canada for plans and then their limited use outside the country due to some high costs. However, if 3G was worth it, I might reconsider.
I’ve learned much from MacMost and appreciate the time others might spend responding to this request.

Comments: One Response to “Will an iPad work for me?”

    9/24/11 @ 11:12 am

    An iPad will work for you, somewhat.
    You are trading functionality for price and weight.
    You can get the iPad camera connection kit and transfer pictures using USB or an SD card to your iPad. It is kind of like a temporary holding place for them until you sync with your Mac later.
    So technically, you can do this cheaper and lighter by simply getting a big (or several SD cards) and storing them all on there. You can also use your camera’s functionality to delete pictures you don’t want.
    But you do have apps on the iPad that let you edit the pictures, yes. Lots of them. But you may be making it more complex by doing that — they will create copies of the pictures, not replace the original, so you will have some work to do later when you organize your iPhoto collection.
    There’s no way to transfer or back up the iPad’s photos to a portable drive. But, that sort of thing may change drastically with iCloud and the Photo Stream. However, it is unclear how/if Photo Stream will work with pictures loaded from an SD card.
    You should be able to view any web site with the iPad — but it is true that some may not work with Safari (or with any one single browser). No way to know if yours will work unless you try it.
    Using the iPad’s cameras is not going to be a feature you will use. The cameras are not good quality at all.
    The 3G version costs more. But that cost is small compared to the high cost of bandwidth that you will have to buy from a 3G mobile service. Without 3G you can only connect to the Internet when you have a wifi connection. So it limits your use of the device. But you can also use a 3G/4G mobile hotspot with just the wifi version of the iPad — that’s what I do.
    One thing to consider might be to get the 11-inch version of the MacBook Air. I love mine. Pretty much the functionality you have now with your current MacBook, and it weighs so little. Check it out at a store when you get a chance.

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