The second week I had my iPad I traveled to San Francisco – for 5 days. I travel light – I can travel for a week with a single backpack. I have not checked luggage in 10+ years.
So what worked?
No WiFi on the plane, even though it was United both ways. Their bitch airlines (err, partnerships) don’t seem to offer it. But I had placed a number of videos on my iPad that me and a coworker were able to view in-flight that made the flight seem shorter that it was (headphone splitter required).
In five days I never even had to consider battery life – the device just worked when I needed it to. I did plug it in when I remembered – but unlike my iPhone I was not “jonesing” for power all the time.
Email with corporate worked wonderfully until I needed to print, sign and fax something – so I thought I have found the iPad’s Achilles’s Heal. Until I realized that in a foreign office I would not have been able to print the document even from my Macbook Pro. Instead I emailed it to someone in the office, got the paperwork done, and moved on. Easier than installing printer drivers on a MacBook. So no issue.
Connectivity. I do not have a 3G iPad – so I relied on WiFi during the entire trip. Guess what – 90% of the time that is available in a city like San Francisco. Or San Antonio. ONLY once was I left without WiFi and that was in a scary little bar in China town that I should not have been in.
I received no attachments I could not view and comment on (sure – I could not edit them). Basically I had email, and Skype, and GTalk (although not all at the same time – hurry up that multi-tasking, Apple)
Bottom line is that I can travel with just my iPad. No Laptop Required. For what I need to do when on the road the iPad just works. And gives me the added pluses of battery life, entertainment, light weight and being instant-on. When I needed it, it was ready.
So if you have an iPad, and are doing a trip – trust the iPad. It is a good replacement for a laptop unless you have to create a ton of content.