A simple generalization after 45 days of using an iPad: If I have both a personal computer (PC) and an iPad equally available, I’ll use the personal computer. Adding other devices to the discussion, here are multiple scenarios to highlight when I have gravitated towards PC, iPad, or other device use.
1) First thing in the morning: Smartphone – without the ability to check voicemail / make calls using an iPad or PC, the smartphone is at the center of the “start the day” routine. Yes, the iPad works for calendar and email, but without voicemail and phone, inefficiencies related to follow-up are naturally introduced. (I might ammend this slightly if using an IP phone on a PC, but would still gravitate towards the simple efficiency of a smartphone to start the day)
2) Morning commute (assuming you commute by car) – Focus on driving, dodging those other drivers who insist on texting or surfing while driving.
3) First thing at work – PC, for many of the same reasons as 1) above. The reality is, that unless you are a completely independent contributor, real collaborative interactions will be taking place with coworkers and teammates, and the device at the center of a well networked organization today is a PC. This may mean that your documents, team spaces, contacts, voice and video capabilities are all provided for in an integrated way through your PC (assuming unified communications), or at a minimum, that voice is supplemented by a physical phone.
4) Throught the work day while at the desk – PC. It is on, accessible, available and all my other stuff is available there as well.
5) Throughout the day while away from the desk – I take my PC with me and connect wirelessly anywhere throughout the building.
6) Commute home – see 2) above
7) Evening follow-up to work items – PC or smartphone
8) Sitting on the couch and relaxing with a book or magazine – a book, a magazine or my Kindle or iPad
9) Surfing the web while watching TV – iPad
Of course, other people’s experiences will be different, but after attempting to integrate an iPad into my work routine, some aspect of its limitations within a collaborative environment always surfaced. With phone capabilities and using a bluetooth headset, I could see the iPad replacing my morning start routine, with the extra benefit of being able to more conveniently surf the morning news. With stronger integration into a corporate collaborative environment I could see it being an effective device while roaming the hallways at work, but while at my desk, the PC would probably still prevail.