My work bought me an iPAD so that I can test it out for new mobile applications. I cannot believe how computers have evolved. I was a bit of a Luddite in high school. I didn't have a computer at home and Mrs. Olic-Hamilton loaned me a typewriter so that I could type my reports and essays. I was a horrible typist and used to handwrite everything and then stay up late at night typing it out one finger at a time.
The first laptop that Leila had when we were married was as big as a briefcase. It had a keyboard that lifted out and a small black and white screen. In 2000 I got a Compaq laptop from the BYU equipment sale that had Windows 97 and Word. I typed my dissertation on it and was amazed by its 128 Megabytes of storage. It had a floppy drive and I don't think that it connected to the Internet. I still have it in a drawer at work. I loved the rollerball mouse along side the screen.
My current work laptop is a Lenovo Thinkpad and it is a workhorse, buts it has a lot of computing power. At home we have an HP desktop that is used mostly for streaming videos, reading blogs, storing and manipulating photos, and Facebook. We don't use our TV much since we can stream Netflix without any commercials on the computer.
The iPAD is slick and easy to use. It has no keyboard, a simple interface and an almost endless supply of cheap or free applications that can be downloaded wirelessly. It certainly makes my early computers look clunky, but it is an entertainment device first and computer second. The touchscreen is better suited to Angry Birds than typing. The onscreen keyboard is functional, I am using it now, but I wouldn't want to type a dissertation with it. Formatting complicated documents is almost impossible and the autocorrect which is nice for quick emails is obnoxious for programming code or technical jargon. Even here it changed my mispelled "it has" to "itch" in the previous paragraph.
Do you have one of the new tablet computers? Are they more than genius toys? What programs do you use?