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Could you go tablet-only for a day? (Video)

By Taylor Martin April 1, 2014, 8:39 pm

What if you woke up and your laptop wasn’t working? Work or that term paper isn’t going to wait. You’ve got to get work done, no excuses. You reach for your tablet, then pause.

Can you actually get work done with that ol’ thing?

Most use tablets for leisurely things, such as playing casual games, reading, or even chatting with friends and family. Sure, some people use their Android tablets or iPads to get real work done. And those sticklers with their Windows and Windows RT tablets surely know how to get work done with as little as possible.

But could you actually work from a tablet? Would you actually want to? Would it be a viable replacement for your laptop, given the right circumstances?


These are all questions I’ve personally wondered since I bought my very first tablet back in 2009. No, I was never going to take care of serious work with the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. But shortly thereafter, I picked up an iPad, and I’ve never looked back. To date, I’ve owned dozens of tablets … literally. And while I never stay married to one particular tablet for too long, I have always wanted to push what I do with those tablets to the limit.

Of course, these days, nearly half the work I do is video editing. While it’s true you can edit video clips with software like iMovie or one of the many third-party editors, editing a serious video like the one above is out of the question. I don’t even have enough storage space on my iPad mini to store the raw video footage.

The question Can you work from a tablet? is a difficult one to answer. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, since the story is different, person to person. We all have different jobs, different needs, and different perspectives on what is acceptable.

That said, I’ve been writing from tablets for years. Yes, seriously. Years. I have written literally thousands of articles from an iPad … by choice. In fact, it’s my preferred method of writing for several reasons. Mainly, it helps me focus. By limiting what I’m looking at and making it significantly more difficult to task switch (at least in comparison to, say, switching apps on my MacBook), it encourages me to only do what is necessary, rather than getting sucked into Twitter for an hour. I can also write for three to four times longer on the iPad than the MacBook without needing a charge.

Some of those editorials, I’ve published straight from the iPad. But the work I do changes quite frequently. Could I do it with any sort of effectiveness today?

Theoretically, yes. But how well does that theoretical hold up in practice?


Last week, I put it to the test. I spent an entire day trying to publish a long-form editorial I was scheduled to write. I did everything I possibly could from the tablet – the writing, copy editing, formatting, hyperlinking, adding pictures, SEO, etc. You’ll have to watch the above video to see how that particular escapade ended.

I will say this, however. Working from a tablet is certainly ideal and, in many cases, convenient. It isn’t practical for every type of work, and it certainly isn’t my go-to method for everything I do. But for years, I’ve chosen to write from tablets for a very specific reason – I’m more efficient that way.

Given the chance to find out, you may learn you are, too. Just don’t expect to completely replace your laptop with a tablet, and you may learn you like handling a certain percentage of your workload with nothing more than a tablet and a keyboard, especially now that Microsoft’s Office for iPad is available.


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