Having plunked down a few hundred dollars online — thus avoiding the potential long lines at the Apple Store — I pre-ordered and received the iPad. The thought was that this tech device might change ease the practice of law.
As a frequent traveler, I was an early adopter of the netbook which fits nicely into the briefcase and charges quickly between connecting flights. While my ASUS 1002HA is no speed demon, it is perfect for reading emails, editing Word documents, and hotel-work the night before an out-of-town expert deposition.
But the experience could be improved — at least that is Apple’s gambit and my expectation. The iPad outperforms the netbook for lawyers (and other travelers) since it (1) weighs 1.5 pounds and is small enough to actually get “lost” in your briefcase, (2) has a small charger, (3) powers up instantly for quick access instead of a tedious “booting” of the netbook, and (4) battery life is nothing short of shockingly good.
Other lawyers seem to be quick to join the ranks of iPad owners. iPhone JD website often covers developments and a host of lawyer-ipad blogs have arisen. Even the TSA has given the iPad a free pass since it appears you do not even need to take it out of your bag for security.
The frequent consumer complaints about the iPad seem to fall into the (1) it does not run Adobe Flash and (2) it does not have a camera.
Agreed. But neither really affect a lawyer’s use. As to Flash, there is a lot of speculation as to why the iPhone/iPad does not run Flash but the excuses involving battery life and technical specifications are not convincing.
It’s games. That’s the reason there is no Flash. If these portable devices played Flash, it would compete with the games in the iTunes Store. Plain and simple. As for the camera, well, I think it would be a little awkward to hold up the iPad to take photos — and I don’t see myself immediately using video chat.
I’ve yet to type or revise a document on the iPad although I can vouch that web browsing and PDF document review is second to none. I am certain that Fastcase, Westlaw, and other law-related iPad apps are on the way. Initial thoughts are… optimistic.
The future of computing and Internet use is in mobile access. Laptops have, or shortly will, exceed desktop sales. More of us will access the Internet on mobile devices (smartphones, game devices, kindles, laptops, tablets). We will demand on-the-road access. It will change how we interface with the world (even down to asking for directions vs. clicking Google Maps) and our expectations. The iPhone was probably our first taste of that experience. The iPad is probably going to be our second.
But don’t be fooled, until there’s some fantastic App software available, this may still be argued to be an oversized iPhone. But I don’t regret the purchase.