I’ve had many people ask the same question about the Xoom and the iPad 2 – “when would I use it?”. Here’s a few answers:
- In front of the tv. When I take a few minutes to chill in the evening, the tablet is much easier to use from a recliner then a phone or a laptop. On the other hand, Don Reisinger at SlashGear just posted why his iPad 2 is not very useful in the living room, so your mileage may vary.
- At sports practice. While most tablets (including the iPad 2 and the Xoom) are very difficult to see when you’re outdoors, tablets work great for indoor sports. In particular, I find it quite useful when my girls are at taekwondo a couple times each week.
- At lunch meetings. Great tool to work through concepts with a client, since you can show PDFs, browse web sites, etc.
- At McDonald’s. My kids are in the play area as we speak!
- In the car. I’ve had a few times when I’ve been in the car (not driving — in a parking lot, post-meeting or picking up my daughter from preschool) and saw a semi-important email come through on my phone. It’d be too slow and cumbersome to dig out the laptop, but very easy to pull out the tablet, look at the document/website, and hammer out a quick reply. Google video chat over 3G from a parking lot has been useful (and surprisingly high quality) as well. This also works if your spouse is driving and you need to work on something while you travel.
- At church. Our minister (@IkeReighard) uses his iPad as his Bible when he preaches (he’s mentioned he loves the ability to use a huge font), and he encourages us to “take out your Bibles, iPads, Androids…” as he shares scripture. Being able to quickly bookmark passages from the Xoom is pretty slick, and our church is working on setting up YouVersion Live for the church in the near future.
I think it’d also be quite useful in classroom settings and office meetings, though a laptop might be preferred for the faster input with a keyboard.
Where can’t you use it? Outside, pretty much ever. I had dreams of using it on the back deck, but unless it’s quite shady out it’s hard to see the screen. Even in the car can be a challenge unless you can get some good shade on your side.
Realize that these are all places where I would have used my phone in the past, and the phone is still a solid solution. The tablet just makes it easier. As I’ve said before, it’s mostly about convenience. For example, I wouldn’t have written this post from McDonald’s on my phone — I would have simply waited until I got home.
Where do you (or would you) use your tablet?