I really have been very slack with this blog this year. To be honest, it started to become a chore and then before I knew it months were going by without a post. But now that uni has finished, I am going to try to rectify that and start being a little more regular with my posting. This is a post that I have wanted to write for a while and now I am finally getting to it.
About six months ago I purchased an iPad. Nothing unusual in that, other than I had sworn I wouldn’t. I, like many others, was frustrated by its lack of usb port. I didn’t want to be signing up for another internet plan. That would mean I would have my mobile broadband plan for using my laptop on the go, my home internet, my iPhone data plan and then finally another plan for my iPad. It was too much and I just didn’t want a bar of it. Of course that meant I spent a lot of hours longingly watching those with them. I wanted one – it’s the geek’s fashion accessory of choice – I was feeling dated because I hadn’t embraced the trend.
But then I was introduced to a solution (thanks @yaboo007): the wireless only iPad (no 3G) with a mifi. I purchased a mobile wifi device that runs on a normal sim and can be used with both my iPad and laptop (actually with up to five devices at the same time). It was $119 up front for a pre-paid account from Vodafone or $39 a month on a 24-month plan. I purchased the pre-paid with the idea that I will unlock it. Either through the cheap/free online unlocks or by paying Vodafone. I still have got to doing that – but for now I am happy with Vodafone.
It’s perfect. I have given up my other pre-paid mobile broadband account and I paid a little less for the iPad as it is a wifi only. It has four hours of battery life and the screen shows a fair bit of info on it, such as connection speed, number of people connected, battery level and also the amount of data you have used.
This isn’t the only mifi device available. There are other versions out there (and the good folks on Whirlpool have lots of great advice) but this was a relatively easy and painless way to access the technology.
Now I’m an iPad convert. I use it constantly. It’s a portable entertainment system when I’m commuting or travelling. I’ve got magazine subscriptions, videos and e-books on demand. I also use it to give presentations, check emails, update stories and work on the go. If anything I’m using my laptop less now. Using it less, but the iPad doesn’t replace a laptop. I wouldn’t want to write a 1000 word feature on there. But it is great for simple edits, taking notes, conferences and entertainment – and for that I wouldn’t be without it.