Considering an iPad: Read This First

Is an iPad a good investment for you and your business? For some, the $600 investment is more than worth it. The time saved and increased productivity quickly pays for itself. For others, the $600 price tag is too steep for what seems like just a high-tech toy.

Do you really need an iPad? Let’s take a look.

==> What Is the Value of Your Time?

From a professional perspective, the iPad’s job is basically to save time and increase productivity.

For example, if you’re on a bus and take care of an email that would later have needed to be done when you’re in front of a computer anyway, you’ve essentially “saved” the time that you needed to spend doing the work later.

If your time is worth $20 an hour, the iPad would need to save you just 30 hours to pay for itself. If your time is valued at $100 an hour, it’ll pay for itself in just six hours.

How can the iPad save you time and increase productivity?

==> Writing Emails on the Go

The iPhone and the Blackberry are great for one-liner responses, but they’re not great for writing long, detailed emails.

They’re not great for reading long, detailed emails either. They can have trouble displaying attachments like PDFs and are generally not good work-on-the-go tools.

The iPad on the other hand can be used both to read long emails and to write them. They’re only a little bit slower than a fully-fledged keyboard, allowing you to write long emails even on a bus or plane.

==> Read Documents, News and Books Anywhere

It’s a hassle to carry books, documents and newspapers with you wherever you go. But the iPad is so light, yet can carry all those in one.

The iPad has apps that allows it to read PDFs, Excel files, Word files and just about every kind of computer file. You can subscribe to apps from almost every major newspaper, from the Wall Street Journal to USA Today.

Finally, both the Amazon Kindle store and the Apple iBooks store have a myriad of books to choose from. You can literally carry dozens or hundreds of books in your briefcase, all of it weighing less than two pounds.

==> Basic Internet Tasks

There are a lot of things that you could do online in your down time that you just wouldn’t be able to do if you didn’t have an iPad.

Carrying an iPad is much more convenient than carrying a laptop around. Most people who own an iPad get in the habit of carrying it everywhere.

Need to update a flight itinerary? You can. Want to check a price against Amazon’s price while you’re in the store? You can. Want to book a babysitter to watch the kids while you spontaneously make plans with your spouse? You can.

The possibilities are endless.

Again, what it all comes down to is time saved versus the $600 investment. Will it pay for itself? Do you really need an iPad? You be the judge.