1. Computing

Should You Buy an iPad for Word Processing?

By

Despite all the hype and media attention, many people are still baffled by Apple's new iPad. They're not quite sure what it is or what it does. It is a completely new category of computer.

There are many different possible uses for the iPad. It is great for watching movies and listening to music. It is also a capable e-book reader. And, downloadable apps for the iPad greatly expand its abilities. But, is it suitable for working on word processing documents?

The iPad does not have any built-in apps for word processing. The closest you'll get is the Notes app. However, it is possible to download word processors from the iTunes store. Notably, Apple sells the iWork Pages app.

iWork Pages is compatible with iWork '09 documents that you create on your computer. It also lets you open and edit Microsoft Word documents. The program saves (and lets you share) documents in Pages, Word (.DOC) and PDF formats.

The iWork Pages iPad app offers a nice set of features for a mobile app. However, advanced users will find the app overly simplistic and limited. It certainly does not offer the same range of features as the desktop version of iWork.

Additionally, one must also consider the design of the iPad. The screen is a decent size for working on documents, even though it is smaller than most laptop screen. But, it was not designed for prolonged typing. The virtual keyboard's buttons are relatively large. However, you can't rest your fingers on the screen; this makes it difficult for touch typing. And, ergonomically, it leaves something to be desired.

fortunately, you can use a dock and Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad. This will make it much easier for you to compose and edit documents on the iPad.

Overall, the iPad is not ideal for word processing. But, for composing short documents and quick editing, the iPad is great. Just don't expect it to replace your laptop or desktop computer.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.