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Taking the tablet

Effortlessly editing a script in Word for iPad
I do technically have a laptop, but I hardly ever use it. Ever since I've had an iPad, the tablet has been my sturdy companion when working away from home. Why would I want to carry a heavy, delicate beast like a laptop when I've everything I need in a compact package with a battery life that means I can work on it all day?

I can touch type on the onscreen keyboard - okay, a little slower than a real one, but not much. It is the perfect working companion for a train journey or an overnight in a hotel. But there was a tiny fly in the ointment. And that was the lack of Office.

Not having Office was, frankly, a pain. I made use of a perfectly respectable alternative, that pretty much read and wrote Office files, but like all such second-bests it wasn't quite the real deal. The Word equivalent lost some of the formatting, while the Powerpoint handling didn't show animations, which practically every Powerpoint I use has.

So it was great when Office for iPad eventually came out - except for another issue. To do anything other than read a document, you needed an Office 365 subscription. Now I do intend to cut over to this - but not until they bring out the new Office for Mac, which isn't expected until second half of 2015.

However, Microsoft has finally seen the light. The new release of Office for iPad (which also works on iPhones) is almost full-functioned. There are a few small things missing you need Office 365 to get, but nothing I regularly use. With joy, I could throw away my old compatiblish app and it's Office all the way. So now I genuinely can say that I can't imagine ever using my laptop again.

To make the replacement seem complete, although I rarely actually want to print from my iPad, it seemed reasonable to get printing up and running as I very occasionally need to do this at home. I don't have an airPrint printer, and treasure my 12-year-old laser printer, which is a solid a battleship, so I had to look for alternatives. I'm currently in the trial period for Printopia (HT to Mark Hogarth), which seems to do the job excellently.

I think I'll keep taking the tablet...


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