How does the keyboard on Apple’s apple ipad stack up against a MacBook Pro, Asus netbook and an apple iphone?
Can an apple ipad replace a notebook, at least for casual use on the weekend jaunt? That’s really several questions rolled into 1. And among the most essential ones is “How’s the keyboard?”
I decided to do a test–a very unscientific one–to see how rapidly I could bang out text message about the apple ipad, in each its landscape and portrait orientations. A few notes on this undertaking:
* I tested the apple ipad against a 15-inch MacBook Pro (with an excellent full-sized keyboard), an Asus EeePC 1000HE (a netbook having a pretty good keyboard by netbook standards), and an apple iphone 3GS (having a keyboard that crams the same fundamental idea as the apple ipad 1 into far much less space).
* On each unit, I typed the English lyrics to Antonio Carlos Jobim’s song “The Girl From Ipanema” (which, I ought to note, are by Norman Gimbel). I chose this test for any practical reason: I know the words by heart, and they therefore test my typing speed, not my capability to transcribe a passage I’m unfamiliar with.
* I never took typing lessons and therefore kind idiosyncratically; Wikipedia tells me my speed is average. If you’re an ace contact typist, your results may vary a great deal.
* About the apple iphone, I typed with two thumbs in portrait mode, and 1 finger in landscape mode. On everything else, I typed with each hands, as I would on any standard keyboard.
* On all of the products, I took benefit of autocorrection and autocapitalization where possible, and otherwise corrected my personal errors as I typed.
* For each unit, I practiced a few times, then typed the passage and timed my speed having a stopwatch.
How’d the apple ipad stack up? After the jump, the results.
After two days with an apple ipad, my speed isn’t dazzling–I’m way slower than about the MacBook Pro or the Asus netbook. Punctuation is particularly nettlesome, because it often involves switching keyboards about the apple ipad: A astonishing percentage from the iPad’s sluggishness is due to typing the quotation marks around the word “Aaah!”–which comes up twice within the song.
Typing speed and typing pleasure are two totally various factors, at least for me. When I kind on an apple iphone, for instance, it’s not the slow pace that bothers me–it’s the fact how the process makes me feel type of seasick.
apple ipad vs. Laptop computer vs. Netbook vs. apple iphone: Typing TestAt the moment, I can kind quicker about the Asus than about the apple ipad, but the Asus feels a lot more ungainly: I’m keenly aware I must angle my hands, and I feel constricted by the lack of width. About the apple ipad, I spent much less time thinking about its limitations. Maybe that’s because it’s not really a narrow edition of the standard notebook keyboard but some thing very various. Or maybe I’m just basking within the enjoyment of a brand new toy. Or maybe it’s a little bit of each.
In theory, the iPad’s Atari 400-like flat keys ought to make me pine for that decisive feel of the good full-travel keyboard. So far, they aren’t. In fact, going back towards the Asus was a strange experience–it felt like operate to push its keys down.
Oh, and I was surprised to find that I typed at concerning the same speed about the apple ipad regardless of whether it was in landscape orientation or the a lot narrower portrait mode.
Bottom line: I’m no speed demon about the apple ipad, but it’s by far the greatest on-screen keyboard I’ve ever utilized. For now, it’ll be adequate for e-mails, short weblog posts, and other items that don’t involve vast amounts of typing. But when I’m preparing to knock out a lot more than a few hundred words, I’ll reach for any unit having a wider keyboard created out of good old-fashioned plastic material. (In case you wondered, I wrote this post about the MacBook Pro.)
Of course, my time with an apple ipad has been brief. (After two days with an apple iphone back in 2007, I could barely kind two characters in a row without having at least 1 typo.) I assume that I’ll get quicker more than the following few weeks–and it’ll be fascinating to see if I catch up with my netbook speed, at least.