So, Ken has made a couple comments about wanting a laptop for himself lately. He really likes the laptop that he bought me back when Julie was born. (It plays WoW faster than his desktop does.) The truth is, I think he likes my laptop better than I do. It's kind of a monster of a laptop (which is part of why it is good for gaming, I think). I've been thinking lately that I wish I had something a little more portable, so I could easily take it with me to prayer group meetings and other places.
So that got me thinking about what I really want in a computer/laptop/device. Here's my (impossible) device:
1. It should be as small as an iPad, so that I can hold it up with one hand while nursing Julie.
2. It should be as durable as an iPad, so that I can stuff it in my purse/diaper bag without worrying about it or wrapping it up.
3. It should have a keyboard that allows me to touch-type (and doesn't give me tendinitis). A keyboard that is detachable from the main screen would be acceptable and probably even preferable; I can't two-handed type while nursing a baby anyhow, so I would only need a touchscreen for that portion. But the keyboard would also need to be durable, and able to be stuffed in my purse. And the screen portion would need to stand on its own while I two-handed type.
4. It should allow me to play WoW.
5. It should allow me to create and save documents.
6. It should allow me to do both video chats and gmail chats. (Which means it has to have a camera in it.)
7. It should allow me to do all regular internet stuff: email, blog, facebook, online comics, etc.
8. It should allow me to read ebooks on it.
9. It should not require me to have or use any other type of computer in order to accomplish or access any feature.
10. It should take pictures.
11. A USB port, for use with flash drives in particular, would be nice, although not really needed.
12. It should play netflix and hulu and other TV/videos.
So the iPad does have a docking keyboard, although I have no idea if that keyboard is durable or not. But it still fails on 4, 6, 10, 11, and maybe 9. Regular laptops fail on 1 and 2. Smartphones fail on 3, 4, 5, and maybe 9. (Although there might be some exceptions to 3 and 5?)
So basically, the iPad is really close, bu if I want to play WoW, there's no way around getting a decent laptop. And there's simply no way a laptop is ever going to be small and light enough for me to hold in one hand while nursing Julie, and it very probably is not going to be small and durable enough to stick in my purse on-the-go. Maybe 10 years from now my ideal device will be available.