Peer to Peer Magazine

June 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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by David Neesen of Greenburg, Glusker, Fields, Claman & Machtinger, LLP I recently traveled to a small conference and had to decide whether to take my iPad, laptop or both. If I asked a group of people which device I should bring, the answers would surely be split. The interesting part is not necessarily which preference is right, but rather if the question will even be topical in the future. The debate over laptops versus iPads misses the point today, and will probably not mean anything by the year 2020. Both Sides of the Argument Those who support the iPad seem to take the stand that if they can find a way to do it, then the iPad is a viable laptop alternative. It does not matter how impractical, uncomfortable or unlikely that solution is. Laptop defenders, on the other hand, argue that something without a keyboard could never possibly replace a laptop. There are simply too many tasks that require a sophisticated computer to complete, and anything short of a netbook does not meet the standard. It does not matter to them that there are users and situations that do not warrant more than a touch screen connected to the Internet. The Physical Differences It is easy to identify the physical differences between a laptop and an iPad. The laptop has a screen that folds out, uncovering a keyboard and mouse facsimile. It includes at least a 12-inch or 14-inch screen, a significant processor and a large hard drive. All of this power reduces its battery life to less than six hours, in most cases. It can be heavy and comes with a large power brick that, in some models (like my ThinkPad), can actually double the carrying weight. iPads, on the other hand, are small, sleek and light. The screen is approximately 9.5 inches by 7.5 inches, and the overall depth of the device is half an inch. iPads weigh less than two pounds and have a battery life of almost 10 hours, depending on usage. The size of the iPad and its reliance on a touch screen make it very easy to manipulate in tight quarters without an ergonomic desk. It's Really About Usage How we use these devices is where the well-established walls break down. There are those who use computers to create content in a variety of ways that are enhanced by solid input devices. Others 66 Peer to Peer

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