A couple more ipad questions, since we're on the topic.
1) Have you been able to use a regular flash/usb drive with the camera connection kit? I am unable to do this on my original ipad. I am assuming that this is due to the lack of file management as you mentioned. Itunes really makes a dreadful document management system, so I am working with Dropbox.
2) Have you used the data plan in Europe? I am looking to use mine for a trip this summer without the hassle of hunting for wifi. The plan seems pricy, but it seems I can upgrade to a larger data plan if I get close to the limit. My trip is 17 days so I'm also concerned about running over the cap.
Shiva, I'd recommend just the Apple bluetooth keyboard--not the one with the dock--because it's responsive and very lightweight. It takes 2 AA batteries and takes a lot of use before you need to replace them. I think I've had mine in for 2 months, for example.
For note taking, I use Evernote. I have Penultimate, which is a handwriting note app, but I like Evernote the best. Maybe I'll like Penultimate more once I get a stylus with a finer tip.
On the iPad, I use Google Docs and Pages for word processing and Keynote for presentations (don't use spreadsheets if I can avoid it, so sadly I'm no help there). If Literature and Latte came out with a Scrivener app for iPad, that would be sweet.
JonP, re: USB storage, I've never tried it because it's really easy to store photos in Dropbox galleries. I see that it could potentially be a problem if you have a ton of RAW files to upload. I've solved this by taking along a couple extra memory cards and saving most of the editing for home, though the iPad can certainly manage some of it. If you plan to do a lot of photo editing on the go, I think the 64GB is your best bet. For what I use my iPad for, I'm way fine with 32GB.
Ok. cool. am getting a much better sense of this. I can save files to Mobile Me which is pretty good for file management--basically folders/files. I am assuming this is usable on the iPad. On my Iphone, the IDISK shows up as a drive, and I can read and email files, though not edit. I am assuming therefore that the Ipad will do more with the Idisk. I need to check on this.
I was planning on just getting the WiFi one. I have an iphone, and the cost of getting another 3G plan seems a lot. I do know that you can turn it on and off as needed, but I am not sure....and the 3G versions for a 64GB come close to the cost of a basic MacBook Air...!
I agree with the USB storage comment... I've never felt the need to try. Like I said earlier in the string, I've had the camera kit for just about as long as the iPad and just got it out of the box the other day... We're heading out on a vacation and want to use the iPad as a clearing house for family photos.
Regarding ex-US data plans, I have a hard enough time keeping within the plan constraints with my iPhone. I fear how much data I could grind through on the iPad. My ex-US practice has been to use the iPhone for cell data and seek out wifi for the iPad.
Shiva, I don't use mobile.me because I don't store enough in the cloud yet so can get away with the free stuff for now. But if you can use it on the iPhone you can on the iPad. The ability to edit files on mobile.me is probably more about the apps you've got on board. If you had docstogo, for example, you'd have an option to open and then edit compatible files there. Also understand about the cost relative to the MBA. I do like the flexibility, and having the gps is really good when using the iPad versions of OpenTable, Yelp, and Urbanspoon. Some of these apps really do make use of the big iPad screen real estate.
Re: iDisk. Yonkdaddy is correct, as far as I know: if you have the appropriate apps to edit, then you can edit on the iPad. I like using MobileMe to keep certain apps like Omnifocus all synced up, although I do use Dropbox a lot too.
Originally Posted by Shiva
Re: 3G. You can buy 3G access by the month, if you want, so you don't necessarily need to commit to a plan. It's $14.99 on AT&T. I found this really handy when I was staying a hotel where wifi access was $25/day and I needed to edit a conference paper and get it to the rest of my panel.
Where in Europe do you plan to use it, and for how long?
Originally Posted by JonP
I use a 1 month at a time plan from Vodafone in the UK. It costs £10 per month for 1GB of data. However, if I use the same SIM in mainland Europe the cost in £10 per day and that only gives 25mb of data, then another £10! This soon mounts up! In theory you can buy pay as you go cards in each country, but my attempts to get one in Spain were unsuccessful. I now have broadband in my Spanish house and it costs me less for the whole year than for one month of 3G! There are free Wi-Fi hot-spots all over the place in both the UK and Spain, and I'm sure that in most Western European countries the same applies. Many shopping centres, cafes and all McDonalds and Burger King stores have free Wi-Fi.
ATT ex-US data plans are exorbitant. Don't know about Verizon.
Thanks for the information on the data plans. I agree that the AT&T international plans are exorbitant. The Verizon ipad is not compatible on the European network the way I understand it (CDMA vs. GSM). Most of the places I am staying have Wi-Fi, but my experience has been very uneven in the past.
I am going to Germany and Switzerland, with overnight stays in Prague and Salzburg. The entire trip will be 17 days.
Thank you everyone for all the feedback on the Ipad. I think the biggest challenge in travelling overseas is the lack of WiFi everywhere. Actually, you can get WiFi pretty easily in Korea, Japan, and major urban areas in India, but Europe is still a challenge, as is Africa. For me, I will be using the Ipad primarily in the US, and so I have not worried myself too much about overseas travel. As for rates: the Data plans are cheaper and less constrained for the Ipad than the Iphone which is truly annoying. I just can't see how carriers are going to be able to continue with such expensive data plans----as more and more customers switch to smart phones and tablets like Ipad.
The old monopoly rears its head again, it seems!
I read somewhere there is an adapter that allows one to connect to a hardwired ethernet cord--does anyone know anything about this?
This thread has drifted!
But just to comment back on the original query... I finally took my trip and am now in Hungary. I ended up carrying on a Western Flyer and a small messenger bag. The larger Swiss flight from Boston>Zurich was no problem and they allowed a carryon and a personal item anyway. Interestingly, when I boarded the Helvetic Zurich>Budapest flight which had the stricter limits, (1) They did not test anyone's bag for size or weight, perhaps because the flight was already running a little late, (2) The sign at the gate said 8kg although their website said 5kg, (3) There were no problems with finding overhead space because Europeans seem to travel light anyway.
Overall it was one of my easier flights. I've traveled to Brazil and Africa before and that's a different story, with everyone struggling to bring on huge carry-ons, and fighting for overhead space.
I did cheat and check a few items as well, so if they had weighed my carryon bags at least I would have been within the 8kg limit. Since I'm not really a light packer my compromise is to carry on the essentials so that it wouldn't affect my plans too much if my checked luggage was lost. That way I don't need to worry, as I've had airline lose my luggage in the past.