Volume 15, Issue 6 - November/December 2011

Open 24/7
By Manny Hondroulis

Become Mobile

While Iím an advocate of change when it comes to new technologies, I tend to not be an early adopter when a new gadget is introduced to the consumer world. Take, for example, the smart phone. I didnít get a smart phone until mid-2009, a few years after their introduction. My mindset has been to let the manufacturers work out the kinks and bugs on others before me.

Earlier this year I relocated to New York City and, in preparation, bought a new laptop for my home office. I made sure to buy one with enough power to replace the desktop that I would be leaving behind. Of course, with power comes weight and lugging this new seven pound laptop (more weight when you count the bag) around town on subways and busses was becoming a nuisance. But I had no choiceómy laptop was instrumental to making sales presentations.

In my daily routine, I noticed more and more iPads being used by business professionals, whether in their offices or at the local StarbucksóI saw them everywhere! I figured enough time had passed for Apple to work out the iPadís kinks and knowing how much I love my iPhone, I purchased an iPad.

Having an iPhone made learning the iPad a snapósince the latter is a larger version of the former. So I loaded all of my work documents onto my new iPad, ditched the laptop and all of the related paraphernalia, and was in business. My eleven pound laptop bag was replaced by a leather portfolio that houses my iPad and in total weighs less than three pounds.

The beauty of the iPad is that all of my files are loaded onto it, including sales presentations. Iím now paperless when I travel and I interject that fact into my customer dialogue as it plays well into the value proposition that all of us in the sun control industry offer. And the use of an iPad also adds to oneís professionalism.

There are other tablets on the market and each has pros and cons. I have no experience with others as Iím a devoted Apple user. But, the concept is similaróa lightweight mobile computing device that allows you to surf the Web, access files and project sales presentations on high definition televisions.

Things to Consider
So if youíre ready to take the plunge, I suggest visiting your local Apple store and purchasing an iPad 2. There are different configurations of the iPad. First, you have to decide whether you want one that is Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and 3G. The difference is that if you purchase the Wi-Fi only machine, you need to be on a wireless network to connect to the Internet which is necessary for surfing the Web, streaming video, etc. The 3G-enabled machine allows you to hook up to AT&Tís or Verizonís network for a monthly fee (just like your cell phone) so you can connect to the Internet if a wireless network is not available. If you choose the 3G iPad, you then have to decide if you want AT&Tís or Verizonís service. You should do your research about which carrier is better for your market area. For instance, Iíve used both Verizonís and AT&Tís 3G network in NYC and find the AT&T network to be faster but less reliable.

Be sure to purchase a protective case for your iPad. I suggest buying a ďsmart coverĒ which automatically turns off the iPad when the cover is closed. Also consider purchasing the cable necessary to hook up your iPad to a HDTV.

Once you bring your device home, itís time to load it with applications, some are free but, others are not. From a business productivity standpoint, I suggest purchasing the various components of Appleís productivity suite as the current iPad does not support Microsoft Office. Keynote (similar to PowerPoint), Numbers (similar to Excel), and Pages (similar to Word) are made by
Apple for the iPad and iPhone.

You will find that the iPad will make life on the go a lot easier. And donít be surprised if you enjoy your iPad so much that you only use your desktop or laptop on special occasions.

Manny Hondroulis is marketing manager for Energy Performance Distribution in Baltimore.

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