Beyond input constraints, we live in an age where a good word processor, a spreadsheet app and a presentation tool just don't cut it anymore. This isn't 1995. People in all walks of life use complex and, often times, custom-built software every day to do their jobs. Simple apps on a smartphone OS just don't suffice.

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But what about the cloud? The start-ups are constantly trying to push productivity to the cloud, as is Google, and we will undoubtedly see many online productivity applications roll out iPad-ready versions. In reality, however, it's just not the same. Maybe some day web-based apps will afford the same efficiency as native software. But not today.

Plainly put, the iPad can't even come close to replacing a laptop computer or even a netbook. It's not that the iPad is completely useless when it comes to work, but that it pushes the various work-related operations it can handle several steps backward in terms of efficiency. Productivity-related tasks that can be performed on the iPad are still infinitely more efficient on a netbook or laptop.

The end - or more appropriately, the beginning

When all is said and done, we're left almost back where we started in terms of our feelings about the iPad. It's awesome, it's beautiful, it's fast, it's sleek and it's relatively capable... but it's still an answer without a question.

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The iPad is a jack of all trades, master of one - making people drool.

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