The 2,400 Mile iPad Test

I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm leaving for a week in Kauai, and I'm not taking a laptop. I have my Lowepro Fastpack 250 packed with my camera gear, lots of memory cards, iPad 3G, Bluetooth keyboard, and the Camera Connection Kit. The MacBook Pro stays home.

Why? Because I'm tired of lugging a 6.5 lb computer everywhere I go when I could save myself 5 pounds with the iPad, plus have Internet connectivity anywhere there's a cellular network.

iPad with Keyboard Going iPad and keyboard only - no laptop for this trip. Click on image for larger version.

While traveling, all of my images will stay on the memory cards. I'll upload my favorites to the iPad as backup and for enjoyment. And if everything goes right, I'll spend my free time taking pictures and enjoying Kauai, instead of working on the computer.

Stay tuned, and I'll let you know how this works...

twitter.jpg Follow me on Twitter


I'm doing the same this weekend, Derrick, except that I am staying stateside. I will take my Nikon DSLR, memory cards, iPhone, iPad, camera connection kit, and USB CF card reader. I'm especially looking forward to sharing the pictures with family and friends at the end of each day using the iPad screen. I'm not even going to bother shooting jpeg + raw since the iPad does a great job interpreting my Nikon nef files. Just like you, I love the light weight and flexibility of this overall kit.

What's interesting to me is, it's just not the weight and size difference between the iPad and the MacBook Pro. It's also all of the other stuff I don't have to bring along. Things like external hard drives, larger charger, cables, etc. Really, just the iPad, Camera Connection Kit, smaller charger, and memory cards. We'll see...

I did a 2200 mile trip earlier this summer with the same basic set up and it was awesome! Didn't miss my mbpro at all. I shot every day and shared my faves with family each night. Great way to travel light and shoot. Heavy editing can wait till you're home. Have a great time in Hawaii!

I bought my MacBook Air a year ago - so pre-iPad obviously - but the reason's you're going "iPad + keyboard only" is exactly why I got the MBA (and still love it). My MacBook Pro was lighter than my old Windows/Linux laptops, but still - you do notice 5.5 pounds after a while if you're carting it everywhere. When I put my MBA in my backpack, I don't even notice it. Same thing when I'm carting the laptop to meetings or whatever.

In the end I decided against the iPad because the size/weight savings just weren't significant enough for me (we did buy an iPad for our daughter, who loves it). If Apple ends up releasing one that's Kindle-sized, though, I'll probably break down and buy it - my first-gen iPod Touch is showing it's age. :-D But in my case it'd be more of an iPod replacement than a laptop alternative.

I'll look forward to hearing your report afterward!

On trips I have been carrying an iPad instead of laptop. One gotcha I encountered is that some hotels require you to log into a web site to authorize WiFi access. Works fine unless the login page requires use of Adobe Flash. In those cases I am forced to use 3G wireless which pretty much eliminates photo uploads. Make sure you check out the Blue Room Cave on the north end of Kauai.

Great point about Flash being the fly in the ointment. Hopefully I can work around it. I do, however, like having 3G as a backup. Most of my online activity will be text related anyway.

I definitely will report on this...

You must tell us about your workflow. Do you shoot RAW; RAW+jpeg or only JPEG? Do you upload all images to the iPad, or just some? And what do you do with the images when you get back?
Curious to know, as I'm going to try this out in Ethiopia in a couple of months.

What process did you use to take the images from a compact flash card to your iPad? I look forward to hearing how you get on.


I just did the same thing in Kauai! In fact, I overlapped with you by a couple of days! We were going hard, so I didn't edit photos until I got home, but everyone on the vacation really enjoyed flicking through the pics and video in the evening.

I upload all photos (RAW + jpeg) and video every day from two cameras - my SLR and point-and-shoot. I used the camera adapter and the import automatically created libraries by date on the iPad. In a week, I used up about 30 gig on my iPad. When I got home, Aperture imported the libraries the same way.

Super easy and didn't have to carry a laptop. Made the vacation much easier to pack for. I highly recommend it.

Thank you for this podcast, post and video above, it has been really inspirational to me, and I had to mention it on the blog I write for, I hope you don't mind.

I am now in the process of reading back through all of your other iPad posts now (and your Aperture 3 posts), thanks for making this available, keep up the great work!


After 5 days on the trip, even I am surprised at how well the iPad workflow is holding up. The 3G connectivity is very important. That has allowed me to post to Flickr and TDS. The Camera Connection Kit is essential. And the ability to view, process, and share images has been wonderful. I'll report more in the next podcast, including details about the workflow.