The strongest argument in favor of the personal computer is the iPad.
Supposedly, the iPad spells the death of the laptop. Supposedly, we're going to do all of our computing in the cloud. Some folks believe both of these statements, which is a bit like believing in laissez-faire communism.
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Start with what makes the iPad so compelling, particularly as a platform for end-user-driven innovation.
Six factors fueling the iPad's success
The iPad has been spectacularly successful for just a few reasons:
Instant on: The iPad is ready to use the moment you want to use it -- no long boot cycle, except when you do have to reboot it because it's become unstable. That's in contrast to your laptop, which is only instantly available if you've used sleep mode instead of powering it off, except when you have to reboot it because it's become unstable.
Travels well: The iPad is compact and works for a full day on a single battery charge. Notebook computers with equivalent characteristics are expensive, and when you want to use them, you open them up -- at which point they aren't so compact anymore. On the other hand, when you want to type on a notebook computer, you don't lose screen real estate.
It's shiny: Lots of us like new, flashy gadgets, while familiarity breeds contempt. We're familiar with laptops to the point that even the slickest of them just aren't all that interesting anymore. Tablets are new and sparkling.
File system: PCs have them; iPads don't. Apple considers this to be a huge iPad advantage; this way, if you're working on a project, you won't waste precious time arranging all your documents, spreadsheets, presentations, project plans, and other accumulated detritus into well-organized folders because you can't! And here's something truly bizarre: There are apps for that, except they only let you organize documents you import from someplace else; they can't see anything you created on your iPad.