Apple's iPad is set to drop Saturday, April 3. While Apple products have gained wide appeal (and market share) in recent years, most of the legal community is still wed to the windows platform in just about every aspect. The iPad could have us rethinking that.
The most attractive aspect of the iPad is its portability. It literally is the size of a legal pad and weighs only a little more. The problem is in the fact that it is primarily a content conspumption device and not a content creation device. Its great on output but poor on input. The primary input method is obviously the on screen tap-sensitive keyboard. Anyone with an iPhone knows you can't type without looking at each letter you hit. There supposedly is an attachable light keyboard but that defeats the advantage of portability.
The other input method that has failed to catch on in other arenas is voice-to-text technology (i.e. voice recognition). If this technology became viable it would present an interesting shift back a skill that is going by the wayside - dictation. I personally prefer the instant gratification of typing as oppossed to dictating to a tape and having to wait hours or even a day to see what I've written. Voice recognition solves that.
There are some decent apps on the iPhone for voice recognition. I am interested to see if someone develops a good one for the iPad. If so, I may be taking one for a test drive. Better yet, maybe Apple will integrate this into the OS at some point.
Of course this still doesn't help if you want to take notes in a deposition or hearing. (You can't use voice-to-text if you somewhere you can't talk).
Bottom line: the jury is still out on the use of the iPad in the legal community. Its hard to predict if it will have any functionality that can't already be achieved elsewehre.
Of course, I still might have to get one to avoid missing an episode of The Office next time I'm at the Young Lawyers Seminar or Annual Meeting.