Re: marilyn's choices
Mark:I have an ipad and have been disappointed with the word processing capabilities. It is about the only thing I have been disappointed with though. Without a USB port, no easy way to print without an extra step (like something like drop box)
Honestly I think you would be better served with any form of netbook. It is cheaper than an ipad, has a USB port to make moving things around easier, can handle most printers and is lighter than most laptops. A netbook is probably a couple of hundred bucks. What is a mac book going for these days??? 12 to 13 hundred or so?? Big difference if all you need is word processing.
I'll second Mark's suggestion.Even second hand netbooks purchased from ebay would do the job extremely well. Most have solid state drives and embedded operating systems which means they're almost impossible to corrupt (i'd avoid anything carrying the bloated windows7 OS). they're light with usually good battery life. Writing doesn't require speedy processors after all..
I recall the prolific Piers Anthony saying his family had bought him a laptop to help him write his novels and he'd tried ever so hard to use the thing.. but he felt if you couldn't chase one of the children with it tucked under the arm, it was never going to replace his pencil and paper notepad ;)
I know another writer who wrote on a little HP LX200. He favoured it as it ran for 30-40 hours before he needed to switch the AA batteries ;) Mind you, these things can now cost more than the origianl sales price. Files are moved on and off via a CF or SD card. There's an infinite number of devices out there with usable integrated keyboards, palm to notebook sized which can cost very little and for single purpose would do the job extremely well without having to resort to anything cutting edge.
Not to leave apple enthusiasts out, I bought an Emate for an apple using friend from Ebay just for fun. He fell in love withe the retro device and actually uses it to write his lectures http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMate_300 There's a couple on ebay now (but don't buy the $8000 dollar one !)
hmm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_netbooks doesn't show many of the early embedded system netbooks. Maybe I was thinking more of the EeePC's here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_subnotebooks - the list is far from extensive