Six weeks ago I bought my wife an first generation Apple iPad refurbished 16GB Wi-Fi only model from the Apple Store. The unit was priced at $349.99 with free Fed-Ex shipping. My wife loves her iPad. Apple still has these units available for the same price, which includes a new case, new battery, manual, and charger unit. In addition these refurbished iPads also come with a full one year warranty.

Last year I bought my wife a new Toshiba laptop for her personal use. She basically uses a computer for checking her email, surfing the Internet, staying in contact with family and friends on Facebook, plus she enjoys playing games. Her favorite games are Mahjong and solitaire card games.

As an experiment I wanted to see if I could get my wife’s Apple iPad to replace her laptop, becming her only mobile computer. For this to work, the iPad needed to perform all of the basic functions of her laptop. I started looking for free gaming apps that would keep my wife content and happy. This was actually a very easy process. I located and installed 8 free games on her iPad.

My wife had been receiving her email from our ISP via her laptop system. I wanted her to have a Gmail account for her primary account instead of the ISP email. I personally like Gmail and have been using the free account for several years. I enjoy the fact the Google has a fairly good spam catcher and if a spam message does slip through the cracks, I can go back into my Gmail account and tag the offending message as spam. After I setup a new Gmail account for her I setup up Mail on the iPad to use the new account. She sent out an email from our ISP account to all of her contacts stating she had a new email address. I later imported all of her contacts from Outlook over to Mail on the iPad.

We had previously sent up Facebook in the iPad Safari browser and she also had bookmarked her favorite sites. I bookmarked Google Docs for her just in case she needed to create a document. We both rarely, if ever, use our Microsoft Office software any longer.

Is replacing a laptop with an iPad something anyone can do? I don’t believe the iPad is the solution for everyone. I know in my own situation this would not work very well for me. In my wife’s case, she has found this change over from a laptop computer to an iPad uneventful. It just works for her.

Comments welcome.