iPad ergonomics of use - awkward perhaps?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by DHart, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. DHart macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2008
    I use a MacBook in a recliner/chair and in bed quite a lot... with a v-shaped laptop stand to get a good angle.

    As I consider what it would be like to use an iPad for extended periods of time I wonder how one would support it while in a recliner/chair or while in bed... or while just sitting upright in a regular chair. The v-shaped laptop support would not provide a steep enough angle for good viewing with an iPad.

    With a laptop, the whole thing sits there very nicely and you can easily angle the screen where you need it to be without any need to hold or support the machine with your hands.

    With an iPad, you'd have to hold it with one or both hands all the time, or use a pillow or something similar to lean the iPad against while you watch it or type on it. So... one would need to travel with, or have handy, something like a pillow -right? Having to hold the thing with your hands the whole time would definitely not cut it... especially if you're doing much input of any kind.

    Of course when at a table or desk, one can use the dock... but then pretty much must have a separate keyboard for input. I've got iMacs and MacPro for my desk work, but most of my use with an iPad would be on my lap and laying flat on my lap would be poor positioning for viewing, though keying wouldn't be too bad at that angle.

    The wonderful thing about a laptop is that the keyboard is positioned well for input and navigation by the hands, while the display is positioned at more of a right angle, for viewing... and the whole thing supports itself without having to be held by your hands. A slick design, ergonomically.

    If the device has the same angle for input as for viewing... hmmm, that could be a little less than ergonomic, no?

    I don't know.. I'm just thinking out loud here, but it seems like the device might become cumbersome to hold/support while in use for extended periods of time.

    I can see using an iPad for surfing the web and watching movies (supported against a pillow or something) but seems to me that it would not be a good replacement for my laptop for my other use.
  2. Alchematron macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2007
    Maui Hawaii
    That's why I argued heavily for a 10 inch Air two years ago!

    There will be many solutions to keep the iPad propped up, but it will still be akward

    Also it is only 1.5 pounds, but I think you are going to find it weighty

    And future versions will have the challenge to keep making it lighter
  3. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2008
    Hey you lucky folks who now have used your iPads for a bit... how are the ergonomics?

    Do you need a pillow or something to support the iPad for surfing or using the onscreen keypad for a prolonged period of time while in a chair, recliner, bed, etc?
  4. CJS7070 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I've found it a bit awkward to hold, I'm hoping the Apple case makes it easier to work with but they were sold out when I went.
  5. bluehaze013 macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2007
    It's great much easier to use in bed and on the toilet than a laptop :D I think I'm gonna pick up the apple case for it tomorrow for watching movies I realize how handy that folding flap can be for propping it up at different angles for typing and watching movies and I actually kinda wish the iPad was thicker the edges are really thin which can make it awkward at times so the extra thickness from a case will be nice.
  6. *Harlow* macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2009
    This has been my experience with my iPad.
  7. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2008
    I haven't seen the Apple case for the iPad, so I wasn't aware that it had a design option for angled support. Sounds like a good start.

    I would imagine that many third party accessory makers will be coming up with a nice variety of support options which will aid input and viewing from the single-plane device.

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