As a longtime Macbook/Pro user, I have made good use of Parallels Desktop to run a virtual Windows environment on my Macbook. This has worked well, as QMS is a Windows based environment.
I have recently been debating on what is the next step for computer technology in my classroom. I have been comparing tablets to the nth degree! Based on the fact our school network is Windows based I have been focusing on Windows based tablets from Acer and Asus. Unfortunately, the Asus or Acer do not come with LAN connectivity, thus it is difficult to update the machine and battery life is not that great (3hrs max).
I have considered the iPad2 and have a colleague who enjoys the device. I can see the benefits of this device, but it is extremely limited for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to access the network at the school for access to storage, etc. Secondly, I enjoy using a stylus. I have found that many of the iPad2 styli are not that great and it is difficult to do fine detail work with these devices. Lastly, I access a number of websites with animations, which are flash based, meaning I cannot access these sites given the relationship with Apple and Adobe.
Much of this research and trials has occurred during the past couple of years. However, with time, technology tends to change (exponentially I hear). My recent travels in the Net have revealed some options that may permit me to have my cake and eat it too, the ultimate hybrid system.
I have noted that Parallels 7 now permits the user to access Windows remotely on mobile devices, this includes iPhone 4 and iPad 2. The user can access Windows via the Internet or directly if two machines are in close proximity. This would potentially enable me to use the iPad 2 and access our school Windows environment, running Office products, Adobe products, etc. I would also be able to access Flash based sites.
My question to you is are any of you using Parallels Desktop 7 on your iPad 2? If so, can you provide feedback as to how efficient it is? I will ask my colleague to download the trial for his iPad 2. When I get feedback, I will be sure to post in this thread.
Lastly, I have also found a stylus that also would be push me towards the iPad. Check out the JOT at ADONIT. This stylus is not expensive and uses a magnet to cling to the iPad versus a clip! it permits fine text to be written, unlike the large nib of most of the other devices I have seen. ADONIT also make a cool keyboard for the iPad.
Parallels and the JOT may actually swing my focus back to the iPad 2 and away to Windows based tablets, as this would mean I could have the best of both worlds as mentioned. When you consider the price point of the iPad versus Windows based tablets, this would seem to be a no brainer.