Ipad and tablets for translators
Thread poster: Felipe Gútiez

Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:42
German to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 7, 2011

Do you have an Ipad? Do you use it for your translation business? Have you used Face time sometimes with your clients? What was it like?
I find it very useful for newspaper and book reading, youtube and movies watching, using imaps and email reading (for small things also answering). The dragon app also works pretty well, but I think it only works when in Internet.
I use the old Ipad, the Ipad 1.
Any comments on the Ipad 2?


Lennart Luhtaru  Identity Verified
United States
English to Estonian
+ ...
iPad 2 Aug 8, 2011

I've done smaller tasks on it when on road and often read my e-mails&source files on it upon receipt, but otherwise, not really a translation machine although I have quickoffice pro installed on it and have completed some smaller tasks on it, when needed.

I use skype a lot, I wish there was a native app not the upscaled iPhone version it has at the moment.

Also dropbox (I keep all my projects there) and calendar sync are useful features.

It has its benefits for a translator (mostly e-mail on the road) but unless it gets Trados+Word, it's more of a entertaining gadgeticon_smile.gif


Gyula Erdész
Local time: 14:42
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
IMHO Aug 8, 2011

In my humble opinion, Apple Ipad is rather a "content consuming" and not a "content producing" device. This gadget is simply inconveniet for work. Just one simple example: writing accented and special letters is a pain in the neck.



Chunyi Chen
United States
Local time: 05:42
English to Chinese
I use my IPAD... Aug 8, 2011

exclusively for entertainment purposes:)


Alina - Maria Chiteala  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:42
Member (2011)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Samsung TAB Aug 8, 2011

I have samsung tab. I use it for emails, skype, Ymess. I must be connected all the time so it is useful when on the road for sending quotations to clients. I have office - very important feature.
For actually translating - no. The display keyboard - not productive.


FarkasAndras  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:42
English to Hungarian
+ ...
not for productivity Aug 8, 2011

If you want a shiny, cool apple product in a small form factor, just get an 11" air. You can actually get work done on one of those, unlike an ipad.


Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:42
French to English
+ ...
Pros / cons Aug 8, 2011

I do sometimes use my iPad for document editing. Pros:

- it's extremtly portable
- the battery will last a long-haul flight or a day travelling about on train etc
- it fits more easily into the confined space available on a train/plane
- it's generally "snappy", with no waiting around for boot-up or for Windows to thrash at the hard disk, so if you suddenly have a 5 minute slot waiting for something, you don't spend 2 of those 5 minutes waiting for Windows to coax itself into life
- VNC is available so if you really get stuck but have an Internet connection, you can connect to your main machine and remote control it to complete a task


- the available word processors don't offer ALL the features of Word etc and aren't 100% available or compatible (you'll loose some formatting, track changes not fully supported...)
- it's not primarily designed for multitasking, so you can't e.g. view your document and a browser window with your terminology database on screen simultaneously (you can *switch* between them reasonably slickly, but not actually have them on screen at the same time)
- you can only run software specifically available for iOS, so at present that means few CAT tool options if you're into that kind of thing (though on-line solutions should still work so long as they don't need Flash or Java or other technology that Apple are allergic to)

So, it depends what you're after. If you just want something that's going to be a 100% work tool and can sacrifice a bit of portability, then a small laptop will probably be the best option. If you want something that's going to be more of a 50-50 between work and play and you regularly need to occupy long flights/train journeys and/or need something more portable with some of the work functionality you need, then an iPad is a good choice.

[Edited at 2011-08-08 16:53 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-08-08 16:54 GMT]


Ramon Somoza  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:42
Member (2002)
Dutch to Spanish
+ ...
Not useful Aug 10, 2011

Apart from the fact that the keyboard on a tablet is most of the time a nightmare (though slightly better on the Ipad), there is no way you can install proper translation software on those devices.

IMHO, if you want to do translations on the road and do not want to carry a laptop (which I do, as I travel very often), then you should get a netbook. I've used netbooks on the road for short trips where I did not want to carry my (big) laptop and managed to get rush jobs done while on the plane or in the airport.

But Ipad/tablets? No way, sorry...

[Editado a las 2011-08-10 08:27 GMT]


Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:42
French to English
+ ...
iPad vs Netbook Aug 10, 2011

Re Ramon's comments, I should say that I'm obviously talking about using the iPad with a KEYBOARD (Apple wireless keyboard + iPad doc works very nicely with it, for example, or you can get the specific iPad keyboard with built-in doc but beware that in that case the doc can't be separated from the keyboard, so it's a bit of an awkward shape to fit in your rucksack).

I also have a small laptop + netbooks which I use when the situation demands them: there are clearly some tasks that the iPad cannot do. But when what you need to do are tasks that the iPad *can* do, for me, the iPad wins on points such as portability and battery life.


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