Home' LAPTOP Magazine : September 2010 Contents Suite Dreams
Be more productive with your new toy by using one of these
full-featured office suites.
by Dana Wollman
While television commercials for the iPad highlight all the fun you can have with it---watching HD movies,
reading books, and playing games---you can also use this slate to get work done. It may be hard to believe,
given that the iPad has a touchscreen keyboard and, as of press time, doesn't multitask. But a trio of office
suites, the richest of which being designed by Apple, lets users create and edit word documents, spreadsheets,
and (sometimes) presentations. While no app was quite good enough to win our Editors' Choice award, all offer an
intuitive interface and unique benefits that make on-the-road productivity surprisingly easy.
Apple iWork $9.99 each for Keynote,
Numbers, and Pages
What We Like: Intuitive interface makes it easy to
integrate media into documents. Ability to preview
files. You can delete, duplicate, or export a file to
iWork.com, or send as an e-mail attachment. Can
add fun animated transitions to presentations,
images to word documents, and pie charts to
spreadsheets. Easy to export files as Microsoft
Office documents and PDFs. Spelling correction
works very well. In Numbers, under the formula
section, a dedicated Sum button makes it easy
to calculate the total for a column.
What We Don't: Each piece costs $9.99, must be
downloaded separately, and takes up considerable
space(Keynote requires 53MB; Numbers, 43MB; Pages,
42MB). Can't import Google Docs. Have to rename
documents from the home screen. No dedicated Save
button. Selecting specific blocks of text can be difficult.
Only use Keynote in landscape mode.
Verdict: iWork has the most dazzling interface of
any office suite for the iPad, as well as the richest
feature set. If you don't have any use for presenta-
tion software, Quickoffice for iPad---which costs
$9.99 for a word processor and a spreadsheet
app---represents a better bargain.
Mobile Suite for iPad
a variety of
easy-to-use interface. You can set Quickoffice to
open e-mail attachments by default. Automatically
saves drafts, and tells you it is doing so. Includes
dedicated Undo button. It's easy to select text and
format documents, including spreadsheets.
What We Don't: No presentation editor. Only
displays files in an alphabetical list; you can't
sort them by type or last date modified. Exiting
Settings menu requires too many taps. We ac-
cidentally activated the keyboard while scrolling.
No dedicated Sum button.
Verdict: With its attractive interface and ability to
sync with files stored all over the cloud, Quickoffice
Connect Mobile Suite makes it easy to work on proj-
ects while on the road. And at $9.99---the cost of
just one Apple-branded productivity program---you
get loads of features, such as the ability to work on
both word documents and spreadsheets. If you're
not a presentation junkie and want an interface that
looks like the kind you're used accustomed to using
on your desktop, give Quickoffice a whirl.
DataViz Documents to Go
Premium Office Suite
What We Like: Many ways to organize files (name,
last opened, size, type, and favorites). Smart, time-
saving interface with 12 small icons lining the bottom
of the screen for all the tools you'll need. Users can
import files from Box.net, Dropbox, Google Docs,
iDisk, and SugarSync. At just 11MB, Documents to
Go is the smallest iPad office suite. You can add
formatting while the keyboard is on screen.
What We Don't: You can't add images, in the
text, or view
a strip of
have to tap
twice to open it. It's not as easy to add visual
pizazz to documents as it is with iWork. There's
no collection of common formulas, but you can
search by category.
Verdict: Save for its watered-down presentations
feature, DataViz Documents to Go Premium Mobile
Office Suite offers a clean, sensible interface and
syncs with your favorite cloud services. DataViz's
$14.99 price tag seems reasonable given that
it costs almost $30 to own all three of Apple's
productivity apps. However, we think Quickoffice
offers an even better deal for $9.99.
LAPTOP | September 2010
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