So the iPad 2 made its much-anticipated debut today. Doubtless, it’s even more “magical” than the original. But does your small business really need an iPad?

Let me help you make the small business case for this tablet computer so you can buy an iPad without feeling guilty about shelling out the $500-something it will cost you.

First, let’s review the specs: The iPad 2 features an entirely new design that’s 33 percent thinner and up to 15 percent lighter than the original iPad. The iPad 2 boasts the same 9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD screen with a new dual-core A5 processor for faster performance than the original. The iPad 2 also has two cameras, one front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime and one rear-facing camera that can capture hi-def video.

“With more than 15 million iPads sold, iPad has defined an entirely new category of mobile devices,” says Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “While others have been scrambling to copy the first generation iPad, we’re launching iPad 2, which moves the bar far ahead of the competition and will likely cause them to go back to the drawing boards yet again.”

350,000 Apps To Choose From
iPad 2 runs almost all of the 350,000-plus apps available on the App Store—and there are more than 65,000 native iPad apps available in 20 categories, including business. Keyword: business.

So let’s look at five small business apps that could make the iPad 2 a good investment for road warriors, virtual office users and always-on-the-go entrepreneurs:

  1. Cisco WebEx Meeting Center: You can join WebEx meetings from your iPad from anywhere. If you do a lot of online meetings, this is a free app that will drive greater productivity for your team.

  2. WorldCard Mobile: If you are an entrepreneurial networker, you’ll find this $5.99 app handy. Recommended by the Wall Street Journal, WorldCard Mobile is a card scanning app that transfers information from business cards to your iPad using the camera.

  3. OmniFocus: This app won the 2008 Apple Design Award for best iPhone productivity application. You can keep track of tasks by project, place, person or date. The cost: $19.99.

  4. Mint.com Personal Finance: This free app lets you track, budget and manage your money on the go. You can add all your online banking accounts in one place. Set up a budget, do more with your money and take charge of your financial life.

  5. Keynote: This is a presentation app, complete with animated charts and transitions. The app includes themes, custom graphic styles, and other effects. This app runs $9.99.


There are hundreds of productivity apps you could install on your new iPad 2—many of them free. So whether you work from a virtual office or a traditional office space, the iPad 2 could help you work smarter, faster and more efficiently. Case closed.