I went to the Voices That Matter -- iPhone conference this weekend here in Seattle. I intend to talk more about the event itself later, but for now I want to talk about what I put in my bag -- and what I didn't.
This is the first conference I haven't taken my laptop to. I relied on my iPad and iPhone, and I would say the experiment was very successful.
Battery life would have been a total non-issue if I'd remembered to re-charge my battery Saturday night. While I was charging it at the conference Sunday, I wished for a slightly longer charging cable, but maybe that would have created a tripping hazard.
Typing was a little slow, but with all the slides posted online, I really only needed to type a few phrases when the speaker went beyond the slides or to jog my memory later. If I expected to do more iPad typing, I could have slipped my Apple bluetooth keyboard in my messenger bag and still kept it smaller and lighter than my laptop bag. I saw a few other people with folding keyboards, probably from the PDA era.
The iPad was quicker to setup and teardown when I moved from one room to the other. I could even pull it out to reference my notes between sessions. The iPad played nicely with the conference center wi-fi (though maybe that's more a review of Bell Harbor Conference Center?).
But what about Xcode? This is a developer's conference and the iPad doesn't have dev tools on it. Technically true. Only one session really encouraged you to follow along in Xcode. The others were more presentations, and I think scrambling to keep up with the demos in Xcode would have been more of a distraction than a learning tool.
Will my laptop go to WWDC? Yes. Will it leave my hotel room? Maybe not.