Now for the acid test. Will I be able to access my corporate email account and Intranet remotely?
As it turns out the iPad has a form of Cisco VPN software already on board. I zipped over to the Networks section under Settings and turned the VPN on-off switch to on. I filled in the various fields as I did for my desktop and rapidly going obsolete laptops. I gave it the save command and then a window came up asking me for my password.
I was in!
At the top of the screen a little white rectangle appears with "VPN" written in it. I tried a few of our Intranet sites and they worked perfectly. I have elected to manually turn the VPN on and off for security reasons. As a shortcut when one brings up the settings window in the left hand pane is a VPN on-off switch cutting the steps down by one. This whole operation is slick.
Getting on our Exchange server was even simpler. I entered the info on the mail set-up page and it tried to connect without me entering the mail server. It churned for a while and then the set-up window appeared again but this time asking for the name of our mail server. In it went and within a few seconds the account was configured and I was on the air. All of my exchange email, contacts and calendar were synched into their corresponding iPad Apps. Double slick!
Step by step I am getting closer to ditching my hated laptop forever.