Gannett Co. journalists may be getting a belated Christmas present \u2013 iPhones and iPads \u2013 early next year.\n\tThis week, an independent journal about newspaper publishing giant Gannett, Gannett Blog, published a leaked memo from Bob Dickey, a division president, saying Gannett has just purchased thousands of tech gadgets for journalists, including iPhone 4Ss, iPad 2s and netbooks, MiFi wireless hotspots, and the iPhone tethering service.\n\tSlideshow: 15 Ways iPad Goes to Work\n\t\u201cThese new tools will help our journalists meet the demands of the new news cycle, one that requires agility in real-time reporting, social media and greater emphasis on video storytelling, further increasing our competitive advantage,\u201d Dickey writes.\n\tI\u2019ve been reporting and writing stories off and on using my Apple package (iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and Apple Wireless Keyboard). Check out my tips on swapping your laptop with an iPad, which include ways to move data on and off your iPad.\n\tWhile the mobility is great and social apps make it easy to promote stories on social networks, this Apple package is not a panacea for journalists, or most workers for that matter.\n\tFirst, the pros: The iPhone 4S camera shoots great photos and video for rendering on the Web. Heck, photo journalists even took amazing photos with previous iPhone models. Here\u2019s my favorite from New York Times photographer Damon Winter:\n\tThe iOS apps are the real deal in this tech package. I\u2019m willing to bet that there are a host of great apps for almost any job. In my profession, I use the following:\n\tWordBook dictionary, AP Stylebook (although expensive at $25), Quickoffice, iA Writer (a great writing app), SoundNote for taking voice and text notes, Dropbox for cloud storage, and Recorder for the iPhone to replace my standalone Sony recorder.\n\tI\u2019m also on the lookout for story ideas and sources using iPhone apps such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter has become an indispensable tool for journalists; some reporters even post tweets of news as it happens. I can promote stories on social networks with just a tap of a button, and have built a decent Twitter following over the past two years.\n\tLastly, the iPhone tethering service that connects your iPad to the Internet means journalists can file stories from just about anywhere. Such mobility and freedom is critical for reporters, as a former editor used to tell me when seeing me at my desk: \u201cWhat the hell are you doing here? Get out there and get me a goddamn story!\u201d (Old-school editors weren\u2019t known for using kid gloves with cub reporters.)\n\tNext, the cons: Many knowledge workers spend an inordinate amount of time researching stuff on the Web. Their desktop computer screens are cluttered with all sorts of open apps, Web browsers are chock-full of tabs. Reporters, too, spend a lot of time researching on the Web. That\u2019s why I\u2019m at my desk, old man!\n\tDespite the iPad\u2019s multi-tasking features, such as Safari tabs and the Fast App Switcher Dock (double tap the home button to bring up the dock), the iPad is still a lousy research tool. The 10-inch touchscreen just doesn\u2019t provide enough real estate to navigate and multi-task in an effective way.\n\tThen there\u2019s the problem with the iPad\u2019s on-screen keyboard: Most reporters I know can\u2019t type effectively on it. This probably means Gannett will need to provide keyboards. I picked Apple\u2019s Wireless Keyboard and am very happy with it, the lone exception being that the keyboard burns through the two AA batteries.\n\tBut the bigger reason I can\u2019t give up my Windows laptop is because of legacy systems and processes. Some systems require the use of Internet Explorer. Some desktop apps are just too big to run as an iOS app. Some processes require extra steps with an iPad. At times, you\u2019ll need the heft of a powerful laptop.\n\tFor instance, I can write a story on iA Writer but must convert it to an MS Word document using Quickoffice before emailing it to my editor. Writing in Quickoffice is a little quirky because of a lag between keystrokes and their appearance on the screen.\n\tIn turn, my editor uses Word\u2019s desktop editing features to slice and dice my story and then sends the tortured Word document back to me. Yet most watered-down iPad Office apps don\u2019t fully support these editing features.\n\tThere is one Apple computer that would be perfect for reporters: the MacBook Air.\n\tBut after reading Gannett\u2019s memo, I began to wonder if this was simply the latest computer refresh in the newsroom. If so, the underlying message just might be cost savings: The iPad 2 is far cheaper than the MacBook Air, which, of course, wasn\u2019t on the list.