iPad Pro Review


Is it a laptop? No. Is it handy? Absolutely. Can it be a laptop replacement? Well, yes, but only if you approach it with the right frame of mind, patience, and an accessory or two. The iPad Pro is a surprisingly adept piece of gear at filling the gap between desktop and mobile computing. It has been much maligned for its lack of ports, no built-in physical keyboard, and some other minor quibbles. In the big picture, it is really a powerful, minimalistic mobile tool, that could be essential in freeing up your work and correspondence life.

I have had my 10.5” iPad Pro for over half a year now. It has been amazing. I did a two week trip to Canada without a laptop, use it daily for email now, and am currently in Europe on business, and use the iPad Pro 75% more than my laptop. That last statement alone surprises me. I wouldn’t have thought I would ever be saying that, but there you have it.

The iPad has become almost like a tech catchall for most things that I do. There are some things that are still much easier todo on a laptop, but most of those are Pro-level audio and video processing that just simply can’t be done, for the most part, unless you have a laptop. Aside from that, you can do everything on the iPad. It is all in the approach. Really making full use of this powerful tool requires a workflow adjustment to the cloud, staying up-to-date with software, and being flexible. The tools and gestures, particularly Split-Screen apps, introduced in iOS 11, are a game changer. 

Just like any tool, if you don’t take time to learn to use it properly, you’ll never get all of the intended use out of the tool. With the iPad, you need to watch how the software is different than on the iPhone. There are gestures and functions, familiar keyboard commands, and hidden features that solve the problems that arise, unless you are looking for the solution.

One of the biggest adjustments is working in the cloud. To truly replace a laptop, you need storage, and lots of it. Thankfully, the Files app gives you access to all of your Cloud services, local storage, etc. But, unless you take the time to figure it out, you’ll be wishing in vain for USB ports that you’ll never have on an iPad. Since I am a tech, working in the Cloud was barely a transition at all. But, for those not used to it, the mental switch can be incredibly frustrating. Once you make that transition though, a new world opens before you. I now work seamlessly, more or less, between any Apple device that I have, my services, and my server at home. 

The other facet of this device is that it is easily portable. The 12.5” iPad Pro isn’t as user-friendly from a size standpoint, but what you get with the smaller size is something that feels like a book, is easy to carry, has a beautiful screen, and can not only do work, but entertainment as well. You can easily run audio or video in the background or a floating video window. Do split screen functions to watch the news and catch up on email. My favorite though, is its ability to transition between work, Netflix, book reading, and back again without a fuss. You can’t do that with a laptop, and even if you tried, it would never feel familiar, and would always be ergonomically awkward. 

The final piece to the puzzle is a physical keyboard. In my opinion, the Logitech Slim Combo is the only choice. It has a slot for the Apple Pencil, a detachable backlit keyboard, multi-postion stand, and actually protects your investment. With this case, you are able to have the Apple Pencil with your device at all times, protect your iPad, and be able to ergonomically position the device for any use that you can think of. The Slim Combo is much more flexible than Apple's keyboard case, and provides so much more.

If you have any questions, or need some advice, feel free to get in touch! I love helping to find solutions that work for NelsonWerks clients. This might not be the solution for you, but I can help you find one!

- Hans