Megalomania's only mania if you're wrong

iPad As My Main Machine, Take Two

Added on by Kevan Loy.

It's been since the 3rd Generation iPad (iPad with Retina Display) was launched that I've tried to use an iPad as my daily driver.

If memory serves this was at the height of the "iPad is the computer of the future" marching orders were coming fast and hard out of Cupertino. I dutifully obeyed the instructions. I bought:

  • A 32GB Wifi + Cellular model
  • An Apple Bluetooth keyboard
  • An Origami keyboard case
  • A no name back case from Amazon

I think I used the iPad for all of my computing tasks for maybe a week—two, at most—then it got relegated to consumption. I checked the news, my email and would play the occasional game (not going to lie: I’m still playing Sid Meire’s Pirates (don’t judge me).

The reason for this is almost immediately the device felt slow. While the Retina screen was awesome, running it was about all the iPad could do before sputtering out and/or getting hot.

Things went on like this until my beloved MacBook Air died. The logic board ate it while charging overnight and I was never able to get it going again. Then, for two years, anything I wanted to do I either did on the iPad or on an aging 2007 27” iMac.

With iOS 11 coming out soon (in public beta yesterday), I think it’s time to give it a shot. I’m starting a new job where I’ll be assigned a MacBook Pro for work and have a late 2013 MacBook Pro at home. Today I bought:

  • A 10.5” iPad Pro
  • An Apple Smart Keyboard
  • An Apple Pencil

The BYOD policy is a little murky, so I don’t know how much work I’ll be able to do on the iPad. I will, however, try to transition taking notes on the iPad instead of in my standard issue Moleskin.

There’s a number of debates across the Internet as to whether or not one of the new iPad Pros can be laptop replacements. 9to5Mac even has a survey where over 90% of respondents state that the new version of iOS has them rethinking using the iPad as their main machine.

Despite my job in technology as a Product Owner, it’s not my intention to prove whether or not the 10.5” can be used for work, but as a personal computer. If I’m able to comment on the work usage I’ll be sure to do that as well.

After playing with the iPad this afternoon (not to mention writing this), I’m fairly confident I’m going to be able to pull this off without much trouble. That said, I already am not a big fan of the smaller keys, the lack of an escape key (physical or otherwise) or, most importantly, the emoji key. I’d much prefer it be a function key I could reprogram with something else that’s usable to me.