On New Years Eve, I pulled the trigger and purchased the iPad Pro. The result of that is that I’m now using iOS pretty much full-time between my iPhone and iPad Pro.
First: it’s an enormous piece of glass. That’s basically all that it is, connected to the cloud. Between iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox, I haven’t used local storage on any of my devices in more than a year, so this transition wasn’t a big deal for me. The iPad Pro’s screen is significantly bigger than what I had with the MacBook Air, so in that respect it’s a major improvement even without addressing the benefit of the Retina versus non-Retina display.
Second: I got the Smart Keyboard. These are still in short supply, and ordering from Apple still shows shipping dates about four weeks away. It functions as a screen cover when not in use, but also functions as a thin, low profile keyboard. It’s a pleasure to type with (I’m typing this with it), and it’s what puts the iPad Pro firmly into potential “laptop replacement” category for me. I am pretty proficient with the software keyboards on both the iPad Pro and iPad mini, but I find that I’m either typing too fast for them in some cases, or I’m hitting parts of the screen without realizing it, often resulting in huge chunks of text being quickly highlighted and deleted—super frustrating. Smart Keyboard addresses that, and I expect the software keyboards to be better as the chips develop.
Third: I bought the 32GB model, which has been fine so far. Between cloud storage for my personal and work files, and streaming services, I don’t expect for this to be a problem. But going with this model also meant forgoing cellular connectivity. I’ve realized how much I’ve come to expect any of these devices to be connected to the internet at all times, because it’s been genuinely frustrating pulling out the iPad Pro at certain points on the road and realizing I have to go into settings to find a connection or tether.
It’s a great device, it feels great to be using all-iOS devices with the same capabilities, sync, etc., and it seems to replace much of the need for a laptop.