Found this old draft post from 2018 where I wrote about my brand new iPad Pro. Instead of scrapping the draft I thought why not reflect back.
It was early 2018 and I felt privileged to upgrade my still perfectly working iPad Air 2 to brand new iPad Pro 10,5-inch. I was already using iPad nearly all the time as primary computer (outside my day-job). I thought that my heavy usage justified upgrading my setup to “Pro” as there were abundance of new features coming with it: Apple Pencil support, ProMotion display with P3 wide gamut colors and Smart Connector (coming back to this later) to mention few key ones.
Before hitting the buy button on an expensive device like new iPad, I weighed my options. I could get MacBook Air instead, which was similarly lightweight and nearly as portable. But another Mac felt too redundant as I already had 27” iMac sitting on my desk. Plus I loved to swipe through articles, blog posts, and news on my iPad, experience which I knew i couldn’t reproduce on a MacBook. I realised that there was something with the desktop Mac + iPad combo, that was close to perfection in my use-case.
Although iPad had won me over, there were still some tasks where I felt it was just easier on Mac with an actual physical keyboard.
For me (as for many others), one of the biggest pain points with iPad was long-form writing. Typing on glass is not a great experience for most of people, and somehow it feels even more unnatural on larger iPad screen than, let’s say, on more compact screen of an iPhone. So just the thought of a task that required typing more than few sentences was enough to ditch the iPad and look for "a real computer".
Coming back to the new Smart Connector which enabled Apple’s new iPad keyboard accessory called Smart Keyboard. Back in 2018 I had chance to test drive iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard at Apple reseller in Helsinki. I instantly become convinced that with Smart Keyboard iPad can now easily take many tasks which I used to “need” Mac. Quick magnetic attachment / detachment was also a plus since I still preferred at most times to use iPad as standalone tablet. For the possibility to take iPad’s versatility to next level, the Smart Keyboard was insta-purchase.
We have entered year 2024 and I’m still using this six year old iPad Pro daily. It is my most used computer (outside my jobby-job). It is still wonderfully capable considering its age, and if it weren’t for the degrading battery it would still be great device. It still supports the latest iPadOS 17 (although no Stage Manager support). My personal computing is still running on desktop Mac (M1 Mac Mini with Studio Display) and iPad combination, and it really works for me. I still appreciate the tablet-ness of iPad. Nowadays I use the iPad with external Bluetooth Magic Keyboard so I can easily use it as tablet whenever I’m not doing longer writing.
But after six years of service I think it is time retire this iPad. And I’m so ready for the (rumored) 2024 redesign of iPad Pro.