Can iPad Pro Replace a Laptop?

I typically use my 13″ MacBook Pro for everything.  It links into my desk and becomes a desktop and follows me to most meetings outside of my office.  I use the iPad Pro 9.7″ for taking a lot of notes and research on the fly.

Since I’ve been using Microsoft Office 365 and BOX, I have been able to really utilize the cloud more .  With all of my documents available there and all of my systems being web based I’m going to ditch the MacBook Pro for a week and use the iPad Pro exclusively for both personal, educational, and professional use.

Now let me say that as far as computing power goes the iPad Pro is no where near my MacBook Pro but everyone uses their technology differently.  My initial thought is that an iPad can replace a laptop for very basic users.  So as someone who is much more needy than your basic user I’m going to put it to the test and let you know what I find.

Work

Thanks to Apple’s vast App Store I’m able to load up the apps I use the most on my MacBook Pro.  This includes, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote, Canvas, and BOX  Keep in mind I use built in apps such as Messages and Safari a ton as well.

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I struggled a bit with one of my employers websites getting to a source we use to take meeting minutes but with some cleaver multi-touch gestures I was able to get where I was going.

The Microsoft Suite of apps works brilliantly and makes saving within O365 and BOX very easy.  This means I’ll be able to pull them up on my laptop next week when I come back to it.

The iPad Pro Smart Keyboard is fantastic and has become very easy to type on very quickly.  I would say it’s about 80% to scale of the keyboard on the MacBook Pro.

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Since my office work isn’t very demanding the iPad Pro handles a lot of my 9-5 duties extremely well.

Photography

Now one of the things I use my laptop for the most is for my Photography.  I use Adobe’s Creative Cloud with Bridge, Photoshop, and Lightroom .  Much of what I do with those applications is simple color and light corrections.  I do little or no touching up of photos so perhaps Adobe’s Lightroom for iOS is enough.

 

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Adobe Lightroom on the iPad Pro


Just like my new MacBook Pro my iPad is all about dongles…  Since we’ve only got the Lightning port I needed to get a SD to Lightning adapter to be able to upload my photos on the go.  The preview and upload speeds of the lightning to SD card reader is dreadfully slow.  This is huge drawback even if I just want to preview some photos on a larger screen. I understand that I’m asking for 30Mb Raw images to load fast but again this is a real world test against my MacBook Pro.

 

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The iPad Pro is a decent tool to have but it by no means is ready to completely replace my MacBook Pro for photo use.  I was really hoping to even just have it to dump photos off of my SD cards on the go but since it’s so slow, I don’t think I’ll be doing much of it.

Personal Use

I’d have to say what I miss so far about the MacBook Pro is the true multitasking.  Sure the iPad Pro allows you have two windows open at once (3 if one of them is a video) but it just doesn’t feel as fluent.  Now granted when I’m in the office I’m connected to two 27″ displays with my MacBook Pro so it’s not entirely fair to compare but this is something iv’e gotten very use to.  This may be just growing pains at the moment but it does slow down my productivity.

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True Multi-Tasking on iPad Pro (Safari, Photos, and Watch ESPN)

The iPad is a nice addition to my laptop but I feel much more productive using my MacBook Pro as my primary device.

School Work

There are a lot of times I still prefer hand write my notes with pen and paper.

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Apple Pencil working in Microsoft OneNote

Sure it really defeats the purpose to having a keyboard but the Apple Pencil does allow me to do more than just write.  Being able to annotate and highlight readings I have for class has been a HUGE help for me.

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iPad Pro and Apple Pencil using Microsoft OneNote

I store ever reading that I’ll need to do for class digitally so I can take advantage of this technique.  It’s really helped me stay prepared for class lectures and discussions.

Multitasking when using the Microsoft Office makes a bit more sense than it does for most other applications.  I admit I really don’t use the split screen option very often.

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Split Screen using Microsoft OneNote and Word

I know students that use this device as their only device for school.  I wouldn’t feel as comfortable with this because you’re relying a lot on the cloud.  Call me old school but I still prefer to store much of my data locally.  I frequently have to pull things off of my computer via a USB flash drive and move it over to a classroom machine for presentations.  This would be much more difficult only using the iPad Pro.

To sum up, the iPad Pro is an extremely capable device.  For some people I think it really could be their only device.  Me on the other hand have too many needs and am set in my ways too much to make this type of change to a completely mobile based operating system.

 


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