11 things I learned trying to replace my laptop with an iPad Pro

Sep 23 2017, 1:03 am

As a full time design student and a part time Graphic Designer at Daily Hive, I use my computer for pretty much everything I do.

But for a few days, I tried out an iPad Pro complete with a Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil to see if it was possible to leave my laptop behind.

Here’s what I learned.

Preparation doesn’t hurt

While most of my files synced automatically through iCloud, I uploaded my school readings onto iBooks (in one swift airdrop I must add), and I’m so glad I did, because I soon had to separate from my beloved WiFi connection.

The portability is amazing

I use a really tiny backpack that is kind of impractical for all the things I carry, but I had absolutely no problem fitting the iPad in my bag. Not to mention, it feels like a feather in comparison to my laptop. (And I don’t have to give up my ridiculous backpack!)

Using the iPad Pro while taking public transit (Brooke Taylor/Daily Hive)

It’s okay to whip it out in public

Going to visit my parents takes about an hour on transit, which is too long for me to simply stare out the window. Thanks to this little gem being so quiet and unobtrusive, I had no shame in taking it out on public transit to actually do something productive (hey, catching up on Netflix is considered productive for some).

Split screens split homework time in half

The new iOS 11 update has a split screen option that has made multitasking extremely easy. On transit, I had my school reading open on the left, and a notepad on the right. And by the end of the round trip, I finished both the reading and my response – no flipping back and forth necessary.

You can use shortcut keys on the keyboard

Maybe this seems obvious, but I gasped when I successfully copied and pasted something using the external keyboard.

There’s a pencil-keyboard dynamic to get used to

It’s a little tricky to adjust to at first, but it eventually felt just as efficient as using a mouse. In fact, I’d much rather use my finger or an Apple Pencil to avoid the nasty hand cramps I sometimes get with a mouse.

The battery lasts for days

Unlike a laptop that needs a charger every other hour, I went a few days without charging the iPad Pro. So this is what freedom feels like.

Taking notes on the iPad Pro (Brooke Taylor/Daily Hive)

Taking notes is super easy

I downloaded an app called Notability that allows me to import PDFs that I can type and draw all over. In class, my teacher drew a diagram on the board – and let me tell you, out of everyone on their computer, I’m the only one that had that drawing to refer back to in my notes.

iPad Siri is better than MacBook Siri

I never use Siri on my MacBook because I’ve always been underwhelmed by its speed and capabilities. However, Siri on the iPad is speedy and actually really helpful. While using my iPad to look at a recipe, I used Siri to convert a measurement, start a timer, and turn on my favourite song while my hands were messy.

The screen and pencil are a little slippery for drawing

I require a lot of precision in my drawing so a slippery stylus is kind of annoying. Luckily, I simply popped an old pen grip on the Apple Pencil and got myself an anti-glare screen protector – and I swear it’s just like drawing on a piece of paper.

Drawing on the iPad Pro (Brooke Taylor/Daily Hive)

I still need my computer for design work

I could definitely replace my laptop with an iPad Pro if all I was doing was reading, writing, and browsing the internet, but I still need my laptop to access my Adobe programs.

With that said, I still use the iPad Pro for design work with an amazing app called Astropad. The app takes your computer screen and puts it on your iPad, which makes super easy for me to zoom in and draw precise lines in Photoshop. Believe it or not, I actually replaced my Wacom drawing tablet with an iPad Pro because of this app.

Brooke TaylorBrooke Taylor

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