You are thinking of replacing your notebook with an iPad Pro and wondering if it’s possible.
Lucky for you, I have the answer! This is Part 1 of my iPad Pro Vs Notebook video series.
The Ultimate Guide to iPad Pro Vs Notebook
- So I have a question for ya, is the iPad Pro an acceptable replacement for a notebook computer? That is a great question and that is the question that you and I are going to discuss today here on Dotto Tech. Steve Dotto here, how the heck you doing this fine day? Today, you and I are gonna begin a journey. I think this is gonna be a three-part series. The series is, "Can the iPad Pro be an effective replacement "for a notebook computer?" It's something that I've wanted to do for a while and I finally took the plunge. Maybe four months ago, I purchased my iPad Pro and I've started to use it more and more, to the point where now when I travel, I only travel with the iPad Pro, and today, we will start the journey, I'll start sharing with you my experiences in this in using the iPad Pro as a notebook replacement. And I gotta say right off the top, there was nothing wrong with my notebook computer. It was a little bit big but I had a great 15-inch MacBook Pro that had done the job for me for years. But I was enamored by the flexibility, the size, and some of the features that are in the iPad Pro, and also, I wanted to just travel lighter, I wanted to be a little bit more lean when I was on the road, and I wanted to get more done, frankly, on the airplane, and since I usually fly in economy class, the 15-inch notebook just was a non-starter, I just couldn't get any work done with a 15-inch notebook in economy class. So, I thought the iPad Pro would be the way to go. So let me take you through the decision-making process. This is gonna be a three-video series. The first video, we'll talk about the hardware, the configuration, setting up your iPad Pro. The second, we will do a field test, I will show you the iPad Pro on the road, and talk to you about how I use it when I'm in the field. And the third video in the series will be taking a look at some of the software tools, some of the unique tools and the applications that I choose to use when I'm on the iPad. At the end of the series, you should have a much better idea of whether or not the iPad Pro would fit as a notebook replacement for you. So, let's begin with the first decision, which is actually one that I pondered for a long time, which iPad Pro should I purchase? There's the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which is drop-dead gorgeous. You know, if you were to walk into a store, and you have not yet looked at the iPad Pro, when you walk in to a store and you pick up the iPad Pro for the first time, if you pick up the 12.9-inch, you will be amazed with how large it is. I mean, it is a fairly large form factor in itself, but the edge-to-edge screen, the fact that it's all screen with no bezel will just blow you away, and personally, I was intimidated, to a certain extent, by the size of the 12.9-inch screen, I just didn't see handling it, and you're kind of walking around and using it as a true portable tablet. It's a totally impressive screen, and if it works for you, by all means, that's the one to choose, but I chose a smaller version of the iPad Pro. I chose the 11-inch version of the iPad Pro, I got the 256-gigabyte version, and I purchased the mobility-enabled version, I purchased the one that I could connect to my cellular network, so I have always-on connectivity all of the time, and I think that was a really good choice to make. I did spend a lot of time, and a lot of anxiety, over how much storage to purchase, because, of course, once you've purchased the iPad Pro, Apple does not let you upgrade the internal storage, and so I thought 256 gigabytes might be a little bit light, but the leap in price to the 512 just made me say, "I think I can make do on it." I don't plan to do a lot of video editing, or a lot of audio editing, a little bit, but I'm not using it as a video production tool, per se, my goal, I probably should have mentioned this right off the top, my goal for the iPad Pro was to get productivity work done when I'm on the road, catching up on e-mails, doing a little bit of writing, doing a little bit of planning, that sort of stuff, and I needed a kick-ass presentation system. I typically travel to give talks at events, and I wanted to be able to hook the iPad Pro up to whatever projector in whatever theater or whatever room I was speaking in, and use it as my presentation platform. Those were my main criteria. Productivity, communications, and presentation, not necessarily production work, so that might be a caveat that helps you make your decision. If you're gonna be on the road making videos, editing videos, although I'm hearing a lot of people are doing it, and I've actually downloaded an app called LumaFusion, which is supposed to be an outstanding video editing app. It wasn't my main purpose, it's more a nice-to-have, not a must have, as far as I'm concerned. So the decision came down to the 11-inch iPad Pro. Now, peripherals. I had to purchase several peripherals with it, and I purchased the ones that you would pretty much expect. I purchased Apple's Pencil. I love Apple's Pencil, it is a touch-sensitive, pressure-sensitive device, I really didn't like generation one of the configuration, the old iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil that had a Lightning connector here that you had to plug in thusly into the iPad, which just terrified the heck outta me, you had to do that for charging purposes, and it terrified the heck outta me having this Pencil sticking out of the end of the iPad, I just thought that was a recipe for disaster. I never actually heard of anybody who broke theirs doing that, but I just figured that I would definitely be one of the people that did that. So the new version of the Apple Pencil has a flat side, and the top of the iPad Pro has this magnetic surface that it connects to and it charges wirelessly through that connection, and also, when you first purchase the Apple Pencil, it uses that as a pairing mechanism, so that it pairs the Pencil to the iPad Pro. Now I am not a terrific handwriter, my handwriting is quite sloppy, but I have enjoyed using the Pencil and discovering where the Apple Pencil works. This particular video, not gonna spend any time talking about the Pencil and the different note-taking apps and how it integrates, that's gonna be for a later video in this series, but suffice to say, so far so good for the Apple Pencil. Now of course I needed a keyboard of some sort, so I chose Apple's Folio Keyboard. There are a lot of choices in the keyboard market, there's a lot of third-party keyboards, there's two or three, how many reasons were the reasons that I chose the Apple Keyboard? Number one is it's so easy to configure. All of the other keyboards out there use Bluetooth to configure, and that's okay, but it's also, and we've all had experiences with Bluetooth things that just don't work always and when we want them to, and there's oftentimes conflicts. Now I haven't heard of a lot of those issues with the third-party keyboards, but Apple's Keyboard has this little connecting, these little three pins that connect back here, I don't know if you can see them there, look do you see there, there's the three pins, and those connect to the three pins on the back of the iPad, so that it connects to the iPad instantly through that connection point, so there's no Bluetooth connection needed, and also, there's no charging needed, you don't need to charge the keyboard or do anything along that line, so it was a very convenient tool to choose. As far as typing on the keyboard itself, the keys are small, I mean, it's an 11-inch keyboard, it's a tiny little keyboard. I found that I was only so-so as I started to do my typing on it, but as I use it more and more, as you'll see in the field test coming up in an upcoming video, I find that I'm very comfortable typing on the keyboard itself. Now I should make one caveat, with the iPad, I have, from the very beginning, chosen, as much as possible, to use dictation, Apple's dictation, based on Siri, their dictation, because I found in iOS, with my accent, dictation works very well, it's very reliable, and very efficient, so, wherever possible, I don't type in, I don't write in, I dictate, into whatever communications that I need to do. So I very heavily rely on the dictation capability, and there the iPad is the same as your iPhone, it's a terrific dictation tool. If you have a heavy accent, you might have a different experience, but with a nice neutral accent like I have, dictation has been a dream. So that is what I purchased from Apple. I also purchased AppleCare, because if you're traveling around with a device that's this light, I think it's a good idea to get AppleCare for all of your very mobile Apple peripherals. Ultimately, it will save you a lot if you have anything go wrong. So that's my Apple product, the Apple gear that I purchased as my setup. But I did buy two other peripherals that I'm gonna share with you right now, because they were both integral in making it work on the road for me. And the first is this little device here, and it's from SanDisk. This is a USB-C-to-USB-3.0 adapter and memory key. It's basically a flash drive, it's a 256 gigabyte flash drive, so it overcomes some of the limitation I have in storage on my iPad, but here is the genius in this little device. If we slide this little slider thusly, to the side, it's a USB-3.0, and if I slide it thusly the other way, it is USB-C, so I can, now that we have a file-management app built into the iPad, with the new iPadOS, I can plug this in to my iPad, and either upload or download files from the iPad, including, and most importantly, my presentation files. This was the ultimate insurance policy I needed to travel with the iPad Pro, because if I arrived at a speaking gig, and for some reason the iPad Pro didn't configure properly with the other hardware in the room in order to deliver a presentation, I could always, in a flash, no pun intended, take my presentation off of the iPad and use Sneakernet to give it to the AV crew, and they would be able to plug it in by USB to their computer and be able to then copy my presentation over to another computer that could then allow me to deliver my presentation without interruption. This was a phenomenal insurance policy, plus, it gave me an extra 256 gigabytes of storage for a very reasonable price, winner, winner, chicken dinner on the little SanDisk kind of converter USB memory key. The other thing that I purchased, and if you check on Amazon you are gonna find dozens of these, was a USB-C breakout box, and this breakout box has USB connectivity, as well as USB-C pass-through for charging, as well as an SD card slot, and most importantly, right there, an HDMI port. So what does this give me? This allows me to plug in to my iPad Pro, into the USB-C connection point on my iPad Pro, and then to be able to deliver video to a presentation system, and it has worked terrifically well every time that I've used it, and I've used it now several times for delivering speaking gigs. My confidence is soaring as far as using the iPad Pro as a presentation platform on the road. It has really worked out quite well. This particular model is from Anker, and I'll have links to both of these products in the description below, but those are the two additional pieces of hardware that I chose to purchase for the iPad Pro. So that's my main configuration, I've chosen the iPad Pro, and now I'll talk a little bit more briefly now, and remind you, actually, that this is just the first of a series of videos on using the iPad Pro as a replacement, but now you know my thought process in deciding on the different configurations and the options that I chose. Now I'm gonna remind you that you need to subscribe to this channel if you've not yet subscribed, because the next video in this series is gonna be a field test of the iPad Pro. I'm gonna be talking to you about using it in the airport, on the road, how it works as far as a productivity tool, I'll take you into the hotel room with it, as I use it as my notebook replacement. I suppose it's no secret at this point here, it's worked out pretty well as a notebook replacement. There are some limitations, there are some things that I feel that I would rather have a notebook when I'm on the road for, but they are few and far between, and figuring out which apps to use, and that sort of thing, has been a big part of the learning process and that will of course be in the upcoming videos on this series. Would love to hear your thoughts. Are you using a tablet as a notebook replacement? Is it working for you? What peripherals are you using, especially keyboards, I know, people get really passionate about the keyboard that they choose for their iPads, or for their tablets. I'm happy with the Apple Keyboard, but I realize that there are lots of other really good options out there, would love to hear your thoughts on that, and also the Apple Pencil, and what apps are you using? It's gonna help me as I prepare the final videos in this series. I know I've been using several different note-taking apps, and with a fair bit of success with some of them, but I haven't found the perfect one yet, so if you have the perfect note-taking app for the iPad, would love to hear your comments, or see your comments in the comments below. That's it, Part One is in the books, now you know what I bought, why I bought it, and how I've configured my iPad Pro. In the next video, let's see how it performs on the road. Till next time, I'm Steve Dotto. Have fun storming the castle!
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