The iPad Pro is an awesome travel device

I just finished my first trip with my iPad Pro and I can say with confidence that this is my new all in one travel companion. If you travel a lot (as I do) then you should take a long hard look at the iPad Pro. It is a wonderful iPad with a large screen, great battery life and you can use it on the plane during take off and landing. Just don’t be surprised if need to show the flight attendant that it is in fact an iPad because it looks so big it can easily be confused for a notebook.

When Apple first announced the iPad Pro I didn’t think it was anything more than an over-sized iPad but after spending a week with it I’ve changed my tune. The iPad Pro is the culmination of years of careful strategy by Apple to design an iOS device capable of replacing your Macbook Pro notebook. The iPad Pro is the first iOS device that I’ve used that can actually replace it. Not only can it do that but it can do so much more. I’m falling in love with this thing.

The killer feature for me on the iPad Pro is that I can have two apps open on the screen at the same time. Side by side both apps function as if they were being used solo on a regular iPad. For example, I’m composing this blog post using IA Writer on the left side of the screen and Safari on the right side. I could arrange my apps on my Macbook Pro to do the same thing but its faster and easy on iOS. Dragging a new app out from the side of the screen with my finger feels like the right gesture for doing this.

iOS apps are more comfortable working full screen compared to their OS X counterparts. They also work faster and more simply because they were designed for a touch screen mobile device. They launch faster, controls are easier to get to and they are more intuitive.

The iPad Pro is heavy — too heavy to hold it while you use it for anything longer than a couple of minutes. That isn’t a problem for me, I’m going to use it propped up on a pillow, on a stand at my desk, a table, or sitting up on my lap. I’m more than happy to sacrifice weight for the extra screen real estate and the ability to show two apps at the same time. Oh my god this screen, it has more resolution than the 15″ Macbook Pro. It is absolutely incredible.

Productivity is awesome with two apps. The iPad Pro allows you to resize and prioritize which app takes more screen real estate by dragging the divider in between them. The divider is always showing so it is really easy to move it around depending on what you need to see. Sometimes I have mail app taking up most of the space with my calendar on one side. Other times I’ve got Safari and IA Writer taking equal space.

Apps need to implement the split view API in order to use them in split screen mode. At the time of this review many apps do support this feature but there are some that don’t. I suspect that all will eventually support this feature as Apple will likely make it mandatory for App Store approval in a future version of iOS.

Apple isn’t the first company to make it easy to have two windows open at the same time on a tablet. Microsoft has been doing this for years but Apple got it more right than anyone else.

If you plan to buy an iPad Pro I would recommend both of Apple’s accessories to go with it. There is the Smart Keyboard cover and the Apple Pencil. Both are expensive (so is the Ipad) but you’ll want them if you are serious about using the iPad Pro as a replacement to your Macbook Pro especially if you plan to travel.

The Apple Smart Keyboard cover for the iPad Pro has a spill proof keyboard that is easy to type on. I actually enjoy the action of the keys which are unlike any Apple keyboard I’ve ever used. It can be noisy if you like to bang on your keys as I do. That shouldn’t be a problem though because if you are in a meeting you are likely using the Apple Pencil to take notes, not the keyboard.

The Apple Pencil writes flawlessly using apps that support it. There is no lag what so ever. Its like writing on paper. Not all apps support the Pencil and it can’t be used for navigating the iPad Pro and it only supports the iPad Pro so there are limitations. For me the big use case is taking notes in Evernote or the Apple Notes app.

Its the end of a long day and you retire back to your hotel room to get some rest and relaxation. You are done with work and you just want to catch up on a few Netflix shows. The iPad Pro is an amazing content device. Watching Netflix on the iPad Pro is like watching a large TV. The sound from the built in speakers is in stereo, loud and sounds great. The screen is huge and the picture quality is fantastic. Whether you are in your hotel room, on a plane, in a car, you will enjoy using your iPad Pro to consume content. Reading the news, a book, a magazine, a website, the iPad Pro is absolutely

I don’t know that the iPad Pro will replace my MacBook all together but it will for sure replace it when I travel. I do have to issue a warning though. If you plan to watch movies in bed and you prop the iPad Pro up on your chest, do not fall asleep. Twice I fell sleep and the iPad fell on to my face waking me up startled. First world problems.

By joshkerr

Josh is an 8x startup founder and angel investor.

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