So last week I mentioned I had started taking classes for a masters degree… One of the things that became very quickly apparent to me was that while I have a really nice computer setup at home. It sucked like portable hole going to a vacuum dimension. I’ve had a iPad of some sort since the iPad2 days. I’ve always found them to be handy but never really good for much more then keeping track of my fantasy football teams and surfing the internet on the couch. The best use I’ve ever found for it is watching movies on a plane or something similarly single focused.
So with this class I made a concerted effort to use my iPad Air 2 with a Bluetooth keyboard for class for taking notes on reading and doing outlines for papers. I knew that writing full blown papers wasn’t going to happen but I was going to go for 70% of my homework. The first week of class it blew up in my face so hard… the keyboard was just to small, my gorilla sized sausagesque fingers were missing and double tapping keys constantly, along with just being generally uncomfortable. The process did show great promise though the ergonomics sucked. Which I kind of already knew from using the iPad at conferences for taking notes, good for a quick thing or two but hands on keyboard for more then a minute or two and things started to be “no bueno”.
So this led to a deep discussion of replacing the iPad with a portable device that could act as a writing and research device and fill the remarkable small iPad sized niche in my life. One of the things I have noticed over the last 2 years since I got a iPhone + is that I used my iPad much less and just defaulted to my iPhone. I seriously questioned if another iPad was warranted or would I better served by a low end surface or MacBook.
Chrome books have merit, I’m not just there yet…
I kicked around the concept for a week and what I finally landed on was. While a second laptop to carry around would be nice, I would already be behind the tech curve on a piece of gear that I knew had a limited shelf life and low resale/hand down value. That’s what killed the laptop and 2in1 situations and ultimately landed on a iPad Pro 10.5 with… a keyboard….
So basically I have a single app focus laptop with a small keyboard that isn’t to cramped for my gorilla like hands that is reasonably powerful, integrates with my workflows, and can fill a iPad sized niche in my world. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how nicely the iPad has worked fill some roles and I’ve already found uses for it outside of the original scope. It’s not a daily carry device in the work bag… I may not use it every day, but it’s there and I only need to charge it once a week. The down side is with the keyboard and the smart connector it’s tough to use it on my lap… and I kinda despise the on screen keyboard. It’s not perfect, but it gets the job done.