Two years with the iPad Pro. It was the dumbest and the best buy at the same time

I shot two years with the iPad Pro. This is one of those purchases that I couldn’t justify for a long time. I was prepared for the fact that after a week I would throw the equipment in the corner and not return to it again, and there … a surprise.

Two years have passed in April since I started my adventure with the iPad Pro. In 2020 I was tempted by a refreshed tablet variant, and last year I replaced it with a newer model with an M1 processor. In those two years, there have only been about a dozen days that I haven’t used the tablet – that’s the time between selling a tablet and receiving a shipment with a news. And I can honestly say it was the craziest – but also one of the most satisfying electronics purchases I’ve made since… I don’t know when.

It was supposed to be there for a while, it stayed forever. And it became my absolute favorite

I wanted the iPad Pro from 2018, when Apple said goodbye to the Home button in the fall and offered 120Hz. However, I couldn’t justify such an expensive purchase. I couldn’t do that in 2019 either. But the start of the pandemic and the start of 2020 was a very crazy time when I thought you lived once – and had to try new things. The whole iPad Pro with Apple Pencil went on my stubble and I was lost. According to the assumptions – first to procreate and try to learn something new. Later – to everything else.

In short: after leaving my computer, I try not to return to it. Browsing the internet or talking on communicators on a smartphone is a necessity for me – and I can’t imagine he has access to more convenient devices. That’s what a laptop and… a tablet are. But that’s just the beginning, as the iPad has proven to be a brilliant anytime, anywhere companion – and saves me in situations that were previously hopeless.

A daily companion. At home and away

At home on the iPad, I do…basically everything the lion’s share of the modern world uses smartphones for. I communicate with family and friends, browse the web, browse Instagram (in the browser, of course), and even watch YouTube. Because of the ever-increasing database of digital comics – this is also where I break into notebooks and graphic history volumes, which are not only cheaper, but also available as a subscription. I also sometimes write something about it – because the abandonment of Bluetooth keyboards and their replacement by the Smart Keyboard Folio turned out to be a real revolution. Honestly, this is the first iPad keyboard that makes sense.

Due to what the modern world looks like, travel big and small has been greatly reduced. I haven’t flown much in the last two years, but something happened. And whether it was a trip that I had to work on (so of course I had a laptop with me) or 100% recreational, the iPad Pro was the gear I was packing in the first place. When it comes to on-the-go media consumption, it’s irreplaceable. Podcasts, films, series, comics – all in one device at your fingertips.

But the iPad isn’t just for me entertainment and content consumption.

iPad apps may be poorer, but they’re not useless

For many years, the mobile versions of the app were believed to be just a toy. You know how to quickly spruce up something there and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It was so. But that has changed.

I won’t try to defend every industry and every application – as I can refer to the ones I use myself. And beyond Procreate on iPad for create I use two: Photoshop and Lightroom. And yes – none are as cool as the ones available on computers (Photoshop is still far behind, with Lightroom it’s complicated – because with “regular” LRs it’s 1:1, perfectly synchronized in the cloud. But “regular” LRs are much poorer than Lightroom Classic, and this one is only available in the desktop version). However, that doesn’t change the fact that I actively use each of them. The lion’s share of the photos I edit – especially when traveling – I edit in the mobile Lightroom, which may not be as cool as the LR Classic, but it has a secret weapon. Masking with Apple Pencil, which is incomparably more convenient than doing it with a mouse or trackpad on a computer.

As far as Photoshop goes – we try to hide it every day as much as possible, but when taking pictures of equipment (which are often “up close”), no matter how hard we try to clean it up, it there will always be dust particles. And if you were cleaning once the photos are on the computer, you know how much time and work it can take. Here, too, I have been doing for some time exclusively on the iPad: fast, convenient, intuitive – with a stylus, of course.

I do not take the monitor with me on trips. I take an iPad, that’s enough

The last element for which I LOVE the iPad: the Sidecar function, that is to say, transform it into an additional screen for your computer. Every day I work at a desk with two screens (laptop + 27″ monitor). When I work outside the home – whether in a hotel, while traveling, visiting my parents, this additional monitor I still miss the whole workflow is disrupted, and as a result everything takes much longer than expected.The iPad proves to be a perfect companion here, replacing the lack of a second screen.The perfect solution in its simplicity allows me to work efficiently even outside the house.

And while we’re at Sidecar – I’ll also mention that it turns out to be a solid solution even at home with more advanced retouching and using options that Photoshop mobile lacks. Since I don’t have access to graphics tablets, pairing an iPad and using an Apple Pencil is a bullseye.

I really didn’t think I would love the tablet so much

For many years I didn’t see a place for a tablet for me. A computer and a smartphone were a 100% sufficient combination. In the world of tablets, however, a lot has changed over the years (most importantly: the internet we surf on is officenot movable). Apparently my needs and expectations of this equipment have also changed. If I had to define what time spent doing something looks like and consumes – for me it would probably be 50/50. Which seems like a pretty solid result to me anyway. And for me it is no longer just an additional gadget for games and multimedia, but an everyday companion.

I still think that (especially in Polish realities) the iPad Pro is terribly expensive – especially if we add the cost of the Apple Pencil and the keyboard with Smart Connector (the one that doesn’t have to be Apple’s ). But as far as I’m concerned, I can’t imagine picking up an inferior model – other than the slight price difference – the iPad Air doesn’t have two things that made me decide to buy the iPad Pro in the first place: 120 Hz screen refresh and Face ID. In retrospect, I consider this impulse buy to be really dumb, but on the other hand – if it weren’t for that, I’d probably still be wondering if it’s really worth it and if I really need it.

It’s not a device that I can’t imagine my life without, but definitely a device that makes it enjoyable and easier. It’s not intended to replace a computer (a Samsung tablet with Dex mode would certainly be closer), but at best to be an addition to the ecosystem. And since I use other Apple devices – choosing the tablet because of the cooperation of the devices (and the library of applications accumulated over years) was a no-brainer for me.

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