When I first started using an iPad back in 2010, it was a companion to my Mac: Something that I could take with me on trips to use in the car or plane, something that I could use to take notes in college then sync them back to my Mac when I was ready to do “real work.”
Wow, the iPad certainly has changed over the years, and the newest iPad Pros are some of the best that Apple has ever shipped. I first got a 12.9” iPad Pro in late 2015 because I was intrigued by the larger size, the always-attached keyboard, and what I could do with a faster iPad.
That iPad was my favorite go-to computer when not doing iOS or Mac development work, but it was hardly portable, especially if you wanted to carry it around with you. The iPad Pro 10.5” that recently launched at WWDC 2017, however, seems to fill the void with respect to the balance of power, screen real estate and portability.
First, let’s talk power. The new iPad Pros are amazingly fast (and thanks to ProMotion, are visually snappier as well). In Geek Bench, the iPad Pros actually score a better single and multi-core processor rating than the latest Microsoft Surface Pro laptops. But specs are never anything to brag about: The operating system and tools are really where it’s at, and with iOS 10, the iPad is a beast allowing you to do many tasks you would never have thought to do an iPad, and do many of them better. When iOS 11 is released laster this fall, the iPad will get a major facelift and bring even more powerful tools like drag and drop, enhanced Apple Pencil support, and much more.
So, the second favorite feature is the screen. The 10.5” screen strikes a balance between portability and the screen size that you need to get traditional tasks like image editing done without having to zoom in and out too much. It’s also a perfect size for multitasking two apps in split screen or in 2/3 mode without feeling too cramped. To me, the iPad Pro 9.7” of old felt very cramped when doing normal tasks.
The last feature that I like is just how portable it is. The iPad Pro 10.5” with the attached Smart Keyboard is extremely light and easy to carry around. It works great at a table and it also works well using it on your lap like a traditional laptop (I was actually worried about this coming from the 12.9” iPad Pro, which worked great on my lap). Being so portable means that I’m more likely to take this with me and use it over any other computer.
So, why is it my favorite computer? Well, because it can do nearly everything I need a computer to do, except for iOS development with a traditional IDE (We need Xcode for iPad, Apple), and because it’s the computer that I can always carry around with me, pull out in public and not feel awkward using. Nearly every task I do with the iPad and the attached Smart Keyboard feels magical and natural — this is clearly the future of personal computing.
The Objective Developer is a blog written by Cory Bohon