While there are a number of great video reviews on YouTube providing a general introduction to the iPad Pro, there have been precious few guinea pigs out there taking the new mega-tablet for a ride as a 'daily driver' machine. Sure there are a few artists out there who have already switched full-time to the iPad Pro - thanks in large part to the amazing performance of the new Apple Pencil and Apple's active digitiser technology - but I've had little luck finding business users (and especially software developers like us) taking on the iPad Pro 'daily driver' challenge. Basically that means stashing the MacBook/laptop - and reaching only for the iPad Pro to get all (or most) of the daily tasks a typical software-development focused, small business CEO-type would typically need throughout the day.
And believe me, this is something I don't take lightly - as for weeks I've avoided reviews, hands-on reports, and early preview videos to ensure I wouldn't fall victim to the latest Apple 'reality distortion field' surrounding the iPad Pro.
But with Tim Cook throwing down the gauntlet last week claiming the iPad Pro can indeed 'replace a laptop' for most people, the internet has been awash with opinions in both directions about the viability of iOS for major, daily, business-related computing tasks.
While in London this past week (with my trusty 12-inch MacBook at the ready), I found myself helplessly gravitate toward the Covent Garden Apple Store - and true to my fears - was completely sucked into the distortion field in all its immersive glory.
All I can say is, the reports are indeed true - the Apple Pencil is amazing, and although almost comically large, the iPad Pro screen is jaw-droppingly beautiful. So it got me thinking, could I really do this? Could I be 'that guy' that tries to use this thing full-time for a bit?
In all honesty, with the iPhone 6s Plus in tow, as well as a bulky Nexus 6P, I've been all set in terms of 'phablet' support on my daily commutes and trips into our London Office, and haven't really used an iPad personally for any length of time for well over 12 months. So I'm really coming at this fresh...as I'm relatively new to iOS 9 multitasking, never really played with an iPad Air 2, and besides some of our own apps, have been fairly removed from the greater iPad App ecosystem for a fair few months.
But the Apple vortex has its power - and though I rather expect I will run back to my MacBook a lot faster than two weeks, I'm going to give the iPad Pro a try for a fortnight as my 'daily driver', and see how true Tim Cook's claim really is. I'll be using the iPad Pro 128GB WiFi/4G version on EE, and have managed to purchase a Logitech CREATE keyboard, which early reports put as slightly superior to Apple's own magic keyboard. I've got my order in for an Apple Pencil - but I don't plan on holding my breath - as I would be amazed if I saw it this side of Christmas.
But for my daily activities (email, twitter, notes, MS Office documents, Keynote presentations, Chrome apps, etc) I think the iPad Pro + keyboard should cover me. That said, don't think I'm not trawling eBay fairly regularly to try and get that Pencil!
So here goes nothing.
Full disclosure - I'm not abandoning a proper computer completely for 2 weeks as I'm still going to use my iMac when in the office (I'm not insane after all, and we do have a lot of intricate software tasks requiring some heavy lifting that need to get done!). But when out of the Bletchley Park office, in London a few days a week, in client meetings, at home or commuting, I'm all iPad Pro all the time.
Not quite sure what I'm getting into - but for now the MacBook goes into the sock drawer, and from tomorrow when my iPad Pro arrives, it's iOS or bust....
More updates as we go...