It’s official, the iPad Pro is my full time laptop. Here are the benefits, and the apps I use most.

I finally received the Apple Smart Keyboard case for my iPad Pro, and it has solidified the transition from my Macbook to the iPad Pro. I’m all in, and I love this device.

I can do 95% of my computing needs on the iPad. Maybe 97%. Once in a while something will happen where I have to use an actual computer. A few websites don’t function well on a mobile browser and/or don’t have great apps (like eTrade), but for the most part I can do everything I need to do on this device.

The benefits of switching to the iPad Pro:

  • Assuming you get the model that has cellular connectivity, its always on. While most places have wifi these days, you don’t have to worry about not being online, which is a must for most people (including me.)
  • Big, beautiful touchscreen. I can’t emphasize enough how great the screen is on this device. And having a touchscreen on your “laptop” is something that, once you experience it, you’ll always want it. 
  • The battery life is 10 hours, easy. Hard to beat that.
  • It’s slim and ultra-portable
  • You’re forced to 100% utilize cloud storage for files. That’s a great habit to have. No more “desktop files” or download folders.
  • I’ve become really good at working on my iPhone. Before the iPad, I didn’t think I could “work” on my phone, but now that I’ve embraced an app + browser world, and I’ve figured out which processes work best for that, I can do a LOT of work on my iPhone. Perhaps it was just a mental block I used to have.

The apps I use most (in no particular order):

  • Evernote for notes and task management
  • WordPress app for blogging
  • Google Docs and Google Sheets
  • Apple’s Mail and Calendar apps. I’ve tried using 3rd party apps for email and calendar, but they always have some tiny problem that makes them not completely reliable or useful. While I have some complaints about both of these Apple-made apps, they get the job done well for now.
  • Slack for company and nonprofit communication (message-board style)
  • Safari and Chrome browsers. I switch randomly from one to the other. I haven’t yet found a good reason to use only one. Occasionally a website will work better on one vs. the other and I can’t figure out exactly why, so I bounce between the two pretty regularly.
  • Hootsuite for Twitter management
  • Buffer for scheduling Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin posts. I could use Hootsuite for this purpose, if I wanted to pay for the Pro version, which I do not. 
  • Lastpass for password management

With these tools, I can get all of my work done, aside from the once-in-a-while snag that comes up where an app or mobile website doesn’t allow me to do something. Luckily, wherever I am, I’m always close to proper computer or laptop. And since everything I do is cloud-based now, I can access my files from any wifi-connected device.


  1. Bradley Wagner on December 28, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Check out Google Inbox. It’s become my go to mobile and desktop email client. I like the mix of email and reminders in the same place and the ability to snooze things to come back at specific times like Boomerang and did.

  2. […] the bottom row of my iPad’s homescreen (which is essentially my laptop’s desktop, since the iPad Pro has replaced my laptop), you get a sense of the things that I check on a regular basis to absorb the news. I referenced […]

  3. Jeff Hilimire on December 30, 2015 at 5:37 am

    Thanks for the recommendation. Two things that don’t work for me yet with Google Inbox. 1) it’s not optimized for the iPad yet. It looks nice on mobile but the app is clearly not made for a tablet experience. And 2) I have a tight process on my email currently and the way Google Inbox does some of its own calculations on what’s important causes some snafus. If I had found Inbox a few years ago, it might be THE process is use, but as it is now it feels like it’s perfect for someone in search of a way to manage email, but I feel like my process works well for me.

  4. […] in December, I started an experiment. Encouraged by my friend Jeff’s move to an iPad I tried out working from an iPad with a keyboard and it turned out that I liked the […]

  5. Kevin Chu on April 6, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Totally agree. Inbox is phenomenal on my 6s – I use Inbox as my todo list and the snooze capability really helps facilitate that. I don’t like it as much on a big browser or tablet (granted – I haven’t checked it out on an iPad in awhile).

  6. Kevin Chu on April 6, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    @jeffhilimire:disqus – What do you think of the smaller iPad Pro? I’m playing with the larger iPad Pro through work. At first glance, it looks entirely too enormous, and isn’t that different than my 13″ MBP.

  7. Jeff Hilimire on April 7, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Hey Kevin. So you have to think of the current iPad Pro as simply a laptop. It’s basically unusable as a tablet IMHO. So to me, the smaller iPad Pro gets interesting because you could use it both as a tablet and as a laptop, assuming it’s big enough for laptop use. I have to see one in person, but that’s the reason I’m considering it. I currently just use my iPad Pro and the 6+, and no other tablet. I’d be interested in perhaps using a tablet as a reading device, sitting on the couch, and the current Pro is just to gigantic for that.

    Hoping to see one in person so I can decide if it’s a better device.

    The difference between your 13″ MBP and the current iPad Pro: always connected to Internet via cellular, battery is probably better (10 hours), touch screen, and it lets you access all the apps you’ve purchased on your iDevices over the years.

  8. Kevin Chu on April 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks for the quick response! I’m starting to get used to the iPad Pro, although the lack of certain hot keys (especially with how I use Slack) continue to trip me up.

    But found myself for the first time nearly touching the screen on my laptop :).

    I will likely enjoy the smaller iPad Pro, and will be testing that out next.

  9. Jeff Hilimire on April 9, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Nice, I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on it. And yeah, I’m forever broken now thinking that I can touch any screen ;)

  10. How I use Twitter, Buffer, and Hootsuite on May 20, 2016 at 5:29 am

    […] I use Twitter’s flagship app when I’m browsing content on my phone and iPad Pro. I prefer the user experience of it over other tools, though I wish they had more of the features […]

Leave a Comment