Beating your fear of iPads
The MacBook Air used to be Apple’s computer for the masses, but it’s increasingly clear that unless you want to do pro-level video/audio work or software development, they’d rather sell you an iPad.
While the larger of the two new iPad Pros (no way you’ll ever get me calling them ‘iPads Pro’!) pretty much matches up with the old entry-level price of a MacBook Air when you add a keyboard case, the new MacBook Air itself his shifted up in price.
Many people will staunchly deny you can use an iPad as your main computer. There’s certainly some adjusting to be made in how you go about your work, but it’s perfectly possible. Case in point: I use last year’s model iPad Pro as my 'on the go’ computer almost every day and I fly through my work without a problem.
Your particular case may vary, but the lightweight form factor and ability to use LTE for continuous connectivity, makes the iPad Pro a winner for me. There are a few little problems I sometimes encounter, such as the Jira app for iOS being awful, and Google Drive making it tricky to share a file so anyone with the link can access it. Also, I wouldn’t like to have no access at all to a 'normal’ computer, even if I often use my iPad more often.
The new iPad Pro models do raise some questions if you do creative media work. The lack of a headphone jack and the single USB-C port means you’ll be hunting for a USB-C to power and headphone jack splitter. No-one making music or video would rely on Bluetooth headphones – the latency between what’s on the screen and what’s in your ears is too great. Likewise if you record podcasts as a distributed team.
But other than that, don’t be scared of trying an iPad Pro as your main computer. Check Apple’s returns policy in your country – it tends to be a no-quibble deal where you can take the hardware back within a set time period, no questions asked. This Halloween, don’t be frightened to rethink what a computer can be.