The iPad Pro Road Test

John Scalzi

I went on vacation with Krissy for the last several days (to celebrate our anniversary), and rather than to take either my Pixelbook or my Dell XPS 13 with me, I took my new M2 iPad Pro with its Magic Keyboard to see if it was a suitable laptop replacement for a short trip. I am back now with thoughts. Let’s start off with:


1. The iPad’s computing capabilities. It’s got an M2 chip, 16GB RAM and a 2TB SSD, which basically meant there was nothing short of a real-world tornado simulation that was going to faze it. I didn’t experience a single hiccup or slowdown running anything on it. Admittedly what I was mostly doing was email, social media and some light productivity and YouTube watching; if the M2 had gagged on any of that, something would have been terribly wrong. There was nothing wrong. I’ve also run Logic Pro for iPad on the thing and similarly experienced no problems there, and it’s a far more intensive program. I don’t think I’ll be making this iPad choke anytime soon.

2. The screen. It’s bright, the colors are lovely and it’s tack-sharp in terms of resolution. I believe the screen refreshes at 120Hz, and the smooth scrolling is absolutely a feature you notice. Everything looks great on this screen, and its 4:3 dimension means there is a whole lot of real estate to use.

3. The Magic Keyboard: I’ve never used one before and they always looked a little flimsy to me, but in the real world, the build is solid and both the keyboard and trackpad, while not the best I’ve ever used in my life, were still more than sufficient. I didn’t really notice the lack of a function key row, and while I understand other people find the keyboard a little cramped, I apparently have tiny hands and never experienced that problem myself. I also assumed that I wouldn’t actually be able to put the thing in my lap to work on, and that it would just flop about and otherwise be unwieldly, but, nope — I had no problem propping it up on my legs and going to town. It’s not the best lap experience I’ve ever had from a computer? But it’s not the worst, either. It’s totally usable.

4. The speakers and camera. The speakers are nice and loud and clear. I’m not expecting earth-shattering bass out of a tablet, and I didn’t get it, but otherwise, it’s perfectly solid. For most non-party situations, it’s plenty loud. The camera is not overladen with megapixels — both the front and rear-facing cameras are 12MP — but the pictures are sharp, colorful and pretty. I know many people recoil in horror at the idea of taking pictures with a tablet, but, look, if that’s the piece of computing you’re using at the moment, why would you switch just because the thing looks slightly awkward? It’s fine. And the pictures are nice!

So all that’s good! Now:


5. Both the Magic Keyboard and the iPad Pro are absolute smudge monsters. I don’t think of myself as a particularly oily character, but after a day of use, both the iPad and the keyboard were smudgy as fuck. You can see it in the photo above, especially on the trackpad. Apple touts the iPad screen as being “oleophobic,” and fingerprint resistant, but I am here to tell you that this is a contemptible lie. I have never had a piece of computing equipment get this smudgy, this fast. And yes, to be clear, I am taking a normal amount of showers and hand washing. It’s not me, or at least, not just me.

6. The UI/feature set is not great. Some of that is me coming over from primarily Windows, to be sure, and another part of it is Apple not wanting the iPad to entirely cannibalize its Mac computer sales. I get that. Be that as it may, there’s a whole lot here that is clunky and/or fuzzy as fuck, from app switching and resizing to multi-finger gestures on the Magic Keyboard trackpad. Likewise, as someone who is extensively wrapped up in the Googleverse, most Google apps on the iPad are kind of a mess in terms of operability, with features that are either degraded from their Android/Windows equivalents, or with those features missing entirely. I understand that Apple only grudgingly lets Google into its walled garden to begin with; even so, their lack of functionality doesn’t make me want to use the equivalent Apple apps, it just makes me want to reach for my actual laptop.

7. The Apple Pencil. So far it’s mostly just an expensive magnetized hat for my iPad. Which to be fair is as much about me as it is about the Pencil – I can’t draw or paint to save my life, and the other trick that the Pencil has — scrolling through pages and such — one can do as easily with one’s fingers. I tried using the iPad as a notepad for handwritten notes and was immediately disconcerted by the feel of the stylus on glass. This is a problem I had with the Pixelbook as well, mind you, so it’s not an Apple thing, it’s a me-writing-on-glass thing. I understand there are screen protectors that also replicate the feel of writing on paper, and I may have to try those out. For the moment, however, yeeech, not a fan.

8. Apps not as full-featured as on either Mac or PC. This is less of a “dislike” as a “meh,” but it’s there. This is something I had to deal with with the Pixelbook as well — I had to use the Web versions of a lot of programs, and they’re just not as good. The iPad versions of things like Word or Lightroom tend to be better than the Web app versions, but they’re still missing some features and plugins I use with the desktop, and that can get a little frustrating in the (to be fair relatively rare) moments when I actually need the deeper set of tools and abilities. Apps sometimes compensate for this with iPad-only functionality, but so far at least, that’s functionality I’m not actually using.

So, will I continue using the iPad as a laptop substitute? Maaaybe? For trips in which I know I won’t be need a whole feature set for the programs and apps I use, sure, because in those cases there’s no penalty, and the iPad + Magic Keyboard combo is perfectly serviceable. For light travel, notwithstanding my gripes about the Google-specific apps, the iPad + Magic Keyboard is at least as functional as my Pixelbook, and a lot more powerful under the hood. I can see taking it on the trips I’d taken the Pixelbook on before. If I need full functionality for productivity work, I’ll still haul out the Dell XPS 13.

For those of you with an iPad and a Magic Keyboard, what has your experience been? Is it something that replaced a laptop for you? Or is it not quite there yet? Let me know your thoughts.

— JS

41 Comments on “The iPad Pro Road Test”

  1. So I got my (older) iPad Pro for art! In that specific context, I love the Pencil; but I also don’t mind the slipperiness of its feeling. A lot of people dislike that sensation so you’re not alone.

    I am almost all-in on Apple ecosystem wise (writing laptop is a Macbook Pro, iPhone, iPad; only my music rig is a Windows machine) and yet I have to agree with you about the iPad’s UI. The file system and even doing something as simple as splitting the screen between two apps is highly annoying.

    I found the Magic Keyboard surprisingly usable; but the UI issues would prevent me from going all-in on an iPad Pro as opposed to using it as a supplemental device.

    The one thing I really love it for is reading (color) PDFs. I have had very expensive dedicated A4 ereaders, but sometimes I legitimately do need to view something in color – usually things like TTRPG PDFs from DrivethruRPG, math or other papers, art how-to books from places like 3dtotal.

  2. Are you using Command+Tab to switch applications?

    The pencil is great for certain things. I use it all the time to mark up music in ForScore for choir, orchestra, musicals, and my cover band. I’ll occasionally use it for marking up things in a non-music PDF document, but I don’t think I’d feel Like it was worth it just for that.

  3. I’m fortunate to be in a situation where I only need the iPad Pro to fill a specific niche: I have a desktop and laptop at home, both Windows, so my iPad is mostly for watching video. In fact, most of the time I have it in a stand like you might see in a kiosk somewhere, since I wanted a wider range of angles than the Magic Keyboard provides … which also means the Apple Pencil basically doesn’t work for me, since the stand holds the iPad by its top and bottom and thus the Pencil can’t attach to charge. (It’s just as well. I’ve already “lost” the Pencil at least once in a backpack from it coming loose.)

    I also have small hands, so I didn’t find the Keyboard much of a problem to type on … but I’m also an old-school person who likes my page up/page down keys and my numeric keypad, and there’s obviously no room for that. (Yep, the laptop I have does have a numeric keypad!)

    Overall, I found that combination good enough for the things I needed from a tablet; when I travel, I usually take both a laptop and the iPad (look, I’d take extra monitors with me if I could figure out how to fold them up), so I don’t really need the iPad to be more than a tablet, and it’s great at doing that.

    If I needed it to be a standalone computer, I don’t think I’d like it. I’ve been in the Windows ecosystem for decades, but have used a MacBook at work for programming for 10+ years … and even with that amount of exposure, I’ve not really adjusted to the gesture-heavy Mac setup, preferring to use keyboard or keyboard+trackpad instead. I think I’d be too grumbly if I had just the touchscreen and keyboard. (The Pencil is OK, but since I really just do gaming and video, it’s not really a key tool for me.)

  4. I don’t have the latest iPad Pro 11, mine is from 2018, but it replaced my laptop entirely within days. I have used it as my only computing machine to do all the usual stuff (email, web, net, txt msg, financial, etc) as well as photo image processing, video creation and editing, and some writing and occasional drawing.

    I don’t use any Google apps so I can’t comment on them or their UI. I use Numbers and Pages, and Keynote, and Safari, YouTube and AppleTV, Paper, Mail, E*Trade, Affinity Photo, SnapSeed, Director, and a half dozen or more other dedicated apps for various things. I wish a couple of them were available on my macOS system.

    The iPad Pro does not obsolete my Mac mini … I have all my databases and vast amounts of photo and writing work on that machine. I share bits of that repository over to the iPad Pro as needed when I’m traveling or out of the house.

    For me, I prefer the iPadOS UI and use model in some ways to macOS. General access to the file system is the biggest difference in my use, and is why most of my “big data” is on the mini (with 7 10 terabyte drives backing it up).

    I’ll buy a new mini and a new iPad Pro sometime soon to get the new Apple silicon performance. :)

  5. FWIW… I think the main issue is that the iPad software started out as a simplified, bulletproof computing appliance for people who either weren’t good at computers (my 80-year-old father) or who were good at computers but wanted an additional device to escape all the hassles of a standard platform (me). And Apple has been trying to expand that into a full-fledged productivity platform, with very mixed results.

    Frankly, I think in some ways it’s the worst of both worlds – the ways they’ve pushed the boundaries of the initial platform have lost some of the initial simplicity and reliability that made it great to begin with, while many of the productivity feature add-ons are clunky because they’re trying to stay within the simplicity of the original iOS paradigm.

    So I don’t think it’s Apple not wanting to cannibalize MacBook sales – frankly, I think they’d be fine with that in the general productivity sphere, selling iPads for that and MacBooks for high-end/advanced users. The problem is they’re trying to expand a simple platform in a way that keeps the simplicity but makes it capable of handling complex tasks.

    I’m not sure they can square that circle, and frankly part of me wishes they’d stop trying. If they can actually figure it out, that’d be great; but they’re harming the great thing they already have.

  6. I use a screen protector (skinomi if that matters) on my phone and one of the main reasons is smudges. It doesn’t keep it less oily at all. If anything, it makes it more oily. But, the smudges aren’t as noticeable. I can clean once or twice a day and without a protector, I have to clean it off all the time.

  7. As you (probably) know I’m pretty deeply embedded in the Apple ecosystem and not at all in the Google one, so we’re likely to have a fundamental difference of experience in this area. That said:

    My iPad doesn’t replace my laptop for me, but I probably use it more than my laptop at this point. I consume most social media and “quick” video (e.g. YouTube) there, and also do a lot of casual (very casual) gaming there. I do some online shopping with it. Amusingly (?) Amazon’s iOS app provides an even clearer example of how enshittified the company has become than their web site does.

    The iPad also fills the role of “iPhone with a big screen” for things like video calls where I want a better view of what people are showing me.

    I have an Apple Pencil but rarely use it. Amusingly my wife is even less artistically inclined than I am and she uses her Pencil more than I do. I have done a little sketching with it and think it’s fine. I know people who do serious hobbyist art who use it with Procreate on their iPads, so it seems to do a good job for some people, anyway.

    I occasionally compose blog posts on my iPad (keeping in mind that I write less than 1 post per week overall). The WordPress app is pretty good. I rarely use a physical keyboard with my iPad and doubtless the experience would be better if I did. But I usually pull out the laptop for this.

    Some day I might try to write That Great Science Fiction Novel Rattling Around In My Head Where I Have No Idea What Happens In The Middle Third and then I’ll see how Scrivener works on it.

  8. Try using Lightroom with the Pencil, off the keyboard.

    I often import photos from my camera directly into Lightroom on my iPad, then select, adjust, etc, them, there, on the couch or wherever, and then switch to the desktop to do final output and archiving to S3. That’s the process I used on JoCo 2022, too.

  9. I believe you’re of just a touch (by a factor of a million or so) on the screen refresh rate, lol.

  10. I use a matte screen protector on my iPad from a local shop. Mutes the colors a bit, but I never notice smudges.

    Using the Apple Pencil to scroll leaves less oil as well. 🙂

  11. My iPad hasn’t replaced my laptop, but I don’t expect (or even want) it to. 90% of what I want from my iPad is web browsing, Kindle/Zinio/other e-books & magazines, and FaceTime. For a long time I just used an iPad mini, within the last year I finally upgraded to a larger screen (hooray for getting older!).

  12. Definitely try out the Paperlike screen protector. They’re pricey, but absolutely worth it. It not only helps make the writing experience far better, but the matte coating actually makes the screen look better, in my opinion. It also helps with the smudges. ;-)

  13. I have paper like on my iPad and it makes using the Apple pencil to write an almost notebook like experience. Explore using the pencil to write within Apple apps like Mail, Notes or Pages. The automatic handwriting to text is pretty good. Enough for making short notes and thoughts like using a digital post it note that creates digital files. The other thing to check out it is the endless page in Apple Freeform. If you think visually, the basic drawing tools make for a new way to capture thoughts.

  14. I use my iPad Pro for some classroom stuff (Notability is a very nice application for my work), but mostly reading and web browsing. Aside from a number of things people have already pointed out, I was surprised by the weight of the iPad+keyboard cover. The thing weighs as much as a MacBook Air and feels like a I’m carrying my MacBook Pro.

  15. I’m still using the 2018 12.9”iPad Pro I bought primarily to replace sheet music both in my symphony orchestra and for chamber music, and I’ve found it invaluable. (Like many community symphonies, ours is too cheap to provide paper charts for 85 people, and I got tired of buying the ink cartridges that printer companies sell on the “Gillette Razor” principle.) Almost all classical music (most is public domain) is available for free download, and the excellent ForScore display and annotating software is worth many times the $10/year for the pro version. For us string players who need both hands to play, there are little Bluetooth foot pedal page turner gizmos.

    If you’re in a string quartet and someone else is setting up the stage for you, a little Bluetooth discipline and attention to setup is required, or you may find yourself turning each other’s pages during performance. You may ask how I know this.

    There are excellent (and cheap) matte-finish screen protectors available that not only reduce the smudging, but eliminate that slick “writing on an ice cube” feeling with the Apple Pencil…a real help when annotating a part during rehearsal.

    And finally, before I retired as a professional pilot, the iPad freed me from the 40-odd lbs of paper charts and manuals I used to have to lug around (that’s why you see airline pilots with those cubical briefcases riding along on their roll-aboards). And where I used to have to spend hours each week keeping those paper charts updated, now it just happens online “untouched by human hands.”

    The 2018 version has far less “horsepower”than current ones, but it’s entirely adequate for my modest needs, and so far I’ve been able to resist the siren call of the later ones…but if they come out with the threatened 14”version next year, I’ll sure be tempted…

  16. Peter, two words – laser printer.

    I’ve looked at the pads, mainly for portability, but he only two applications I’d care about are Mac’ Pages and Numbers. (I’m a Macbook Air guy.)

    Can just record on paper and transcribe, and I’m cheap. ;-)

  17. I almost never use the keyboard, though I do bring it on long trips, and when I do use it it is fine and nicer than typing on the screen with my thumbs and index fingers.

    Mostly I use my ipad pro for commenting on pdfs. I remember that I first found the writing on glass disconcerting, but I got used to it relatively quickly. My life changed for the better when I stopped using adobe which would glitch and delete all my comments and started using PDF Expert instead (and, turns out, they’re a Ukrainian business, so I eventually gave them money, even though I get the full adobe thing through work).

    I’ve purposefully kept the ipad pro as a work-only device so I don’t fall into the habit of using it for fun things (like commenting on blogs…) when I’m supposed to be working. I did buy a Remarkable specifically for that purpose, but it was too slow and I found it irritating so that’s been handed down to the kids. It’s a very expensive alternative to printing out, but completely worth it for me.

  18. A few years back I decided to replace my aging Samsung tablet with a Surface Pro because Costco had them on sale. I like that it’s pretty much just a portable Windows machine for me although my usage on it so far has been mostly like what I used the Android tablet for, watching videos, playing some web based games, and opening PDF files while on the go.

    I do miss access to some Android apps that’d be useful on a tablet. Unfortunately there’s no easy way to get Android working in Win11 yet that has the Google Play store on it so that’s the one thing I miss.

    I do like the keyboard, it doesn’t seem to pick up smudges as much as the screen. I don’t use the pencil/stylus much but it’s been great for a few Jackbox games.

  19. I’ve used an iPad as a laptop replacement for a number of years, and the Google apps are some of the worst-behaved apps on the platform. Even basic things like horizontal scrolling (which a multi-touch touchpad should be great at doing) isn’t properly supported in Google Docs/Sheets, despite Microsoft and Apple’s app both fully supporting those features.

    The iPad also has one of my favorite focus apps in iA Writer, but that’s a very “your mileage may vary” type of thing.

    Also, if you’re going to be doing handwriting on the tablet, the company “Paperlike” makes screen protectors that feel more like writing on paper (but not 100% the same). I’d like it better if it was easy to cleanly remove and replace it, since it does make the screen noticeably worse.

  20. I bought a large iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard several years ago as a laptop replacement. It was a failed experiment, for many of the reasons you’ve articulated here. (Also because the iPad with keyboard weighs more than a MacBook Air, my current laptop. What’s the point?) When I gave up trying to use it for a laptop I started enjoying it much more as a tablet, which is what it actually does well. I eventually downsized to the smaller version – at least for me, it’s better suited for tablet use, especially for holding and reading for more than 10 minutes at a time. When I’m traveling and don’t need a full-fledged computer, I bring along a Logitech K380 bluetooth keyboard with the iPad and don’t really miss the trackpad, but that’s not usable in a lap.

    If you do really want to take notes with the pen, the Paperlike screen protector is good for that. If you don’t, it isn’t worth the screen downgrade. Speaking of taking notes, I had the opportunity to use a Kindle Scribe the other day. Much better handwriting experience than any tablet I’ve ever used.

    I’ve found that over time, multitouch gestures for app switching become second nature, especially opening the app switcher from the trackpad, which I do all the time on my laptop. YMMV.

  21. Big thumbs up on the screen protector suggestions — I really like “PaperLike” brand. Cuts down on smudging dramatically, also much nicer to write on. I also recommend the “Cmd-Tab” key combo for switching between apps. FYI, in most apps, if you hold down the “Cmd” key for a second, a cheat sheet of useful keyboard shortcuts will popup for that particular application.
    I originally bought the Apple Pencil to use with a 3D design program (woodworking hobby) but now use it a lot more as a “finger extension” for media consumption. No smudges, and it doesn’t obstruct your view when clicking small targets. Probably faster than trackpad or mouse, and even available when not connected to the smart keyboard. Not much use for text entry/editing though. Quicker to use the trackpad which is close to where your fingers already are.

  22. Hmm, I must have a bad screen. I did not see a cat anywhere on the “smudge” monster. Sorry, I’ll show myself out.

  23. I am on my fourth iPad (2 of which I bought, 1 which was a gift, and 1 purchased by my work for me). How I use it depends on my need. I have taken it on work and vacation trips, but mostly where I know I won’t need a certain small number of functions.

    Until very recently, I have lived in both worlds; PC and Apple. With a looming retirement and the gift of an almost new MacBook (from my PC-using father-in-law in his 80s who thought he wanted one), I am now solidly an Apple user.

    What I like best is how the iPad (and all Apple products really) integrate with each other).

  24. Your review says pretty much the same things most hardcore Apple people have been saying for years—the iPad is great at a bunch of things, but not quite satisfactory as a laptop replacement.

    My basic rule is that the iPad is excellent for anything I might do slouched on the couch (watching video, reading the internet, light note-taking) but for writing anything of substantial length, or deep spreadsheet work, or serious graphic and image mongering, I go straight to the Mac on my desk.

    I do have the pencil and the Magic Keyboard, but for the reasons outlined above I’ve used them very little in the two years I’ve had them.

  25. I have an iPad Air with external keyboard, and find it to be the ideal vacation computer, for similar uses as you describe—social, email, looking things up, reading, occasional productivity.

    I think perhaps your discomfort with it comes mainly from your being a Windows/Chromebook/Android(?) guy. Which is OK. I’m not here to say people shouldn’t use the computers they prefer.

    My other two big uses for the iPad:
    – When I’m sitting around the house—pretty much the same as my vacation computer.
    – During the 2010s, when I was still a moderately frequent business traveler, I brought the iPad with me in addition to my MacBook. In late 2019, I started leaving the MacBook in my hotel room and using just the iPad when I was out and about. I went to a lot of professional conferences as a tech journalist, and had to write stories during the day, and found the iPad with keyboard was great for that.

    I stopped business travel in early 2020. If and when it picks up again, I expect I’ll continue with my iPad habits.

  26. Why an iPad and not an Android tablet, the Pixel tablet for example.
    I swapped an older iPhone for a Pixel 7 Pro when the iPhone died suddenly before the iPhone 15 arrived. (The plan was to get a 15)
    The Pixel works great, but doesn’t play well with Mac ecosystem. I suspect that’s part of your current issue with the iPad. I suspect I’ll get another iPhone at some point.
    (I have a 11″ M2 iPad Pro)

  27. I use my iPad as an entertainment device – tv shows and books, mainly books. I just want to note that as a person with arthritic hand, the pencil has been a godsend! No more joint pain in my fingers.

  28. I can’t go with iPad as a laptop replacement, because I’m going back to school and the security software for the exam programs doesn’t run on iOS. A laptop is also preferable for multiple tab web surfing/research. Working with multiple windows open (one for source, one for writing) just works better on the laptop as well.

    I like Word (still miss WordPerfect), but not willing to pay an annual subscription fee. I use Pages instead. I’ve gotten pretty good at the workflow of doing writing on the iPad, while doing document level formatting on the laptop when I get home. The formatting is retained when I later reopen the doc on my iPad.

  29. Dana Rasmussen:

    I picked the iPad Pro because it has a specific piece of software I am interested in (Logic Pro for iPad) and otherwise is an extremely capable tablet. Never fear, however, I also recently purchased the new Google tablet that also works as a home hub. It should be arriving tomorrow. I’ll report on that one as well.

  30. Part of my writing process is to compile to a PDF (I use Scrivener) on the daily. Just before my next writing session, I open the PDF on my iPad and use the pencil and iAnnotate to mark up the PDF. This is with both the older iPad and pencil, but I’ve found that process to be useful.

    I appreciate the review. I’m looking to update my iPad and keyboard as soon as my union at my day job gets a contract with back pay.

  31. @John, curious if you’ve thought about using the iPad for work on writing your novels? I’m not sure what software you use for writing on the PC/Chromebook (I’m fairly certain you’ve mentioned on your blog before, but I don’t recall offhand). For that matter, I’m not sure if if you even try working on your novels while traveling, but I’ve found the iPad to be somewhat ideal for writing when traveling.

  32. Although I still have a Windows PC that I built myself (one of about a hundred that I sold to friends, family and other clients), I rarely power it up as I use my 24” iMac as my primary computer, my 2019 MacBook Pro for mobile computing (on the road or in my favorite chair in the living room), but my number one link to the Internets is my 11” iPad Pro. I see no need for a keyboard for it so no Magic for me. I love my iPhone 13 but I use it for audiobooks, music (using the VOX app for lossless .flac format music), and, yes, as a phone, but I don’t care to type on the tiny little keyboard.

    My first foray into Apple products was a 1st generation iPod Mini in 2014 and I’ve been sliding further and further into the Appleverse ever since and I’m perfectly happy to live there.

  33. Second the endorsement of the iPad as a writing instrument. I’ve probably written hundreds of thousands of words on mine. These aren’t novels: I write articles that are 500-1500 words each. But it’s professional writing.

    Until recently, I was afflicted with moderate-to-severe insomnia, and I didn’t like to go into my home office in the middle of the night. So when I was having trouble sleeping, I sat on the sofa in the living room and wrote on my iPad Air with the Smart Folio keyboard.

    That’s in addition to the previously mentioned writing on the iPad while traveling for business.

  34. The iPad Pro is by far the best mobile computer you can buy. It’s lightweight, incredibly fast, has a wide library of supported apps, and can be configured with LTE/5G. I’ve had my 2018 11-inch model for four years now and use it every single day for writing, photo editing, checking email, and entertainment.

  35. I don’t have the magic keyboard (I’ve just spent as much on portable keyboards over the years :) ) but I do have opinion…
    * Paperlike makes writing on the screen better and more comfortable
    * don’t forget you can use the pen to write in a word or two – not great for writing paragraphs but it does a decent job of turning my scratch into words that others can read
    * try a different mail program. I have multiple Gmail accounts and use the browser on the desktop but Spark on the ipad and phone
    * before I got Paper like I got out of dark mode – the smudges don’t show up as much when you lighten up

  36. On of the main reasons I bought my iPad Pro was for art and and travel computer and I found it works well for note taking when I just need to write rather than type (I use GoodNotes but am still searching around). The slick glass was really annoying when drawing or writing so I tried the Paperlike screen protector which works very well to give a “paper-like” feeling to drawing and writing. However, here in the desert it is a real pain to apply without dust getting underneath and leaving tiny air pockets. It’s mostly ignorable but still annoying so I eventually tried Astropad’s magnetic screen protector which just snaps on and off and have been very happy with it ever since.

    (By the way Astropad has Luna Display and Astropad Studio which allows one to use the iPad as an auxiliary display and graphics tablet for either Mac or Windows.)

  37. I posted a link to this note in the Mac Power Users forum:

    Just to clarify one point: I started my post by saying I didn’t think you had any great insights here. I meant to say that you didn’t have anything new to say for the people in that particular forum, who are a bunch of Mac nerds. I quite enjoyed your review and posted it there because I thought other folks in that forum would enjoy it too. And the comments are entirely positive.

    A couple of folks there confirm that the Google apps experience on the iPad is rubbish, and blame Google, noting that Microsoft apps work great on the iPad. I’m not suggesting this should effect your decision on whether to continue using the iPad.

  38. I do write on my iPad, a lot—I’m an instructor and I use it for grading my students’ papers.

    I don’t have a matte screen protector (although I’m intrigued by other posters’ claims that it helps with the smudginess). What I use instead is a silicone tip, which makes the Apple Pencil much less slippery and also very, very quiet.

    My current iPad is an iPad Air 4, which has more of a rear camera than I was expecting when I bought it. I think that when it comes time to buy another tablet I will indeed recoil in horror at buying one with a similar rear camera.

    My problem is not actually using the camera. My problem is that everyone has decided that rear cameras must protrude, so every tablet with a rear camera now has a bump sticking out of the back that makes it just a little awkward for the tablet to lie flat on a table. Given that I do in fact write on my iPad, I’ve been annoyed by the camera bump’s existence considerably more often than I’ve used the rear camera.

  39. I’m not sure it’s Apple’s fault that Google haven’t made good iOS apps.

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