How My iPad Pro Became My Primary Computer
Computers have changed significantly over the years. I remember growing up using a family desktop computer running on Windows XP that was set up in our living room and it wasn’t some posh all-in-one PC, no it was a Dell of some variation with a separate 17-inch monitor, speakers and a generic mouse and keyboard.
Technology has significantly changed since those days, nowadays we all have smartphones which can arguably be a great substitute for the majority of tasks we would have used a computer for.
Since I graduated from university last year, the way I use computers at home has changed significantly. My laptop usage has drastically dropped whereas my iPad Pro usage has increased to such an extent that I can call it my primary computer!
After using my iPad as my main computer for almost a year, I decided to share my experience with you!
How It All Started
Over the past 5 years, I was a university student studying for an undergraduate and a postgraduate degree in Computer science. The reason I’m mentioning this is that it has significance to the way I was using my laptop and tablet. I primarily used a Windows laptop for my coursework and a tablet for note-taking and research.
When I started my postgraduate degree, one of the first tech investments I made was buying an iPad Pro, it was the 11th-inch 2020 model and it’s still the same one I use today.
I purchased my iPad Pro with the intent of it being an educational tool for research and notetaking and it served me well, especially if we combine it with the Apple Pencil and Logitech Slim Folio Pro case.
After graduating from university, I no longer had the need for academic research, so I repurposed my iPad Pro for everyday life. I started using it to write YouTube scripts for my YouTube channel, blog posts and for everyday tasks. My iPad became the prime tool in my daily workflow.
At the same time, I no longer had a use for my ageing laptop, For the last 3 or so years, I’ve been using the HP Pavilion 14-CE0505SA which lasted me quite a long time. You can check out my review here. The laptop just sat there so I decided to give it a refurb and sell it.
I naturally started using my iPad more and more and eventually, there came a point where I was using it more than I was using my gaming rig.
How I Use My iPad Pro
Since day one, I’ve used my iPad with a keyboard case. I started with the Logitech Slim Folio Pro case which lasted me through my final year at Uni and after, but after the iPad became my primary computer, I wanted more. I wanted to use it as a laptop, so I upgraded my case to one with a touchpad. In an ideal world, I would have purchased the Apple Magic keyboard case, but I couldn’t justify spending that much on a case so I went with this HOU T89 Magic keyboard case which not only is a great deal cheaper, but it’s a great overall keyboard case that feels extremely good to type on. Check out my short unboxing here.
The touchpad enables me to use a pointer as I would on a laptop and has gesture control. I know it’s a small thing, but it makes the overall experience just so much better! It allows me to use the iPad comfortably as a laptop. It really completes the overall experience.
One of the key benefits of my iPad is that it’s light and small making it the ideal travel companion. I take it with me on the train, I take it with me when I go out on day trips and I even take it to work with me.
How Does It Perform In My Everyday Life?
I manage my life using Google Calendar, on my iPad, I choose to sync it through Fantastical which is possibly one of the best calendar apps on the market! However, it does come with a hefty price tag which is making me think about reverting to the Google Calendar app which is what I use on my Pixel 6 Pro.
I manage my daily tasks using the TickTick app which was highly recommended by MKBHD and if Marques recommends it, it has to be good! I started off with just using Things 3, which I still truly miss but unlike Things, TickTick is multi-platform and it actually has some pretty cool features such as the Eisenhower Matrix.
I also use my iPad as the main device for watching YouTube videos and even movies through apps like Netflix. The picture quality is good, the sound is awesome and it just works really, really well!
What About Travel?
Due to the ideal size of my iPad, which by the way is 11″, the iPad is extremely portable and it’s one of the reasons why I choose to make it with me on my travels. For those of you who haven’t watched my Day in the life with the Pixel 6 Pro video on my YouTube channel, I commute by train a lot and a device of this size is absolutely perfect for the train ride. It’s small, light and surprisingly comfortable to use on those little airline-style tables. The size also makes it ideal for use in cafes and even on a bench in the park.
My Productive Life
My iPad Pro is the key to my productive life. I use it to write blog articles, particularly when I travel. I started drafting my blog posts and YouTube scripts using Google Docs. However, I am looking to utilise Notion a little bit more for managing the Tech With Dom project.
Some of you who’ve been following me for a while may be surprised as when I left university I decided to ditch Notion and just use it for mini-projects. If you haven’t checked out the article on Notion, check it out here.
I am now following the advice I received from you guys about perfecting my productivity system in Notion before relying on it full time and I think that I’m getting there.
Believe it or not but I also use my iPad for some of my video editing. I mainly used iMovie, but that’s until I discovered VN Video Editor which is really good and works really well. In fact, I also use it on my Pixel 6 Pro for editing TikToks! Now, if I’m doing more advanced editing I still tend to revert back to my computer.
The Benefits Of Using An iPad
In general, there are many benefits of using tablets and it doesn’t matter whether it’s an iPad, Android or even Windows tablet. Some are built with different tasks in mind and some are built for general use. For instance, I would only consider a surface tablet for professional work, well maybe unless it was a Microsoft Surface Go which is more of an all-rounder in my view.
Anyway, here are some of the things that I found beneficial when using an iPad…
Unlike my laptop which I had to shut down after usage otherwise, the battery would die. Gone are the days when you have to wait for your computer to boot and then log in. I know that it’s pretty fast these days anyway, however on iPads and Android tablets it’s instant you just use your face or code and you’re in!
Now I know what you’re thinking, Android tablets have the Google Play Store and Windows tablets have the Microsoft Store. The App Store on iOS and iPadOS isn’t actually any better, it’s the apps that are available on it, particularly when it comes to productivity. However, the one downside is that many of these awesome apps are paid, some do come with a limited free version. One of these apps has got to be Fantastical, which is arguably one of the best calendar apps I ever used! Another great app is Things which is my favourite ToDo list app. There are many other apps that aren’t available on other app stores, the list is endless. One thing that all these apps have in common is that they all are beautifully designed and work really well, particularly with other Apple devices.
The main advantage of using Apple devices is the Apple ecosystem. It just works extremely well, particularly if you have other Apple devices, such as iPhones or even Macs. The Apple Eco-System isn’t necessarily an advantage of iPads specifically but the fact that they are in it does as it connects to other devices that are in it very well.
Staying with the ecosystem, I found AirDrop to be extremely beneficial as it enabled me to easily transfer video files and photos from my iPhone 12 to the iPad ready for editing without the need of cables. I found this particularly useful for video editing on the go because it just works really well!
One of the biggest advantages of using an iPad as your main device is portability, iPads are ultra-portable meaning that you can practically take it with you everywhere you go. Whether you plan to be working in a coffee shop, on the train, on the bus or even down the pub, it’s the perfect size to put in your backpack or even just hold in your hand.
To conclude this article, which, by the way, I’m writing on my iPad Pro, my iPad has become a huge part of my everyday life and because of the amount of time I’m spending on my iPad Pro I started to use my computer less and less and today, I barely even turn on my PC during the week.
If you’ve subscribed to my YouTube channel you would probably see that I recently invested in a laptop, the Huawei MateBook D15 to be exact, which by the way is an excellent budget laptop. The whole idea was to use it for the more advanced video editing tasks whilst on the go. However, even with that in mind the iPad still remains my main device for most of my tasks.
Who Are iPads For?
The truth of the matter is that anyone can own an iPad, I started my journey as a student using a basic model for research, reading and note-taking. The beauty of using an iPad is that you can use it in so many different ways to complete so many different tasks. I am fully aware that you can also use a computer or laptop in this way but I guess an iPad is more of a personal device in the same way a smartphone is.
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed my article, if you have, don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned for my best iPad Pro accessories post and my What’s on my iPad video coming to my YouTube Channel.