iPadding around…

I got myself a 128GB iPad Air 2 with sim last weekend and (Vodafone nonsense aside… that deserves a whole post of its own) took it on a week-long business trip. Paired with a Logitech magnetic clip-on keyboard, it was an excellent laptop replacement.

When standing up running workshops, it was my reference notebook, using Evernote and Dropbox. When at a desk, it was perfect for adding to said notes, responding to emails, adding tasks to ToDoist and keeping in touch with the team via Slack.

I had my Macbook with me, which only got action when I needed to create some powerpoint slides in a hurry. I could have done that on the iPad, but it was much quicker on the Macbook. A couple of long-ass train journeys to and from Cheltenham were the perfect opportunity to a) catch up podcasts, b) write some content for a new workshop and c) do a weekly review using ToDoist. After just a couple of days use, I can type comfortably quickly on the Logitech keyboard – it takes just a few moments to get used to.

At night, it was my entertainment centre, with more podcasts, comics via the excellent Comixology and movies. The Macbook was definitely relegated to second place this week.

I’m not saying I could survive using the iPad for work indefinitely, but I can see it being used for a day or even a couple of days at a time, given what I use it for. Combined with the Logitech keyboard, it’s a neat fit for my 10″ Knomad, which can also carry external battery, cables and a small notebook and pen. A very light and very powerful combo.

In comparison to the iPad Air (my last model), the Air 2 is super-speedy, the screen is gorgeous and now that I’ve installed iOS 9 (via the west of England’s slowest ever wifi connection…sigh) it’s even more impressive. Nothing like being able to see some Evernote content on one side of the screen while you write an email on the other. I think iOS 9 has increased the productivity potential of the iPad significantly.

Despite some initial excitement, I don’t have any interest in shelling out for an iPad Pro – the Air 2 is really as big as I’d like to get. Seriously.

8 comments on “iPadding around…

  1. Sis was given some PC version, which has a keyboard that flips back under to use as a touch screen tablet. It was hell watching her try to use it as laptop.

    She’s ‘not’ an Apple person, though she has an iPad and work also gave her a 4s (guess they bought a truckload back when?).

    Anyway, I attempted to alter the UI for her (basically for accessibility) and that confused her, though it simplified. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to have to use something THAT small as workhorse. My 15″ mbp is a bit larger but is so much better.

    It sounds like you worked out the perfect balance.


  2. So – in the context of writing while on the go – if you could only bring one device with you, would it be the MacBook or iPad-with-keyboard arrangement?


    • Ah – you can cancel that! Sorry, I just saw your reply to the other comment.


    • I think, if I could only have one device, and if it was writing for prolonged periods of time, I’d go for the MacBook. But it is a tough choice, as the iPad & keyboard combo has been so useful over the last couple of weeks. I think the MacBook wins in terms of battery.


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