iPad Pro 9.7

Over the past year, I have been using my laptop less and less. Instead, I have turned to doing things with my iPad mini. Since the MacBook Pro is now over five years old, it was time to consider what to do when it needs to be replaced.


New iPad Pro with Accessories

So, I got to thinking about just using an iPad only. To test the idea, I tried to accomplish with my iPad mini 2 everything that I had been using my MacBook Pro to do. For several months now, I have been updating my blog and the websites I maintain, editing and transferring photos, writing, eMail, bookkeeping, and other normal computing activities have all been done with just the little tablet.


NoteShelf app and Apple Pencil

Then, Apple came out with the new ‘baby’ iPad Pro. Larger than the mini, its size would be good for my aging eyes, and still be very portable. With 256GB of storage it could hold all my files. Better speakers means external ones for music won’t be needed. An improved screen would be great for photos and art. Plus, the Apple Pencil support makes it a pretty nifty digital sketchbook. And, the new iPad camera is 12MP with flash like my Lumix. So, I got one!


Lumix camera connected to iPad

I am not keen on using the internet for storage and backups; although it is very possible. Instead, I’m still making backups locally using iTunes with the MacBook. There are WiFi harddrives for that; but, they’re not an optimal solution at this point; perhaps by the time the laptop dies.

So far, it is working out very well. The laptop is now a fancy backup device. I actually prefer the iOS way of computing with the touch screen. The iPad mini will now become my GPS, travel apps, and eBook reader. In the not too distant future, I can see the iPad Pro 9.7 being my only computer.

Tablet: iPad Pro 9.7, WiFi+Cellular, 256GB storage, Space Gray
Accessories: Apple Pencil, Lightning to USB cable, Camera cable, adjustable stand, custom sleeve with pockets holds all items

Update: As of September 2017, I am using an iPad Pro 10.5, WiFi+Cellular, 512GB storage, Space Gray

Update: As of June 2020, I am now using an iPad Pro 11, WiFi+Cellular, 512GB storage, Space Gary; and a SanDisk 1TB Extreme portable SSD which has solved the backup issue.

Also see: GPS Plus

12 Responses to iPad Pro 9.7

  1. Dorothy April 29, 2016 at 4:44 pm #

    A few of my friends have been talking about doing this; mostly younger ones. But, why not make life more portable? Good for you!

    • Pleinguy April 29, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

      With fewer devices life will be less complicated. Right now, I’m enjoying it.

  2. Judie Ashford April 29, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

    Hooo-ray! I’ve been wondering about the wisdom of doing this. Thanks for the ground work.

    Virtual hugs,

    • Pleinguy April 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

      It took a lot of research and trial before making the move to the iPad only. But, I’m glad I made the leap.

  3. Gumo April 29, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

    You won’t regret your decision with your new iPad. I know you will love using it. Enjoy!

    • Pleinguy April 29, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

      Thanks Rick. It’s a real pleasure to use.

  4. Mister Ed April 30, 2016 at 5:56 pm #

    With your new Pro and your old mini tablet, if you set them up as Bluetooth they’ll talk to each other; so vice a versa, you can use as a back up.
    Also, I noticed you plug your camera into it. If your camera is set up for Bluetooth, (some of the newer ones are now) it’ll automatically upload to your computer as well.
    Also, they make a bracket that you could set up to put your iPad on your dash to use as your GPS.
    Also, you can run Bluetooth speakers in your car or your RV and in your house. Walmart has wireless ones that are about 6x2x2″ that are so awesome; with unbelievable sound.

    • Pleinguy April 30, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

      Thanks for the suggestions Ed. My camera does not have BT; hence the wire. The iPad mini does set in a bracket on the dash, and runs a Garmin GPS app which works great. I already have a set of external speakers; however, the sound from the 4-speakers in the ‘baby’ Pro is excellent. I’m not sure how backup between iPads via BT works. Those things I want synced are done through iCloud.

  5. Melinda May 1, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    Thrilled to see this review… thanks for posting it. I, too, have been trying to use my old iPad vs the MacBook Pro before deciding what to get next. Curious, have you eliminated entirely the need for CD’s or DVD’s?

    • Pleinguy May 1, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

      My MacBook is the ‘classic’ model with a DVD drive. The drive is only used for watching movies on the 15″ screen. It turns out that I rarely watch movies. Downloading movies from the internet is possible, too. With an iPad, one can stream a movie from an external WiFi harddrive. So, DVDs are technically not needed anymore. For me, I was never very dependent on CDs/DVDs anyway.

  6. Steven F. Crisp January 21, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi! I’m curious if you find the need for an external keyboard for the iPad(s). For any substantive data entry (in my case, for example, with spreadsheets), I would think an external keyboard and stand for the iPad would be required.

    Other than that, I know I still use Aperture, so I don’t think that would work on the iPad. Are you fine with Photos? What photo management program are you using on the iPads?

    Thanks for sharing these forward-leaning ideas.
    Steven Crisp

    • Pleinguy January 21, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

      I do not have an external keyboard for the iPads. The on screen one works fine for my needs. If one does a lot of long form typing, I can see how it could be useful. For me, a main advantage of the tablet is its portability and super compactness without a keyboard.

      I don’t think Apple still supports the Aperture app. There is however, an iPad version of Lightroom one could use for photo management.

      My needs for photo editing are not as complex as they once were. So, I now use a combination of the Photos and Pixelmator apps with both working good on the iPad. Recent images are kept on the iPad, but older ones are archived to the the MacBook Pro.

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