iPads and Sleep Deprivation

The skies are blue and clear as we approach the south coast of Wales. It’s 4:30AM Eastern (8:30AM GMT) and I’ve been awake for about 21 hours. Once I land, it’ll be at least another two hours until I can get settled in my AirBnB room and get a few hours of sleep.

So instead, I’m going to talk about the iPad Pro.

Apple recently announced their new versions of the flagship tablet device and I must say, I was impressed. That might not come as much of a surprise to those that know me and my penchant for worshipping at the shiny altar of Jobs, but the iPad is a value proposition that I’ve struggled with over the years.

Time was when I used to scoff at new Apple hardware releases. The iPod was vastly overpriced, as was the iPhone. However, those devices were more than the sum of their parts, somehow justifying the cost and casually revolutionising the world at the same time. The iPad was another one that I couldn’t quite wrap my head around at first. Even though I had – by that point – owned several iPhones and was a proud MacBook Pro user, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the big, slightly-awkward looking device that looked like a Miracle-Grow iPhone.

Then I used it. And for a time, it was good. I’ll admit though, only fleetingly. For me, the iPad was a way to do what I did on my phone, just with a bigger screen. To be honest, that’s what the MacBook was for. Maybe I’m old-school, but if I need to do multiple things, context-switching on the fly, or research multiple topics in a browser, I still prefer a laptop.

Over the years, I went back and forth. I had an iPad Mini. Possibly an iPad Mini 2. I tried a full-size, then ditched it entirely. Last year I decided that the iPad once again was a sensible idea, so went for the iPad Pro 9.7″.

Since then, it’s been a very useful tool for streaming Formula 1 to the AppleTV. But … that’s sort of been it. Almost everything else is still performed on my phone, or on a larger computer, but is that about to change? Well, for the next week at least, it is.

After building a rather spritely Windows gaming machine, I decided it didn’t make sense to use it just for that, so migrated things like Photoshop, Lightroom, etc., off my MacBook Pro. That factor, combined with having a laptop for work, as well as a smartphone and and iPad on hand meant that I could do away with the MacBook completely.

I’ve just left my job, and am heading to London (hence the flight this is being written on) to get a new visa to allow me to start a new job. That means: no more laptop. It also means that my only means of larger-than-iPhone computing is going to be solely via this iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard.

I’ve stayed awake watching several episodes of TV shows (synced to the iPad via Plex from my home NAS) and starting the new season of Daredevil (Netflix offline sync). I estimate about 5-6 hours of usage so far, and I’m still rocking 64% battery life. So far, so good.

I’m honestly not really sure exactly how much I’ll need to use it over the next week, or what I’ll need to use it for … but let’s see. They say the best camera is the one you have with you, so perhaps that applies to computers too.

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