My first iPad Pro
My first iPad Pro was the 12.9-inch, 128 GB, WiFi model of the 1st generation. I’ve always preferred the A4 paper size for my notes, so it only made sense to get the 12.9-inch version. It feels exactly like A4 paper when taking notes in portrait mode. Due to the fact that it is not a desktop PC, it is portable, even though some might disagree. At the same time, it is big enough for all the mind mapping my heart cares for. I can pack a lot of information on a single page. The larger the screen, the better it is for mind maps.
Split view is awesome for multitasking, but it effectively cuts your screen into smaller chunks for each app. As a student, I had to do a lot of studying away from my desk, on the go. I used my iPad as both my textbook and notebook simultaneously. So I had to make sure that even when I split-viewed my screen, I still had enough space for each app to work without much restraint. That is why I didn’t go for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which was the first generation of the smaller iPad Pros. Studying on the go was much easier on the bigger screen.
I chose 128 GB of storage purely out of preference for it over the 32 GB. Had the option been available, I would have got the 64 GB. I hoped 128 GB would last me a bit longer. However, at the time, I didn’t know that I would get into video editing for YouTube to share my thoughts on digital productivity and help millions with their digital transformation journey. Had I known that, perhaps I would have gone for the biggest memory. Still, 128 GB did serve me well until March of 2019, I believe. The device was a powerful machine; it was definitely my first love. It was very difficult to let go of it.
WiFi vs LTE version
To minimise distractions, I bought the WiFi version and treated my iPad Pro primarily as a notebook. Back then, there was so much negativity around using iPads for anything other than entertainment. I thought to rid myself of the temptation everyone kept going on about. I wanted to remain as productive as I was with paper. However, after years of pursuing this passion (for digital transformation), I have learnt that you decide what apps you want on your iPad. Whether they are for productivity or not, you also decide which apps you open and use. So, at the end of the day, an iPad is as useful as its owner wants it to be.
At the time I got my iPad, paying an extra $300 for LTE was not worth it as a student because I was on a budget. While my parents were generous and understanding, they still had their limits, and I had to live within them. Since most places I studied (my room, the library) had WiFi, I figured an internet connection was readily available whenever I needed one.
My 2015 iPad Pro was my most loved iPad. It introduced me to my passion for digital transformation, one I would pursue for the rest of my life. It had a lot of sentimental value because my parents got it for me at a time when I REALLY WANTED IT. It was a device I felt I had waited for all my life! An iPad I could handwrite on! It was life-changing. So, even though I don’t use it anymore, it’s a device I’ll try to hold onto to even when it stops turning on.
My second iPad Pro
The iPad Pro 2018 was exciting because, back then, I used to catch on to Apple’s excitement for new products. I have since grown tired of it. The third-generation iPad had a new design, supported the new Apple Pencil 2, introduced Face ID to the iPad, came with a USB-C charging port, and had a maximum storage of 1 TB. I got it mostly for the storage, because at the time, my iPad Pro 2015 was starting to slow down when editing videos. It was the most expensive iPad I ever bought, and hopefully, it will be the last.
My next iPad Pro
I reckon I won’t need one any time soon. Apple hasn’t made any significant changes to the iPad Pro line that are worth upgrading for. I have retired from editing videos for Paperless X and Paperless Humans, so I won’t be needing a new iPad for a very long time. The minimalist in me forces me to do two things. First of all, I must buy only what I need. Since I have a functional MacBook and I only need to study productivity apps, I certainly don’t need a new iPad Pro. Secondly, I have to use things until they are basically no longer functional. That is the same reason I am still using the iPhone XR. I can’t justify buying a new iPhone when the one I have does everything I need it to.
The iPad Pro 2018 is no longer suitable for editing, and I am no longer editing videos. The most logical next move is to see how many more years I have with the iPad before it becomes usable. For me, that means unbearable lagging. When my main apps no longer work as smoothly. As the main writer for Paperless X, I mostly use my iPad Pro to plan our courses and to test different apps. I also use it to design digital workflows and provide consultation for those who need help with their digital workflows. I am really excited to see how much life I still have on this iPad Pro.
Should something happen to my iPad, I see myself buying the current 11-inch iPad Pro, 2 TB, WiFi model. It will cost me $300 less than the 12.9-inch version, which is not that convincing. So I might be tempted to go with the bigger iPad Pro. Price is definitely not the reason I would go for the smaller iPad Pro. No, I am simply tired of the big screen because I don’t need it anymore. As a writer, I mostly use my MacBook. I also have two big devices to deal with that are both 13 inches (give or take); the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and the Onyx Boox Max Lumi 2. So, when I get the chance, I will definitely shrink them all. Ideally, though, I don’t want to upgrade my iPad Pro for at least another four years.