If it fits your use-case scenario, the new iPad Pro could quickly become your best friend


This is a look at my home screen on the new iPad Pro.

I got my first computer in the mid-1980s. My first cell phone arrived in the early 1990s, perhaps 1991, and was larger and heavier than my size 13 EEE dress shoes. I once subscribed to the Prodigy internet service and would marvel in wonder as the green letters slowly — and I mean S-L-O-W-L-Y — filled the screen to deliver sports scores. I loved it and didn’t care that it took two minutes or more for the content to come onto my screen.

I’ve had a love affair with gizmos and gadgets and technology of all kinds for as long as I can remember.

For much of my adult life, it’s been Apple products, and I spent a couple of very happy years working at the Apple Store in the Fashion Show mall in Las Vegas. There, I helped Michael Jackson (Yes, that Michael Jackson) with a rather large purchase and had Mike Tyson hand me his iPod and complain it wasn’t working. I worked on the day the original iPhone was launched and taught a “Getting started on iPhone” class that night even though I’d only first laid eyes on the phone some 90 minutes before the class.

I had significant problems with the iPhone X, and finally switched to the Google Pixel 2XL on Project Fi. That phone worked well for me, so I thought I would go all in on Google. I bought a Pixelbook brand new on eBay (Mistake, don’t do it because it’s not a Google-approved seller) and after a week, it just stopped working one day. Google wouldn’t help me since I purchased it on eBay, so they lost a customer. I canceled the Project Fi service, sold the Pixel 2XL and went back to Apple and iOS.

In fairness to eBay, I should add that though the seller didn’t want to accept return of the laptop, and I can understand why, I got a full refund from eBay. I filed a complaint, they resolved it in my favor and refunded the money to my credit card, so full marks to them for that.

So now, I have a Google Home, but that’s my only Google gear now.

I have a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 running Windows 10, but I rarely use it these days other than to update it.

This is my go-to gear these days:

  • A 27-inch Retina 5k iMac with a 4.2 GHz core i7 processor, 32 GB of RAM, a 1 TB SSD and a Radeon Pro 580 graphics card with 8 GB of RAM.
  • An iPhone XS Max with a 256 GB SSD.
  • A 12.9-inch third-generation iPad Pro with a 256 GB SSD with the new Apple Pencil and new Apple keyboard.
  • A Series 4 Apple Watch with GPS but not cellular.

I also have two Apple TVs and two HomePods, as well as three Amazon Echos, but I don’t consider any of those pieces of go-to gear.

I’m running iOS 12.1 on the iPad Pro and the iPhone, Watch OS 5.1.1 on the watch and Mac OS 10.14.1 on the iMac.

It’s the iPad Pro — the new iPad Pro — which has my heart fluttering now.

For me, this could be a game-changing device.

This is going to be the device I work on the most. I plan to use it for my work as a columnist at Yahoo, as well as for pleasure such as reading the Internet, texting, emailing, watching video, reading books and magazines, etc.

It’s 1.4 pounds with a gorgeous screen and a keyboard that is decent, though not great, to type on.

Since I’ve gotten it, I have written all but one of my Yahoo columns on it. I flew from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on Tuesday to attend an event at Fox for the announcement of the Premier Boxing Champions schedule for 2019. I used my iPad Pro to take notes and then write my story and it worked flawlessly.

For me, there’s no question it’s a laptop replacement. Everything I want to do on a computer, I can do on this iPad Pro. Benchmarks show it’s faster and 92 percent of all laptops, but that doesn’t really translate much into the real world.

During its Oct. 30 keynote in Brooklyn, Apple brought an executive from Adobe on stage to demonstrate Photoshop on the iPad Pro, and it was remarkable. It won’t be available for next year, so if you need apps such as those in the Adobe Creative Suite, it’s not for you at this point.

For me, and I suspect for most people, it’s perfect. I have an Office 365 subscription with Microsoft, and I use Word on the iPad Pro to write my stories, which I send via email to the office. I downloaded the app Notability and that is beyond fantastic. It can do so much, it will blow your mind. This is a great how-to of it on YouTube to show you all it’s capable of doing for you.


My writing setup, with Word on the left and Notability on the right.

I use Notability to record audio as I take notes. I interviewed UFC fighter Khalil Rountree this morning and wrote this story on his remarkable journey from 305-pound teen-ager to potential MMA star using Notability and Word.

When Rountree called from Argentina, where he fights Johnny Walker on Saturday in Buenos Aires, I put the iPhone on speaker and then opened a document in Notability and began to type. But before I typed, I hit the record button. So when I did the interview, it was recording our conversation.

Thus, I didn’t have to be exact in taking notes, because I could go back later and click on the area in my notes I wanted to hear and it would play it back. It was perfect.

I had Notability in full screen as I spoke to Rountree, but when I began my story, I opened Word and did a split screen with Notability. I wrote in the window on the left and looked at my notes on the right. In the times I needed to search the internet, I could have just looked on my iMac, but I opened Safari on the iPad, found what I wanted and then switched back into Word and Notability.

It was fast and easy and there was not a thing I couldn’t do on the iPad Pro that I could have done on a computer.

There are a few cons to my setup, and the most significant is not have a full window to type in when I’m in split screen mode, because Word and Notability are sharing those 12.9 inches of gorgeousness that is the display on this thing. That’s something I’ve accepted, and I don’t think it’s slowed me down a bit.

The keyboard connects differently and has two positions you can put it into, instead of just one as on the previous versions of the iPad Pro. The keys themselves, though, are the same as they were on the prior ones. If you didn’t like those, you won’t like these, but while I’m not in love with the feel, it’s not an issue I spend time thinking about.

The pencil is awesome, and charges via a magnet on the top of the machine. It pairs when it’s first put up there, as well. I don’t really have a need for it, but it’s cool to take hand-written notes in Notability and then convert them to text, so I am glad I bought the Pencil!

The godsend for me is that when I travel, the total weight of the iPad is significantly less (no more than two pounds) and that’s a massive positive.

I get that it’s not for everyone. It has shortcomings because of what it is, but it’s just about perfect for me.

I bought a cellular plan with every previous iPad I’ve had, but not on this one. I’ll use my phone as a personal hotspot if the need arises for internet, but I haven’t been where there hasn’t been a connection yet.

Time will tell how this works but for now, I give it my full seal of approval.

Pros: Exceptionally, noticeably fast. Beautiful screen. Amazingly light. Extremely powerful. Did I mean it’s light?

Cons: Not all apps that all people needs are available in iOS and it’s not as easy to multi-task with as a computer is. I’ve typed on better keyboards.

It’s great for: Surfing the internet, sending/receiving emails, reading books and magazines, games, writing, texting and light-to-moderate editing of photos and videos.

It’s not so hot for: Heavy-duty video editing. If you’re making a major motion picture, you probably wouldn’t be happy editing it on version three of the iPad Pro.

My grade: A-minus.

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