iPad Pro as a laptop replacement? WRONG QUESTION. Ditch that paper notebook!

Analyst Opinion


Published/updated: March 2016

By Dale Vile

I have used iPads for many years, but they have always been ínice to haveí rather than essential devices from a work perspective. The addition of the íPencilí (stylus) and the larger screen with the iPad Pro, however, means this latest Apple tablet has become a much more integral part of the way I work. This is because I have always preferred scribbling notes, mind-maps, diagrams, etc on paper to capturing information and thoughts as typed text.

Over the years, I have tried using tablets as electronic notepaper on many occasions, but it has always felt too awkward, fussy and/or unreliable for routine use. The iPad Pro fixes this. Together with Microsoft OneNote, the experience is pretty much as fast, comfortable and effective as using a paper notebook and pen, but with some important advantages. I am no longer constrained by the size of the physical page (OneNote gives you an essentially unbounded canvas), my scribbles are automatically synchronised across all my devices, and I can easily share them with colleagues (either natively or in PDF format) with just a few taps.

This is by no means the only benefit of the iPad Pro. If you add a decent keyboard and use the Office 365 apps, it really does come close to being a laptop replacement, at least for lightweight business use. But for me, personally, electronic note taking is the killer app.

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