iPad Pro as Your Only Computing Device

UPDATE - don’t wander through the wilderness here, unless you want to read the gory details of a failure and why I have ended right back up where I started with an SP8 (i5/16gb/1tb/LTE) and my iPP11 (sans Magic Keyboard) and living a bifurcated life - Windows 11 for all things business, or when I only carry one device and iPP11 for the Apple fun stuff (iMessage, FaceTime, News+, Disney+, Netflix, Apple TV, photo/video editing, etc.)…

The purpose of this thread is to adapt to and use the iPad Pro as your only, or at least primary, computing device. Use cases, tips, tricks, apps, configurations, peripherals, accessories - they are all fair game. No promises that I won’t rant, but everyone participating in this thread should feel free to (im)politely steer me back to the subject.

Why am I so set on using an iPad Pro as my only computer:

  1. I want AND need a single device solution - tired of juggling multiple devices and methods.
  2. I have no faith in MS (Windows) or Google (Android) getting the tablet side “right.”
  3. Both Windows and Android ARE better on productivity, but Apple and MS are closing that gap on the iPadOS side, and I am willing to compromise there for now (well, I may cheat with my MacBook Pro 14 for a while).
  4. Apple has a cohesive (if inflexible at times) strategy across all their platforms.

So, having survived the conversion to MacOS, I am on to the next step of moving to iPadOS…


I have started listening to the iPad Pros podcast where they have various guests who use their iPP professionally as their primary or only device to get their work done. Also developers talking about their iPad productivity products.


Thanks! Didn’t know about this one - heading there today.

UPDATE - listening to them now and pretty good banter - good discussion of first two weeks’ experience with iPadOS beta.

Yeah, that was the first one I listened to. Good discussion indeed.

The need for a single device is why I’m still on my Galaxy Book 12 (which I despair of replacing) — it’s getting really hard to stay on 1703 too.

That said, I think my inclination would be to give up some portability and go for a Mac mini and Wacom Cintiq — it won’t be any heavier than a lot of machines I’ve carried in the past (GRiDcase III plus comes to mind) and at least (lack of) battery is the only compromise — I’ll have my cell phone (Note 10+) for portable requirements.


Have you ever considered a refurb M1 MBA - really light, silent, pretty powerful, and you can keep the portability going…

I’ll consider a MacBook of some sort when they make one which supports the Apple Pencil — carrying around a screen I can’t touch, or draw on w/ a stylus just makes me angry.

I begin to think I can live with the iOS OneNote quirks when I have to try and use PowerPoint on an iPad. Or Excel

Nope, nope, nope.

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I just had to take this moment to mention that my dream setup, as a poor bohemian aspiring artist who must be pretty much Fremen-like with his financials, is to have an iPad Pro and a Mac mini. Then MAYBE try to pull off getting the recent Dell Ultrasharp monitor instead of that abomination Apple Studio display. By that point I guess I’m hardly being resourceful though, and MAYBE just exaggerating a bit comparing myself to the Fremen of Arrakis, but it could be worse.

The coolest dudes are able to settle for that recent Samsung Tab A6 or something, a $250 pen tablet and call it a day.

The actual truth though is just an iPad Pro has been absolutely fine for me. Don’t forget about Windows cloud PCs.


Are you saying we are way past a fool’s errand?

Not necessarily. It just means at least 2 things for me:

  1. I can’t go there while I’m chained to a corporate environment that’s fused to MS.
  2. When I’m freed of that, I would have to build in the learning curve to move to Apple’s Keynote and Numbers (or Windows in the Cloud)
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I am facing a real problem this last week with two new clients who are beyond “fused to MS” and don’t want to see my MBP14, much less an iPad Pro, as my only device. Part of me thinks it’s jealousy from their younger managers who are chained to Dell laptops, but part of it is the mentality of my old law firm IT - “Thous shalt not pollute our pure MS experience!!!” Never thought house counsel would be so invasive and demanding on out-house counsel (pun intended)…


Get a vintage Dell Inspiron for show while continuing to do your real work on the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro.

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I thought of that, but it will have to be more than show because I need to log onto their VPN for document access and storage - nothing goes outside the corporate four walls during litigation lockdown. That’s ok - I think I’m going to do an @Bronsky on them and just do my office work outside the Apple-traz for a while.

Besides, there’s a lot of baking to be done on iPadOS 16 between now and October…(my guess is they won’t put it out with new iPads until AFTER iPhone 14)…

Need to go sit in the time out corner and calm myself down for a bit…


That is crazy that they would care what you use!!!

It’s their bat and ball, so they get to set the rules. I think someone is just being a Richard…

May not be over yet because I am about to fire this client before I even start. Now they want me to bring in my computer for installation of “their VPN client” and who knows what else - this is too invasive and I’ve refused. Will know by morning whether I still have the project. This is testing my resolve to “semi-retire” on my own terms at this point…

Apparently my time in the time out corner wan’t long enough… :vb-embarassed-laugh:


I had difficult (read: borderline insane) clients when I was editing novel manuscripts. I rarely did anything for them twice. As a semi-retired freelancer I had that freedom.

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This could explain their objections to you using Apple stuff.


Whoa. Sounds like they need to provide a laptop. Or have a lawyer on staff. Or something very, very different than a client arrangement. At the very least, allowing them access to your machine compromises all of your other clients. Do they expect to be your only client for the duration of whatever thing they’re trying to do runs?

How often do you encounter this level of crazy? I look forward to reading more about this in your book.