I Spent $1500 on an iPad Pro Only to Realize I’ll Probably Still Travel With My Laptop

iPad Pro 11” vs MacBook Air

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I got an iPad Pro for travel only to realize that I might as well be stuck with my laptop. 

At home, I have a MacBook Air that’s getting really long in the tooth now, a 15-inch MacBook Pro, which is also getting a little long in the tooth, and a new M114-inch MacBook Pro.

I bought the MacBook Pro for a lot of the content-editing and creation that I do -including a lot of videos and photography, so I figured that using Lightroom and DaVinci Resolve, in addition to Photoshop and Affinity Photo meant that I could work faster. 

And it’s true to say that the 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro is a great little workhorse in a really good size and form factor.

Apple iPad Pro with Pencil
With magnetic connector for Pencil charging
Apple iPad Pro Case
iPad Pro in its case

But with the return of travel, I thought that I still need something that I can just throw in my bag and take anywhere at any time – something that’s nice and light, that won’t get in the way. So I went out and bought an 11-inch M1 iPad Pro, which I got a deal on.

I have to say that I really love the iPad Pro. The screen, the speed, and the power of it are all fantastic.

And I do like the squared bevels and the look and feel.

I thought to complete this with a Magic Keyboard and an Apple Pencil so that I’ve got the perfect traveling companion. 

My previous iPad had a Logitech folio-type keyboard, which was nice and light has Bluetooth, and also acted as a case. You’d flip that up, clip the iPad into it, and off you go. It meant that it was a little bit bulkier, but it was still quite light and easy to travel with.

So having faith in Apple’s ability to build products that work, I just ordered these online and had them delivered to my home without any need to go in-store and try these out.

I figured that everybody was using them and that would be surely enough for me to know that other road warriors had road-tested these products and given the ticket of approval.

Apple iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard
Apple iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard | Make Life Click

Boy, was I wrong!

When the Magic Keyboard arrived, I thought that I must have received the wrong product. And clearly, I hadn’t done my research. Immediately I started to have the feeling I get when I fail to follow my own advice of research, research, research when buying new products.

This thing was heavy. I put the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil on it, folded it up, and put it in my backpack. I weighed it and realized that I was pretty much getting no added benefit in terms of making a light and portable solution.

The size of it is not that much smaller than my 14-inch MacBook Pro if I’m really honest. Although if I do have a small day bag, then the 11-inch will fit in much easier. But if I’m taking a backpack, then I’m taking a backpack and both would fit just as well.

The overall weight is so surprising, that I’m just not sure it’s not easier for me to take my MacBook Pro on the road. 

iPad Pro 11” vs MacBook Pro 14” vs MacBook Air – The Weigh-In

Apple iPad Pro
iPad Pro 11 on scales
Apple MacBook Pro
MacBook Pro 14” M1 on scales
Apple MacBook Air
MacBook Air on scales

There is something to be said about holidays and watching things on the plane, reading new sites, adding some quick notes, maybe editing some photos in Lightroom, and the ability to mark those up with the Apple Pencil- it’s all really great.

But if you’ve ever been a serious road warrior, you know that you get incredibly quick on the tools and hardware that you use. And I’ve definitely got my workflow on my Macbook laptops a lot quicker than I do on the iPad.

In addition, if I really do need to seriously do any typing, the Magic Keyboard on the 11-inch is great but not as large, ergonomic, or natural as the MacBook Pro.

The other thing, in hindsight, is realizing how expensive an iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil are. For the same price, you may as well get the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which gives you all of the power, connectivity options, and no more weight than the iPad gives you.

So, all of this moaning about how heavy the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard are together led me to think, who are the people who would really make use of an iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard? 

I’m not really sure, but I think that artists who do very little typing on a keyboard can benefit from this setup., They’d have the option to use the keyboard, but can easily detach the iPad Pro from the Magic Keyboard and work on it as an artist.

Apple iPad Pro Screen
Apple iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard and Pen | Make Life Click

Other people who can benefit from this setup are retirees or people in an older generation who don’t really type much and like the tactile experience of poking their fingers at the screen to make things happen. 

The Magic Keyboard means it’s quite easy to put it on the table anywhere, flip it open and watch what you need to watch.

But there is some inflexibility in the Magic Keyboard and the range of angles you can get from the stand. If you want to try using it on your lap, then forget it, because it’s not comfortable at all.

The top-heavy weight of the iPad Pro on the Magic Keyboard means that it just tries to fall over all the time. 

So Apple, if you’re listening, it would be great to see if you can work out how to make the Magic Keyboard a little bit lighter and a little bit more portable so that we’re not all standing around, wondering if we should take our laptop or iPad on our next trip.

Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.

Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.

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