iPad Pro: My Travel Computer

I’m writing this piece from NYC, where I’ve traveled from CA for two days with only my iPad Pro (okay, I brought some clothes too…). I bought a 10.5” iPad Pro a few months ago and it has really become my go to computer for almost any time I’m out of the office. I find it to be the ideal device when I’m on the go — whether I’m out meetings customers, attending a conference, or just working from a coffee shop; it’s usually all I take.

There are many reasons I love heading out with just an iPad. First of all, it feels very freeing — small, lightweight, and always connected. With built-in LTE, I never worry about connecting to the wifi at a customer’s office or a coffee shop. I am always comfortable that when I open up the iPad, I will be connected. I bought a very small Tomtoc Case that can hold my Airpods, the Apple Pencil, and a few business cards. It’s the perfect thing to carry around for a busy day in meetings or at a conference.

More importantly, I find that I can get pretty much everything done on the iPad that I can on my laptop. To be sure, there are things that are still much easier on a laptop — working with large spreadsheets, building presentations, writing code, managing Salesforce.com administrative tasks, etc. But for the most part, these are things I do infrequently and not usually when I’m out of the office for a day or two. And the iPad allows me to easily review a spreadsheet and make quick edits (to my sales pipeline for example) or edit a presentation with a few last minute tweaks.

But the form factor of the iPad really shines in unlocking new use cases. My two current favorite involve sharing content with the iPad. I use Keynote for my presentations (if you haven’t tried it, you really should!). In smaller meetings and at conferences, I have started just bringing the iPad out and placing it on the table to go over a few charts or graphs with people. It’s incredibly effective — and much simpler than pulling out a laptop and finding somewhere to put it.

More surprisingly, I’ve found the iPad to be my absolute favorite presentation device! This is because, unlike on most laptops, it is easy to have open both a presentation and a way to take notes on the conversation! Using the split screen feature in iOS, I can have Keynote open as any portion of the screen (80%, 50% or 20%) and it will drive an external display, while I can use the remaining screen space for taking notes (I currently LOVE using Bear for taking notes — check it out!). This is something that is hard to do on a laptop — and seamless on my iPad. Even more impressive, Keynote on the iPad gives me to have a digital laser pointer and the ability to directly write or draw on slides — so I can respond to questions directly in the presentation very easily. Try doing that on your laptop!

I’ll be honest, I started traveling with just my iPad in large part just to see if I could. We all know (or at least we hear and we think we must believe) that the world is going to mobile devices. I wanted to test the capability to actually live in that mobile first world. And while I’m not ready to give up my MacBook Pro just yet — I’m finding myself leaving the office more often with just the iPad Pro and it definitely feels like the future.