My config is a 128Gb iPad Pro, with a Logitech Back-Lit full size keyboard, and an Apple Pencil. I will use iPad Pro, and Pro interchangeably here, so don’t confuse with the Mac Book Pro I briefly mention. 

Bought the iPad Pro just before a trip to NY, which gives me the chance to try it unconnected, and in a very tight space.

Sitting in an economy seat with an iPad Pro is a challenge. My standard laptop is a 13″ Mac. Book Pro. That is far more of a challenge. In fact almost unusable.   The iPad Pro is at least usable, and pretty good at that.

At least with the iPad Pro, you can fold the screen over the back-lit keyboard, and carry on using the screen when the person in front wants to sleep. And when they thankfully don’t you can use the keyboard successfully. 

One thing which is a distinct improvement is that the word suggestions are a simple tap as you type, which gives a nice rhythm, whilst allowing control over longer words. The suggestions are not perfect but they do get better as you type more into your article.

The other major improvement is the use of the Select mode on the screen as a keypad. Excellent control. Two fingered drag puts the screen into keypad mode on an Air2 and the Pro, and gives far better control than trying to tap on the screen in exactly the right place. 

I loaded my Pro with a few Apps, and a bunch of content to watch when not working. Having 128Gb gives a lot of choices.

Firstly I loaded Dropbox, and MS Offices Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Before boarding, using Dropbox I opened the three Docs and one PPT I wanted to work on in their respective Apps. Turned on Airplane mode and could still see the documents. 

The Office Apps save them Off-line, and I guess will save back to Dropbox when I sync. But I completed the Docs and the PPT and emailed them though MacMail to the relevant receipients. They are nicely queued to go.

I also loaded a few sketching Apps to use with the Pencil. Now this is the real revolution on the iPad Pro. The Apple Pencil is the best Stylus I have ever used, from high end graphics devices, to the blunt ended things shipped with iPads so far.

The accuracy lets you draw some great items, with accuracy, and with the right Apps some elegance and speed.

My favourite tool with the Pencil is Graphic by Autodesk. It is like Visio on steroids. Just excellent for drawing  what I draw lots of – Systems Architecture pictures.  Closest thing I have got to a proper whiteboard on a handheld device.

I drew a few diagrams in this quickly and easily. Very intuitive toolset a very flexible to use. Great colour tools that let you eye drop colours between shapes, and flexible labels. Alignment, Center, Send to Back / Front, and an excellent set of built in shapes. Saving them as Pictures into Photos, I just inserted them into Word as part of the Docs I was writing.

The other tools I had some fun in were the Office Suite. Word, Excel and more usefully PowerPoint all now have a Draw tab on the iPad versions. And work with the Pencil. This improves accuracy no end. The really smart Autoshape is nice too, draw a rough circle / square / triangle / hexagon …. and get a real shape. Not as effective as Graphic but pretty impressive, and I can see myself using this particularly in presentations.

Lastly on the Drawing front I loaded Procreate. By far the best of the three for Drawing real layers, and shading in pictures etc. Great fun, and beat watching Videos for a while. I don’t draw for my job. If I did graphic design, logo’s, housing projects I would load this. Right now for what I do I will stick with Graphic….

Well I am 6 hours into the flight, plus 2 hours at the airport. Written three Docs, one PowerPoint, drawn a bunch of diagrams, played with the drawing tools, watched few episodes of some Chuck Lorre series (my current fascination), and written this article in the WordPress App (which I also loaded).  And still 43% battery life.

Going watch a quick episode before we land, and relax some more. 

Conclusion is the iPad Pro is great for a long haul economy class flight, for work and play.

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