iPad Pro – Ergonomics

June 28, 2016

I didn’t write yesterday so today there are 2 blog posts. This is the first one.

I have to say I don’t expect anyone to really read all of this in detail – this writing is just there to ultimately compile the most interesting bits in an article in the research section. But I guess if you are interested in buying an iPad Pro it doesn’t hurt to know some things about it.

Weight

Carrying an iPad Pro around in a messenger bag gets tiring quickly. I lugged the iPad Pro around during a conference last week and after a while the weight really bothered me.

What the iPad is brilliant at though is being able to show something quickly to someone else. The huge screen makes it easy to view – it’s much faster way than setting up a laptop somewhere – and thanks to the mobile data connection there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have some level of internet everywhere. Being able to show the right reference at the right time really makes the difference whether you make the sale or not.

What about working on location? My workplace tends to be all over: my home, client’s offices, my colleague’s homes… this means I have.

Carrying both a Macbook Pro and iPad Pro and their adapters in a backpack is doable, as long as you don’t carry too much extras and don’t have to walk too far.

The case problem

Putting away the iPad Pro’s case remains awkward after a week.

I almost always want the keyboard case to be attached to the iPad, because there is rarely a situation where I don’t want to use the keyboard. When storing the iPad away it’s not as simple as with a regular iPad where you just fold over the cover. With the iPad Pro it’s a move in which you have to detach the magnetic part of the keyboard, then slide in the keyboard itself, then fold over the cover – without the keyboard dropping.

It’s not like it’s that tricky to do, but it requires 2 hands and some concentration. When you’re busy working on a train and you suddenly see that you are already at the stop where you need to be, sometimes precious seconds count!

Using the iPad as a drawing tablet for your computer

There’s an app for the iPad called Astropad that allows you to use the iPad as a tablet. With the iPad Pro it doesn’t really work well, because it slides away when you draw on the screen using the Apple Pencil.

I guess Astropad was conceived with regular iPads in mind because it doesn’t really work that well with the iPad Pro.

When a case is attached to the iPad Pro things don’t slide as much, but an iPad can’t technically lie fully flat in these case creating a less than elegant situation.

I have to experiment with it a bit more but for now I’m not so sure.

Using the iPad in cramped locations

I’ve tried the iPad Pro in various train settings (first class, second class, newer and older trains, all in Belgium) and the experience ranges from great to extremely bad.

Whether the iPad is comfortable to use in a vehicle with a tray table (think planes and trains) really depends on how cramped your seat is, and how far the tray table is positioned. I guess it also depends on your own size. YMVV.

Using the iPad Pro on your lap

You can use the iPad Pro on your lap but it’s not super stable. A laptop provides far more stability because of it’s general shape and because it’s typically bottom-heavy whereas the iPad is top-heavy.

It is doable to use an iPad on your lap for short emails etc. but it’s not great for longer amounts of time.

Conclusion

That’s it for this post on ergonomics. The iPad Pro is a wildly different beast than a laptop. Sometimes it’s better and sometimes it’s not – but it does feel like it’s a device that I could use to work for a full day – if my duties for the day could be fulfilled on iOS, that is.

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