I have been a tech geek for a tech geek for close to 30 years now, and the 2020 iPad Pro is far and away the best device I have ever owned. A close second was the 2015 iPad Pro. There isn’t any other device that comes close. Well, I guess the iPhone would be close, but while it works just fine, I don’t really like it all that much. It is something I need, and it is good at what it does, but it just isn’t as useful to me because there is very little I actually want to do on a screen that small. My wife uses her phone all the time, and can’t really understand why I need a tablet, but I just don’t really like using the phone.
I have known tablets were my preferred device for a long time now. I bought the first one about 10 years ago. I thought the iPad was a joke at the time, so I went with what I think was the Samsung Slate. I don’t remember exactly. It was a great Windows experience, but it wasn't really a tablet by today’s standards. It was a great Windows computer for taking notes in school. The stylus worked pretty well for taking notes and pushing all the little tiny buttons in Windows. I was happy with it, but Windows 8 was looming, and it sounded like Windows 8 would add the touch features I really wanted. So, I sold that one and waited.
The Surface Pro 3 was next, and again, it was a great little Windows computer. I thought the tablet features in Windows 8 were showing promise, and I was happy with my purchase. T/hen I upgraded to the Windows 10 beta, and it was just a mess. I think they were working more on the laptop side, and I think most of the tablet features were turned off. I hated it. I sold it to a friend, and bought an iPad Air 2. I didn’t like it. I don’t think I rally knew what to do with it. I liked reading comic books, but they were a little small on the 9.7” screen. It was close, but just not quite there. I think it was just too small for me, and I returned it after a few days.
After that, I tried some Android tablets by Google, Samsung and LG. They were OK, but a little clunky, but OK. They were still a little small, though. Somewhere along the way, I decided that it wasn’t big enough, but the iPad Air 2 was the best tablet. I bought another one, and enjoyed it. I didn’t use it all that much, and I was still spending more time on a laptop that any tablet. Then in 2015 it finally happened. The iPad Pro!
I ordered it the second it was available to order. I was as hyped as I had probably ever been for a product, and it didn’t disappoint. It was a dream device from day one, and It felt just as good when I replaced it about 4 1/2 years later. Truth be told, I didn’t feel the need to upgrade. It still felt like new except for the battery, which was down to about 5 hours of use before draining, but otherwise it still felt just as fast and great as it did the day I unboxed it. I really only had a couple of gripes. The already mentioned battery life, and the pencil. It was always dead when I wanted to use it, so I just used it less. It was a minor annoyance to be sure, but it was enough to make me not want to use it. with those two things alone, I planned to replace the battery for $100, and keep using it as long as I could keep getting updates.
Meanwhile, I was starting to think that maybe I could use the iPad Pro as my only computer. After almost 4 1/2 years, I bought a keyboard for it for the first time, and it was so close. The typing was fine (I have the Zagg keyboard, and it feels great, but apparently the hinge breaks easily. It is only about $30 on Amazon, which may be the best keyboard deal ever if you still have the early model iPad Pro), but it really wasn’t working for me without the trackpad. I had read that there was kind of trackpad support, but I didn’t think that would work all that well. In addition to the trackpad, I figured I would also need to be able to use the desktop version of Chrome if I really wanted to replace my MacBook Pro. I should also mention that the lack of being able to turn off the damn trackpad on the MacBook was a big reason I wanted to try to use a tablet as my only computer. So, the iPad Pro wouldn’t work because of the lack of desktop Chrome and the lack of a real trackpad. I had already ruled out windows for a tablet OS, and I knew Android wouldn’t do it either. After searching, that only left Chrome OS.
I thought I found my perfect tablet with the Google Pixel Slate. But the time I was doing this, it had dropped in price down to $500 with the keyboard and pen, and it was just a fantastic tablet at that point. I really liked it. Typing on that keyboard was the best typing experience I had ever had at the time. The tablet felt pretty good. It is running android apps in tablet mode, and they were much better than the last time I tried Android tablets, but still not to the level of the iPads. I was ready to adopt the Slate as my one and only computing device even though it wasn’t quite there, just because I couldn’t find anything better. I tried one of the 2 in 1 Chromebooks, and it was decent as well, but I really wanted a tablet. After noticing that the Wi-Fi was slower than on my iPad (200 instead of 400 sitting right next to each other), and finding out that Google was only planning to support it with updates for another year or two, I had to return it. Google had killed the Slate, so I couldn’t look forward to a new updated version. I was stuck. The new Chromebooks were delayed because of the pandemic, so I decided to just wait to see if they were better. I never found out. Less than a week later, the 2020 iPad Pro was announced. I preordered it as soon as the preorder opened, just like I did back in 2015.