Review: iPad 6th Gen // Can the new iPad be your main computer? / by David Mather

The new 2018 iPad (6th gen) is a huge upgrade over my old iPad 2. The screen has the same size but its more pixels, so is a Retina display. That makes reading text much easier, and photos look really great too. Just for the upgrade to a Retina display was worth the money! The new iPad also supports Apple Pencil, previously exclusive to the iPad Pro. This certainly sweetened the deal as the sketching looks fun.

I’m planning to use the iPad as my main computer for day-to-day tasks.

It turns out that after a week of using the iPad that it is surprisingly capable. The software is snappy and focussed and makes my computer seem even slower than I thought... Nothing compares to the ‘instant on’ you get when waking your iPad from sleep, especially when compared to starting up my Mid-2012 MacBook Pro... which seems to take an age. With iPad signing in with TouchID is great too - and your apps are just there - waiting to be launched. If like me your computers desktop is cluttered this certainly feels more organised.

The first weekend after picking up the iPad I traveled to London for the CIBSE YEN Chairs Conference 2018 and I made the brave* choice to only take my new iPad for the conference rather than my laptop... as the Chair I could not afford to have IT issues as I had prepared the agenda and a presentation for the conference. I am pleased to report the iPad worked really well - both for presenting and note taking. 

To get the ‘desktop PC’ experience at home I have coupled my iPad with some choice accessories. An Apple Smart Cover to allow me to stand up the iPad in either a shallow or upright position, an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard that I used to use with my Mac, an Apple Lighting to HDMI adaptor, HDMI cable and an external monitor. This set up works well, and helps replicate a normal posture for desk work.

One advantage I have found with the iPads form factor is the ease of doing tasks anywhere, on the sofa is particularly comfortable as the iPad is really light. This post, as most computer tasks I have auctioned lately is all completed on the iPad.

 The Apple Pencil is really good, so far I have only used it a small amount but for marking notes around a Pages/Word document I can see it will be really beneficial. My top tip when using a Bluetooth keyboard is that Mac shortcuts often work on the iPad, just hold cmd to see a list of shortcuts that work for each app.

let me know in the comments if you have tried, or use, a tablet as you4 main computer.

*clearly a gross exaggeration! 


Shop on amazon for the new iPad: (affiliate link)

Some example sketches from trying out the  Pencil