The new iPad Pro is an awesome step up for mobile workers that want to leave their laptop at home.
First, the pluses (and there are a lot of them).
The huge, 12.9 inch display looks even bigger than it really is. Weighing in at 1.6 pounds, it’s pretty light, though holding it single handed (like you might do with a regular iPad, could be awkward. 10 hours of battery life and a built-in cellular data option make the iPad Pro ideal for road warriors. Also nice? The simple lightning cable for charging, which means there are no behemoth-sized charging bricks to carry around.
Mobile iOS apps work great, and the new side-by-side feature makes multitasking easy for the apps that support it (expect more coming soon). The Apple Pencil will be a boon for fast note-taking and Photoshop experts.
So, what is lacking? Windows apps for work and a mouse.
For Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop users with a Citrix X1 Mouse, the iPad Pro really can be a true Laptop replacement. You may not be ready to retire your old laptop, but you will definitely leave it home more often.
Citrix Receiver has been updated (v6.1.2) to optimize the iPad Pro’s display and defaults to a 1600 x 1200 resolution. As displayed, the fonts are sharp and the Windows 10 desktop has plenty of space for multitasking open windows.
The X1 Mouse works exactly as expected with right click, drag and drop and scroll wheel support. This makes the iPad Pro productive for content creation and not just consumption, as has been recommended for other tablets. The Apple Pencil may duplicate some of the mouse functionality, but for extended periods of time, the mouse will probably be the preferred pointing device.
When do I still need a laptop?
The biggest question there is how long you expect to be offline. Doing email with WorxMail and taking notes is easy offline, but if full office is required or other work apps then a laptop will be a safer choice when no wifi or cell data are available. Fortunately this is becoming less of a barrier.
Saving a file to a USB drive is not possible and peripheral support, like local printers, are also potential considerations. Again, these use cases are diminishing and the instances in which they come up are few. If you use your laptop plugged into an external monitor this could also be a consideration as well.
Writing this blog on the iPad Pro with Citrix and X1 Mouse was trivial and made me forget what I was even using.
What are your thoughts? Think the iPad Pro make you leave your laptop home?