Back in March 2012, I bought a third generation iPad to serve as a “family room” computer — for checking email, looking things up while watching TV, checking the weather, etc. It served extremely well in that role — even better than I had expected! In fact, I was so impressed by this concept of a lean computer that was optimized for certain tasks, that it went on to influence an entire re-thinking of my household technology infrastructure. I now try to focus on devices that bring technology out of the office and into the places where technology is needed, and I give a lot of thought to what each device will be used for, not just tech specs. That iPad, Clifford, had a lasting impact on my technological worldview.
But, after 4 years and a lot of use, that third generation iPad was having trouble keeping up. Newer versions of iOS didn’t run as fast, modern apps (designed for modern tablets) weren’t as snappy as they were four years ago, and some features that I care about (like the front-facing camera for videoconferencing) had become eclipsed by other, newer, devices. So, I decided that it was time to replace Clifford.
I still feel that Apple’s iPad is the best all-around tablet available, and is supported by an extremely strong ecosystem of software, services, and other devices. So, I decided to stick with the iPad, and ended up getting a iPad Pro 9.7-inch, which I’ve named Concordia. I feel that, for my needs, the 13-inch iPad is too big (that goes beyond “family room computer”, and the 8 inch iPad mini is too small (that’s a good size for reading books, but I have a Kindle for that). The 9.7-inch size is perfect for setting on the coffee table while sitting down to watch a movie.
So far, so good. The screen is the best computer screen I’ve ever seen. The new 4-speaker setup produces that best tablet/laptop sound I’ve ever heard. It’s thinner and lighter than my old iPad, which I didn’t think was possible. and the front-facing camera is great for videoconferencing.