Internet Pad Professional 2020 Review
It's been a while, hasn't it? I think my last blog was sometime in March, making this the longest hiatus the blog has seen, probably. I can't be overly bothered to check, if I'm being honest. If you're wondering where I've been, well most of my time has been spent on my YouTube channel and on a podcast I started with my buddy Zach Slimp called Tough Cookies (both of which can be found above).
But I'm not here to plug myself (insert joke). I've called you all here for a reason, which most of you probably know, if you're clever enough to read the titles of blogs. This is my official 2020 iPad Pro (Internet Pad Professional) review. I ended up with the 256 GB one, and I picked up the Pencil and Magic Keyboard while I was at it, so this review is for that model specifically. I do not have, nor am I planning to get, the monolithic-ten-commandments-size-of-a-doormat 12.9 inch version. "Camruinn, why did you buy an iPad? Did you need one? For your work? Your very important work?" Good question! No. Not at all. In fact, my overall goal in buying this thing was to replace my perfectly fine 2016 MacBook Pro with something lighter, smaller, and more fun that I could toss in my backpack and take with me places, like school and day trips, simply because it looks fun. As such, I need my iPad to do several things: 1) Edit video. I make a fair amount of videos. Most end up on my YouTube channels, but I also edit together quick and dirty edits for Tough Cookies's TikTok profile, as well as the occasional school project. 2) Edit photos. My first and deepest love will always be for photography. It's what got me started on making stuff, and it remains my absolute favorite thing to do. Most of my editing I do in Lightroom, with the occasional foray into Photoshop. I need my iPad to be able to keep up. 3) Writing. I write pretty often. I'm writing right now, in fact. See. I just did it. 4) Manage all the crap I make. I'm pretty all over the place when it comes to mediums. Like I said, I write, make videos, take photos, and record a podcast. That means I stock up on files quickly, and most of my backups are stored locally on drives, meaning I need something that allows me to manage those files effectively. I'm also assuming that if you're this far into the review then you're someone who actually cares about tech and iPads, so I'm going to spare you all the usual ogling over the obvious. Yes, iPadOS. Yes, curser support. Yes, desktop browsing. We get it. This is MY review, not 9to5Mac's review. So now that you all know the backstory, let's get into the meat of things. I'll break it up into two parts: what I do and don't like. Simple enough. Part the First: What I Like There's a lot to love about the Internet Pad Professional. I'll split this section up by the things I actually do with it, the first being photography. Photo editing on iPad is great, for me at least. I use Lightroom and Photoshop when I edit photos, and Adobe has pretty solid ports of their Creative Cloud versions on iOS. Lightroom is extremely comparable to the desktop version, in fact I haven't been able to throw anything at the iPad version that my laptop could do better. Photoshop on iPad gets flack for being incomplete, but if you're like me and just throw together the occasional simple composite, you'll be fine. The real draw of photo editing on iPad for me is the way it's changed my relationship with my photos. Using a touch-first OS means that I really get to handle my photos in a way that desktop editing just cannot provide. When I use the brush tool I really get to paint on my edits. When I need a closer look at something, I get to really manipulate things via my hands rather than a scroll wheel. It's a small thing, but I like it.
Video editing is also extremely solid on iPad. I use the app Lumafusion, which seems to be the standard for iOS video editing, and it's really nice. It seems to be based more off of FinalCut rather than Premiere, which is what I'm used to, so I'm not as snappy with it as I am on desktop. Other than that, though, no complaints. A few days ago I downloaded the latest Tough Cookies audio, edited together our YouTube version, and posted it all from the dinner table in a jiffy. I have yet to throw anything at it that it can't handle. Writing with the Magic Keyboard is perfectly serviceable, which is pretty much all I expected. The keyboard in question uses the old / new scissor mechanism, so typing on it feels about on par with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. Sure, it isn't as good as my mechanical keyboard, but it's just as good as a good laptop keyboard, which ain't bad at all. I also found that I jumped right into it with no obvious drawbacks. I was afraid that my typing would be affected by a new mechanism and size of keyboard, but my words-per-minute is about the same as on my laptop. File management is boring. So I'm not going to write a lot about it. It works. It isn't flashy, but I can safely transfer files to-and-from my drives with my iPad. Not much else to say. Part the Second: What I Don't Like Spoiler alert: this section is going to be a bit short. The iPad is great, but I have run into a couple of small hiccups. The first came when I was trying to download a clip from YouTube and use it in a video of mine. My go-to YouTube to MP4 converter that I'm sure is making a fortune off of stealing my data seems to randomly change how it is you actually SAVE a video once it's been converted. Most of the time you get a download button and it's as easy as tapping the screen. However, sometimes it'll bring up an actual file that you need to left-click and save manually, which an iPad can't really do (no, not even with the Magic Keyboard or a mouse). My fix to this was to use the second hit on Google, which was slightly irritating but not really a huge deal. Hiccup number two is not, I suspect anyway, my iPad's fault. Also, I lied. I'm going to talk about file management for a second. I use OneDrive for cloud storage because my college gives us all unlimited space with our .edu email, and I have about 100 GB of stuff I need on all my devices at any given time. OneDrive on iPad is...just not very good. It isn't horrible, but it isn't great. Specifically, when I was syncing a couple of videos (about 3 GB each), I found that OneDrive hit a glitch where it just refused to upload the files until I had restarted my iPad. Similarly, things like Word documents seem to take a while to update as well. Maybe only a few minutes here and there, but when I'm working off of multiple devices, that can be a pain. I did some quick research and it turns out that pretty much the whole Microsoft Office suite is pretty infamous for not playing nice with iOS. That's a bit disappointing, but it should also be said that most of my problems came from when I was just setting up my OneDrive, and since getting it up and going, I've run into a lot fewer issues. Secret Part the Third: Conclusions Overall, I like this thing. The biggest draw for me is just how fun it is to use. All the reviews I've seen online go over the usual specs, updates, and changes that you expect from a tech review, but no one is really talking about how _fun_ the iPad is to use. I mean sure, my Honda Accord gets me from A to B just fine, but a Porsche 911 would be a lot more fun to drive instead. The iPad is like that. It really can't offer a whole lot more that a similarly-priced laptop could offer, but it's a whole lot more fun. Plus 120 HZ is just...delightful.