Portable workstation with an iPad Pro 12.9
I haven’t used an Apple device in probably 6 years. I switched to an Android phone, a Linux desktop and a Windows laptop for lots of reasons that I won’t get into in this post. That said, I was really sick of the constant tradeoffs, and no new wintel laptop was really exciting me at the price/performance/battery life levels I wanted so I decided to give the iPad pro a shot. Boy am I glad I did!!
iPad Pro 12.9 265
iClever BK05 trifold backlit portable keyboard (perfectly lapable for me anyway). Critical because it has a dedicated esc key.
A $29 leather case (I forget which but it’s a simple one)
Software I use:
Shelly (to get to my desktop rig, tmux with shared sessions)
VNC Viewer (to go to my VMs running on my desktop and work/test there)
Textastic (in case I want to work locally on code)
Working Copy (local copies of code I need)
Wireguard (to VPN into my home network from anywhere)
At first I thought it would be a laggy and unpleasant experience like it was on windows but OMG it’s amazing. VNC Viewer works like a dream (I’m not trying to watch movies, I want to write code and test it). Safari is fine for working with Jupyter Notebooks running on my main rig.
If you’re trying to decide if you can switch to an iPad for portability, my experience so far is a unequivocal, resounding YES (as long as you have a reasonable internet connection). If you have any questions I’ll be happy to try to answer, if you do something similar and have suggestions I’d love to hear them! All in all, I’m very happy with my decision.