The IPad Pro 2017 review: Can it be a laptop replacement for photographers?

The IPad Pro 9.5” 2017 model - the lightest, and easiset tablet computer in the apple & iOS ecosystem (or so it would appear)

    The IPad Pro, with Smart Keyboard & pencil - amazing for drawing & selective edits - but can it really replace a laptop at this stage in the game?  I have to say I really like the new iPad Pro - it has a way of being small & light, yet extremely powerful. The advances since the original large size iPad or iPad Air are noticeable, however there are some interesting quirks that I see already in my everyday use, which still bug me as a photographer.    First off the file system. We have come a long way since the original closed file system, but even with a third party app like “docmuents 5” to accurately navigate the internals of the iPad, along with its online folders, there is no access to the SD Card reader - which makes things rather clunky after a shoot.   In fact this is a real issue for me, as the SD card reader itself can only identify files with the digital camera naming convention, i.e. the 8 character and image or movie type. This means the idea of simply using the SD card reader to copy over items is not going to work, unless you rename the items in question, and even then you must copy them to the camera roll via import and THEN copy them out using a third party file management app. This seems clunky to me, even though I love the speed at which the programs operate, it keeps me from recommending this iteration as an all in one solution for event photographers, or anyone with large volumes of work to cull & edit, since there still are a few things to be worked out. 

 

The IPad Pro, with Smart Keyboard & pencil - amazing for drawing & selective edits - but can it really replace a laptop at this stage in the game?

I have to say I really like the new iPad Pro - it has a way of being small & light, yet extremely powerful. The advances since the original large size iPad or iPad Air are noticeable, however there are some interesting quirks that I see already in my everyday use, which still bug me as a photographer.  

First off the file system. We have come a long way since the original closed file system, but even with a third party app like “docmuents 5” to accurately navigate the internals of the iPad, along with its online folders, there is no access to the SD Card reader - which makes things rather clunky after a shoot. 

In fact this is a real issue for me, as the SD card reader itself can only identify files with the digital camera naming convention, i.e. the 8 character and image or movie type. This means the idea of simply using the SD card reader to copy over items is not going to work, unless you rename the items in question, and even then you must copy them to the camera roll via import and THEN copy them out using a third party file management app. This seems clunky to me, even though I love the speed at which the programs operate, it keeps me from recommending this iteration as an all in one solution for event photographers, or anyone with large volumes of work to cull & edit, since there still are a few things to be worked out. 

 

 

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I cant say enough about the hardware however, the keys are easy to type on, the system uses word & excel & outlook superbly ,and the Apple Pencil works wonders when drawing & doing selective pointing tasks.

So - bottom line a short time in : the iPad Pro is a great tablet device, however it will not be replacing my actual laptop or computer for full on photography work until we can find a more streamlined file system setup.  

Recommendation - buy one if you want a portable powerhouse editor, however know some simple things, such as even squarspace which I’m typing this blog posting on (well the mobile app anyway) isn’t optimized yet for the IOS browsing ecosystem, so not eveything will work quite right. If you need a laptop or full computer, buy one of these first. Then if you find yourself wanting somethig for lighter editing or day to day office work - consider the iPad Pro strongly, even over the MacBook entry level - as the price difference for the base model IS significant.  

All the best, and I’ll update more when I have more thoughts to share.