In late 2018 Apple came out with their latest generation of iPad Pro tablets. I've been trying one out for a few days to see how it can fit into my current workflow. I chose the 12.9" Ipad Pro with 256 gb of storage and LTE through Verizon. The total cost of ownership (see below) is about $1,600 - which does not include the extra line required for LTE access. At this price, you could purchase a nice high-end PC laptop or a Macbook Pro. This tablet is an evolutionary step in the right direction but falls short of the full functionality and compatibility necessary to be a full laptop replacement.
Cost of unit and recommended accessories:
- iPad $1099
- Apple Care $145
- Apple Keyboard $200
- Apple Pencil $125
- Longer charging cable (2 meter) $35
So, who is this setup for? Someone whom already has a full featured laptop for everyday use.
- Lightweight and portable
- LTE functionality (optional)
- Quality fit and finish
- USB-C port
- Apple pencil makes navigation easier and keeps your screen clean and free of finger smudges
- Bright clear screen
- Loud full speakers
- Dropbox functionality is good for reviewing and marking up files
- You could carry this to a hearing and navigate Dibcase and PDF files via Dropbox
- Retrieve PDF documents with no worries about hotspots etc.
- Long battery life
- Easy login with facial recognition
- Voice recognition for text-to-speech for adding notes to Dibcase
- Touch navigation is imprecise (apple pencil required)
- Expensive accessories (Pencil, keyboard, longer charging cable, Apple Care)
- ERE spreadsheets won't pull up in Excel
- Printing issues with Dibcase (tries to print the page and not the document)
- Pencil workflow is not as efficient as trackpad workflow
- Portable keyboard not easy to type on
- No headphone jack
Dibcase on an iPad
Dibcase works great on an iPad and the only limitation that I've noticed thus far is not being able to print document templates.
One nice feature that I discovered is that on the "Client Page" if you click on the client picture box it will ask you if you'd like to "Take a picture" or load one. If you choose to take a picture it will immediately save the client's pic it into the box - this would be nice for doing intakes.
Other apps you can use on an iPad
Dropbox - Storage utility
Google Drive - Storage utility
Keeper - Password application
Adobe Acrobat Reader - Reading and annotating PDF files
Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and the MS office suite
Ringcentral - Phone and fax service
This tablet won't replace a desktop or your laptop for everyday use. For some, this unit may be pricey and not necessarily a great value. However, you can throw this into your bag and pull it out a hearing and be guaranteed to have an internet connection and functionally navigate PDF files. The Apple app store has various PDF utilities that may provide greater or lesser functionality than Acrobat Reader, which is what I used for this review. If it makes sense for you, I would recommend using this setup at a hearing.