My iPad 3 has been showing its age recently. I think the latest version iOS is too much for it. It has become less responsive, with apps showing a very noticeable lag in performance.

I had thought of upgrading to the iPad Pro 12.9" due to its greater processing power but it's a good deal bigger and heavier than an iPad Air. So when Apple recently announced a new 9.7" version I thought this would be a better fit for my needs, providing a better balance of power and portability.

I have to say that I am very pleased with it so far. The screen is a delight, bright, non-reflective and with True Tone is very easy on the eye even when using it for long periods. Performance didn't disappoint either, it's now a joy to use an iPad once more. Everything responds snappily as it should. The four corner speakers are also a vast improvement although more often than not I will be using it with headphones.

Whenever I go away on holiday I've always taken my 15" MacBook Pro with me. Although most of what I would need to do is answer emails and do the odd bit of admin or server management and could be done via a web browser I've never liked typing much on an iPad. This, coupled with my old iPad being too slow meant that I'd rather lug around a bulky, heavy laptop (at least in comparison as the MacBook is relatively light for a laptop), bag and charger than try and manage with the iPad.

I recently had an opportunity on a short four day break to try out leaving the MacBook behind and rely on the iPad. Unfortunately the Smart Keyboard hadn't arrived in time to take as well but thankfully, nothing too strenuous work-wise cropped up.

Apple is touting the iPad Pro very much as a laptop replacement. For me, this isn't the case. First of all having tried out the Smart Keyboard I can say that while it is an improvement on using the screen (also giving you more screen real estate to view) I much prefer to use a proper laptop/desktop keyboard. Secondly, a lot of apps I use day to day simply aren't available for the iPad and in all likelihood require more processing power and memory than that provided by the iPad. However, I feel confident enough that I can leave my laptop at home for future trips and the iPad Pro will be more than capable of handling the tasks I'll require of it.

Power on the go

I have also recently purchased a couple of accessories for when I am travelling that I have found invaluable for charging devices. These are the Anker PowerCore mini portable charger and the Anker PowerPort 5 usb charger.

The PowerCore mini is a lipstick sized portable charger which fits handily in your pocket and claims it charges an iPhone around 4 times and a larger phone around 1.5 times. I haven't fully tested this but it was more than adequate for my needs and pretty rapid too.

When travelling there are limited power supplies to charge your devices on trains or in hotel rooms. The PowerPort 5 solves this by providing 5 usb slots from one power source so I've been able to easily keep my iPhone, iPad, GoPro and other family members' devices topped up. The PowerPort 5 is compact too (credit card sized but an inch thick) so can easily fit in your hand luggage.

Both chargers were reasonably priced too, £11 for the PowerCore mini and £18 for the PowerPort 5 - a very worthwhile investment.


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