Thanks to Best Buy having an incredible deal yesterday I went ahead and added the iPad back into my life. I bought a 128GB 10.2” iPad and I am very happy with the decision.

The 10.2” isn’t exactly the super-powerful 12.9” iPad Pro I once had, but that was when I was using my iPad as my main computer. Back then, I wanted a machine that was top of the line. Now, as my setup and needs have changed I think that the regular iPad is a perfect fit for me. I say that knowing it is basically the 10.5” iPad Pro I once had. Aside from some cheaper speakers and screen, both the size and specs are practically the same. Hell, even the Smart Keyboard is the same size as the one I had for the 10.5” iPad.

The Smart Keyboard is exactly as I remember it from when I had the 10.5” and it works just as well for me. I was concerned I was going to find it cramped or too small for me as I was so used to the full sized keyboard on the MacBook Pro. Alas, that wasn’t anything I should have worried about. In fact, I write faster and more consistently on this Smart Keyboard than I do on the mechanical keyboard Keychron K2.

This iPad isn’t my main machine, but it can absolutely be an ultra-portable option for when I am on the go or don’t want to travel light. In fact, I have left my laptop at home when I have gone out to write or do work because this iPad suits all the needs I have for a typical day-to-day operations. That said, I am sure there will be times—like there were for me in the past—where I just felt like a MacBook would be a better solution for a problem than the iPad.

This isn’t me saying that I am going back to the “iPad-only lifestyle.” In fact, one of the big reasons I got this iPad was because I wanted something that was compatible with Sidecar.

So far, I have tried Sidecar exactly once in the past 24 hours and it was very seamless. I can’t wait to use my iPad as a second monitor when I am doing things at my desk like podcasting or working on a long post for the blog. Having that extra screen real estate is going to help me when I really need it.

It is encouraging to me to see things like Sidecar work out of the box with Catalina. I am also thrilled to see this type of synergy between the iPad and Mac, where it isn’t just macOS and iOS (or iPadOS) working together but it is also the hardware.

Finally, I am elated to be able to use Siri Shortcuts on something bigger than my iPhone 11 Pro. It was nightmarish to use just my iPhone to make and edit shortcuts. I love Shortcuts and I love the team behind that app, but the user experience on the phone is less than optimal. I have dived back into Shortcuts with this iPad and it has allowed me to play around with automation on iOS again. A someone who hasn’t played around much with the additions and changes iPadOS brought with Shortcuts it has been quite a lot of fun to learn and play with this app.

Overall, I am excited to see what having an iPad again will be like in this post iOS 13 world. I am sure I will have more thoughts on the iPad as time goes on, but for now I am going to play around with it some more and see what this thing is really capable of.