My iPad Pro M1 13-inch 2022: was it a waste?

I’m not sure how useful my iPad Pro 11 inch M1 bought in 2021 is.

I think if I was a student or somebody like that, with very light computing needs, you can argue that the iPad is a reasonable alternative to a MacBook Air. It’s arguable though. Of course if it’s a computer substitute a bigger screen would probably be better.

I work at home on my 14-inch MacBook Pro M1 from 2021, connected to a 27-inch external monitor. Next to that I have my iPhone Pro 13 which I can’t live without. Next to that is my iPad Pro which I almost never touch. Sometime “just to use it” I’ll pick it up to read a book in the Kindle app. But I’m usually ok reading on my iPhone too.

I got it originally thinking I could use it on weekends for a volunteer class I teach at, instead of lugging my MBP, but we ended up sticking with Zoom meetings since the pandemic. Then I started carrying it around outside in a backpack in case of work emergencies. I still sometimes do that, but I really don’t go anywhere hardly at all.

I’ll make more use of it on my U.S. trip in April - first trip in 4 years! - but it sort of feels like a waste at the moment. And probably an iPad lower-model would have been just fine.

It’s really a nice device though, with the Apple smart folio keyboard case. I just don’t know what to do with it. :slight_smile:

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As someone with lots of devices (and that same iPad), I’ve found what I like is to delegate different tasks to different devices. I do use iPad more for consumption and entertainment (reading, games, video), but I like that using it for that is not only ideal for it’s design, but it offsets a load from my main Mac. Even though my 16" MBP is more than capable of doing a lot at once (I barely push it out of first gear), it’s more of a cognitive burden – out of sight, out of mind – so having some tasks elsewhere lets me use the Mac for what it’s better at, and keeps me focused.

Not everyone has that luxury and trying to force one or two devices to do everything can work, but I really like being able to separate things.


I can see delegating it to be a book / newspaper reading device mostly. Movies, less so. They are better on my MBP’s external monitor with Boom 3D to help with the incredibly annoying muffled bass speaker on the MBP that I complained about in 2021.

I do movies on my big TV, but iPad is great for streaming soccer game or youtube or podcast or things I don’t have to pay full attention to (sometimes while I watch something else on the TV, like a different soccer game – I like multitasking). iPad is also great for text messaging so I can keep Mac focused on work.

It is tricky finding uses, but I having multiple devices is great for multitasking. For instance, the other day I was doing programming and writing an article on the MBP, using the iPad for reference material (websites/books), and had iPhone in calculator mode to do some math I needed for the app I was writing.

I could have done all that on the Mac and switched around (either using Spaces or various windows and Safari tabs), but it was vastly easier to use separate devices. And each device was optimal for its use: iPhone is the size of a regular calculator, so that made sense, and iPad is like a book. It felt really efficient and productive!

I used to feel a little guilty/silly delegating a major device to doing something simple like a calculator or reference web page, but I got over that as I realized if it works, do it. What’s the harm? I wouldn’t necessarily recommend people rush out and buy multiple devices just for that kind of a setup, but if you have them, use them. Don’t feel bad if you’re not maximizing the device’s power – any use is a good use, even if it’s trivial.

As others have written, I use the iPad primary for reading. Another great use is as 2nd monitor on my desktop. I have a 27" Apple Studio display on a rather busy desk. However, I added a clamp stand for the iPad and find it quite handy to have have the iPad mounted there to take advantage of sidecar feature or to make it a 2nd monitor.

I find reading articles and books on an iPhone quite painful, so I often take the iPad with me when I may want to read away form home. I don’t need to worry about WiFi since I have an 'Unlimeited cellular plan (that does have a severe limit on using it my phone as a hotspot).

One thing that I do is load PDF’s of various manuals into Apple Books. Most new equipment provides only a small paper quick-start manual in the box, with the detailed information available as a downloadable PDF. Having that manual available in a compact package is terrific.

By the way, my iPad is an 11-inch iPad Pro. So, it’s length and witch are about those of a general-interest magazine. I don’t think I’d be comfortable with a larger one.

Yes, for the purpose the 11-inch is best for sure. will offer upwards of $362 for it depending on specs/condition. You could put that towards your next Mac or iPhone or peripheral purchase.

I have no affiliation with them. But I did use them once to offload a still pretty new Intel MBP and I have to say it worked like a charm. Got lots more than Apple would have paid, and I didn’t have to deal with any Craigslist/Ebay/whatever shenanigans. Their customer service was top notch.

I have a new M2 MacBook Air with a 20” external display, and an iPad Air with a Belkin Folio Touch keyboard. The MacBook Air is in my office. If I’m not in my office, I use my iPad. I take my iPad to the coffee shop or when I travel. Sometimes, I’m home and use my iPad because I’m sitting at the dining room table that’s only fifteen feet from my office. In some weeks, I use the iPad more than my MBA.

It really depends upon your personal needs. That iPad Pro next to your MacBook Pro doesn’t do much, but look pretty. (Maybe Stage Manager might be useful). If that’s where you’re doing all your work, it doesn’t make much sense. I do a lot of work all over the place. The iPad is perfect for me. It allows me to do work wherever I am. Email, messages, word processing, spreadsheets, etc. I can work on a document on my Mac and continue work on my iPad.

There are limitations with my iPad: most of the time, these are companies that purposefully limit their software. SquareSpace is a big culprit. They literally block some page editing capabilities if I’m on an iPad. A then there’s WhatsApp that make a Mac app and iPhone, but not an iPad app.

The iPad is a powerful machine. My only gripe is that I’d prefer the Mac Ui (Menubar, etc.) if I’m using a trackpad and keyboard.


What I did was this: I originally received a 12.9 inch iPad Pro from a friend who passed away at 100 years and just like buying and updating all his Apple stuff all the time. So I gave my (I think) iPad 5th generation to my sister. But I quickly found the 12.9 inch too large for my use so I sold it for approximately $800 over Craig’s List here in Tokyo to an artist who found it perfect for her work.

That, plus the difference in cost, let me upgrade to the newer 11-inch iPad Pro M1 that had just come out. I probably could have gone for the latest non-pro iPad.

Anyway, my U.S. trip is around the corner, and I expect it will be handier then then it is now. No need to sell it at the moment anyway.

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I rarely use a Mac when away from my desk, but if I’m at my desk, I only want to use one.

I love my 12.9 iPad Pro, as a laptop alternative, and rarely take my MBPro away with me anymore for work, I can do 90% of on the road computing with it, still enjoy watching and reading on it.

But generally, for the evening, for reading in bed, I’ve become a firm fan of my iPad mini. Slips into a jacket pocket, light enough for lengthy one-handed holding.

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Offhand I would say that if you have an iPad Pro and you’re wondering what to do with it, you don’t draw or paint. . . . :grinning: :grinning:

I have a base level iPad and over these past years I have discovered to my surprise that I use it more than any other Apple product—hours a day. The vast majority of the time reading & web surfing and the rest email and messages. It’s so much easier to do it on the couch!

That said, I would never try to use it for work (graphics, sysadmin, programming)—that’s what my 27" iMac is for (and if I had my druthers, I’d have two 27" screens).

The iPhone is fantastic for travel but the iPad comes a close second. Looking at maps of an unfamiliar place on an iPhone is frustrating but on an iPad? Just dandy!



I’ve got a three year old iPad Air that I just adore, and I use my very elderly 4th generation iPad running 10.3.3 every so often. Since I retired a few years ago, it turns out that I’ve been using the iPad Air almost exclusively, and do just about all my TidBITS talking on it. I just don’t need to plug into any of my FileMaker Pro databases or MS office apps so very much anymore, and the ones I have work just fine. But I do mess around with my ancient Adobe Creative Suite from time to time; it’s so old that it came on CDs from days of yore.

My husband has the latest editions of MS Office on his two year old MacBook Pro, and access to the Adobe Creative Suite, and I do use them sometimes. I will probably be replacing my very elderly but trustworthy MacBook Pro with the next release. But I have been thinking about going full time on iPad Air. So IMHO, I don’t think your M1 is a waste at all.