I added a new iPad to the line up recently, and this one could be a game changer.

The previous main stay had been an iPad Mini that I got because I had a need for ultimate portability, and something that was going to function very much like a notepad if you will, and it’s worked beautifully for the past two years. At the time it was the ideal device, and even now, when portability is the goal, into the Man Bag by Nutsac it goes, with a Logitech Keys To Go beside it and the phone in the outside pocket. I can go like that all day and barely notice I’m carrying a bag, it does everything I need in an ultimately mobile device, and I couldn’t ask for anything nicer.

But I’ve often said there’s room in my garage for a sports car and a pickup. If I’m taking my wife out to a nice restaurant, a pickup may not be the ideal vehicle. Conversely, if we’ve bought a new piece of furniture that I need to bring home from the store, I’m going to have a tough time doing that in a sports car! So different devices serve different purposes.

My role has recently changed at work and now I work primarily (almost exclusively really) with Microsoft 365. There are four applications I use in my day to day work. Teams, OneNote, Edge, and Outlook. I use Word and Excel also, but but those first four are essential to my job. Those four or six apps work really wonderfully on my new 4th Gen iPad Air and it’s changed the way I look at mobility.

This time around I went 256 GB and cellular as this is the main device now and beloved Mini is taking a back seat. I paired it with a Magic Keyboard and 2nd Gen Apple Pencil, so it made for a pricey little setup and I have thoughts on Magic Keyboard that I may cover in a different post, but I’ve been surprised at just how functional it is, and how useful I’m finding it.

I’d kind of hoped but I didn’t really imagine that it would work out as nicely as it has. I’m still learning and haven’t completely settled into it, but almost every time I use it it becomes more usable than the previous time I used it and I believe that with just a bit more learning, this device may be a legitimate laptop replacement given the way I use it. I’ve been more impressed than I have been with other iPads I’ve used. Apple has knocked it out of the park with this one.