Life With a Low End iPad

One of my better purchases lately has not been an old Mac Pro (for under $30) or my fancy iPhone XR (which is a great phone) – it’s been a basic 6th generation iPad for work.

The iPad was on sale before Christmas at a local retailer, and I splurged for it as I needed it for both my school work, writing, and sermon prep. I really wanted an iPad Pro, but the price tag scared me off from that fancier device. In the end, the iPad has become a workhorse, not just for media consumption but for getting stuff done. Taking notes is fun with the original Apple Pencil, playing games is an option, and planning for work is a breeze. It’s great to take on trips too and not have to lug my laptop around.

In fact, I’ve been surprised at just how good it is for the price – around the $300 price point for the 128GB model. It’s been a while since I’ve been so pleased from a purchase.

But – I recognize it’s not perfect for everyone. I do have a bluetooth keyboard I can throw into my bag on trips if I need to type, but generally, I don’t want to put the iPad into a case, using a protective sleeve instead. The more bulk you add to it, the less of sleek device it becomes. Some apps also are annoying, and it can take a few steps to move files around. I’ve yet to find the perfect note taking app. Bear is the closest, but I’m giving Agenda a run for meeting purposes. The basic Notes app is also great for doodling. I don’t like jumping between the three.

Even when my kids are restless, inviting them to use the Apple Pencil to doodle and draw, rather than play whatever micro-transaction app of the day, is a nice option. They like it too. I’m surprised the pencil hasn’t already gotten game designers thinking creatively on how to make games that parents don’t mind their kids playing.

The wild thing is that Apple is likely to update it later this month, meaning it becomes even more “low end” option, and the older 6th generation versions will become an even better value.

Alright – that’s enough of this non-G5 tangent. Stay tuned for more updates.

— Nathan

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