Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Oct 2017 16:42 UTC
Apple

In the summer of 2017, I wanted to know what it would be like to use an iPad Pro as my main computer. I found out that it can actually work, thanks to an iOS app called Blink, an SSH replacement called Mosh, iOS 11 and running stuff on a server.

You could argue the title is a tad bit misleading - there's a lot of thin client DNA in his setup - but it's an interesting look at how to achieve this, nonetheless.

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Why would you do this on an iPad Pro?
by avgalen on Thu 26th Oct 2017 20:45 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

You could build exactly the same remote programming environment with a laptop that would still provide all the Pro's, but would also remove some of the mentioned Cons:
* It's not for people using graphical IDEs
* You can't connect an external monitor (don't mention airplay)
* For that matter, you can't connect any hardware

Of course you would need to search a bit for a laptop with a great touchscreen that runs silent and has 10 hours of batterylife but those DO exist nowadays for the same pricepoint as the iPad Pro.

Reply Score: 7

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Why the F does it need to be a touch screen? Touch screens aren't probably too useful when you do all your work cli, so why buy them?

Reply Parent Score: 3

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I personally like a touchscreen for most personal use on my laptop. It is just nicer to scroll or zoom with my fingers and most consumption (small games, webreading, audio/video) is nicer with a touchscreen as well.
For development it is nice to have a touchscreen only if you are doing front-end development (GUI) so you can test your site/app just like a user would.

I also didn't understand the need for a touchscreen in this users setup. I just included touch as a "requirement" because it was listed as a pro in the article.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Of course you would need to search a bit for a laptop with a great touchscreen that runs silent and has 10 hours of batterylife but those DO exist nowadays for the same pricepoint as the iPad Pro.


Much, much less than the iPad Pro, more like the basic iPad. The current crop of ultra low power Atom and Pentium branded SoCs from Intel offer phenomenal battery life and good everyday performance, certainly enough for a dumb terminal setup. Laptops based on those configurations start around US$200, and it's rare to see one over US$500. In fact, at that latter price you can get something like the Asus Q304UA, which ticks all of your boxes at half the cost of the iPad Pro.

Reply Parent Score: 4

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

"Of course you would need to search a bit for a laptop with a great touchscreen that runs silent and has 10 hours of batterylife but those DO exist nowadays for the same pricepoint as the iPad Pro.


Much, much less than the iPad Pro, more like the basic iPad. The current crop of ultra low power Atom and Pentium branded SoCs from Intel offer phenomenal battery life and good everyday performance, certainly enough for a dumb terminal setup. Laptops based on those configurations start around US$200, and it's rare to see one over US$500. In fact, at that latter price you can get something like the Asus Q304UA, which ticks all of your boxes at half the cost of the iPad Pro.
"
Let me state that they are not my boxes, they come from the original article:

Conclusion
Pros 🤠
This setup is highly portable, you don't even have to join a WiFi network
Battery lasts forever and the iPad runs absolutely silent
Screen is absolutely gorgeous, it really is
Doesn't fry your thighs because docker runs somewhere else
Apple keyboard works as well as the one on the MacBook Pro
Touch screen and a pencil
Cons 🤔
Unless you have a spare one, this setup comes with a monthly spend for a server
You can't work unless you have LTE or WiFi
It's not for people using graphical IDEs
You can't connect an external monitor (don't mention airplay)
For that matter, you can't connect any hardware

I don't think you can get a highly portable machine with an absolutely gorgeous screen, absolutely silent, LTE-support, touch-screen for 200 or even 500 Euro. So either you should think about increasing the price close towards that 1000 dollar goal and get all the pro's and many less of the cons, or you can lower the price and give up some of the pro's but also have less of the cons. Either way the iPad Pro doesn't seem like the best way to go.

That Asus does look like a nice machine and I agree that you could get a decent amount of work done on it, especially with the remote development environment. However it has a 5400 RPM HDD so it will not be as quiet and fast as an iPad Pro. Same for the graphics-card, webcam and weight-thickness that are all worse than the iPad Pro.
The iPad Pro is simply way overpowered and overpriced for what is needed in this setup.

Reply Parent Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

* You can't connect an external monitor (don't mention airplay)

My lightning to HDMI and VGA cables say otherwise.
* For that matter, you can't connect any hardware

Really? I guess I've imagined this Ethernet cable I used just today to troubleshoot an unresponsive firewall. Silly me, hallucinating like that. Oh yeah, and I guess I've imagined my Lightning-compatible flash drive, and my SD reader and writer I use all the time. The above monitor cables count too, I think but nope, I can't connect any hardware at all, no sir!

Of course you would need to search a bit for a laptop with a great touchscreen that runs silent and has 10 hours of batterylife but those DO exist nowadays for the same pricepoint as the iPad Pro.

Where? Have you ever even used an iPad Pro? Do you have any idea of the kind of battery life you can get with these things (not the ten hours Apple claims which applies only to absolutely constant use)? Show me a laptop that can be actively monitoring my networks while locked and instantly ready when I wake it up, that can charge from a portable USB battery when necessary, and doesn't need charged for a few days. On top of that, it's stable as I could hope for in today's world of modern software unlike that perpetual beta we call Windows 10 and without the driver craziness of Linux. If you find a laptop that can do all of these things and more, then I want to know about it asap. I don't care about what the specs officially say, I care about what it can actually do. I'll be nice and forego the touch screen if you can find the rest, but I've been looking for a long time and the iPad Pro is the closest I've ever found to what I want in a portable workhorse for my job.

Reply Parent Score: 2

smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

My lightning to HDMI and VGA cables say otherwise.


No, it proves his point.
You need a special adaper to connect it to anything.


And for battery-life:
A useless device with extra long battery-life is still useless.

Reply Parent Score: 5

gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Where? Have you ever even used an iPad Pro? Do you have any idea of the kind of battery life you can get with these things (not the ten hours Apple claims which applies only to absolutely constant use)? Show me a laptop that can be actively monitoring my networks while locked and instantly ready when I wake it up, that can charge from a portable USB battery when necessary, and doesn't need charged for a few days. On top of that, it's stable as I could hope for in today's world of modern software unlike that perpetual beta we call Windows 10 and without the driver craziness of Linux. If you find a laptop that can do all of these things and more, then I want to know about it asap. I don't care about what the specs officially say, I care about what it can actually do. I'll be nice and forego the touch screen if you can find the rest, but I've been looking for a long time and the iPad Pro is the closest I've ever found to what I want in a portable workhorse for my job.

I'm wondering if the current, cheaper non-Pro iPad would be just as good for most of the tasks you mentioned in this post and earlier in the thread. Also wondering the same about the author of the featured story. Any experience?

Edited 2017-10-28 14:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

"* You can't connect an external monitor (don't mention airplay)

My lightning to HDMI and VGA cables say otherwise.
* For that matter, you can't connect any hardware

Really? I guess I've imagined this Ethernet cable I used just today to troubleshoot an unresponsive firewall. Silly me, hallucinating like that. Oh yeah, and I guess I've imagined my Lightning-compatible flash drive, and my SD reader and writer I use all the time. The above monitor cables count too, I think but nope, I can't connect any hardware at all, no sir!

Of course you would need to search a bit for a laptop with a great touchscreen that runs silent and has 10 hours of batterylife but those DO exist nowadays for the same pricepoint as the iPad Pro.

Where? Have you ever even used an iPad Pro? Do you have any idea of the kind of battery life you can get with these things (not the ten hours Apple claims which applies only to absolutely constant use)? Show me a laptop that can be actively monitoring my networks while locked and instantly ready when I wake it up, that can charge from a portable USB battery when necessary, and doesn't need charged for a few days. On top of that, it's stable as I could hope for in today's world of modern software unlike that perpetual beta we call Windows 10 and without the driver craziness of Linux. If you find a laptop that can do all of these things and more, then I want to know about it asap. I don't care about what the specs officially say, I care about what it can actually do. I'll be nice and forego the touch screen if you can find the rest, but I've been looking for a long time and the iPad Pro is the closest I've ever found to what I want in a portable workhorse for my job.
"
I didn't see your reply until today and .... wow, you are rude in asking somebody to help you. I was about the write down 2 systems and look for more for you but you are going to have to do that by yourself. What you have found is not a portable workhorse, it is more like a dressage horse. Put another rider on it and ask it to do another task and it cannot do it. It is awesome that you found a setup that suits your needs so nicely, but from now on please refrain from moving goalposts that much and "insulting" other platforms.

Reply Parent Score: 2