IPad + SurfacePad = Perfect TexBlade Lap Solution?

Any Treg folks have this cover for their iPad? Seems like it would be the perfect way to balance an iPad and a Textblade on your lap, but am wondering if the magnets on the cover are strong enough to keep the iPad steady while tapping away on it.

Another question for TREG’s. Does anyone have a 12" iPad? Can you put your iPad flat on your lap and then put the TB on the screen of the iPad and type with it that way? I imagine it would sit where the software keyboard comes up. It might be smaller then the software keyboard. Has anyone tried this?

This idea was mention somewhere before and I gave a quick test and pictures. Seems to be workable since my test was on the smaller ipad pro.

Thanks DB, I’ll search your posts and see if I can find the picture. I assume the magnets on the bottom don’t cause any issues.

Finally found it:

I tried it and although the space occupied is fine if you have the software keyboard activated, I found that it tended to slip around on the screen which is not ideal for laptop use as the grippy surface on the bottom of the TB does not bind to the glass. This means that it is only really works well if the iPad is flat (e.g. on a desk). I found that if I had it on my lap then there was a tendency for the TB to slide off the iPad. Having said that the iPad Pro is no worse in this regard than the other iPads used in a similar way.

How do you like using the smaller iPad Pro?

I’ve been wondering how good is it with the Apple Pencil for writing (not drawing). Are there good programs that do a decent job of handwriting recognition?

I’ve got the larger iPad model so size wise I can’t comment, but handwriting wise look at Smart Note - it lets you write (and leaves your writing on the screen) but behind the scenes converts it to text so you can send the text to other programs, search it and so on. The same company has a free “keyboard” called MyScript that converts handwriting to text input and also Smart Calc that is a calculator with whiteboard style input. They are all free, though smart note and smart calc have slightly limited functionality in terms of the amount you can enter (the upgrade is about $1, so not expensive)

My handwriting is dire (to long working with computers and a nerve problem that makes precise hand control tricky) but all of them handle my scrawl very well.

(These were all mentioned somewhere on this forum, under the alternatives thread I think)

1 Like

Wonderful! Thanks for these. I also rarely handwrite, but I do have a whole set of fountain pens (used to handwrite a LOT more in my graduate school days). I’m moving into a different area, from academic administration to research administration, and think I will have the opportunity to handwrite more :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’ve had four ipads. The original large one, then the first mini. I really liked the mini because it was so much lighter, but it didn’t have the retina screen. So as soon as the retina screen one came out for the mini, I got that and had it ever since. With the new, smaller, iPad pro I decided it had enough improvements - and was much lighter than the first ipad I had - to give it a shot. I find the weight suits me just fine and the screen is great. For what I usually do, I could do fine without it (mostly movies, audio stuff (the 4 speaker set-up and better volume are great there), and some games). But it will serve me better on trips when I only take an ipad. The 2 gb of RAM helps a lot too. Not reloading web pages so much! But ultimately it is really a luxury, but hey, I’m retired and can afford something extra nice once in awhile.

But I didn’t get the pencil so I canat help you at all for that.

OK, thanks!

I’ve been wondering if the iPad Pro would be a suitable semi-replacement for a laptop. On the other hand, boy those iPads are not cheap. It would be an easier decision if the iPad Pros were say 50% less expensive.

It would be even easier if they were free! I always get maximum memory so mine was really expensive, but I didn’t get the cellular version. My mini has that, but I’ve found I don’t use it even though I get a little bit of data free with T-moblie.

As for replacing a laptop, some people do it and others don’t. It really is going to vary based on what you do. I would certainly think anyone doing email, internet, movies, music, podcasts would be fine. Especially with a handy TB for serious typing!

Some do some serious creation stuff on them, but I don’t see it as a replacement for me. For one thing, I have a 22.5 inch iMac and connected to that is a 24 inch monitor so I have quite a bit of space and I really like that. And there are things I do with a mouse that I don’t see any good solution for with an iPad.

Heck, even webpages. I have a Logitech mouse with lots of buttons. Apple is notorius for making it difficult to maximize such devices so I have an app called Steermouse which works with this mouse to let me program buttons to do almost anything.

For exampse, I click the wheel to open a link in a new tab (nothing special there), but when I finish with that page, I have another button programmed to close the active tab. Another button enlarges the text every time I click it. With my eyes, I use that a LOT. Another button reduces text size the same way.

So, unless I have to type something, I’d doing everything with the mouse. My task chair happens co have a fairly flat armrest so my mouse just stays right there, convenient. My keyboard, when being used at all, will always be on my lap.

Most of my open apps (I have a number of them), are set up on screen so I can always click someplace and catch at least a corner of any one of them to bring up what I want quickly.

With an ipad, I can’t gave that many things going on with easy reach all time. I’d often have to reach out to touch the screen to do some things as well instead of what I’m doing right now, leaning back in my nice chair with a big screen in front of me.

I probably should experiment doing stuff I normally only do on the computer, just to see what I can adjust too. If I do, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Thanks! Would be interested to see your experience.

I might get chance to visit an Apple Store and muck around with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

I use the iPad pro like that, it can happily run presentations with Keynote (have to get the Lightning to VGA / DVI/ HDMI converter as appropriate) spreadsheets and work processing are there (Numbers / Pages) and it does a reasonable job of handling MS Office formats - though if needed an Office 365 subscription lets you run office stuff natively.

For stuff that I have to run on my laptop like developer environments, virtual machines I use screens (remote desktop viewer) to provide easy access back to the Mac, it works pretty well if you have a good network connection.

I also use Screens quite often in my workflow.

So Jump desktop has mouse support for the Swiftpoint GT (and apparently a huge discount on the mouse right now if you buy the app). Otherwise, Screens is really great.

I’ve tried the mouse support and it works quite well.

I’m really looking forward to having iPad + TextBlade + Mouse for remote desktop. Would make a perfectly viable solution while traveling.

1 Like

To Add to @tag64,
I also use the iPad Pro (and previously my iPad3) to typeset LaTeX and tikz documents. I use a very powerful app called TexPad app for iOS. It works like a charm and has never failed me. The developpers have recently did a full refresh of the app (typeset engine, UI, etc…). The app also works on iPhone in case you like working on a small screen (it’s a universal app)…

I’m an engineer so I also use Umake and Shapr3D. Essential for 3D modelling.

You should also check apps by Readdle (readdle.com). They have some pretty powerful tools but on the expensive side. Though, follow them on twitter, they have frequent specials on their apps.

I hope that helps.



Depending on which mode you use for the cursor the Apple Pencil also works pretty well.

1 Like

Did my thesis in TexPad for Mac, also have the iOS app. It’s worked very well for me!

1 Like