August 7, 2020
IPad Pro Desktop MX Keys, Magic Trackpad, Satechi, & Zugu

My experience using the Apple’s refreshed iPad Pro 2020 as my all-in-one, personal laptop for home, business, and graphic design.

So it’s been four whole months since I ditched my MacBook and went exclusively to iPad Pro. The idea of becoming a digital design nomad was inspiring to me. Luckily, I had key accessories that made the iPad Pro experience a seamless transition.  I had mainly used my iPad Pro for digital painting, clerical tasks, and, of course, entertainment purposes. All the while, the bulk of my graphic designs were done on my MacBook Pro.  I first purchased my MacBook because I was expecting to craft design heavy, weighted files requiring snappy performance.  I had the original iPad Pro 2015, so I topped off my MacBook in 2017 with i7 and doubled my ram to 16gb. It also made a perfect desktop when docked to a monitor.  In the past couple of years, I found myself switching devices frequently working at my desk.  As the iPadOS matured, I began leaving my MacBook at home so often that when the iPad Pro 2020 was released I was thrilled at its potential to replace it.  I do full time graphic design today, and I have successfully been doing all of my work including webflow designing on my iPad Pro now.  It’s performance allows me to take build designs on the go and with the addition of accessories such as the MX Keys, Satechi Stand, or the Magic Mouse 2, it makes for a cogent all in one experience.

During my initial MacBook days, I relied heavily on Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator.   Plus I dabbled with 3D programs like Blender and Cinema 4D.  I habitually docked my MacBook for a desktop experience every time I was home. The Basues Hub helped consolidate much of the extra dongles (video of the hub here).  This led me to to eventually purchase the Magic Mouse 2 and the MX Keys by Logitech. The keyboard could keep 3 simultaneously bluetooth connections from 3 different computers paired at once!  I felt it was so nifty!  So for a good amount of time, I powered through a brand identity using the MX Keys to switch my keyboard’s input from my mac over to my ipad and back again.  It came in handy for when I needed to quickly browse the safari, type notes off on the side, or to keep a chat thread open on my iPad. It was the perfect companion device, but you felt it could be so much more. I was accustomed to that setup for sometime.  What was lacking in my original iPad Pro 2015 was real performance. It’d crash too often when I tried taking, for example, a stylescape in a brand identity project from prototype to its final feature. 

When the 2020 Ipad was released, it had a staggering 6gb of ram, and I felt this was a more prime time ready iPad Pro. Clerical work such as responding to emails, checking the news, drafting, or editing was already extremely pleasant on the ipad.  At the start, the 2020 iPad Pro was capable of opening large Affinity Photo and Designer projects that I had religiously only worked on the MacBook with.  They weren’t crashing! This was spectacular I thought!  It was then I sold my MacBook, cleaned out space at my home desk and bought two more additions to finish my ipad desktop: The Satechi stand and the sturdy Zugu case (the Apple Pencil is a given! Do you really have an iPad Pro without the pencil?).  I paired the Magic Trackpad 2 and MX keys tot he IPad Pro.  The MX keys gave me a full mechanical keyboard experience with backlit keys and the numerical pad.  I was set. 

Today, graphic design is so much fun on my iPad Pro.  I’m excited everyday to jump on it and use it! There are incredible apps that respectively give it its professional title.  Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer are my go to for everything creative! I create brand guides, stylescapes, logos with Designer, an Adobe Illustrator alternative.  I rely heavily on Procreate, Concepts, and Affinity Photo for all things illustrative and expressive such as concept art or storyboarding, for example.  I own my learning and make notes my own with GoodNotes. Finally, I am an avid user of LumaFusion editing video for my YouTube channel and Anchor.FM for my podcast uploads.  All these apps combine for an epic mobile, high performance hub for my graphic design work and I can’t wait to learn 3D design with uMake or Shapr3D!

It’s a near identical setup much like having Apple’s newest magic keyboard for the iPad Pro. My satechi stand holds my ipad up and I lift it and encase it into my Zugu case when I’m ready to travel.  I find the Zugu case to be a much better case for protection, mobility, durability, and, most importantly, the various sturdy viewing angles great for drawing.  I invested a lot into my iPad Pro and I aim to create great things from it. I do plan on readopting a desktop Mac sooner or later, but not until I have made the most value out from my ipad.  I will likely opt for a Mac mini since I have the dynamic MX Keys and the Magic Trackpad 2. As a tech enthusiast though, I will likely wait to the next fully refreshed lineup of Mac Mini’s before I make another move.  I love working on my Ipad. It has been my successful go to for all things persona, business, and design! 

Andrew out! 

If you haven’t seen my video where I highlight my iPad Pro 2020 set up as of today, be sure to check it out !


MX Keys by Logitech

Satechi Stand

Andrew Ocampos

Passionate Designer | People person | The one behind All dad jokes
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