I’ve been using the larger 12.9” iPad Pro with Apple Pencil as my main computer for a couple of years now. I do a fair bit of design work and drawing, and it’s superb for that. We have a few of the Microsoft Surface devices around including a Surface Studio Pro and while they’re very nicely built (definitely the thing I’d get if I had to use WIndows), the stylus lags and jitters when I try to draw with it, which is a deal-breaker for me.
I recently helped my Dad buy the new iPad with pencil support. Not the Pro model, just the new regular 9.7”. I agree with @SteveDuncombe’s review - this model is a big deal. It brings a whole lot of the power of the Pro version to a device at a sub-$500 price point. It’s missing some luxury features so the Pro is still better, but nothing most people will miss. Most important is the processor speed – this thing will do real work without ever making you wait for it. The main thing to watch out for is that it doesn’t have the magnetic smart connector so Apple’s Smart Keyboard won’t work with it. I got my Dad this keyboard case instead:
It’s better for his needs anyway - he wants to permanently use it like a laptop, so it’s better to have something that doesn’t keep detaching. I did talk him into upgrading to the cellular model ($669) on the basis that if it is ever lost or stolen you can connect to it over the internet to disable it and track it down using GPS. Cheap insurance I reckon.
He’s just left for an overseas trip with only the iPad, all set up with his email on it, leaving the trusty but slow and clunky laptop at home. I’ll let you all know how it turns out...