Full disclosure, I’m an Apple guy. Have been since the very beginning. That’s why this article might shock you but it may also give you some insight. So, my first computer was a model called the Performa 6200. I got in the early 90’s (I’m dating myself here folks) and I’ve pretty much been an Apple devotee since. At the time, I was working in the art department of a small Toy Company that was making the switch from doing things mechanically to doing thing like packaging and logos on the computer. I’ll give you one guess what kind of computers we were using to make that switch. Macs. So, I was locked into the ecosystem early on.
Now in my defense, PC’s at the time were absolutely dreadful for creative stuff. They just were. However, if you needed to do more practical things like a database or a spread sheet the PC was your obvious choice. So, lets leap through time past all the apple innovations like the iPod (had 3 of those) and the iPhone (I’m on my fourth or fifth one) on up to the glorious iPad! I got the first generation one and let me tell you, I loved it. You could hold the internet in your hands. Glorious. You could check your email, listen to music, watch movies and TV shows. Awesome right? But that was about it. Then finally a few versions down the line we actually got apps for art creation. Good ones. Procreate was a Godsend and the introduction of the Apple Pencil meant you didn’t have to paint with your finger anymore. Heaven right? Here’s the problem folks. If you’re a commercial artist, and you’re dealing with large corporations, the industry standard is the Adobe Suite of creative software. Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, After Effects, etc.
To be fair, there is a crappy watered down versions of Photoshop available for the iPad but quite frankly it’s horrible and if your’e using it on the iPad it’s just awkward. I suspect this is part of the reason Apple has added a keyboard and support for a wireless mouse, so that you can actually work on the thing. Kinda makes the iPad look like a laptop doesn’t it? Problem is, it’s not a laptop. As pretty and cool as it is, it leaves me in a lurch. I need to do real client work and the iPad doesn’t give me the functionality that I need. My workflow depends on the full version of the Adobe Creative Suite Library. Period. IOS is fantastic. It is, but I need my Illustrator custom brushes. I also need a working version of Adobe Animate. Apple may come up with all these cool slogans about the iPad being your next laptop but it just isn’t.
Look if you’re just writing reports and crunching numbers it’s fine but for people that need a work horse you’ll end up looking elsewhere. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have 2 iPads! I have a second gen, One of the smaller models that I am never without! It’s by my side constantly. I’m looking at it right now as I type the article on my MacBook Air (I have way too much apple stuff). Well, I think you’re getting the idea. As a business owner I’m trying to give you a practical look at the iPads usefulness not as a personal device (which I love) but as a tool in a creative business. I know what you’re thinking. “But Larry, what about that slick new iPad Pro! That has to be a creative powerhouse!!!” Well, It is if you use Procreate or Sketchbook Pro. Bottom line, I need more and so do most potential users.
Let me tell you a funny story, one that happened to me around Christmas time. I was looking around. Trying to find a solution to My dilemma. Before this pandemic hit, I wanted to get out more. Maybe work from cafes, libraries or rent a co-working space and work outside of my home studio 2-3 days a week. I’ve been working at home since around 2002. After a while you start talking to your food and it starts answering. Anyway, here’s my problem. In order to do that I’d have to bring a lot of things with me. In my particular case that meant bringing the iPad to sketch on, then I’d have to airdrop that sketch to my laptop to work on it in either Photoshop or Illustrator. Now, I could work traditionally and bring me sketchbook, ruler, triangles and sharpeners and make a complete nuisance of myself. Then I would have to take a pic of the artwork in hideous lighting and airdrop that to my laptop to work on it. You get the idea, all bad options in my book. I wanted one device to rule them all.
So, I’m looking at the deals on Amazon and I come across this laptop on sale for under $1000. The damn thing is a 2 in 1. “What the hell is that?” My artist brain asks. Turns out this thing flips all the way around and becomes a tablet! A touch screen on a laptop! What madness is this?!!! So, I can do my Hulu, Netflix and Spotify as well as Sketchbook Pro! You’re telling me it comes with the stylus included in the price? So, I can concept on this thing in procreate, flip it around and bring that sketch into my beloved Adobe Creative Suite and finish it, custom brushes and all?!!! Oh crap, It’s a Lenovo. A PC! My sworn enemy but damn it! Those features! Everything I need! Steve Jobs will rise on Halloween night and rip my head off with his Apple Watch (which I proudly wear myself).
I mulled over the decision for a week. I was torn guys but I was stuck in a time bubble. Remembering what the windows operating system was in the early 90’s was just painful but I couldn’t deny the Lenovo Flex 2 in 1 had every feature I required. This was one machine. Just shove that in my backpack and I could work from anywhere. To make a long story short I pulled the trigger. The thing came a few days later and I was astonished. It was half the price of my iPad Pro and did almost twice as much. The dreaded operating system (Windows 10) was not nearly as clunky and frustrating as I remembered it. This thing is just plain awesome. It took a little getting used to (I’m still getting used to it) but it’s honestly what the iPad should be. Able to run all the full versions of the software that I need as well as doing the fun stuff when the work day is done.
This is coming straight from an Apple lifer. If you’re an artist and considering an iPad for play, get it. They’re awesome. If you need to get some real work done, especially remotely, consider a Lenovo 2 in 1. It’s like an iPad with a laptop jammed into it. Go to the store and just try one. You won’t be disappointed. I’m sorry Apple. You should have been the first company to do a touchscreen laptop! Don’t worry, Im sure you’ll invent something else to take my money but you missed this time. Anyway, we’ll have a full review of the Lenovo Flex 2 in 1 and the iPad Pro in future reviews with all the specs in LCI Labs so stay tuned!
Well, that’s all for now. Hope this helped you some. See you next time!
Check out the Lenovo 2 in 1 on Amazon