I have talked about using a Chromebook for ministry. I think for many of us that is still a great option. But, today I am going to explore a more expensive option, but one that could be valuable to you if you prize portability and flexibility.
See, a Chromebook or even a laptop or desktop only helps you with the content creation side of ministry: preparing sermons, writing lessons, writing blog posts etc. Whereas an iPad Pro can do both sides: content creation as well as presentation. What I am saying is many of us use a MacBook or a Windows PC to create the content and then an iPad to present the content. In my current setup I am using an iPad Pro for both creating the content and presenting the content.
Now there are some big caveats here so stick with me. First, the iPad Pro has a pretty steep cost. I use the brand new 10.5 inch version which I was able to score for $100 off the listing price at Staples. If you want the Apple branded accessories such as the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil you are going to be on the hook for another $250. For obvious reasons I did not buy those accessories and instead I am using the very functional Moko Keyboard Case and no stylus. This brings me to another caveat. While there is great keyboard compatibility there is no mouse support or trackpad support. These sometimes leads to frustrating experiences when a finger just is not as precise as I need it to be.
How I Use One
Right now the iPad Pro is fully functioning as my main device. I use it to research and write my sermons and lessons with full Microsoft Office or Google Docs support along with great apps such as Evernote. I have it hooked up to my 27inch monitor in my office, it prints nicely to our Ricoh office copier/printer. The multitasking is great and with the next update of iOS it will get even better. There are some great apps that let you scan with great results. In other words I have not run into any day to day office tasks that the iPad Pro cannot handle. Sometimes I wish I had a mouse or trackpad for more precise clicking but those moments are few.
The presentation side of using my iPad Pro is also great. With the big and clear screen I have easy access to my notes and Bible passages for messages. Whether you use Office, Evernote, Google Docs, Pages, or just a notes app to present from you will be more than fine here.
So this is what it came down to for me: My trusty 5 year old HP laptop’s video card went out. So I was looking for a computer in the $500-$700 range. I could have gone the traditional laptop route but I think the iPad Pro is offering me more bang for my buck. It has allowed my to pass my Nexus 9 tablet onto my wife and use one device for two: a computer for creating ministry content and a tablet for presenting that content.
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