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I don't use the Apple Pencil all the time, but when I do, it's worth its weight in gold.
I love the precision it offers compared to jabbing at the screen with my finger, or even using the trackpad on the Magic Keyboard.
Some apps, such as the new DaVinci Resolve for iPad, feel like they are designed with the idea that people are going to be using the Apple Pencil. The user interface is much more densely packed than what we are used to for a mobile app, and having a high-precision pointing device makes a huge difference.
So much so, I find myself jabbing at my MacBook Pro with the Apple Pencil, and wishing the two would cooperate.
This one hub connects the USB-C port on the iPad Pro and gives me two USB-C ports that can be used for devices and charging, dual HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB-A 3.0 ports, microSD and SD card slots, and a 3.5mm audio jack port.
Everything I need, with the additional bonus that this also works on my MacBook Pro and other devices.
Then there's the Anker 737 power bank that keeps the iPad Pro (and all my other devices) going for even longer. If I need to be using my iPad Pro for more than a day, and I'm away from a power outlet, this 24,000 mAh power bank will be going with me.
Also, when I need more storage, I connect an external SSD to that very useful USB-C port. My SSDs of choice are the excellent Crucial X8 drives, which come in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. Adding storage this way is not only a lot cheaper than buying an iPad Pro with more storage (Apple charges a whopping $700 if you want to upgrade the iPad Pro from the base 128GB to 1TB, whereas a 4TB Crucial X8 is only $249.99), but it's also a lot more convenient because you can switch between multiple drives.
It really depends on what you want from a laptop. In my case, adding a good keyboard and trackpad, the Apple Pencil, and a decent hub allow me to use the iPad Pro instead of a MacBook Pro in a lot of situations.
For example, if I'm hiking to do some photography or videography, I'd much rather take the tablet than the laptop (it's smaller, lighter, has better battery life, and it's a lot less fragile).
It's less that my iPad Pro is replacing a laptop, and more that it's a better solution.
I feel that this "Can an iPad replace a laptop?" debate is flawed. Just because toothbrush contains the word "brush," doesn't mean that it also needs to be a cat brush, or that there needs to be a series of different third-party brushes that clip onto the end of a toothbrush.
It's OK that a toothbrush is just a toothbrush.
It's also not cheap. Keyboards, hubs, and extra storage all adds up. If all you want is a laptop, it's cheaper to buy a laptop.
But if you want a tablet and to customize it so it can take over some of the roles of a laptop, then this is also possible.
Just bear in mind that you'll pay a premium price for this.