Review: iPad Pro in Anger – Day Two: Bags and Cases

Day Five: Battery Life

One of the best things about having an iPad Pro, rather than a laptop/”hybrid” is that it doesn’t fall into the “computer” category at airport security. This means you don’t need to remove it from it’s bag. Which only sounds like a benefit to someone who travels through airports a lot!

Of course that assumes you have a bag in the first place. This creates a challenge.

Tablet bags come in 2 or 3 variants:

  • The Sleeve – this is simply to protect during the day. No room for chargers, or other paraphenalia.
  • The Urban Bag – Targus do a good one of these. Part Messenger, Part laptop, thin enough to be a sleeve, but with space for other devices.
  • The Messenger – Canvas throw-all. These can be shockingly expensive for what amounts to some canvas stitched together. Think Crumpler or Toffee. Sigh, the hipsters.
  • The SatchelToffee and Bally are probably most known here. If Messenger bags are expensive, these are premium. Often made with, or of, leather.

Unfortunately, if you’re specifically looking for a tablet case, these range from about 8″ to just under 11.6″, i.e. they’re simply too small for the iPad Pro. Once you go larger you’re looking at a laptop bag. Which negates the whole point of the minimalist travel device. Although admittedly I have only looked in 2 hi-tech stores, and one suitcase store.

Targus do produce an Urban Bag in their City Gear collection (pictured above) for the 12″-14″ range, this one is just too large (aimed at the 13″-14″ ultrabook), and the iPad slips around inside the case. But in the absence of anything more suitable, this comes pretty close to ideal. Apart from the extra space for charger and peripherals, it has a shoulder strap, handles, and a band to slip over the handle on your carry-on.

The iPad does fit into their 10″-12″ City Gear Bag. Just. But you have to stretch the zip over the corners which means either the zip is going to fail, or the corners of the iPad and/or keyboard are going to get scuffed. Or both.

So right now, the jury is out for the ideal iPad Pro carry-on. Much more research needed. Maybe I’ll make my own as a kickstarter project

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Day One: The Smart Keyboard <- Previous

Day Five: Battery Life

There is Only One Planet…

…which is enough if you do it right!!

How much of our amazing planet have you seen? How much are you planning to experience before we screw it up monumentally, or you’re physically no longer able to get out there and enjoy it?

Even for me, where the Travel Force is strong, 2015 was a busier year than most. Although mostly this was for work, which despite the “glamour” of staying in nice hotels at desired locations, is pretty much the worst type of travel. Yeah, being away from your family, unable to do anything with consistency, sucks. But still better to make an effort to see the world than to commute the same congested road every day.

Also, where I can I’ll try to grab a couple of days extra before or after the business week and rent a motorcycle, or explore a town.

2015 by the Numbers:

Last year I travelled 210 259 kms, which puts my average speed over the year at a whopping 24 km/h!

I was away from home for 108 days or 34% of the year. If we look at the working year, this shoots up to almost 50%.

This took me to 19 cities & towns in 8 countries on 4 continents (including Australia).

The most memorable trip (not to mention most memorable car purchase) has to be buying my Jeep in Perth, then driving it across Australia (4650 kms) in just 3 days over the ANZAC Holiday week-end in April.

Madness? Perhaps, but then how often in life do you get to road trip across a continent with your mates? (Answer: Very seldom indeed)

Apart from driving a Jeep insane distances in 3 days, top experiences include:

My first visit to the Grand Canyon – a friend and I took an open top Mustang whilst we were in the US for the HP TechCon conference.

Riding through the hills around San Francisco and Silicon Valley. I’ll never tire of those roads and views.

South Africa was fantastic and as expected, many fabulous experiences ensued:

Aliwal ShoalReconnecting with the universe boating to and diving Aliwal Shoal.

Meeting the kids at Dayspring Children’s Village. This is where Amanzi volunteered a couple of years ago. We were inspired and humbled. Joy has nothing to do with possession, and everything with contribution.

UntitledZebula Private Game Reserve in South Africa. My third time, and always a treat. So many experiences here – Game drives, interacting with African elephants, quad bike safaries, clay target shooting, and just chilling in the pool with wild animals saying “hi.”

UntitledSodwana Bay, where I learnt to dive in 1991, qualified countless divers as an instructor (although not as many as on Aliwal), and got another 7 dives in over the 3 days we were there. There aren’t many places you can launch a dive boat through the surf zone, snorkel with dolphins, dive with both pelagic and reef creatures, in warm (24C), clear (20m viz) water just 2 miles from shore.

#WhereAmI Heading into the OfficeManila or, more accurately, Makati. Another first, kicked off the year. Is this the most western of Asian cities? Definitely the worst airport.

So, travel.

Never has it been more affordable. No, you don’t have to fly business, or stay in hotels. AirBnb, or just friends, family, and camping will do.

You can fly, train, drive, motorcycle, sail, cycle, hell, even walk.

You can travel to far flung places, or just see more of the country you live in. But I’ll tell you this…

…your happiness is indirectly proportional to the size of your comfort zone. So get out of yours 🙂

and travel


Switch and Bait

Project 2012: Day 281

Bags have their usesWe booked our domestic flights back in August when planning the trip, with the travel agent STA. I have to say this was a particularly frustrating and complex trip to plan. There are just so many options, so many places to visit, and friends to see.

Then there’s the flights. Different airline partnerships. Different airports and taxes. Changing from one airport might save you huge amounts in the ticket, but end up costing you an hour in transfers, not to mention losing all your savings just getting to your location.

Initially I thought to get one of those Air Passes, where you get a number of hops, and can book up to the day before you travel. But they turned out to be pretty expensive.

Anywhoo, we thought we got a pretty good deal, right up until check-in for our flight to San Francisco. It was then that we were asked for $25 per checked-in bag!! Srsly?!?!? It turns out airlines in the US charge you for everything. And I’m not talking about the budget carriers, but the established businesses (we were flying United).*

And no my American friends, that’s not the experience around the rest of the world.

“Not happy Jan!”

It’s bad enough that Airlines in the US charge you to check a bag in. What was worse was that the travel agent led us to believe all of our travel costs were covered. So we were expecting cheap flights (bait) only to be stung with unexpected luggage fees (switch)

I Red heart NY

The second place we encountered Switch and Bait was in New York. Everyone, apparently wants an I Red heart NY tee-shirt. Around Times Square you’ll find a dozen souvenir shops selling these plain shirts, and they’ll advertise “4 T-shirts for $10” with these tees on display.

Of course when you get there, the 4 for $10 shirts have an entirely different design. You’ll be lucky to get an I Red heart NY shirt for <$12

I’ve no problem with the economics of supply and demand, but I do have an issue with switch and bait tactics. Enough for me to refuse to buy anything from those shops.

I know, they probably didn’t even notice the lack of my business. So be it.


In fact if I have one issue with the USA it’s that nothing is the indicated price. From grocery stores, to taxis, restaurants to attractions. You have to add sales tax (different in different states, and different depending on the goods or service). Then there’s an expectation to add around a 20% tip.

Tip: If you’re headed to the US, allocate an extra 30% for anything you budget.

*The one airline that does include a checked bag, ironically, is the discount carrier, JetBlue. They were by far the friendliest, most economical, on time, and comfortable domestic airline we flew in the States.