For a long time, this was my " go to" device in the home. However, that award now goes to my iPhone 7 Plus. At one time, I really hated using that small screened device, so the iPad was about all I would carry around the house at the time. Many of those roles have switched to the iPhone. However, that doesn't mean it isn't still the second most used device during my free time. I still like the larger screen for a lot of the things I do.. Youtube, News+, surfing the web, etc.
Is it a real computer?
Enter the Magic Keyboard
I have been messing around with a small mechanical keyboard combined with a Logitech Ergo mouse for some of my Notes and Safari usage. I have them stored near the kitchen table to make it easy to setup when I want to use it this way. However, I really just couldn't get by with only this setup. I need a computer with a more desktop oriented operating system.
MacOS vs iPad OS
The OS though, is a bigger obstacle. I use Photoshop and Lightroom as my main photo editors and for organizing my catalogs. Unfortunately, the iPad versions are dumbed down, eat up tons of bandwidth, and start costing more the minute you go over your limited allotted space. I tried going this route with Lightroom, but I was over 600GB in no time. Also, I just don't think it is practical to store every file in the web until you have time to review and delete. It is nice to have, no doubt, but until these programs have the same capabilities and some way to save to a network drive instead of the cloud, it just isn't practical. Also, I have several TBs of files on hard drives that would need to be moved to a network drive if I didn't have a computer accessing them.
Even Apple doesn't have their pro software on the iPad. No Final Cut and no Logic Pro. Hard to even make the argument that this is a Pro device from Apple's perceptive.
Great at what it does
Does it need to replace a computer?
For me, the iPad is the perfect "in between" device. Its larger screen give me a better experience than the iPhone with most apps and its tablet form factor means I will use it more often than a laptop for consuming media. It is close to being a laptop replacement, but for my needs, it still comes up a bit short as an "only" device. Of course, right now, I could get by without the laptop and just have a desktop and the iPad. However, if it came down to one device...an iPad or a MBP, I would still have to pick the MBP. I would live with my iPhone for reading on the couch.
Apple is Listening
Personally, I am happy with the OS updates, but the only reason I am thinking of another iPad is to get that extra screen size for using with "Sidecar" (their screen sharing app) or Photoshop...if they ever come out with the full version on the iPad. Until then, I will happily continue to use this as my favorite "in between" device that makes the user experience a lot better with certain apps. For me, that is enough to justify updating next time around, but they will really need to make some major changes for me to upgrade again anytime soon after that.