iPad Pro, Citrix Receiver, X1 Mouse create laptop alternative

 By Chris Fleck

For the past two months, I have left my laptop in the office and used only my iPad Pro for mobile work. On my desk, I still want a large display and multiple monitors. But when I’m roaming to office conference rooms, working from home or traveling, I’ve switched over to the iPad Pro – exclusively – to get the full experience.


Belkin B2B064 Sleeve: Offers good iPad protection plus a zipper pocket for accessories

Apple Smart Keyboard: The smallest, lightest integrated option

Citrix X1 Mouse: Essential for navigating Windows apps hosted on XenApp

Apple Pencil: Great for drawing and notes

Lightning to HDMI Connector: Good for presentations


Citrix Receiver: Provides access to my XenDesktop Virtual Desktop and Windows work apps, SAP, etc.

WorxMail: Secure work email

WorxWeb: Secure web browser

WorxNotes: Work notes

Citrix ShareFile: Document storage, allows online or offline access with sync

GoToMeeting: Online meetings

Messages: For work and personal messages

Slack: For team engagement

With this setup, you can definitely leave your laptop at home (or work) and do everything you need. There are many pros and a few cons.


Lightweight: the iPad Pro is only 1.6 pounds, plus 11 ounces for the Smart Keyboard. I tried other keyboards, but I liked the ease of flipping to tablet mode with the Smart Keyboard.

Battery: The 10-hour battery life makes all-day work easy.

Cellular: The option for built-in cellular data makes the iPad Pro more mobile than most laptops.

Mouse: Using the Citrix X1 Mouse makes all the difference when connected to a virtual desktop or Windows app. Right-click, drag and drop, scroll – everything works as expected.

Stylus: The Apple Pencil works great for native apps like drawing or editing photos. It feels better than any other stylus I have tried. It also works well inside a XenApp session and can be used instead of the mouse.

Comfort: The ability to easily rotate and sit back in couch-surf mode with touch is something I do almost every evening and is preferable to a laptop.

Split screen: The coming version of Receiver enables the Split View feature. I often have my virtual XenDesktop in three-quarters of my display and local Slack or Messages in the one-quarter sidebar.


Offline: There are still times when working offline is required. I can use the native apps but full-feature PowerPoint is not an option.

Keyboard lighting: The Apple Smart Keyboard keys are not backlit, which is a problem in dim light. Logitech and others have backlit keys, but are heavier

Screen sharing: Sharing the local screen in a GoToMeeting (or other web meetings) does not work due to iOS limitations. The remote Virtual Desktop can be shared but not a local app.

Chris Fleck is on the board of the South Florida Technology Alliance and vice president of emerging solutions for Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS), a Fort Lauderdale company that provides secure delivery of applications and data. 

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.