I decided to retire my 5-year old MacBook Pro and replace it with the new 9.7" iPad Pro rather than another laptop. This decision isn't about form factor, touchscreen vs keyboard & mouse, or being more mobile. It is about embracing what I believe is the future of personal computing. A future where 'saving' a document is an irrelevant and antiquated concept. A future where 10-year-old photos and documents are accessible from any of my devices. A future where I use the same OS and applications on all of my devices, and they are automatically upgraded with minimal oversight.
To prepare for this shift, I uploaded all of my documents and digital media to various cloud services (most of which are free): Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Flickr, Google Play Music, etc. Now all of the stuff I care about is accessible from any device and I have the added security of it being stored online in case something happens to my old backup drive.
Working this way has a significant number of advantages for me, but I know it isn't for everyone. Some people simply cannot get their work done on an iPad while others want to have a lot of control over their computing system - where everything is stored, manage multiple disk partitions, etc. To me this just gets in the way of what I want to accomplish.
It is also true that a traditional computer could be used in this manner, and Chromebooks are specifically designed to be used this way. This is in fact how I use my work-issued laptop, primarily with the help of Microsoft Office 365 and OneDrive. But the iPad feels more flexible and adaptable to a variety of computing environments and use cases.
I may decide I need a bigger screen or that I'm using my old laptop more than I anticipated. And I will probably look for accessories to mimic the traditional laptop form factor. But in the meantime I hope to be living in a simpler and more flexible computing environment.