11 or 12.9 iPad... public speaking

Today, while seeing a couple in my office, I paid attention to how my 10.5 pro felt in my hands. It’s hefty (more than a notepad), but generally feels good. In my mind, the new 12.9 would be too heavy to hold throughout a clinical session (or hold while giving a presentation). So why switch to the 12.9? I draw and use genograms in my practice and could use the extra screen space. No doubt about that.

Do any of you have similar experience with a 12.9? Do you think the new version will become unwieldy in my situation?

Going to the Apple Store and holding for a few minutes won’t provide enough data.

@MacSparky - you mentioned you’re going larger. Can you envision using a 12.9 during a presentation - holding it the same way you might a sheet of paper?

I used the 12.9 for a while as my main iPad during lectures and found if I had a table or something to rest it on it was extremely comfortable - but holding it for a length of time wasn’t the nicest thing. Of course, the new one is lighter which will help! Personally I went with the 11" - it’s just that bit smaller and lighter which will make it easier to take with me everywhere increasing my usage.


I have used the 12.9" to share documents and charts with people in my office. I have used it many times for presentations. I’ll agree with Rosemary, the iPad 12.9 seems like a table device to me. I also really like the Spotlight presentation remote by Logitech, so I have gone back to my MacBook Pro for presentations.

1 Like

This has been precisely my issue. I had the original 12.9 inch but replaced it with a 10.5 inch because I give a lot of presentations every week, some of them national, some of them international. However, I would prefer the larger size if the overall dimensions are smaller and the weight is light enough to manage when speaking, although 99% of the time the iPad will be on a platform or a podium of some sort. I have held off ordering the new iPad until I can hold both of the new versions in my hands at the Apple store. I am hoping the larger iPad will work but if not I will go with the 11 inch.

It’s so hard to know… argh.

Maybe I’ll walk up to a couple in an Apple Store, offer them a free clinical session, in order to try out the 12.9 :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

You joke, but if you don’t have a business consultant at Apple already get one! They’ll do what they can for you, and remember you get 14 days to return the device if it’s too big/heavy for you.

1 Like

I always forget about the 14 day return policy! Thanks for the reminder.

1 Like

I am a 12.9” iPad Pro user and give a lot of presentations. Many of them have been in places where I can place my iPad on a podium. However, I’ve given plenty of presentations while holding and walking around with the iPad in my hand. I have never had any trouble. It’s a bit unwieldy, but not more so than my 9.7” iPad Air 2 was. Presenting with anything larger than an iPhone suffers that same problem, in my view. In smaller presentation rooms or conferences, using the 12.9” is quite nice because it’s light enough to hold and move around with and big enough to give audience members a large enough image to see.

1 Like

Many of the folks who were at the Apple event and got to handle the new iPad Pros have commented that the 12.9 is a lot more “holdable” than the old one (even more so than the reduced weight would indicate). Based on that I certainly wouldn’t dismiss the new 12.9 based on your or others experience with the older models. It sounds like it would probably be worth your while to at least handle one in the Apple store.

1 Like

I saw a woman at the airport playing a game on a first gen 12.9” and it was ginormous! I was really surprised. The new gen may be better.

I found the 12.9 to be unwieldy to present from, since I prefer to not be tied to a podium. Despite the light weight, it just wasn’t light enough to hold comfortably.

It’s also a problem of physics — a longer lever requires greater force. Add in my short fingers and damaged non-dominant thumb, and holding a 12.9 while giving a talk is not a good idea.

However, it’s light enough that it’s doable, so this is a personal decision. Try it and see — and possibly the right case would make it easier to hold, too. I think if it feels more secure in the hand, you don’t grip as hard (meaning less fatigue).

@iPersuade what is your connection setup? I want to move to iPad only but I do not want to connect my iPad to any cables while presenting. Currently, I plug the HDMI into my MacBook Pro, and then use my iPad Pro 12.9 as the remote, with the advantage that I can then use my Apple Pencil to draw on my slides as needed. Do you do this without the use of a device in the middle, like my MacBook Pro?

I’d love to say that I don’t need to buy a new MacBook when this one dies, I’d be happy to be iPad only while out of the office. But I don’t see a good presentation solution that doesn’t involve plugging in the iPad to a display cable.

If you have an iPhone and a Lightning to display adapter* I believe you should be able to connect the phone to the display and continue using the iPad as a remote. Never actually tried it (I’ve done the other way round with the phone as a remote) but in theory it should work.

*And if you don’t have one my guess is lots of people who are upgrading to the new iPad with USB-C will probably have ones they don’t need pretty soon here.

I’m going to the Apple Store on Wed., to hold the 11 and 12.9" iPads. I’d prefer the larger size IF I believe I can hold it for a while when giving a presentation. Most of the time my notes–on an iPad or paper–are on a podium so this may not be a deal breaker on the larger iPad. I’m trying a 30 day test of using only an iPad. So far so good with the exception of not being able to nest folders in Apple Notes and not having the ability to manage contact groups in the Contacts app. Both of these issues should be easy to fix with an iOS update. I wish Apple would pay a bit more attention to these matters if the long range trajectory is for the iPad to replace MBs.

I use an Apple TV, sometimes an external speaker, but most of the places I have spoken at have adequate speaker set ups. The Apple TV is an additional device, but it’s compact and easy to set up. The peer-to-peer network setup works without a hitch. I’ve heard of other people also using a WiFi router to create a closed network. I may try that sometime. With the setup I just described I handled a week-long jury trial with no hiccups at all. I did another jury trial where I had to be tethered to a VGA cable, but that was a courtroom issue and I was also tethered to the podium so it was not an issue.

Happy to provide more detail if it would be helpful.

1 Like

I took the plunge without ever holding the new 12.9”. I have had an iPad Air that I mainly have used as a consumption device for reading in the evening. I am committed to trying to get more of my work done on iPad and as such I felt that the new 12.9” was the way to go. I sure hope I don’t regret my choice. My wife ordered the 11”. I am guessing since I have large hands and primarily will use this to read news, research, triage emails, manage to-do’s, and write that I will like the larger size. Fingers crossed! l🤞🏼

@iPersuade I’ve had trouble with Apple TVs and Keynote in the past — issues with screen size and resolution that end up making my slides look terrible. Have you had any trouble, or do you guidance for setting up Keynote so that it works better with Apple TV? I have an old Apple TV Gen 3, and I’ve considered adding it to my road bag for presentations.