I’ve had the opportunity to use the new 12.9” iPad Pro for a month now and thought I’d share my impressions and ask what others think. I upgraded from the first generation iPad Pro 12.9, and initially, I was underwhelmed; my old one still worked fine and the performance of the new one wasn’t noticeably faster. After two days, I was planning on returning it. That changed over the following week as I used it. Now after 30 days, I am happy I kept it. Here’s why:
FaceID is a game changer and works for me much better than on my iPhone X. When the iPad is set up in its Smart Keyboard folio, a double tap on the space bar instantly opens to the home screen. No delays, no swiping. Magic. 1Password with FaceID is incredible. I no longer miss the home button.
I am a big fan of the new Smart Keyboard. It has more spring to it, and I find my typing more accurate than the previous version. I love the added stability when typing on my lap. The folio with its back protection is bulkier, but I’ve developed muscle memory now to easily pop the iPad out for pure tablet use.
I am using the pencil so much more, now that it’s always attached, connected and charged. My use of note taking and brainstorming in GoodNotes has easily quadrupled over the past month.
The 12.9” model is still very big, and I’ve wondered whether I should have gone with the 11” model, but I am enjoying the larger screen for split-screen app work and the larger canvas in GoodNotes. I’m pretty sure it helped that I was already used to my older 12.9” model though, and others may have a different view of the weight and size of this beast. Holding the new model feels right to me now, very balanced, and I haven’t had any weird issues with holding it with the narrow bezel.
So, after dropping all the hard earned cash on an iPad Pro when I had a perfectly fine working earlier model, I’m now pretty happy with the purchase. No buyer’s remorse.
What about others that have bought the new iPad Pro. What’s been your experience after a month?
I’ll let you know in about a month
I decided not to upgrade my legacy 12.9" Pro and instead replaced my 9.7" Pro with the 11" Pro.
- FaceID. I agree that it’s good. Loved it on my iPhone X – same here. Only thing is I need to make a new habit for how I hold the iPad – I’m forever covering the front camera with my finger and frustrating FaceID.
- Keyboard. As I’ve written here before - meh. Flimsy construction, cannot use in Portrait mode, mushy keys, falls off (I’m on my third replacement – Apple has given up). I’m a distinct minority of one on this, I realize. Enough said.
- Pencil. Pencil 2 is great. Really feels like a high-end instrument. The magnetic clasp is kind of odd, but I’m adjusting.
Thanks for (almost) writing my review - I agree with every point, well put.
Except, I do like the Smart Folio case. Unobtrusive and with a pleasant surface.
No regrets for me either - love this machine!
I also love my new iPad (although I ended up picking up the 11”). I noticed something similar to you w/r/t the Apple Pencil — I use it WAY more than I did the other one. It is always attached to my iPad so I find myself using it tons for scrolling/navigating the UI.
I don’t write notes/draw as much with it (hoping to increase that in the future), but I still use it tons!
My question about the new iPad Pro, is the form factor itself, how is it to hold, I am not sold by those shaped looking edges.
I don’t have any problems holding the 11". The edges are not uncomfortable, and feel more substantial or well-designed than the older iPads. The thin bezel is not a problem. Picking up or holding with a finger held on the screen does not needlessly activate the display. I read a lot while holding the 11" iPad and it’s fine.
I have to admit for me the 11” didn’t provide enough grip, it slipped from my hand while reading once. I ended up getting a skin that adds texture and grip to the edges of the device and the screen and now it feels much more secure.
What skin did you get? I may want to get one for my 12.9
No issues here holding it. I’ve spent a little time without a case on it, and it is just fine (probably because it is so incredibly light). However, for the most part I have the keyboard folio on and it is great!
Love the new form factor!
I’m on the fence and hoping someone who has handled both the 11’ and 12.9" can provide some insight to me. I currently have the 10.5 and am considering getting a 12.9, but am a bit concerned it may be too big. My general use case is that I carry the 10.5 for a travel laptop replacement. On planes, I used it primarily to review/mark up .pdf documents (I’m an attorney and review/markup deposition transcripts primarily). It works particularly good for use on the plane since it is smaller in size. However, when I reach my destination and set up for work in a hotel for instance, I find the 10.5 a bit small and cramped for longer use. Upping from the 10.5 to the 11 didn’t seem to gain that much real estate, but I could be wrong there. Since the new 12.9 seems to have slimmed down some, I was hopeful it may be route to go but I still hear comments about it being “a real beast.” I’m leaning toward getting the 12.9 to try with the knowledge I can return it if it is too big.
Sorry for the rambling post, but if there is anyone who has gone from the 10.5 to new 12.9 I would really appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.
I too had a 10.5 and struggled with the decision as to whether or not to get the 11 or the 12.9. I also do a lot of annotations and travel and I also do a great deal of speaking using the iPad for my notes. I finally opted for the 12.9. Whichever one you go with is going to be a compromise but I decided the ability to have two apps running side-by-side on the 12.9 was worth it. I use my iPad 90 to 95% of the time for my work at this point. The 12.9 is still a large iPad but I have found that it is worth the size and weight. I would suggest that if you use your MacBook for the majority of your work, then for you, the 11 inch may make more sense. Obviously, that is going to be a personal decision.
AI went with the black carbon skin from Slickwraps. Was a difficult thing to fit, I needed my wife to help steadying it while applying the skins. Nevertheless, they fit perfectly and look good.
Does it interfere with the folio keyboard?
No, it doesn’t interfere at all. All the ports, microphones and cameras are exposed and the keyboard, FaceID and charging of the pencil work without problem. I’ve been using it about a week and I’ve not seen any issues.