I’m thinking of picking up an iPad Pro. I’ve had iPads and then the iPad Airs for several years. Mostly I use it as a reading and watching tv/movies device. I currently have an iPad Air 2.
I used to love my Surface Pro, and used the pen a lot (loved to highlight articles with the pen - I work in higher ed and research, publish, and teach so I’m always reading and taking notes), so I’m thinking of getting the Pro mainly for the annotation features.
Would love to know from those who have one:
What size do you have? Are you happy with it? Why/why not?
What don’t you like about it?
What do you do with your Pro that you can’t do with a regular iPad?
Anything else you’d like to share would be great!
Also: regarding timing…I could get it now or wait. Not in a major rush though I do have some Apple gift cards thanks to trading in some of my hand-me-down gear from my parents’ drawers.
I’ll answer from the academic side (aP in engineering).
I have the 12.9" (2nd generation) and I love it. Main reason is that the screen size matches up with a paper, so for reading / annotating research articles it works perfectly. Same thing for grading papers (if your LMS supports it. We use canvas and the app works with the pencil). Great for meetings with students - can use the pencil to sketch things, and email the note to them after.
(2 Part A - fixed things) I don’t like the gen 2 compared with the new ones. The smaller overall size & new pencil method both seem like a huge plus. On the software side I don’t like not opening multiple instances of word - makes writing grants a bit tougher (fixed in iOS 13, but not putting the beta on my main machine quite yet. I like it on my secondary iPad). Thumb drive support for conferences.
(2 Part B - not fixed). While the iPad is getting closer and closer to a computer (and I prefer it for a lot of tasks), I think I’m only about 95% of my work can be done on it. So I still use a desktop at work, and have a 2011 MacBook Air at home to do the other 5%.
For me the size is the big difference (now that the pencil works with the regular iPads). At the time I bought it the pencil & size combo was the big jump. When I read a paper on my iPad Air it is just too small to be functional, and spend most of my time zooming in and out.
The combo of this impossibly sleek and magical tablet hardware with the equally magical Apple Pencil 2 is consistently awesome. I feel like this is what I always wished the iPad could become. I’m honestly at a loss what Apple could do to make the hardware better at this point. (Other than the usual spec bumps.) I use my iPad Pro now on a daily basis as my primary mobile computer, and it’s a delight.
If you’re coming from a Surface, you might find yourself getting frustrated with some of the limitations of iOS—however once iPadOS is fully baked, that will remove most of those barriers.
Absolutely love it. I have the 11" iPad Pro, Smart Keyboard Folio, and the Apple Pencil. It’s been the best computer I’ve ever owned. Cannot say enough good things. And, I’m still running iOS 12. Once I put iOS 13 on this, I’m going to be doing a lot more…
I have the iPad Pro 12.9” + folio keyboard + pencil. Love it.
Two things that I love -
For my work week, I have an iMac at home and at work. I only carry the iPad. I can accomplish 80% of my work on the iPad. The heavy lifting I leave to the iMacs. When I travel - only iPad. I can get done anything that I need (with hoop jumping).
I love the pencil.
I think better with a pencil in my hands. I love making quick drawings. Taking notes. I even do serious reflective thinking by writing. All on the iPad. And, I have it electronically, and backed up. I no longer carry a pad of paper; I use the iPad as my pad of paper.
At the risk of becoming the official MPU contrarian, I frequently advise people to estimate their computing needs for just the next 1 - 2 years and buy the technology that meets those needs. You can spend a lot of money on “I might need to . . .” needs that never appear.
If you guess wrong and things really change after a year or so, sell what you have and get what you need. The new device will be faster/better than what you can buy today. IMO, you can’t “future proof” personal technology, things change too fast.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done 95% of my computing for the past year on a 128GB (non pro) 9.7 inch iPad with Logitech Crayon. Personal finance, spreadsheets, file management, editing photos, watching videos, some reading (I prefer a Kindle) . . . the usual stuff. And occasionally I do some consulting.
A basic iPad meets my current needs. When it doesn’t I’ll upgrade.
What size do you have? Are you happy with it? Why/why not?
I have the 11" iPad Pro, and absolutely love it. It’s never more that 3-4 meters away from me.
What don’t you like about it?
The fact that it is held back by iOS12, but 99.9% of all issues there are fixed in iOS13 (am running the beta now)
What do you do with your Pro that you can’t do with a regular iPad?
Don’t know, have not had a “regular” iPad in years.
I had a surface pro at work for a year, and luckily was able to get back to iPad Pro.
The Apple pencil especially makes such a HUGE difference.
I really hated to use the clunky Surface, and the awful stylus they bundle in with that.
With the Apple pencil marking up is really fun, I hand-write all my notes in goodnotes and love to sketch in paper.
I absolutely love mine (12.9). I use it mainly for note taking with the Pencil and it is an absolute joy to use. Like a giant note pad with much more portable, secure and fun to use.
I go along fine with iOS, but I find that the touch interface is uncomfortable to use when I have the keyboard. I totally subscribe to Steve Jobs’comment: my arm really wants to fall off after long work sessions.
I use the Pro mostly for the form factor, really. My work means very, very long sessions of brainstorming longhand and note taking. It’s the ideal size and portability for that and being very mobile, it’s an indispensable tool for me.
I’ve got the 12.9” 2018 Pro as well as an iPad Air 2. Love the pro and am super happy with it. Best computer I’ve ever owned.
I wish it were bigger. If/when Apple begins selling a 15 or 16” Pro I will upgrade.
I still love and use the Air 2 for reading/browsing. It’s great for that. Good for other things too but that’s where the Pro comes in. I’d say the Pro, especially the larger screen version, is great for multi window work. I regularly work on two documents and have taken to using the 2 iPads for that. The Air is one document, usually a reference document. The Pro is where I’m doing the work, in my case design/layout.
In my case, as I get older and feel more eye strain, I will continue to hope for a bigger screen. I used to be happy with a 13” MBP but suspect that, were I still using a laptop, I’d also want the bigger screen on it.
I’ll add, I’ve also got Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio and Pencil as well as various stands and an external Logitech Keyboard. I love them all. The main is the Smart Keyboard Folio but I often use the iPad in many different configurations. That’s one of the strengths of this form factor so I take advantage of it!!
I’d guess it’s possible we’ll see new ones in the fall so if your’e not in a hurry, wait another 2 months. We had new ones last fall so maybe not!
I have the 12.9 inch iPad. I am very happy with it. When Apple announced the Pro line with those bigger screen sizes, it was a no-brainer for me to get the model with the biggest screen.
I use the iPad in combination with ForScore to conduct music (hobby, brass band). If you have scores with more than a dozen notation systems on one page, you will appreciate the screen size. Smaller displays can be straining for this purpose.
I am using Readly and I love reading magazines on my iPad. The 12.9 inch screen size is almost as big as a magazine on paper.
Editing photos on this big screen in combination with the Apple Pencil is just great. I am so looking forward to Adobe’s release of Photoshop on the iPad.
Its size! It is big. Still, like I said: I need this size. And with the small bezels of the latest edition Apple really has managed to release a big iPad that is big, but only as big as it needs to be for its display size.
I need the big screen size for the reasons given above. Apart from that, I think that a regular iPad is fine for almost every use case. Especially, since the release of the 2018 model that enables using a pencil. I have to confess that I gifted myself the new iPad Mini in May as a second iPad. And yes, I use both of my iPads on a daily basis.
I have the 11" and 12.9" current generation iPad Pro. The 11" is “naked” – I keep it in a sleeve, but otherwise use it without a case, since it’s mainly for carrying around, handwriting, and single-app use. I found it was too small a form factor for more detailed work with multiple apps, and the 11" keyboards were too limiting. (I have a degenerative nerve issue that makes typing difficult on small keyboards.) So, I added the 12.9" with an Logitech Slim Folio Pro keyboard that I never remove. If it weren’t for certain apps that are only available on macOS, I might consider making the 12.9" my main computer. The 11" is my favorite device for reading books, taking notes in meetings.
Like others, I dislike the movement back and forth between screen touch and keyboard on the 12.9". Because of the physical issue, the 12.9" is too heavy to hold comfortably for any length of time. On the 11" since I don’t use a keyboard and don’t do much with the on-screen keyboard, it is much more natural just to hold it. The 11" is not as great for side-by-side app use as the 12.9". It will be interesting to see how iPadOS 13 plays out on both sizes.
The current generation Apple Pencil is superb and more natural than the prior generation Pencil. The displays are better than the regular iPad. Do both of these factors justify the purchase? No.
I own an 11" 512 GB cellular model. This is my fourth iPad (original, iPad 4, iPad Pro 9.7"), and my favorite device ever. Although I think I’d like the screen real estate of the 12.9", the decision came down to portability for me. I travel a bit for work, so in and out of the backpack, airline tray tables, etc. were all strong factors for me.
I have two minor irritations with the device. I use the Smart Keyboard Folio and don’t like feeling the keys when the keyboard is wrapped around the back. I’m also left-handed, so when I pick up the device, my left hand naturally covers the FaceTime camera.
Not sure I can answer this question rationally. I bought the latest iPad Pro because I wanted the best iPad possible. Could I get along with the latest iPad Air (or base model)? Yes, probably. I tend to use my devices for a long time, so I want to “future proof” as much as possible.
Just like @JKoopmans said, my iPad Pro is never far from me. I just installed the iPadOS 13 beta and am even more impressed.
I would be very surprised if we see new iPad’s this side of 2020 - I can’t recommend the iPad Pro(s) enough.
I have the 2018 12.9 and 11 inch iPad Pro’s, I also have the new Mini. I also have no money left…
All have their uses but if I knew the Mini would have got an update, I wouldn’t have got the 11 inch.
iPadOS has unlocked the power of the iPad. I’ve installed the beta on my Mini and 11inch - it’s like I have bought two new devices. The new desktop class Safari has removed any need I once had for a Mac. Mouse support is very good too.
I don’t like that some apps have not caught up yet - MS Excel for example, in the unlikely event MS are reading this, just add the ability to create Pivot Tables to the Excel app. Although the workaround to this has been to use the Excel web page in the new Safari.
USB-C and the new Pencil. The Pencil is so good - if you want an iPad and a Pencil, I would say go with the Pro. The simple magnetic connection is worth paying that bit extra.
The iPad (whichever one you go for) is a joy to use.
I’ve been on iPad Pro 10.5" 64Gb since November of last year, when I traded my MacBook Air 2013 128Gb for it, so it’s my only machine.
I use it for
blogging (so, writing extensive “articles” with BT keyboard)
photo editing (in RAW from iPhone 7 Plus)
personal finance handling
business meeting related tasks
calendar management - personal & business
management of NAS for media consumption
and so much more
At first I was a bit sceptic whether an iPad Pro could replace my trusted MacBook - but I decided that if I was to give it a fair shot, I’d have to go all-in, so I threw caution to the wind and traded my MacBook Air for a nearly new (3 months old) 10.5" iPad Pro.
At first it was really different & a pretty huge challenge to adapt my workflows & I was close to throwing i the towel several times… but I’m glad I didn’t.
As soon as I found the way my workflows work the best for me, I haven’t looked back since, and don’t miss my MacBook one bit.
I emphasize “my” workflows because I pretty quick found out that the same task has several different paths to the same result, and for some users my workflows may not work at all just as their workflows would make me call the quits.
Somewhere during the proces I kinda evolved my own two mandatory rules to stick by in this - and they’ve worked pretty great for me:
Rule number 1: "Find your own workflows!"
I heard a lot of podcasts, read a lot of online articles, blogs etc. about going all-iOS before(and after) switching - and then adapted the things, and apps, that were useful, to fit my needs
Hint: you’re in for a lot of app testing - but that’s part of the fun, which leads me to rule number 2
Rule number 2: "Have fun with switching to iPadOS from MacOS"
this is actually the most important of the two - remember to have fun going through this process.
If it’s fun to switch from MacOS to iPadOS+iOS you’ll never regret doing the switch & you’ll probably find more enjoyment in using your main/only machine, as opposed to the computer’s “it’s always been this way” kind of experience.
I genuinely find more enjoyment in any types of - but even more so “boring” - tasks after going all-iOS (iPadOS beta rocks - but that’s another forum topic), and from the start I’ve been pretty determined that if I couldn’t have fun doing this switch I would scrap the plans and get a new MacBook - but that’s just me and my philosophy
"Make sure to have fun while making money, and you’ll never have to work again"
I hope you’ll find my input useful, and are able to find your own fun with an iPad Pro🙂
Thank you so much for all your thoughtful responses! I <3 this community!
I picked up the 12.9 inch Pro 1 TB (it’s honestly more storage than I normally would have selected on an iPad but I’m envisioning more offline work with documents so went with this storage), a Pencil (of course ), and the Smart Folio. I thought about getting the keyboard folio, but as some have mentioned, feeling the keys when holding it was annoying on past iPads with keyboard folios, so I’m going to give it a try without it first. I have a few bluetooth keyboards that I think will work with it (famous last words), so I’ll try that first when I really need it.
Excited to try it out! It arrives this morning :-)
12.9" iPad Pro 1TB which I got because it had the 6GB of RAM and I do video work so wanted the fastest one I could get. Storage wise, I could have gone as low as 256GB without issues.
I love it. I have a brand new Mac Mini from 2 months back sitting beside me at my desk and I still reach for my iPad 90% of the time. I love the way it gets you down to the app or two that you need to do your work. I continue to find that no matter the screen size, macOS has me opening many apps and heading into distraction far too often. Yes this is a me problem, but the environment of iOS helps me stay focused.
With iPadOS 13…there really isn’t much I don’t like about it. Yup, I’m running the beta and it feels decent to me already. I have a VESA mount and stand for the iPad so the mouse support is pretty cool and I don’t have to reach up to my iPad all the time anymore. I do some podcasting and I wish it would allow me to send audio to Skype, and record with Ferrite at the same time. Maybe with iPadOS 14.
I don’t think there is anything I can do with my Pro outside of rendering videos faster because it’s a more powerful machine. For doing website development I’ve tested it on my wife’s 9.7" pro and my kid’s iPad Mini 4 and it’s all worked the same really. UI is slower on the iPad Mini, but I could still work. If my iPad Pro got stolen today I would likely just purchase one of the newer regular iPad’s to start and save money then save properly for a new 12.9".
I have the 10.5”. It’s okay, not thrilling.
I use it for twitter, this forum, and on exceedingly rare occasions I use it to write because it is less distracting.
I use the Kindle app and listen to audible books while I read them too (again for reduced distraction).
I have the keyboard cover and pencil. Maybe use the keyboard 5% of the time, and pencil 1% of the time.
Given my use of it, and the fact that I have a Kindle, replacing it would be worth about US$400 to me.
Ps. Oh yeah, airplanes about once a year.
Pps. My main reason for upgrading from my older iPad is so I could play Pinball Arcade. I don’t play anymore, as Farsight Studios is in the crapper and not releasing new games or fixing insidious years-old bugs.