New iPad Pros - What Will Make You Upgrade?

Like a lot of Mac Power Users, the iPad has become a powerful and essential device in my life. I have the original iPad Pro 12.9" with cellular, a three-year-old device, that I use every day. I also have a beautiful 27" 5K iMac and a 2014 MacBook Pro, but it’s the iPad that I’m drawn to for my of my work and play these days.

It looks like we’ll be getting a new iPad Pro this week based on all the rumors. iPads seem to last a lot longer than iPhones. Between Hand-me-downs and other iPads that I’ve designated for special uses, like in the Kitchen and my bedside, I must have a half dozen still-functioning units around the house and with my family.

This brings me to the new iPads we might see this week. What might induce me to upgrade this original iPad Pro?

The thing is, mine still works great. I love the form factor. It’s huge, yes, but much more portable than my MacBook Pro. And maybe I’ve gotten used to the bulk after three years of use. Performance feels snappy to me still, and it’s incorporated the latest updates of iOS 12 without slowing at all. After so many trips thrown in this bag and that, the screen is still bright and uncracked. The unprotected backside is worn with numerous scratches, but it has taken those on with character, more like a leather bound book than a computer. The Smart Keyboard is almost always at hand, and while it’s definitely showing its age with frayed threads along its sides, I must have typed a million words on its worn keyboard and it feels comfortable to me, an extension of myself.

In anticipation of the event next week, I’ve been imagining what might prompt me to spring for an upgrade. The first I think we’ll get: edge to edge screen real estate that might allow roughly the same 12.9 screen in a smaller package, reducing the “huge” factor. That could sway me. The second, at least for me, is a new pencil that stows naturally with the iPad itself. I love the Pencil, but struggle to keep it with the iPad. For me, those two things plus the given faster screen refresh and performance would likely push me forward to upgrading, though I really don’t know. This thing works just great as it is.

What about you: what features would prompt you to upgrade your iPad, or maybe buy one for the first time?

I’m with you on the Pencil. Redesigning that to be easily attachable to the iPad Pro would be great - maybe automatically charging it at the same time.

A bit smaller footprint overall would also be welcome. I have this nice bag that is just slightly too small for the original 12.9.

The USB-C rumor is intriguing - will that mean we can finally attach external storage and pull files that are not strictly photos and videos? It would be about time IMO.

I’m pretty convinced I’ll get the new big one, for the increased speed and storage alone. Also expecting Adobe Photoshop for iOS to be part of the launch event. That thing will usually consume any and all resources available :slight_smile:

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As I’ve been contemplating getting a new iPhone, I noticed the price of the new XS in my country is almost the same price as my iPad Pro 12.9 I bought last year. I’m up for an upgrade with my telco but thinking if I should just wait a few months and upgrade my 7 Plus to an 8 Plus or a X instead. I’d rather spend that money on a new iPad Pro tbh even if my iPad Pro is just a year old. I still have the original iPad with me home and still function and all of my previous iPads was given away to my mom and nieces and are still running top notch. Compared with all the old iPhones I still have, the iPads are still loved by most of the household. The recent price point of the new iPhones is making me upgrade more with a new iPad Pro instead.

Now to answer your question, what feature would make me upgrade? Price point. If it’s priced the same as last years model, I’d be motivated to upgrade. If not, I’d keep my old iPad Pro.

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I’ll definitely be buying a new iPad Pro when they are available. I’ve a 12.9" iPad Pro with smart keyboard and I love it, but it’s the 32GB model and I’ve run out of space on it. My only decision, based on the current rumours, will be to stick with the 12.9" or go for the 11" depending on the difference on size with the bezels and prices.

I’m hoping for a RAM upgrade. I find the 4GB in the current iPad Pro isn’t enough for the apps I use as switching between them keeps causing them to be shutdown and reloaded.

I can’t see Apple replacing the lightning port with a USB-C port. Could the USB-C rumours be that Apple are launching a lightning-to-USB-C dongle and/or put a 30W USB-C charger in the box instead of the current USB-A charger?

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From a 10.5", other than free, no thanks. And yes, I anticipate new wonderful. Yes, I hope you find fun and usefulness in your new iPad.

It’s a possibility but nothing was found in the iOS betas to suggest that’s coming soon. More likely it will just be the ability to connect to an external monitor.

Fingers crossed for a ninja 12.2 iOS update? :yum:

Thanks to years of Pavlovian conditioning, I will begin reaching for my wallet the moment Tim walks on stage :upside_down_face:

In all seriousness though, I still have an original iPad Pro 12.9 that does 100% of what I need it to, but I’m really excited to see what they introduce tomorrow. I’ve taken on an update cycle of every 3-4 years with iPads, so technically this could be a year for me to upgrade.

This rumour is what has me doubting the replacement of the lightning port with a USB-C port.

Most 4K monitors/TVs are 16:9 ratio where as the current iPad Pro screens are a 4:3 ratio so displaying the iPad screen on a 4K monitor will cause black bars down each side. Even if the whole iPad becomes a screen, based on the current Pro iPads dimensions, the ratio stays very close to 4:3 so won’t fill the external display. You can see this by mirroring your iPads screen to an Apple TV or using a lightning to HDMI adaptor, and frankly it looks a bit crap, and my original 12.9” iPad Pro can handle both ways of connecting to a 4K monitor/TV currently anyway.

Apple could be moving the iPad Pros to a 16:9 ratio screen but that would make a widescreen tablet, or they could have come up with a way of morphing the display on the iPad to a 16:9 ratio by adding black bars top and bottom on the iPad display so that the external monitor is filled, but I don’t think that’d work to well either.

Now I know there are some apps which can treat the external display (Keynote for example) and this could be another option Apple take with an external monitor, treat is as a separate display, but as iOS is a predominantly touch based interface how to you interact with apps running on that second display? Unless we’re getting mouse and pointer support as well, but I’d have thought someone would have spotted that in the iOS betas by now.

I just can’t see “Now you can plug in a 4K monitor to your iPad” as being a big enough reason for Apple to drop the lightning port for a USB-C port at this stage. Maybe they’ll add a USB-C port to replace the headphone jack.

I guess we’ll see in a few hours.

Each time I grab my iPad 10.5 I miss Face ID, so for me that would be the most important reason to upgrade.
Being able to connect my ipad to a Mac via usbc and use it as a graphical tablet would be just awesome, and it would make me buy it at launch. But I don’t hold too much hope for that…
Lastly, connecting an external drive via usbc and being able to access photos on that drive might open some intriguing opportunities, but it would largely depend on software integrations.

It’s been ‘confirmed’ from a number of sources, from case-makers to people with manufacturing connections (Ming-Chi Kuo) to reporters with connections apparently at Apple (Mark Gurman), to iOS hackers finding code relating to 4K output (Guilherme Rambo). Specifically, Rambo discovered in the iOS beta With its USB-C port, the 2018 iPad Pro will be able to output 4K HDR video to external displays. To accommodate this feature, there will be a new panel in the settings app where users will be able to control resolution, HDR, brightness and other settings for connected external displays.

I think it’s as good as done, this one.

I can’t think of any features I need or really even want. I use my iPad as a reader device with Internet access so not a heavy user of it. There is no way I could use it to do SW development and that is my only real portable computing need and for that I have my MacAir. I get iPads mostly as hand me downs since I am such a light user of them.

So bottom line, what would induce me to get a new one is if this one broke and I couldn’t find a friend or relative with an old one that I could buy.

I’m in the exact same position as the OP (1st Generation 12.9" iPad Pro with cellular). Now that we’ve seen what the new iPad has to offer, I can say the biggest factors making me excited to upgrade are:

  1. FaceID - I’ve been using FaceID on the iPhone XS for just over a month now and it’s far quicker and more reliable for me than TouchID. It’s gotten to the point where using TouchID on my iPads annoys me every time.
  2. New Pencil & Attachment - I bought a Pencil with my old iPad Pro, but seldom used it, in part because it was always on my desk/in my bag/somewhere other than my iPad when the opportunity to use it came along (and often low on battery to boot). I’m excited about the on-device magnetic storage capability.
  3. New Smart Keyboard - I love the smart keyboard on my old iPad Pro. With two angle options, the new one looks even better.

I’m also potentially excited about USB-C, but the usefulness of that USB-C port is really going to depend on stuff on the software side that we really didn’t hear anything about today. If you can only do the same things we already do with lightning, just with a different connector that’s not a real reason to upgrade for me. If we get the ability to plug into external storage and other devices, that would be a real enhancement.


I completely agree (also have a 12” 1st Gen).

Ordered a new one now with the Smart Keyboard and Pencil.

Really unsure about the storage selection though, hope I won’t regret opting for the 512 GB instead of going all in with 1 TB.

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I have the 10.5 pro from last year that I still love and complements my 27.5 iMac. I like the move to USB-C on the new ipads as it suggests (I think?) we may be closer to being able to use a track pad. In the meantime, I am likely to get the new MacBook Air as there are some times I need a fuller computer experience when I travel than what the iPad provides.

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Upgrading from the original 12.9 to the new 12.9 WiFi 256. That was one amazing demo! I figure this storage level should be plenty for me, as I’m currently not having much trouble at half that. Also, this is not my only device - I have an iMac and a Synology I can offload to as needed.

That new Pencil also looks great, so ordered that too. Held off on the Smart Cover though. Hoping to find a 3rd party option that is less overpriced. I may go for a sleeve + keyboard stand combo instead.

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Ordered the 256 G Wi-Fi iPad Pro 12.9" a couple hours ago. It will replace my 4 year old iPad Air with 16 G. I am expecting a great experience in the leap…

Will let my kids buy me the Pencil for Xmas and will look for 3rd party solution for case, etc

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I’m in no rush, so I 'll wait for my local Apple Store to get the new models in so I can see how much smaller/lighter the new 12.9 is than the previous one, which I found to be a bit too much of a beast for me. But I liked what I saw, which is pretty much what I expected to see.

I ordered the iPad Pro 11”, AppleCare, Smart Keyboard Folio and New Pencil. It is replacing my current iPad Pro 10.5” because about two weeks ago I dropped it and now have two hairline crack in the screen along the edge by the home button. I didn’t have AppleCare (WON’T make that mistake again) and around town the going prince to replace the screen is $300 or so. The 10.5” still works fine so I’ll keep it as a spare and to run iOS beta’s. I got a new iPhone XS and love the Face ID and not having to keep redoing my my fingerprints for Touch ID. I live in Minnesota and the weather changes were always causing my fingerprints to fail after a short time.

Well, after a lot of hand-wringing over the cost, I ended up ordering the 12.9 with cellular and 256 GB of storage, with the new pencil and Smart Keyboard. Boy, the price jumps up fast!