iPad Pro diary Stories June 21

AAPL: 145.87

0.86

I said last time that while the difference between a 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch screen didn’t sound like much on paper, it actually makes a surprising difference in real life. It’s not a 12.9-inch model, of course, and you don’t get things like the three-pane email view you do on that, but it really does feel significantly bigger.

I have, though, discovered that the larger size does have one downside: accessory compatibility.

While the difference in external dimensions is much smaller than the boost in screen size, the casing is just that little bit larger, and that’s rendered one of my most-used accessories unusable and a second one rather awkward to use …

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iPad Pro diary Stories June 15

AAPL: 144.29

-0.87

Upgrading more often than the average person is an occupational hazard of gadget addicts – and even more so of tech writers. But I do at least try to resist when an update is a relatively minor one.

I’d hoped that would be the case with the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. After all, I already owned the 9.7-inch Pro, so already had some of the more advanced features like True Tone. And 10.5 inches isn’t that much bigger than 9.7 inches, right?

Still, I had to be sure, so I wandered into the Regent Street Apple Store to try one out …

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iPad Pro diary Stories April 8, 2016

AAPL: 108.66

0.12

I said in the final part of my iPhone SE diary that perceptions of iDevices are very personal, in part because of the role the product plays within our own personal Apple ecosystem – and that’s equally true here.

For someone who likes to draw, or handwrite, Apple Pencil support makes the upgrade from an earlier iPad a no-brainer. You’re getting a huge amount of additional functionality for your money. You could say that you’re getting an iPad Air 2 plus a sophisticated electronic sketching device, all in one box.

But I can’t draw, and I haven’t handwritten anything for years. So for me, the upgrade from my iPad Air is a less dramatic one. The question is whether the relatively modest enhancements can justify the fairly stiff increase in price … ?

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iPad Pro diary Stories March 31, 2016

AAPL: 108.99

-0.57

When Apple launched the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it was a device I definitely wanted to try, but didn’t expect to keep. That gorgeous screen was more tempting than I’d expected, but it didn’t sell itself to me as a replacement for the smaller version, and in the end I decided I couldn’t justify keeping both.

The 9.7-inch version is a very different proposition. I absolutely love my iPad Air 2, a device that gets used for both consumption and creation, and the smaller iPad Pro retains the exact same form-factor while adding to its capabilities. For simplicity, I’ll skip the size references from now on and simply refer to it as the iPad Pro.

But will those enhancements be enough to make the upgrade worthwhile? I’m posting my first impressions today, and will report back again after around a week’s use. As ever, I’ll update in between if I have anything notable to say, but in this case I think that’s unlikely …

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iPad Pro diary Stories November 18, 2015

AAPL: 117.29

3.60

Having started out with my first impressions a week ago, highlighted my core questions and decided on Monday that the iPad Pro couldn’t replace my iPad Air 2 (only be an additional device), it’s time to make my decision.

I think between us at 9to5Mac we’ve been putting the tablet through its paces in a pretty comprehensive fashion! We don’t always reach the same conclusions about devices, but in this case I found myself agreeing with the bottom-line of each of my colleagues who’ve been trying it.

Dom described it as a giant Netflix machine, and it certainly is. With that huge screen and extremely loud speakers, movies and TV shows are very compelling, and – unlike a MacBook with the same size screen – you don’t feel like you’re looking at a work device.

Zac saw it as the best entertainment iPad, and I agree with that – with the single proviso that it’s just too big for comfortable ebook reading in bed. But reading ebooks on your lap is a delightful experience. Magazines are just wow. Casual web-browsing – sat on the sofa, just passively consuming content rather than planning to act on it – is a joy. In portrait mode, you can see a decent chunk of a page at a time, everything is big enough to read comfortably and it just feels like a much more relaxing experience than using a MacBook or a smaller iPad where you have to do more scrolling.

Jeremy found that it sat awkwardly between two devices – not feeling like a better alternative than either his iPad Air 2 or his MacBook Pro when it comes to either work or play. I agree 100% on the work side of the equation. I’m more sold on the play side of things, but given that I like to read in bed every night, ultimately I’d have to agree that my iPad Air 2 is a complete solution where the iPad Pro isn’t.

But it’s not just my colleagues’ views I’ve been reading, it’s yours too – in the comments on my earlier diary pieces. So let me address a couple of those before delivering my own final verdict …

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iPad Pro diary Stories November 16, 2015

AAPL: 114.18

1.84

Things have moved on rather a lot since I gave my first impressions and highlighted my core questions in choosing between my existing iPad Air 2 and the iPad Pro. Further usage of it has made it abundantly clear that the iPad Pro cannot replace a standard iPad. It’s ridiculously over-sized for reading or watching Netflix in bed, and there are other times when the smaller version was simply more convenient.

But I do still love that screen! It’s great for casual web-browsing – better than either my MacBooks or iPad Air 2. It’s fantastic for viewing photos. It’s great for ebooks so long as you’re not trying to read them in bed. Magazines are amazing. Netflix is great with the huge screen and really loud speakers. Split View makes it a genuine multi-tasking device.

So, the question now is: send the iPad Pro back, or keep both devices? I said last time that I really couldn’t see a justification for having that much cash invested in iOS devices. One commentator responded to this with “Ah, just do it” – which I have to confess is a well-argued position.

I’d certainly find that easier to justify if it could earn its keep as a mobile writing device, so that was my next experiment …  expand full story

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