10.5 or 12.9 IPad Pro for a student?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by linkmon99, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. linkmon99 macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2017
    What do you think would be the better choice of an ipad if it was to be used as a laptop replacing study machine for a college student?
  2. italodance Suspended


    Jun 7, 2017
    12.9 for sure, you can get millions of writing app on it and Apple Pencil will be more convenient for typing.
  3. baconcow, Jun 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017

    baconcow macrumors regular


    Aug 28, 2016
    Get the 10.5". When I was in University, you didn't always have a lot of room to put down a laptop, because the desks were either too small or you were seated quite close to other students. Textbooks also take up a lot of room, so having a smaller device will be a bonus.

    Both the 10.5" and 12.9" have the same capabilities as far as applications and Apple Pencil support. The 12.9" just gives you more real estate (with higher resolution) which will improve the multitasking experience.
  4. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    I Agree. Especially with drag-and-drop and having two applications opened simultaneously would be helpful. And taking notes would be much more efficient with a larger display.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 7, 2017 ---
    Not necessarily. I learned that the 10.5 inch iPad will use iPhone-sized User interface for 50/50, whereas the 12.9 would be using iPad-sized User interface. Basically, the 12.9 iPad allows more split screen and multitasking.
  5. baconcow macrumors regular


    Aug 28, 2016
    I know this. However, the capabilities of the applications (not the multitasking aspect involving them) should be identical (other than the multitasking experience and larger real estate due to having a larger screen, why would the application differ on the 12.9 versus the 10.5?). The multitasking experience will change, which I pointed out in my second sentence, which agrees with what you wrote.
  6. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014
    A 12.9 screen just gives you much more screen space, let you write, or open your slides on the side while still maintain enough space for writing
  7. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    The 12.9 iPad is exponentially better in split view than the smaller the 10.5 iPad. The OP stated perhaps the iPad would be used as a laptop replacement, The 12.9 iPad will allow for more display space and notetaking. I'm not speaking regarding the capabilities of any applications. I'm speaking regarding the overall user interface which takes full of advantage with the 12.9 iPad Pro, which would serve better as replacing a laptop. That's considered a dealbreaker for some who want the options of the larger model over the smaller iPad.
  8. baconcow macrumors regular


    Aug 28, 2016
    I agree with you both. If working space is important, then the 12.9" will be the best choice. But, if portability and working with groups of people is important, they may want to consider the smaller tablet.
  9. alba63 macrumors member

    May 3, 2017
    Very personal question. Depends on your personal study activities, I personally looked at the 12.9 twice and tried (hard) to like it, because of it's gorgeous display that looks and feels substantually larger than the 10.5. However I (personally) find the 12.9 just not a handy, easy to handle device. Even if meant as a laptop Ersatz, it is still a tablet, and I find the 10.5 just so nicer to handle. Which is why I just ordered the 10.5 & pencil.

    But I am no longer a student. Will nevertheless use it for my work.
  10. MJBarnes macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2015
    I just wish they would come out with the Apple Back to School deal for the summer. I am guessing this year we are looking at gift cards rather than free Beats like we got last year; however, anything is better than nothing :)
  11. geemiller05 macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2011
    New York
    As a couple other people have mentioned, it comes down to preference. I’m in my third year of college and have had the 12.9 Pro, 9.7 Pro and now the 10.5 Pro. In terms of split screen multi-tasking, it’s the exact same between the 10.5 and 12.9. The “iOS interface” on the 50/50 view of safari on the ipad changes none of its usability. I originally had the 12.9. It can’t be beat in terms of screen real estate. Bigger screen, more content.

    However, I traded my 12.9 for the 9.7 after only a month or two. For me, the ultra portability of the 9.7 was more important to me than that beautiful 12.9” screen. I was one of the guys that said there needed to be an ipad bigger than 9.7, but smaller than 12.9. The 10.5 fills that gap quite nicely for me. It’s still light enough to hold all day or carry in my bag and the screen offers enough extra space to be satisfied with the upgrade.

    ProMotion...absolutely, positively, unequivocally amazing.


    Notability is one of the best purchases I’ve made. Have used it exclusively for the last few semesters of my class notes and assignments.
  12. ctg7w6 macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2014
    I'm not calling out anyone on this because there are thousands of universities out there, but this was not a problem at my university in any building on campus. To be honest, I am shocked every time I see someone post this.

    We had some desks or seats where the fold-out portion was rather small, but almost any sized laptop could sit on it and balance without danger. Every class I went to, 60-90% of students had a 13, 15, or 17 inch laptop. Admittedly my sample size is one university, but is this really a problem? (Not being a jerk, just amazed)
  13. darkarn macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2017
    I can safely say this is a problem here too, some of the chairs in the lecture halls have way too small table/"flaps" for your laptop or even don't have any!
  14. bniu, Oct 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018

    bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    I’m thinking back to my college experience, definitely 12.9”. Assuming the ease of getting digital textbooks today, having more screen real estate is golden. Plus, with a 12.9” iPad, as a student, I’d get LTE with 512GB plus 2TB of iCloud storage. With LTE, I have a backup in case the school’s shoddy WiFi has problems (Capacity issues sometimes). With 512GB, I don’t have to think about storage space. With 2TB of iCloud, I can store my work in the cloud so if my device gets stolen, no need to worry, all my content is there.
  15. denisbarbov macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2013
    I’d recommend the 10.5 as it’s great when it comes to portability and usability. Simply physically I wouldn’t have enough space to put the 12.9 most of the time and half the time I’ll have my laptop with me so YMMV. Otherwise they are identical. So, if you know you’ll have the space and the weight/size isn’t a problem, go with the 12.9.
  16. subjonas macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    I would think for a student, the 12.9 is much more compelling. If you’re replacing a laptop, 12.9 for sure.

    Unless you really think tiny desk space is a big issue, you’re going to want that big screen real estate for all your text book reading and multi-tasking as you take notes. This should be a study-first-and-foremost device. Extreme portability should be secondary.

    In other words, sure 10.5 is a bit more comfortable, but if this is your only device, and it’s to be your workhorse, maximum functionality should trump a little comfort.
  17. MarkB786 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2016
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    I think the 10.5 for portability sake, unless they are an art student. Then the larger pad might be best.
  18. Alvi macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2008
    12.9 all the way. I don't really believe in the portability argument, you are going to carry it inside a bag on your way to college anyway and you get just so much more usability out of the 12.9" size. For taking notes it's much nicer to have something that is as big as a standard sheet of paper if you plan to use the apple pencil. And if you plan to use the Smart Keyboard, the 12.9" version is more spacious than the 10.5" one.
    In my opinion anything smaller feels really cramped, especially if you plan to use it daily and again, the 12.9" iPad is still really light, a textbook or just the bag that you will use it to carry it is probably heavier than the iPad itself.

    The only argument I understand is that holding the 12.9" iPad with one hand is uncomfortable, but holding even a 9.7" one isn't comfortable either if you are not supporting its weight on a table or your lap, and in that case, it's the same story with the larger one. You are also already paying a significant premium for the Pro, why not go all the way in terms of usability?
  19. subjonas macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    10.5 makes sense if you want to use it casually or if it’s a secondary device. Neither of which is the case here. OP wants a "laptop replacing study machine". If the 12.9 was made for anybody, it was made for the OP.

    Also I just realized this thread is from June.
  20. spac3duck macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2017

    You know that uni students have been transporting back breaking textbooks and 13-17" laptops for years right? A 12.9" iPad is a freaking dream in comparison! It's even thinner and lighter than the A4 paper notebooks I've used.
  21. iPadDad macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2014
    12.9 will give you the screen real estate to work long hours on tedious projects.
  22. baconcow macrumors regular


    Aug 28, 2016
    Yeah, compared to laptops, sure they are both tiny. I was more thinking more about how it fits on a desk or table than carrying capability. I guess that is more compact and mobility rather than portability.

    Also, just because they've been carrying around all this stuff doesn't discount the portability of the 10.5 over the 12.9.
  23. TinaBelcher macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2017
    I have an iPad Pro 12.9, and to be honest, I don’t find it useful for school that much.

    My school has a google drive system, meaning, we’re forced to write all our notes in google doc and enable access to our teachers. I bought the iPad Pro and pencil to make creative handwritten notes, but they took away that option from me. Now, I use my 2013 MacBook Pro because I don’t like the iOS google apps one bit. I need the full desktop mode with the editing features available to me. I’m considering getting the new MacBook Pro 15-inch with touch as I’m always on multiview mode and crave more screen as I’m typing, researching and reading all at once.

    I know I’m going to get a lot of hate for saying this, but an iPad is not a laptop and it won’t ever be until Apple goes the Microsoft route and make a laptop with a detachable screen. I always catch myself using my IPad Air more, and the 12.9-inch for drawing only. I should have gotten the 10.5-inch, at least the Apple keyboard would’ve compliment it. I had to return the 12.9-inch as it became too heavy and bulky. The on-screen Keyboard is amazing, but I didn’t think about it covering up 40% of my work while using it. But keep ind mind the 10.5-inch is NOT suitable for multiview.
  24. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    10.5 all the way.

    I like the portability of the model, and student's frequently need a highly portably product.
  25. Gaprofitt macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2009
    Why not go with a laptop. You get a full keyboard and not a crippled device limited to the app store?

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