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iPad Pro Another Unsolicited iPad Pro 11 Mini Review

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Original poster
Sep 21, 2012
18,635
20,395
In the middle of several books.
Another Unsolicited iPad Pro 11 Mini Review

Background History - Single male who likes taking long walks and runs on the beach, while listening to classic Chicago and thinking back on that first day I welcomed the Apple ecosystem into my life. I am looking for that Apple core lady, who would like to take a very long Developer beta test with a man who has been eating Apple sauce for a long time.


Opps, wrong website. 🙃

I purchased an iPad Pro 11 128GB cellular and Magic Keyboard from Amazon last Thursday and received in Friday afternoon. Prior to that purchase, I had been lovingly using an iPad mini 5 that I purchased from Apple as soon as it became available for order. And prior to the iPad mini 5, the last iPad I had bought was in 2012. Overall, I had been very happy with the iPad mini 5. It offers a lot of power and features in a very compact mobile form. I don’t regret the purchase. It made using an iPad a pleasure. What prompted me to start considering a slightly larger iPad in the iPad Pro series was the availability of stereo speakers, trackpad support, better Apple Pencil support with the Scribble feature, as well as the ability to connect an external drive to view, copy and move files, while still retaining the practical mobility I had come to enjoy with the iPad mini 5.

IPad Pro 11 Form Factor - A+

Although the Pad Pro 11 is considerably larger than the iPad mini 5 I had been using and traveling with 5 days a week, I have found it to be easier to type on not only due to its larger on- screen keyboard, but more importantly, the use of the Magic Keyboard.

The iPad Pro 11 has been easy to hold and use with two hands, albeit most of my use thus far has been with the Magic Keyboard. I was slightly concerned that with the bigger size and weight of the new iPad Pro it would noticeably feel heavier in hand(s). While my brain acknowledges the technical size and weight differences between my prior iPad mini 5 and the new iPad Pro 11, the practical usage of the latter device has not made me to feel constantly cognizant of such differences in hand and use, which I was concerned about prior to purchase due to my zeal to remain as mobile, practical , and productive as I can be in an ecosystem I have grown to appreciate over the years.

Screen and text - A+

The screen resolution, colors and text of the iPad Pro 11 have been nothing less than what I have come to expect from Apple over the years with other screen based devices I have purchased, such as the iMac, MacBook Pro and MacBook. While I do acknowledge that many other people had have varying problems with back bleed, color warmth and other screen anomalies with different iPad models over the years, I haven’t seen any noticeable defects while using my new iPad Pro. It is certainly possible I might find something less than perfect with the screen colors etc. if I were to run some tests that are not what I would call ‘day to day user task based.’ I am not going to go looking for problems that don’t present to my eyes while using the iPad Pro under normal viewing standards.

As to text, I haven’t seen any fuzzy or blurred letters, or corners of paragraphs. I have been able to read for hours at a time without getting tired or feeling the need to read on a larger screen.

On paper, there are technical differences in screen size, resolution and color depth between the iPad mini 5 and the iPad Pro 11. However, from day to day usage thus far, the differences (apart from increased screen size) has been negligible to my happy iPad Pro viewing eyes.

Sound - A

The iPad mini 5 has 2 stereo speakers located on the bottom of the device. When I first started using the iPad mini 5, having sound emanate from the bottom of the device did not actively annoy me, although the muffled sound (from resting the device on my lap) became a constant reminder of price over feature. And from that viewpoint, I accepted the trade off my ears were having to put up with. And over the last several months, I got tired of putting up with the muffled stereo sound. I got tired of having to reposition the iPad mini 5 so that I could hear with more clarify.

The iPad Pro 11 has 4 stereo speakers; two on the top of the screen and two on the bottom. And in my use thus far, I have been audibly pleased. The difference between the iPad mini 5 and iPad Pro 11 is very noticeable not only in volume, but also in clarity and to a lesser degree depth. I appreciate not having to reposition the iPad Pro so that I can hear, not to mention not having to turn the volume up all the way, like I had to with the iPad mini 5. I have been keeping the volume at 50% on the iPad Pro and it has been working well, especially when docked to the Magic Keyboard. I am not an audiophile. I don’t expect Bose quality sound from my new iPad Pro. I didn’t buy the device for the audiophile experience. As such, I have been pleased with what I hear from the iPad Pro. If the iPad Pro was my only entertainment device for movies, books, and internet video, my auditory standard would be much higher.

Face ID - A+

Coming from Touch ID with the iPad mini 5, the second generation of Face ID found in the iPad Pro series is very fast and more functional. I appreciate the fact that the iPad Pro can scan my face while secured to the Magic Keyboard in landscape mode.

Operating System - C-

One of the biggest reasons I went years before purchasing the iPad mini 5, was due to the fact that I found the productivity side of the operating system sorely lacking, compared to the content consumption side of the iPad equation. While I had numerous apps that I have used and enjoyed during my time with the iPad mini 5, the advent of mouse, trackpad, keyboard and cursor support (such as it was at introduction) signaled to me Apple’s acknowledgement of their unbalanced offering as to ability and content. When some of the new features became available to the iPad mini 5, I purchased a mini Bluetooth keyboard, as well as testing the ability and practicality of using an Apple Trackpad or Magic Mouse with the iPad mini 5. I quickly realized that while I could connect and use these devices, albeit in limited function, the biggest problem I encountered was the disconnect of form over function with having to connect several different peripherals and still have unimpeded productivity in a timely manner. I quickly realized that if I continued onward with trying to wirelessly lassoing the various peripherals, I was no longer going to be mobile nor was my work going to be streamlined and productive in a timely manner. That would have meant getting an expensive laptop with all the dongles and other peripherals. And in my mind, I would have been taking three steps back, instead of one productive step forward.

After reading the iPad forum fervently, as well as other sites, I found that the iPad Pro 11 did offer what I was looking for. And with the new Magic Keyboard, I didn’t have to worry about carrying around a mouse, trackpad and keyboard with my iPad mini 5.

The marriage of the Magic Keyboard with the iPad Pro 11 has helped push the iPad farther down the productivity line.

Although I am used to typing on the on-screen iPad keyboard, the purchase and use of the Magic Keyboard thus far has increased my joy of using my iPad. I have been wanting this kind of ability for years, and the with Magic Keyboard set up, hard drive mounting with the extra USB-C port, the new Scribble feature in iPadOS 14, quick screen capture with the Apple Pencil, amongst other new features and refinement of incumbent features, has made it much easier for me to better balance my use of an iPad without feeling I am having to make more sacrifices and capitulations in the name of having an iPad.

I wasn’t keen on spending $300 on the Magic Keyboard. Even though I like what I have experienced with the Magic Keyboard, I think it is overpriced. However, I think Apple hit a home run with the functionality aspect of the Magic Keyboard, especially with the way the iPad seems to hang in the air, making it easier to get to the keyboard, as well as having the screen display at a more pleasing and focused height. I do have concerns about the durability of the material used to cover the Magic Keyboard.

If there was no Magic Keyboard, Apple Pencil 2, and some of the new features of iPadOS 14, I would not have purchased the iPad Pro 11. As much as I liked using my iPad mini 5, I would have either kept using it, or looked closer at getting a MacBook Pro and be a little less in hand mobile. Granted, the change would not have been huge had I gone that route. However, it would have been enough to hinder my workflow and personal time flow to such an extent that I would not have been a happy consumer. I gave up the dongle MacBook / iMac life so I could be more mobile and enjoy the Apple ecosystem even more. I don’t plan on going back to that old life.

I would like to see more file management ability with iPadOS, not to mention ability to delete and format a connected external drive. I would also like to see more Apple Pencil support, especially in Apple’s own signature apps, amongst other things.

While I am happy to see new features in iPadOS 14, I think Apple has been and still is deficient in the productivity aspect of the iPad.

The iPad Pro is an electronic powerhouse and I hope to see a lot more improvements to the OS next year.

Overall Grade - B+

I am very pleased with my purchase of the iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil 2. I believe I did the right thing in moving on from the iPad min 5i. At this point in time, I believe the increased screen size, better sound and features will give me a better day to day experience, whether It be work related, content creation at home, watching tech videos, reading the news, listening to books, or reading the forums etc.

There is a lot I did not address in my usage of the new iPad Pro 11 and peripherals, due to this being a mini review. I hope this has been a help in some way to anyone considering purchasing a new iPad Pro.

If you are a person who primarily consumes media and like the idea of being able to be mobile, even if mobile means in the home, I highly recommend the iPad Pro series.

If you are a creator and consumer of media and work, the iPad Pro might be the perfect fit for you, depending on your workflow needs and your off duty habits. Do your research ahead of time. Make use of Apple’s 14 day return policy if need be.
 
Last edited:

AutomaticApple

macrumors 603
Nov 28, 2018
5,094
2,055
Massachusetts
Another Unsolicited iPad Pro 11 Mini Review

Background History - Single male who likes taking long walks and runs on the beach, while listening to classic Chicago and thinking back on that first day I welcomed the Apple ecosystem into my life. I am looking for that Apple core lady, who would like to take a very long Developer beta test with a man who has been eating Apple sauce for a long time.


Opps, wrong website. 🙃

I purchased an iPad Pro 11 128GB cellular and Magic Keyboard from Amazon last Thursday and received in Friday afternoon. Prior to that purchase, I had been lovingly using an iPad mini 5 that I purchased from Apple as soon as it became available for order. And prior to the iPad mini 5, the last iPad I had bought was in 2012. Overall, I had been very happy with the iPad mini 5. It offers a lot of power and features in a very compact mobile form. I don’t regret the purchase. It made using an iPad a pleasure. What prompted me to start considering a slightly larger iPad in the iPad Pro series was the availability of stereo speakers, trackpad support, better Apple Pencil support with the Scribble feature, as well as the ability to connect an external drive to view, copy and move files, while still retaining the practical mobility I had come to enjoy with the iPad mini 5.

IPad Pro 11 Form Factor - A+

Although the Pad Pro 11 is considerably larger than the iPad mini 5 I had been using and traveling with 5 days a week, I have found it to be easier to type on not only due to its larger on- screen keyboard, but more importantly, the use of the Magic Keyboard.

The iPad Pro 11 has been easy to hold and use with two hands, albeit most of my use thus far has been with the Magic Keyboard. I was slightly concerned that with the bigger size and weight of the new iPad Pro it would noticeably feel heavier in hand(s). While my brain acknowledges the technical size and weight differences between my prior iPad mini 5 and the new iPad Pro 11, the practical usage of the latter device has not made me to feel constantly cognizant of such differences in hand and use, which I was concerned about prior to purchase due to my zeal to remain as mobile, practical , and productive as I can be in an ecosystem I have grown to appreciate over the years.

Screen and text - A+

The screen resolution, colors and text of the iPad Pro 11 have been nothing less than what I have come to expect from Apple over the years, with other screen based devices I have purchased over the years, such as the iMac, MacBook Pro and MacBook. While I do acknowledge that many other people had have varying problems with back bleed, color warmth and other screen anomalies with different iPad models over the years, I haven’t seen any noticeable defects while using my new iPad Pro. It is certainly possible I might find something less than perfect with the screen colors etc. if I were to run some tests that are not what I would call ‘day to day user task based.’ I am not going to go looking for problems that don’t present to my eyes while using the iPad Pro under normal viewing standards.

As to text, I haven’t seen any fuzzy or blurred letters, or corners of paragraphs. I have been able to read for hours at a time without getting tired or feeling the need to read on a larger screen.

On paper, there are technical differences in screen size, resolution and color depth between the iPad mini 5 and the iPad Pro 11. However, from day to day usage thus far, the differences (apart from increased screen size) has been negligible to my happy iPad Pro viewing eyes.

Sound - A

The iPad mini 5 has 2 stereo speakers located on the bottom of the device. When I first started using the iPad mini 5, having sound emanate from the bottom of the device did not actively annoy me, although the muffled sound (from resting the device on my lap) became a constant reminder of price over feature. And from that viewpoint, I accepted the trade off my ears were having to put up with. And over the last several months, I got tired of putting up with the muffled stereo sound. I got tired of having to reposition the iPad mini 5 so that I could hear with more clarify.

The iPad Pro 11 has 4 stereo speakers; two on the top of the screen and two on the bottom. And in my use thus far, I have been audibly pleased. The difference between the iPad mini 5 and iPad Pro 11 is very noticeable not only in volume, but also in clarity and to a lesser degree depth. I appreciate not having to reposition the iPad Pro so that I can hear, not to mention not having to turn the volume up all the way, like I had to with the iPad mini 5. I have been keeping the volume at 50% on the iPad Pro and it has been working well, especially when docked to the Magic Keyboard. I am not an audiophile. I don’t expect Bose quality sound from my new iPad Pro. I didn’t buy the device for the audiophile experience. As such, I have been pleased with what I hear from the iPad Pro. If the iPad Pro was my only entertainment device for movies, books, and internet video, my auditory standard would be much higher.

Face ID - A+

Coming from Touch ID with the iPad mini 5, the second generation of Face ID found in the iPad Pro series is very fast and more functional. I appreciate the fact that the iPad Pro can scan my face while secured to the Magic Keyboard in landscape mode.

Operating System - C-

One of the biggest reasons I went years before purchasing the iPad mini 5, was due to the fact that I found the productivity side of the operating system sorely lacking, compared to the content consumption side of the iPad equation. While I had numerous apps that I have used and enjoyed during my time with the iPad mini 5, the advent of mouse, trackpad, keyboard and cursor support (such as it was at introduction) signaled to me Apple’s acknowledgement of their unbalanced offering as to ability and content. When some of the new features became available to the iPad mini 5, I purchased a mini Bluetooth keyboard, as well as testing the ability and practicality of using an Apple Trackpad or Magic Mouse with the iPad mini 5. I quickly realized that while I could connect and use these devices, albeit in limited function, the biggest problem I encountered was the disconnect of form over function with having to connect several different peripherals and still have unimpeded productivity in a timely manner. I quickly realized that if I continued onward with trying to wirelessly lassoing the various peripherals, I was no longer going to be mobile nor was my work going to be streamlined and productive in a timely manner. That would have meant getting an expensive laptop with all the dongles and other peripherals. And in my mind, I would have been taking three steps back, instead of one productive step forward.

After reading the iPad forum fervently, as well as other sites, I found that the iPad Pro 11 did offer what I was looking for. And with the new Magic Keyboard, I didn’t have to worry about carrying around a mouse, trackpad and keyboard with my iPad mini 5.

The marriage of the Magic Keyboard with the iPad Pro 11 has helped push the iPad farther down the productivity line.

Although I am used to typing on the on-screen iPad keyboard, the purchase and use of the Magic Keyboard thus far has increased my joy of using my iPad. I have been wanting this kind of ability for years, and the with Magic Keyboard set up, hard drive mounting with the extra USB-C port, the new Scribble feature in iPadOS 14, quick screen capture with the Apple Pencil, amongst other new features and refinement of incumbent features, has made it much easier for me to better balance my use of an iPad without feeling I am having to make more sacrifices and capitulations in the name of having an iPad.

I wasn’t keen on spending $300 on the Magic Keyboard. Even though I like what I have experienced with the Magic Keyboard, I think it is overpriced. However, I think Apple hit a home run with the functionality aspect of the Magic Keyboard, especially with the way the iPad seems to hang in the air, making it easier to get to the keyboard, as well as having the screen display at a more pleasing and focused height. I do have concerns about the durability of the material used to cover the Magic Keyboard.

If there was no Magic Keyboard, Apple Pencil 2, and some of the new features of iPadOS 14, I would not have purchased the iPad Pro 11. As much as I liked using my iPad mini 5, I would have either kept using it, or looked closer at getting a MacBook Pro and be a little less in hand mobile. Granted, the change would not have been huge had I gone that route. However, it would have been enough to hinder my workflow and personal time flow to such an extent that I would not have been a happy consumer. I gave up the dongle MacBook / iMac life so I could be more mobile and enjoy the Apple ecosystem even more. I don’t plan on going back to that old life.

I would like to see more file management ability with iPadOS, not to mention ability to delete and format a connected external drive. I would also like to see more Apple Pencil support, especially in Apple’s own signature apps, amongst other things.

While I am happy to see new features in iPadOS 14, I think Apple has been and still is deficient in the productivity aspect of the iPad.

The iPad Pro is an electronic powerhouse and I hope to see a lot more improvements to the OS next year.

Overall Grade - B+

I am very pleased with my purchase of the iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil 2. I believe I did the right thing in moving on from the iPad mini. At this point in time, I believe the increased screen size, better sound and features will give me a better day to day experience, whether It be work related, content creation at home, watching tech videos, reading the news, listening to books, or reading the forums etc.

There is a lot I did not address in my usage of the new iPad Pro 11 and peripherals, due to this being a mini review. I hope this has been a help in some way to anyone considering purchasing a new iPad Pro.

If you are a person who primarily consumes media and like the idea of being able to be mobile, even if mobile means in the home, I highly recommend the iPad Pro series.

If you are a creator and consumer of media and work, the iPad Pro might be the perfect fit for you, depending on your workflow needs and your off duty habits. Do your research ahead of time. Make use of Apple’s 14 day return policy if need be.
That was a spectacular review. I definitely agree with you in terms of the points you made about the form factor.
 
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BorgCube

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2012
6,418
7,988
the Delta Quadrant
Awesome review. My wife and I are loving our iPad Pro 11s (2018). I tried the mini 5 for awhile but even though I'm 34 my eyesight is starting to get to the point where I couldn't read on the thing for hours. The iPad Pro? No problem - I've even read 6 hours non-stop (obviously restroom/stretch breaks) - but actually finished a book in a weekend. Eyes love it.

Limitations in iPad OS frustrate me significantly but I've got a desktop and a MBP so ... not one to complain.

Thanks for taking the time to write out your experience, it was a great read.
 

Thoradin

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2020
654
907
Yorkshire, England
This is amazing, thank you.
For the last few weeks I have been contemplating an iPad of some description to use as a personal machine and for note taking at Uni.
My biggest issue was deciding on the model and accessories, whilst in the lab I have access to an i7 desktop (6 core, 16gb with SSD) and I have been carrying around my own i7 laptop (6 core, 32gb with 512gb SSD and a 1tb spinner). For going back next year I wanted something smaller and lighter to do light duties and utilise their desktop whilst leaving my laptop at home.
I had been doing a back and forth between the Air with Logitech keyboard and the 11 inch pro with magic Keyboard, but from this I’m now feeling the extra screen size and the beauty/simplicity of the magic keyboard may be a better option for me. Sure it’s not cheap but hell, what are student loans supposed to be spent on?
 

secretk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2018
946
592
Interesting review. I agree with everything except Face ID. I would not rate more than C. It is really slow and in half of the cases does not even work. Touch ID is way faster and has 85 % success rate while Face ID has just 50 % for me. Overall I do not enjoy Face ID. It really does not work for me.

Everything else I would rate the same. Well I do not have the MK so I cannot rate that aspect, but the other aspects I can and I agree with you.
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Original poster
Sep 21, 2012
18,635
20,395
In the middle of several books.
Interesting review. I agree with everything except Face ID. I would not rate more than C. It is really slow and in half of the cases does not even work. Touch ID is way faster and has 85 % success rate while Face ID has just 50 % for me. Overall I do not enjoy Face ID. It really does not work for me.

Everything else I would rate the same. Well I do not have the MK so I cannot rate that aspect, but the other aspects I can and I agree with you.
I haven’t had any problems with Face ID on the iPad Pro 11. It is fast and has registered every time, regardless of orientation.

Consider setting up Face ID again and see if that improves performance for you.
 

secretk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2018
946
592
I haven’t had any problems with Face ID on the iPad Pro 11. It is fast and has registered every time, regardless of orientation.

Consider setting up Face ID again and see if that improves performance for you.

Yeah, went already twice on that road ... It is just slow and inaccurate. It relies way too much on how I how the iPad. Overall I have no good impressions of Face ID. It might work on iPhone, but for tablet - nah. Not a good experience.
 

secretk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2018
946
592
That’s unusual. I find that Face ID on mine works incredibly well. I would say it has a 99% success rate. I wonder why yours is so different?

Because it is the whole you don't hold it right thing which with an iPad that is 11 inch is not easy at all. I find it quite unwieldy to hold it properly when I register my face and then when I have to use it. This is why for me Face ID is not a good idea for a tablet or let's say device of this size. For phone yes, for tablet no. It works when it is in landscape mode and I have put on a stand (keyboard or fold folio stand) but it does not work when it is flat on the surface or when I hold it in my hands. And those cases are 50 % of my usage. I am also regularly with over the ears headphones and with them it does not work too.

I am not saying that it is like that for everyone, but for my case and my usage Face ID just sucks. It does not cover my needs.

That being said even when it works it is slower than Touch ID and that for me is just the technology itself and not so much on how I should hold the iPad.
 

Nikhil72

macrumors 65816
Oct 21, 2005
1,245
829
Gotta say my experience with face ID is nothing but stellar as well. I have a Touch ID iPad for work and abhor using it versus the seamless face scan
 
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Jaekae

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2012
677
418
Yeah, went already twice on that road ... It is just slow and inaccurate. It relies way too much on how I how the iPad. Overall I have no good impressions of Face ID. It might work on iPhone, but for tablet - nah. Not a good experience.

You probably just cover the camera module with your hand 50% of the times
 

secretk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2018
946
592
You probably just cover the camera module with your hand 50% of the times

Nope. I don't. It is the angle itself. The iPad is sitting on the desk and I do not cover anything with it and do not even touch it. I also do not receive a message telling me that the camera is covered or showing me where the camera it is. It just fails and then asks me to enter passcode.
 
Last edited:

Cassandle

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2020
150
161
If the iPad is sitting flat on a desk, FaceID will struggle. I have the same problem with my iPhone XR. Usually FaceID is flawless and incredibly quick, but it doesn't like it when the phone is lying flat on a desk and I'm looking over it.
 
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secretk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2018
946
592
If the iPad is sitting flat on a desk, FaceID will struggle. I have the same problem with my iPhone XR. Usually FaceID is flawless and incredibly quick, but it doesn't like it when the phone is lying flat on a desk and I'm looking over it.

Thanks! This is what I was trying to explain but I was not clear enough. Exactly my point. Half of my usage is using the iPad as a tablet and digital notebook and it lays flat on the desk. I do not want to lift it to unlock it.

And yeah when I say that it is slower than TouchID I do not mean that it is super slow, it is a matter of half of second honestly. But it is slower as it needs to check and load the animation and then you need to interact with it and swipe.
 
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Quackington

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2010
196
50
England, UK
Nice write-up.

I picked up an 11” Pro towards the end of May. The last iPad I had was an iPad 2, which I tried to use for about 2 days and then decided it’s not for me as it just felt like a big iPhone and then got rid of it.

I haven’t bothered with an iPad since then, have used Mac notebooks for years (PowerBook and MBA). I feel like I definitely need to get a magic KB for this Pro though, if I’m going to get any real use out of it. The on-screen keyboard when using it horizontally uses up a lot of screen real estate, too much for my liking.

Are you able to use the keyboard on your lap like normal laptop? Does it feel any different? I ask because I also have a Surface Pro 4 and that feels a little different on my lap due to the hinge.
 
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