iPad Pro Bought the Ipad Pro 11, loved it, but returned it. It’s not for me. Here is why.

Digitalguy

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Original poster
Apr 15, 2019
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So, given that the Apple store lets you borrow anything for 2 weeks I decided to try the ipad pro 11.
I had the 2 fist gen pros (12.9 and 9.7) and a mini 5 (plus some older devices). So this was quite a big jump. But as you could read from the title I returned it in the end.
Let’s start first with what I really liked. Many people would probably think the huge speed increase, pro motion, sound and face id. None of that was a big deal to me.
The mini 5 is not that much slower and even the 1st gen pros are still very fast. Pro motion is not a big deal either. In the shops I could hardly notice. At home I could but only if I looked for it. It’s a bit like laminated vs non laminated, it’s not a big deal…. Sound was actually slightly better in my 9.7 (more bass) so definitely not a selling point. Face Id was ok, but I prefer touch id.
What I really like were the bigger screen, the nicer look (iphone 5 like and small bezels), the USB C port and the new pencil. The last 2 are the things I am going to miss most. So why did I return it ?
Well, I have many tablets but contrary to what most people do, I don’t use them laying on a couch. I actually don’t lay on a couch at all. I use them for many other things at home, but above all, they are my on the go device. The device that takes my second SIM card when I leave home. For whatever reason, from shopping, to teaching, to going to a meeting, to the doctor etc. I take advantage of every time I have to wait to get some work done, including via remote desktop. I use them like a laptop. So the keyboard is essential to me.
Well, the ipad pro 11 is not lappable and that’s a deal breaker for me. The keyboard jumps and dances around while trying to write on my legs, so it’s a no go. I also tried the logitech keyboard and it’s barely more lappable with an even worse (very steep) viewing angle, and it’s a nightmare to put the ipad in and out compared to the Apple one. So it would basically be a home device and at home I already have many devices, including many ipads. It really didn’t make sense. But I miss the look, the larger screen, the pencil etc. So I asked myself, how about the 10.5? Is it lappable ? I tried it and it was. So I bought a 10.5 pro used (found one for a great price, 256 LTE in mint condition with keyboard for $530, same as the 11 I had bought at the Apple store, but almost a third of the price). It had the notorious bright spot but it’s not a big deal, I can only see it in white background (I have put as much dark mode as I could) and only in daylight.
The 10.5 is very lappable. I also bought the logitech slim combo, but that thing is not lappable at all, so I am returning it.
The keyboard of the 9.7 while usable on the lap, is a bit cramped, but the logitech create 9.7 is an excellent keyboard, lappable, light, protective, backlit, so for now the 9.7 will remain my on the go device when it’s not for work. However for a meeting or when I know I am going to work for a while the larger screen and especially the lack of refreshes when I heaving multitask (week point of the 9.7) will be greatly appreciated.
Will I buy the 11 one day ? Not the current one. Only if they improve the keyboard, making it more stable and possibly also backlit.
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 15, 2019
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Each to his own. My 11 IPP is probably my most used device these days. You couldn't pay me to go back to Touch ID.
Face ID is something I can live with, it has some drawbacks compared to touch ID but it's definitely not a deal breaker
 

Cape Dave

macrumors 68000
Nov 16, 2012
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Northeast
So, given that the Apple store lets you borrow anything for 2 weeks I decided to try the ipad pro 11.
I had the 2 fist gen pros (12.9 and 9.7) and a mini 5 (plus some older devices). So this was quite a big jump. But as you could read from the title I returned it in the end.
Let’s start first with what I really liked. Many people would probably think the huge speed increase, pro motion, sound and face id. None of that was a big deal to me.
The mini 5 is not that much slower and even the 1st gen pros are still very fast. Pro motion is not a big deal either. In the shops I could hardly notice. At home I could but only if I looked for it. It’s a bit like laminated vs non laminated, it’s not a big deal…. Sound was actually slightly better in my 9.7 (more bass) so definitely not a selling point. Face Id was ok, but I prefer touch id.
What I really like were the bigger screen, the nicer look (iphone 5 like and small bezels), the USB C port and the new pencil. The last 2 are the things I am going to miss most. So why did I return it ?
Well, I have many tablets but contrary to what most people do, I don’t use them laying on a couch. I actually don’t lay on a couch at all. I use them for many other things at home, but above all, they are my on the go device. The device that takes my second SIM card when I leave home. For whatever reason, from shopping, to teaching, to going to a meeting, to the doctor etc. I take advantage of every time I have to wait to get some work done, including via remote desktop. I use them like a laptop. So the keyboard is essential to me.
Well, the ipad pro 11 is not lappable and that’s a deal breaker for me. The keyboard jumps and dances around while trying to write on my legs, so it’s a no go. I also tried the logitech keyboard and it’s barely more lappable with an even worse (very steep) viewing angle, and it’s a nightmare to put the ipad in and out compared to the Apple one. So it would basically be a home device and at home I already have many devices, including many ipads. It really didn’t make sense. But I miss the look, the larger screen, the pencil etc. So I asked myself, how about the 10.5? Is it lappable ? I tried it and it was. So I bought a 10.5 pro used (found one for a great price, 256 LTE in mint condition with keyboard for $530, same as the 11 I had bought at the Apple store, but almost a third of the price). It had the notorious bright spot but it’s not a big deal, I can only see it in white background (I have put as much dark mode as I could) and only in daylight.
The 10.5 is very lappable. I also bought the logitech slim combo, but that thing is not lappable at all, so I am returning it.
The keyboard of the 9.7 while usable on the lap, is a bit cramped, but the logitech create 9.7 is an excellent keyboard, lappable, light, protective, backlit, so for now the 9.7 will remain my on the go device when it’s not for work. However for a meeting or when I know I am going to work for a while the larger screen and especially the lack of refreshes when I heaving multitask (week point of the 9.7) will be greatly appreciated.
Will I buy the 11 one day ? Not the current one. Only if they improve the keyboard, making it more stable and possibly also backlit.
A keyboard that is not backlit is useless to me. Apple sucks for foisting those crappy keyboards upon us.
 

Cape Dave

macrumors 68000
Nov 16, 2012
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The primary irritation to me is that they are grossly overpriced. I bought the ASK for my 10.5 Pro but no way am I springing for $199 for my 2018 12.9 Pro. I'm using a $26 Bluetooth keyboard with backlighting that works great.
You are correct. They are WAY overpriced. It is insulting. And the fact that they are not backlit at that insane price is simply further insult.
 

rumz

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Feb 11, 2006
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Utah
Just curious what makes the 10.5 more lappable. Physical design difference making it less prone to moving around on your lap? Is it a bit heavier? The way the weight is distributed? I guess since you’re a first gen user it wasn’t a given that returning the 11 meant not using an iPad at all. Interesting.
 

Mabus51

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Aug 16, 2007
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The 10.5 and 11 inch are the same size physically. Only difference is the 11” has smaller bezels making for a larger screen. iPad OS also negates your keyboard concerns. Just saying, to each his/her own.
 

chikorita157

macrumors newbie
Mar 8, 2019
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36
Caldwell, NJ, USA
Such a shame. I upgraded from a used 9.7 Pro (which I still use) to an iPad Pro 11 and it’s an enjoyable device. I didn’t bother with the Smart Keyboard Folio due to lack of corner protection without buying another case, which costs extra. I don’t mind the keys since I have the Smart Keyboard cover on the 9.7, but given how fragile the new iPad Pros are by how thin it is, I wanted a keyboard cover with more protection.

The Logitech Slim Folio Pro would have been the case to go for. Sure, it doesn’t use the Smart Keyboard connector, but uses Bluetooth, it has backlight functionality and short cut keys. Also, it’s pretty stable on a lap and generally costs less than the Smart Keyboard Folio.
 
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ejin222

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Oct 12, 2011
172
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Have you thought about using the Brydge Pro keyboard? Very lappable, though comes with some weight.
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 15, 2019
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I don’t mind the keyboard feel, I am fine with it, but lack of backlighting is a big issue in some situation. Having said that the even bigger issue is lappability for me.
[doublepost=1566897724][/doublepost]
Just curious what makes the 10.5 more lappable. Physical design difference making it less prone to moving around on your lap? Is it a bit heavier? The way the weight is distributed? I guess since you’re a first gen user it wasn’t a given that returning the 11 meant not using an iPad at all. Interesting.
They are exactly the same weight without the keyboard, but the keyboard in the 11 makes it more top heavy since it covers the back. So I guess it's a matter of weight distribution of the keyboard + ipad combo. The angle is slightly steeper on the 11 but the difference is so small I don't think this plays a big role.
I am not sure I understand the last sentence (sorry English is not my first language), but I have the 2 first gen pros, plus now the second gen 10.5, and 3 generations of mini.... (2, 4 and 5)
[doublepost=1566897807][/doublepost]
The 10.5 and 11 inch are the same size physically. Only difference is the 11” has smaller bezels making for a larger screen. iPad OS also negates your keyboard concerns. Just saying, to each his/her own.
The 10.5 is very slightly longer than the 11 actually. Why does ipad OS negates my concerns?
[doublepost=1566897890][/doublepost]
You are correct. They are WAY overpriced. It is insulting. And the fact that they are not backlit at that insane price is simply further insult.
Agreed, I am ok with the price of the ipad, less ok with that of the keybaord and this factored partially into why I decided to return it.
[doublepost=1566898043][/doublepost]
Such a shame. I upgraded from a used 9.7 Pro (which I still use) to an iPad Pro 11 and it’s an enjoyable device. I didn’t bother with the Smart Keyboard Folio due to lack of corner protection without buying another case, which costs extra. I don’t mind the keys since I have the Smart Keyboard cover on the 9.7, but given how fragile the new iPad Pros are by how thin it is, I wanted a keyboard cover with more protection.

The Logitech Slim Folio Pro would have been the case to go for. Sure, it doesn’t use the Smart Keyboard connector, but uses Bluetooth, it has backlight functionality and short cut keys. Also, it’s pretty stable on a lap and generally costs less than the Smart Keyboard Folio.
Have you tried it? It's more stable than the Apple one, but I wouldn't call it "pretty stable". The angle is so steep that it moves too much while you type. The logitech Create is much more stable. And the apple 10.5 smart keyboard is also pretty stable and both have a much better viewing angle.
 
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aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
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Well I just got my iPad Pro 11 256gb WiFi only for an amazing $625 at Best Buy 10 days ago. (4 hour sale before Best Buy corrected it). Plus for $25 off using my Amex spend $250 get $25 off. So it’s like i got it for $600.

I still haven’t opened it! I have 45 day return policy at Best Buy since I’m elite plus. But I’m leaning towards keeping it

I think the biggest turn off of iPad Pro 3 is the price. No way I’m paying $950 for a 256gb device. No way I’m paying $799 for the 64gb WiFi only device either. When most good portable laptops windows with touchscreen weigh less than 3 pounds can be purchased for less than $700.

Heck we got iPad Air 3 2019 ($389 64gb military sale no taxes) model and it’s blazing fast. Got it for my son 9 years old.

We have all three iPad Pro models now. And to be honest. If it weren’t for poor battery life. iPad Pro 9.7 cellular is my go to iPad.

But I couldn’t pass up the iPad Pro 11 sale.

I think really it’s the price point that is turn off for most people. If the device were sub $600 64gb base. I think people would change their mind. But it’s way overpriced (msrp).
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 15, 2019
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Have you thought about using the Brydge Pro keyboard? Very lappable, though comes with some weight.
I was a big fan of Brydge. I have the brydge mini for the mini 2 and for the mini 4/5. They are amazing. I can type as fast on them as on the apple smart keyboard 10.5. I also have the surface pro brydge keyboard and it's the best keyboard I have ever used....
But brydge has changed lately.... for the worse.
They have reduced the travel on the keyboard and made the typing experience worse, which does no longer make up for the added bulk, especially on a larger ipad.
On the mini I am fine with doubling the weight.
On the 11 less so.
I tried the brydge for the 9.7 and it's crappy. Shallow travel, poor feel. I returned it.
I also bought a second gen surface pro one, and the travel and feel are worse too, though not so much as in the 9.7.
All the new brydge keyboards have less travel than they used to. Also, one of the reasons why I bring the ipad is weight. My 9.7 with keyboard is under 900 gr (under 2 pounds). The lightest laptop with LTE I have is 1.2 kg (2.7 pounds). The brydge makes the IPP 11 over 1.1KG, and it doesn't protect the edges, contrary to the logitech ones, so you still need a case....
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 15, 2019
290
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Well I just got my iPad Pro 11 256gb WiFi only for an amazing $625 at Best Buy 10 days ago. (4 hour sale before Best Buy corrected it). Plus for $25 off using my Amex spend $250 get $25 off. So it’s like i got it for $600.

I still haven’t opened it! I have 45 day return policy at Best Buy since I’m elite plus. But I’m leaning towards keeping it

I think the biggest turn off of iPad Pro 3 is the price. No way I’m paying $950 for a 256gb device. No way I’m paying $799 for the 64gb WiFi only device either. When most good portable laptops windows with touchscreen weigh less than 3 pounds can be purchased for less than $700.

Heck we got iPad Air 3 2019 ($389 64gb military sale no taxes) model and it’s blazing fast. Got it for my son 9 years old.

We have all three iPad Pro models now. And to be honest. If it weren’t for poor battery life. iPad Pro 9.7 cellular is my go to iPad.

But I couldn’t pass up the iPad Pro 11 sale.

I think really it’s the price point that is turn off for most people. If the device were sub $600 64gb base. I think people would change their mind. But it’s way overpriced (msrp).
Sure, the IPP is amazing and in I really loved it, but at that price (almost $1500 for me for the 256 LTE + smart cover + smart keyboard + logitech keyboard), I wanted to be able to do everything. And when I think that the 10.5 can do almost everything (and more) and I got it for little more than a third of the price....
Also I am already heavily invested in lightning accessories (CCK 2.0 and 3.0, HDMI, VGA, audio interfaces) so I can accomplish virtually everything the USB C can do and also some extra things. I still have pro motion, slightly better speakers, lappable keyboard, fast charging, headphone jack, sturdier chassis, same 4GB RAM and much more for the price, 256 LTE for less than what I can find the 11 pro 64 wifi used....)
 

Mabus51

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Aug 16, 2007
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Sure, the IPP is amazing and in I really loved it, but at that price (almost $1500 for me for the 256 LTE + smart cover + smart keyboard + logitech keyboard), I wanted to be able to do everything. And when I think that the 10.5 can do almost everything (and more) and I got it for little more than a third of the price....
Also I am already heavily invested in lightning accessories (CCK 2.0 and 3.0, HDMI, VGA, audio interfaces) so I can accomplish virtually everything the USB C can do and also some extra things. I still have pro motion, slightly better speakers, lappable keyboard, fast charging, headphone jack, sturdier chassis, same 4GB RAM and much more for the price, 256 LTE for less than what I can find the 11 pro 64 wifi used....)
For the price, I don’t think anyone can argue. I too believe the new iPad Pros are over priced. The only reason I upgraded from the 2017 model was simply for a smaller footprint. I had the massive 12.9 model prior and that thing was awful to carry around. The new version of the 12.9 is much better but I opted for the 11 instead, as I was tired of lugging the old version and never even considered or looked at the new version. I may give the 12.9 another chance now that iPad OS is a thing when I eventually upgrade next year or so.

For portability though the Apple Pencil is so underrated and misunderstood. Dump the idea of an attached keyboard on your iPad. I’ve been using the iPad since 2010 all the keyboards have been lacking in my opinion, that includes the Surface Pro. Most of them are only decent in specific environments like on a hard stable surface, such as a desk.

Portability wise I use the pencil & write what I want to say in notability even goodnotes would work. Then if I need to I convert what I’ve written to text copy & paste the text where I need to. If I’m out and about just a smart cover that holds the pencil is all I take with me. As for my comment on why iPad OS negates concerns of a keyboard, it has a floating keyboard onscreen for one, secondly it will allow more USB keyboards/devices to work with the iPad. My point is maybe change the way you work it takes a little getting used to the idea and computing this way. But after awhile it becomes more natural. This entire response was written with the pencil and converted to text. Since you now have the 10.5 Pro I recommend getting the pencil for that one and try changing the way you work a little each day. Writing is more efficient and natural than typing anyway. Just my two cents.
 

spiderman0616

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Aug 1, 2010
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For me, the 2018 iPad Pro models are not only a major watershed moment for the iPad in general, but are also my favorite computers of all time. I use my 11" iPad Pro for everything from Netflix to graphic design and everything in between. It's the computer I've dreamed about having my whole life. I know there is always going to be an Excel power user or an app developer standing by to tell me my opinion is wrong, but it doesn't affect me at all. I love this device. It makes work more fun and it makes the creative process more intuitive. I can't believe the stuff I'm making with the Apple Pencil and apps like Affinity Designer/Photo and Procreate. Never though I'd have this much power in a package this portable.
 

secretk

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Oct 19, 2018
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For me, the 2018 iPad Pro models are not only a major watershed moment for the iPad in general, but are also my favorite computers of all time. I use my 11" iPad Pro for everything from Netflix to graphic design and everything in between. It's the computer I've dreamed about having my whole life. I know there is always going to be an Excel power user or an app developer standing by to tell me my opinion is wrong, but it doesn't affect me at all. I love this device. It makes work more fun and it makes the creative process more intuitive. I can't believe the stuff I'm making with the Apple Pencil and apps like Affinity Designer/Photo and Procreate. Never though I'd have this much power in a package this portable.
Unfortunately I am both team lead of Software Development team (former Software Developer) and I do need to use sometimes big Excel sheets so I kind of fit your example ;). Nevertheless I am actually quite curious for the people that can do all of their work on an iPad. Not because I don't believe them. I am just interested in their workflow because I never know if it is something I don't know or it is just also about a preference I don't lean towards.

So contrary on your belief I would not tell you that your opinion is wrong. I actually love the way the iPad Pro 11 looks like but I am worried that iOS cannot offer me what I need fully and then I would not want to pay such price for a secondary device. That being said I would not say completely No for the years to come. It is a definite NO but for now and given my usage, workflow and expectations.
 
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spiderman0616

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Unfortunately I am both team lead of Software Development team (former Software Developer) and I do need to use sometimes big Excel sheets so I kind of fit your example ;). Nevertheless I am actually quite curious for the people that can do all of their work on an iPad. Not because I don't believe them. I am just interested in their workflow because I never know if it is something I don't know or it is just also about a preference I don't lean towards.

So contrary on your belief I would not tell you that your opinion is wrong. I actually love the way the iPad Pro 11 looks like but I am worried that iOS cannot offer me what I need fully and then I would not want to pay such price for a secondary device. That being said I would not say completely No for the years to come. It is a definite NO but for now and given my usage, workflow and expectations.
I totally get that people with your workflows could not use it as their main machine. Part of that is on Microsoft for not giving all the options in Excel for iOS and part of it is that Apple hasn't given developers the tools they need on iOS. Those seem to be the two biggest holes for people as far as sticking with macOS or Windows. For me, I am definitely not a developer, and I do use some more complicated features in Excel/Numbers but nothing that's not available on the iOS versions, so I'm covered there. (Come to think of it, I haven't used Excel or Numbers for anything in about 2 years!)

What annoys me is when people tell me that because the things THEY do make the iPad not a feasible machine for them, that it can't be a feasible machine for ME. That I somehow don't fully understand the iPad's shortcomings or I would be going back to the Mac. The people that tell me that usually cite Excel or app development as their main examples of why I've made the wrong choice.

Again, I don't let it bother me and don't care what other people use/don't use. What I do know is that Apple finally got over that hump with the iPad where more and more people are starting to take it seriously as a productivity device and I love that. Just the other night I was watching a news broadcast with about 5 panelists and three of them had an iPad Pro in front of them on the desk instead of a traditional laptop. The device has really made some new inroads.
 

Arctic Moose

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Jun 22, 2017
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Gothenburg, Sweden
  1. The iPhone 4/5 style edges are uncomfortable to hold and make it difficult to pick the iPad up
  2. The new screen coating (necessary for the new pencil?) gets too smudgy and looks gross
  3. Face ID worked extremely poorly for me, was always holding the damn thing upside-down
  4. Juggling two different cables in the charger became infuriatingly cumbersome very quickly
  5. Keyboard Folio is heavy, feels cheap and is disastrous when folded back
  6. Too bendy