Bought the new 12.9" and 11" iPad Pro model to test. Returned the 12.9"

jp700p

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 28, 2010
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I ordered both the new 12.9" and 11" to test them out for a couple of weeks before the return window. After my test with both, I returned the 12.9" and kept the 11". Heres why:

Sit down holding - While sitting down on my couch, I found the 11" to be easier to handle. I could hold it with one hand. While the 12.9", I could not hold it in one hand for any length of time because of the weight. I had to always hold the 12.9" with 2 hands.

Vertical typing - It was near impossible to type confortably typing on the 12.9" vertically. Without split keys, I found my thumbs were strained trying to reach the middle keys. With the 11", I could type fairly comfortably holding it in the veritcal position.

Summary: With that being said, I do miss the 12.9" because of the massive screen. Watching anything on it felt like a giant TV screen. I would say if you will be using it on a desk, the 12.9" will do wonders. But if you will be holding it most of the time, I recommend the 11".
 

zea

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2014
106
55
Same. I had the 12.9 for the first two generations, and though I loved the screen size, it always felt very bulky. This year's 12.9 fixes that but keeps the screen size, so it's perfect for me.
 
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sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Apr 24, 2013
2,369
394
New Orleans
Of the 2, I preferred the 11", easier to handle. Though I still had a lot of trouble typing vertically when reaching for the center of the screen. Wish they had a slightly smaller iPad where my thumbs could easily touch each other or overlap if necessarily. I ended up returning it and going back to my mini 4
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,582
1,615
DE
The 12.9" is gorgeous, but with also having a 12" MB, I couldn't see myself with that big of a tablet (although it would have been nice for media consumption). I'm more than happy with the 11".
 

gnomeisland

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2008
644
318
New York, NY
Boggles the mind they don't have a split keyboard mode for these iPads. I would use it all the time with the mini but some apps didn't play nice with it, probably because it isn't a universal feature. I have trouble typing with the 11" in portrait mode, I imagine it would be impossible for me with the 12".
 

Abazigal

macrumors G4
Jul 18, 2011
11,591
9,102
Singapore
I ordered both the new 12.9" and 11" to test them out for a couple of weeks before the return window. After my test with both, I returned the 12.9" and kept the 11". Heres why:

Sit down holding - While sitting down on my couch, I found the 11" to be easier to handle. I could hold it with one hand. While the 12.9", I could not hold it in one hand for any length of time because of the weight. I had to always hold the 12.9" with 2 hands.

Vertical typing - It was near impossible to type confortably typing on the 12.9" vertically. Without split keys, I found my thumbs were strained trying to reach the middle keys. With the 11", I could type fairly comfortably holding it in the veritcal position.

Summary: With that being said, I do miss the 12.9" because of the massive screen. Watching anything on it felt like a giant TV screen. I would say if you will be using it on a desk, the 12.9" will do wonders. But if you will be holding it most of the time, I recommend the 11".
I just returned the 12.9” iPad Pro for the 11” mode for the exact same reasons. Just too big for me to use comfortably. The only setup which made sense was on a desk with the Smart Keyboard, and I bought an iPad precisely because I didn’t want a conventional laptop form factor.
 
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TheRealAlex

macrumors 68000
Sep 2, 2015
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I just returned the 12.9” iPad Pro for the 11” mode for the exact same reasons. Just too big for me to use comfortably. The only setup which made sense was on a desk with the Smart Keyboard, and I bought an iPad precisely because I didn’t want a conventional laptop form factor.
There are some key design choice and common language features of a tablet. Which are it should be easy to hold, friendly and inviting, there is also a weight limit. And other design language features that just speak to the user the second they hold it.
At 12.9” imo it’s not a Tablet for starters. And at that size for the cost and functionality I’d rather buy a Surface Pro but that’s a Microsoft eco system and well I don’t know how people are buying them.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,641
1,802
My 2015 12.9” iPad Pro quickly became a coffee table computer because it was as imposing as a laptop when bringing it out of the house. I tried using it in meetings for a month when I bought it and it was just too big.

Still love using it at home. It handles most of my home computing that doesn’t require a laptop to complete. Picked up a used 10.5 LTE model which is perfect for portability.
 
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Donka

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2011
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I previously had the 2017 12.9 and 10.5 models. Got replacement funds back for the 10.5 due to the bright spot issue and didn't want to replace it with another 10.5 for that issue.
Picked up an 11 at the weekend and really enjoying it so far. My plan is to move back to a single iPad so currently evaluating if I'm comfortable with the smaller size only. I do find the 12.9 at times a little impractical but do love that bigger screen - I think I will be more inclined to move to the larger device only in the future if iOS matures and becomes a little more open.
My impressions so far on the 11 are very favourable. Screen is excellent - uniform and no backlight issues. Loving FaceID on the iPad - not something I was particularly bothered about before the purchase but has really surprised me. Apps that have been updated for the new iPads looks great on the 11 but even a lot of those that haven't been updated yet still look good because they use the full width of the screen in landscape depending on how the developer has coded them.
I have still to try out the new Pencil on the 11 - will likely do that this evening but I know for me the Pencil offers more on the larger 12.9.
 
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The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
19,394
9,510
UK
Least you found what works best

For me the max and the 12.9 is a better mix for me...I only use my 12.9 on the sofa sat up or on a desk. When i’m Laying down on the sofa my max is what I use
 

Abazigal

macrumors G4
Jul 18, 2011
11,591
9,102
Singapore
Based on these forums, there's going to be a LOT of refurbished iPad Pros soon.
Alternatively, I hear that the last gen iPad Pros are hitting eBay for cheap. With the same amount of ram, they will still offer excellent performance, and it shouldn't be too difficult to pick one up at a significant discount.
 
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augustya

macrumors 68030
Feb 17, 2012
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Based on these forums, there's going to be a LOT of refurbished iPad Pros soon.
So it is a fact now right ? I was always perplexed with the question what do Apple stores in U.S do with so many customers returning open boxes units of the iPads ? so here it is, they all go to be sold as refurbished products is it ??
 

augustya

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Feb 17, 2012
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At 12.9” imo it’s not a Tablet for starters.
This is a very Moot Point !! and a Point of great debate !! There is an entire Cult which is head over heels this year with Apple reducing the Size of the 12.9" iPad Pro and are now saying, If this is the Compact Size of the 12.9" that is available, who would not welcome a bigger screen and yet there is one pool of thought, just like you and also to a larger extent like me, that 12.9" is no ways in the realm of being called a Tablet to begin with. So I don't know which perspective is right and which is wrong ?
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
19,394
9,510
UK
There are some key design choice and common language features of a tablet. Which are it should be easy to hold, friendly and inviting, there is also a weight limit. And other design language features that just speak to the user the second they hold it.
At 12.9” imo it’s not a Tablet for starters. And at that size for the cost and functionality I’d rather buy a Surface Pro but that’s a Microsoft eco system and well I don’t know how people are buying them.
If you use something like a tablet then it’s a tablet. I don’t use my 12.9 any different to my 10.5 i just have the keyboard to use when doing other tasks
 

TheRealAlex

macrumors 68000
Sep 2, 2015
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This is a very Moot Point !! and a Point of great debate !! There is an entire Cult which is head over heels this year with Apple reducing the Size of the 12.9" iPad Pro and are now saying, If this is the Compact Size of the 12.9" that is available, who would not welcome a bigger screen and yet there is one pool of thought, just like you and also to a larger extent like me, that 12.9" is no ways in the realm of being called a Tablet to begin with. So I don't know which perspective is right and which is wrong ?
That being said Apple did significantly reduce the footprint and heft of the 12.9” from what it use to be. I saw a poor sucker testing his 12.9” Pro at the Apple store next to the new 12.9” Pro and all I could hears were a lot of F-bombs and expletives. He had probably bought a 12.9” Pro 6-months prior and was stuck with it.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G4
Jul 18, 2011
11,591
9,102
Singapore
This is a very Moot Point !! and a Point of great debate !! There is an entire Cult which is head over heels this year with Apple reducing the Size of the 12.9" iPad Pro and are now saying, If this is the Compact Size of the 12.9" that is available, who would not welcome a bigger screen and yet there is one pool of thought, just like you and also to a larger extent like me, that 12.9" is no ways in the realm of being called a Tablet to begin with. So I don't know which perspective is right and which is wrong ?
It’s still a tablet, just not a very portable one (for me). Which is a shame. I really liked that display.
 

augustya

macrumors 68030
Feb 17, 2012
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379
So is there a like a standard size under which if a device falls can be termed as Tablet and beyond that it can be termed as hybrid laptop/tablet just like Lenovo Yoga or something ?