iPad Pro Mini Review (Bad Speakers, Bad UI)

mattoligy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 15, 2010
396
191
Cloud 9
Ok so I have had a chance to play with the iPad Pro for most of the day. I have used it in a stand in conjunction with an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard (from an iMac), on my lap and in various different scenarios.

Speakers

I was expecting to be absolutely blown away after all the hype from Apple (no pun intended) and although the speakers are loud for a tablet and by all means louder than any tablet before it, they just don't carry a wow factor, sound very tinny and not very pleasant on the ears! I have listened to many different genres and none of them really sound as they should. So if you're expecting iMac or even Macbook Pro sound, you will be let down! As a result I would still resort to headphones or a bluetooth speaker for a pleasurable audio experience and feel the space in the pro dedicated to audio is counter productive and would have been better spent elsewhere, such as battery and or a quad core processor.

Screen Size

With all the real estate on the iPad pro it's easy to forget you're using a tablet. That is until you realise you can't do three quarters of what you can on a Macbook! Which falls in line with what most mainstream reviewers are singing, the screen size is beautiful but iOS holds the device back from being a true pro contender. It really is just a blown up iPhone, which is good on a regular sized iPad or even a Mini as they are portable enough to sit with comfortably on your lap while you lounge around on the sofa or in bed, while offering a more enjoyable experience than a smaller iPhone screen in said scenarios. The iPad will always have a place in my home and in my heart as I feel the web and email browsing experience are unrivalled, even by a full on iMac, but the iPad pro is trying to be something it's not, and it doesn't work.

Operating System

The main reason it doesn't work is iOS, on a screen this size it just feels outright wasteful. The size of the home screen icons look ridiculous, the application switcher is just blown up rather than reworked to take advantage of the extra real estate and the split screen multitasking interface just looks silly. On a screen this size one would expect an app switcher more closely related to Mission Control on the Mac and even a splitscreen interface that resembles that of it's older brother on OS X. Moving on to functionality, the obvious lack of a user accessible file system via a Finder for iOS app and no external media accessibility make even the simplest of tasks impossible.

Conclusion

The iPad Pro is awkward to sit comfortably with leaving your only option to work docked or laid flat on a desk or table at which point you wonder why you're not just using a Laptop or even an iMac. From a graphic design and artistic standpoint this may be the complete opposite, but I can't speak on that level as I'm not an artist or a designer! I have been waiting for an iPad Pro for years and was one of the few that thought it a brilliant and revolutionary progression in the iPad line, but after using it I'm left wanting more and just feeling underwhelmed. I can forgive the wasted space on over hyped speakers, I can forgive the lack of force touch, I can forgive the dual core processor but I just can't forgive iOS being used in it's standard form on this device.


I'm sure lots of people will disagree and that's fine as everyone is entitled to an opinion, I just thought I would share mine...
 

AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
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1,105
I appreciate any and all opinions, thanks much.

It is too early to evaluate how I feel about it, I need much more hands on time. The price is a consideration especially coupled with accessories.

Thanks again.
 
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mattoligy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 15, 2010
396
191
Cloud 9
I appreciate any and all opinions, thanks much.

It is too early to evaluate how I feel about it, I need much more hands on time. The price is a consideration especially coupled with accessories.

Thanks again.
I do feel I am passing judgement a little early, and if anything changes I will gladly eat my words! However if my opinion does change, I doubt it will change too much.
 

Poochi

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2010
875
236
Toronto
I agree. It's definitely not a traditional tablet experience.

The gaps between apps icon is too much, it's not comfortable to hold even. The only way to use it comfortably is to put it on a table or a stand.

I would like to see an iPad Pro stand being sold right now, since the iPad Pro keyboard cover is nowhere to be found.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
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I agree. It's definitely not a traditional tablet experience.

The gaps between apps icon is too much, it's not comfortable to hold even. The only way to use it comfortably is to put it on a table or a stand.

I would like to see an iPad Pro stand being sold right now, since the iPad Pro keyboard cover is nowhere to be found.
I still don't get what people were expecting. Apple wasn't shy about the dimensions of this device.
 

omgitscro

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2008
570
88
I'm just wondering what exactly it is you can't do on the iPad Pro that you can do on a Mac. I do a ton of coding and am constantly working on my research server with my iPad Air and it works beautifully. It effectively has full shell access, which is a pretty good indicator that it can do absolutely anything you want it to do.
 

urkel

macrumors 68030
Nov 3, 2008
2,783
864
The speakers are not bad. Simple as that. They just didn't live up to your expectations
OR... The speakers are bad but, because Apple has never been good at making speakers, we've been trained to lower our expectations to such a level that "Hey, it is louder" is considered "Amazing Audio".

Apple desperately needs to use that Beats audio acquisition and replace Apples in house audio team because from iPad to MacBook to Earbuds to iMac then Apple could (and should) be providing a premium audio experience. (And it's really surprising that Jony Ive can take such attention to details yet not care how poor things actually sound).
 
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Amplelink

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2012
780
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I'm just wondering what exactly it is you can't do on the iPad Pro that you can do on a Mac. I do a ton of coding and am constantly working on my research server with my iPad Air and it works beautifully. It effectively has full shell access, which is a pretty good indicator that it can do absolutely anything you want it to do.
For most people, much of what they do on a computer can be done on an iPad. The problem is how easy it is to do on an iPad vs a real computer. I can manipulate spreadsheets and type word documents in the MS office apps which are terrific. But it's just so much easier using a real computer. Part of that is due to crappy keyboard integration on iOS for shortcuts and that sort of thing. But part of it is simply that you can't manipulate several windows easily. Multitasking is a nice improvement, but it's not the same as the multi-window environment we're all used to.
 
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jetlitheone

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2012
602
100
I find the speakers to be amazing actually and I have expensive audio equipment in my house so I don't know you're talking about, there's depth and range to them that not any other tablet or even most laptops have such as the 13 inch MacBook or the surface pro series it definitely beats the surface pro 4 for speaker quality. If you watch a movie in the surroundsound encoded it actually uses all the speakers in tandem, pretty cool, and all-around really good experience.
 
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AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
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I agree. It's definitely not a traditional tablet experience.

The gaps between apps icon is too much, it's not comfortable to hold even. The only way to use it comfortably is to put it on a table or a stand.

I would like to see an iPad Pro stand being sold right now, since the iPad Pro keyboard cover is nowhere to be found.
Me too, and the Pencil.

I have two months to evaluate the Pro so we'll see. But if there are things I don't like it beyond the pencil or using the keyboard I guess those will not change.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,832
27,283
OR... The speakers are bad but, because Apple has never been good at making speakers, we've been trained to lower our expectations to such a level that "Hey, it is louder" is considered "Amazing Audio".

Apple desperately needs to use that Beats audio acquisition and replace Apples in house audio team because from iPad to MacBook to Earbuds to iMac then Apple could (and should) be providing a premium audio experience. (And it's really surprising that Jony Ive can take such attention to details yet not care how poor things actually sound).
So do you own an iPad Pro or have you actually seen it in person and heard what the speakers sound like? Pretty much every review had decent things to say about the speakers.
 

newellj

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Oct 15, 2014
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I'm just wondering what exactly it is you can't do on the iPad Pro that you can do on a Mac. I do a ton of coding and am constantly working on my research server with my iPad Air and it works beautifully. It effectively has full shell access, which is a pretty good indicator that it can do absolutely anything you want it to do.
Open two Word documents or Excel spreadsheets at the same time. Use a mouse.
 

Serban

Suspended
Jan 8, 2013
5,159
926
the speakers are load, maybe not like the Macbook or 15" Macbook pro, but better than any ipad or tablets and even macbook air or 13" macbook pro
 
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turbineseaplane

macrumors 603
Mar 19, 2008
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The complaints about iOS are very valid.

The screen on the IPP is big enough that it definitely warrants a lot of rethinking on a lot of the view controllers.

Loads of wasted space and shoddy layout.
 
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newellj

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Oct 15, 2014
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East of Eden
The complaints about iOS are very valid.

The screen on the IPP is big enough that it definitely warrants a lot of rethinking on a lot of the view controllers.

Loads of wasted space and shoddy layout.
How much would a Force Touch display help? (Probably not enough - just throwing that out for discussion.)
 
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dancefreak

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2004
222
170
Hermosa Beach, CA
I find the speakers to be amazing actually and I have expensive audio equipment in my house so I don't know you're talking about, there's depth and range to them that not any other tablet or even most laptops have such as the 13 inch MacBook or the surface pro series it definitely beats the surface pro 4 for speaker quality. If you watch a movie in the surroundsound encoded it actually uses all the speakers in tandem, pretty cool, and all-around really good experience.
Agreed. I've found the speakers are better than even my two year old macbook pro. I'm not making unrealistic expectations by comparing them with standalone speakers or headphones but when it comes to mobile devices they're fantastic.
 

Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Jun 9, 2015
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3,963
I'm just wondering what exactly it is you can't do on the iPad Pro that you can do on a Mac. I do a ton of coding and am constantly working on my research server with my iPad Air and it works beautifully. It effectively has full shell access, which is a pretty good indicator that it can do absolutely anything you want it to do.
What apps do you code with on the iPad?
 
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papbot

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2015
759
219
I'm surprised by your comments as the speakers out of the box were the first thing that blew me away. Far better than my rMBP or any iOS device. Except for system sounds, there is that bug. But for everything else all I could say was wow!
 
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