iPad Pro: My First 48

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Robnsn2015, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. Robnsn2015 macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2015
    In my opinion, there are only 4 types of mainstream consumer electronics: 1) phones, 2) televisions, 3) devices plugged into televisions, 4) whatever car stereo that came with your car when you got the car. Everything else is a niche product, as far as I'm concerned. That means iPads are niche products, and the iPad Pro is a niche of a niche. The iPad Pro isn't for everybody, it isn't even for most people. But, is it for anybody? Maybe. Let me tell you about my first 48 hours with the iPad Pro. By the way, I'm typing this on the iPad Pro (IPP) without a physical keyboard. Also, I don't have the Apple Pencil yet (does anyone?), so I can't speak on anything related to that.

    Why did I get an iPad Pro? Two words: portrait mode. My life involves paper - magazines, graphic novels, regular old 8.5 x 11 inch sheets of paper, etc. Ever since I got my first iPad in 2011, I've wanted a tablet with a screen size roughly the same size as a sheet of paper. When I procured an iPad Air in 2013, I refined my wish list. I wanted a tablet that: 1) was roughly the same size and shape as a piece of paper, 2) was as thin as an iPad Air, 3) was as light as an iPad Air. Apple gave me two out of three. Yes, it is as thin as the iPad Air. Yes, the screen is big. No, it isn't as light as an Air, not even close. The IPP weighs a good half pound more than the Air, roughly the same as the original iPad from 2010. But that screen, though...

    The IPP has a 12.9 inch screen. That number isn't that useful for me. What's more useful to me is that I put a piece of paper on top of the IPP and found the screen to be a little smaller, but the same shape as the paper. The IPP's screen might not be as "good" as the iPad Mini 4, according to the experts at DisplayMate, but it is still gorgeous. And size DOES matter.

    Let's talk about that screen size. Let's talk about surface area. The iPad Pro's screen as roughly twice the surface area as the iPad Air. Using the iPad Pro in landscape mode with iOS 9's split screen feature is like having two iPad Airs side by side, each in portrait mode. The iPad Pro is a big-ass tablet.

    Speaking of split screen, I really want Apple to come up with a better way to let users choose the second app. Scrolling through a list of apps is a pain. Could they at least alphabetize that list?

    Anyway, I think a physical keyboard would be nice, but not necessary for me. I really appreciate the full-size software keyboard on the IPP when it's in landscape mode. My first reaction was "Oh ****, there's an actual CAPS LOCK button! I don't have to double-tap the shift key anymore!" I wish it had arrow keys, though. The new keyboard only works with apps that have been updated for iPad Pro. Other apps, like Facebook, use the ugly old keyboard.

    How are video and audio? I used the VLC app to watch a movie on the iPad Pro. I have no complaints. The iPad screen's aspect ratio is good for simulating a piece of paper, but it leaves gaps at the top and bottom when watching a movie with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

    How is battery life? Well, I only plug in the IPP for updates and automatic backups. "Real" battery life seems to be much better than your average laptop. This is definitely the device to take on a cross-country flight. Of course, I won't know that for sure until I have to fly somewhere. That will be another review.

    I'd like to test out MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but that requires an Office 365 subscription in order to edit MS Office documents. Smaller iPads don’t require the subscription. Why? Because Microsoft sets a screen size limit for device that can view and edit Office 365 documents for free. The iPad Pro is bigger than that limit. I'll test out the Microsoft Office apps once my Office 365 subscribers arrives. In the meantime, I'm writing this with Apple's "Pages" word processor.

    My biggest complaint is that the software needs to catch up to the hardware, both OS and apps. For example, Facebook doesn't use the new iPad Pro keyboard, nor does it seem to fully utilize iOS 9's split screen feature. Also, Apple really needs to provide a centralized file manager similar to Finder in OS X. They could at least offer the option. As an alternative, make it easier for different apps to share files. I want to be able to access my NAS, Google Drive, One Drive, and iCloud Drive from one file manager. I also want all of my apps to be able to access all of these sources.

    So, is the iPad Pro for anybody? Sure, it's clearly for me. And once this tablet's price decreases and the software "grows up," I'll be happy to recommend it to other people.
  2. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    I think you forgot computers as a mainstream device. I think personal computers are more important than whatever is plugged into a TV.

    The battery life for regular tasks for me on the pro approached 24 hours. This includes browsing and writing documents in word (no pencil attached). This is way better than any laptop. I just really found it cumbersome to carry around the pro a keyboard and a stand of some sort. In my head it seemed awesome but it was not ideal. I just caved and went back to a laptop (got a good deal on a pro 13.3 2015) and ipad mini 4 for when I want to chill and use an ipad.
  3. Robnsn2015 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2015
    Good point and I should have explained better. I meant mainstream CONSUMER devices. In my opinion, computers (especially Windows computers) are essentially office equipment that people have in their homes. And over time, people's non-work or non-school tasks (consumer tasks, basically) have been offloaded to non-PC devices.

    I'm sure it would be cumbersome to carry a keyboard with an iPad. I've been generally using iPads with just the virtual keyboard for a few years, so I guess I'm accustomed to it. I was able to write that review (which is about 1.25 pages) using just the virtual keyboard. I guess I would need a "real" keyboard for writing something really long, but I rarely do that.
  4. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    Yea I use the virtual keyboard too. I just found the mini 4 to be better for that experience. I can type quickly on it. The ipad pro I would have to put down and type. The Air2 I could do either. I find though that using the mini 4 is the best experience for me. So just lounging in a coffee shop or on the pot it is the best device and no need for a keyboard. Now if I could only have enough money to buy one to leave at home and one to leave in the car that would be great.
  5. shipwrecked macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
    Good overview. I've only had my iPad Pro for a little more than 48hours myself and so far my experience has been great but not excellent. Maybe that will change when I finally get the pencil...I'm excited to put it to the test!

    Some things that have given me pause. 1) battery life: I noticed the battery when down 7% overnight. Is this unusual or normal? 2) at the moment i'm using the smart cover but i need to figure out how to prop up the iPad for portrait mode. I'm finding it awkward reading while it's flat on my desk. And using books doesn't work lol.

    I read hundreds of pdfs for work per week and the screen definitely lives up to the task. Now I can't wait till I can take notes with the pencil.
  6. Robnsn2015, Dec 18, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015

    Robnsn2015 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2015
    Portrait mode is one of reasons why I chose an iPad Pro over a Surface Pro. I bought an Origami case for iPad Pro from Amazon that stands up in portrait mode. Great for reading comic books and PDFs!


    Regarding battery life, I'm guessing the iPad is receiving emails and possibly app updates overnight. Maybe changing the settings would help?
  7. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    On the subject of arrow keys you don't need them. Use the two finger guesture to move the curser ;)

  8. Rob.G macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    After owning a couple of iPads, I bought a Galaxy Note 10.1 two years ago. Three months later, I sold it. Due to its 16:9 display design, portrait mode was worthless. It was too narrow. I had to use it in landscape all the time, which was annoying. On top of that, it was very laggy and the battery life was terrible.

    Having been tablet-less since then, I'm happy to have ordered an iPad Pro and am eagerly awaiting it. I'm with you with regard to a file manager... aka a more centralized filesystem. iOS needs this BADLY yet Apple seems to want to continue to force us into the sandboxed way of doing things "for our own good" (e.g. security). They also need to let us choose default apps. Maybe I want to use Gmail instead of the Mail app. Maybe I want to use Chrome instead of Safari. I'm tired of being forced into that, and it's why I stuck with my Android phone instead of getting a 6s Plus (aka iPad Mini with Phone). ;)
  9. shipwrecked macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
    I never thought I would say this but I agree, an iOS filesystem would hit the spot. Ever since my my first iPad (the 1st gen mini) I've gotten use to storing files on dropbox. Not all apps are integrated with dropbox.
  10. Robnsn2015 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2015
    I understand why Apple doesn't include a file manager for iOS devices. The thing is, the iPad is not the iPhone and isn't aimed at the same audience. Personally, I think it might be time to create an "iPad OS," but I digress.

    Really, all I want a file manager to do is: 1) let me see Dropbox, iCloud, and OneDrive in one app at the same time, and 2) let me copy and paste files between them. Hopefully, Apple can find a way to provide this functionality and still sandbox their apps to some extent.
  11. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Aren't there already apps like Documents and PDF expert which let you link your cloud storage services to them and download your files directly?
  12. Robnsn2015 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2015
    Yes, but I don't think they allow you to copy/cut and paste files between the different services. For example, I needed to move some files from Google Drive to OneDrive. I couldn't find a way to do that on an iPad, so I ended up using my Mac. I would like an easy way to do that on an iPad, even if Apple has it as an add-on option.

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