My experience with the 2018 12.9” iPad Pro

MAJ6288

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2017
14
17
Well I've had some time with my new iPad and I can safely say that it’s easily the best iPad I’ve owned. I suppose that accolade isn’t hard to achieve; my last iPad was an Air 2. Apart from some lagging when swiping through web pages, eveything seemed to work as it should (apart from the screen that was smashed by my son).

I decided to get the 256gb 12.9” with the folio keyboard and pencil 2. I’m an engineering professional who mostly uses a docked windows laptop for work. At home, I use my 5k iMac for my engineering degree studying and pretty much everything else. The Air 2 was always used for browsing the web, reading news and social media - the plan for the Pro is to enable me to take my studying everywhere I go.

Obviously, the pro is pretty good at media consumption - weirdly, I don’t think it’s as good as a smaller iPad. Well, not in my use case anyway. I’m sure it’ll be better for watching videos, but I rarely need to. I’m referring more to reading news etc - It doesn’t feel natural on a screen so large.

Over the last couple of days I have been writing up and experiment on word. It has been okay, but nowhere near as slick as it could [should] be. The positives:

- Folio keyboard is great for typing - probably better than my magic keyboard. I’m using it to write this post, and it’s a joy.
- The pencil is very impressive. I’ve been able to switch from typing, to writing equations directly into the document seamlessly.

The negatives:

- Word for the iPad is awful. I’ve read a bit about word not having full functionality, but this is the first time I’ve tried it myself. It’s cumbersome to use without a mouse, but worse than that, It’s a half baked version. No proper style functionality is a headliner amongst a whole plethora of missing features. This for me is a potential killer - proper formatting is essential.
- With the folio keyboard attached the iPad is just too cumbersome as a take it anywhere consumption device.

My conclusion is that it’s a very good tablet, but not quite a PC - not for me anyway. If I had mouse support and a proper version of word, I’d be singing its praises from the rooftops - unfortunately, it’s not quite there yet.
 

subjonas

macrumors 68020
Feb 10, 2014
2,107
1,764
I agree smaller iPads are better for casual reading. I prefer the mini for that. I use my 12.9 almost exclusively for creation/productivity.

Have you found any advantage/disadvantage of the change to usb c?
 

Maukey

macrumors member
Apr 26, 2010
98
64
I've said this all along. 11" iPad for consumption/tablet use, 12.9" for work/desk use. That's not saying that the one can't do the other. I just feel that each is better in those specific use cases.

I personally have a company issued Windows Laptop for work, and a 13" MBP for serious, personal use. My iPad is strictly used for browsing, email, social media, movies, music, etc. Fun stuff. It goes everywhere with me including to the toilet. I know....too much information ;). The 12.9" iPad is just not ideal for that. It gets heavy with one handed use and I'm a 6 foot, 200 pound man. It's easier to pull the 11" out at a coffee shop than the 12.9". I don't even use the Smart Keyboard Folio and opt for the regular Smart Folio on my iPad with Apple Pencil. If I was replacing my MBP with an iPad, I would take the 12.9" with Smart Keyboard hands down. For my use cases, I enjoy using my 11" iPad as a true tablet. Any major typing or complicated tasks is done on my MBP. Keeps both relevant :)
 

Porterhouse

macrumors 6502
Aug 13, 2011
292
124
USA
I've said this all along. 11" iPad for consumption/tablet use, 12.9" for work/desk use. That's not saying that the one can't do the other. I just feel that each is better in those specific use cases.

I personally have a company issued Windows Laptop for work, and a 13" MBP for serious, personal use. My iPad is strictly used for browsing, email, social media, movies, music, etc. Fun stuff. It goes everywhere with me including to the toilet. I know....too much information ;). The 12.9" iPad is just not ideal for that. It gets heavy with one handed use and I'm a 6 foot, 200 pound man. It's easier to pull the 11" out at a coffee shop than the 12.9". I don't even use the Smart Keyboard Folio and opt for the regular Smart Folio on my iPad with Apple Pencil. If I was replacing my MBP with an iPad, I would take the 12.9" with Smart Keyboard hands down. For my use cases, I enjoy using my 11" iPad as a true tablet. Any major typing or complicated tasks is done on my MBP. Keeps both relevant :)
This is almost exactly my story except my work computer is a Windows desktop. My 13 MBP is what I use for home use and my online job, but because my MBP is 13 inches, I went for the 11 inch. Coming from a 9.7 iPad, it feels huge.
 

subjonas

macrumors 68020
Feb 10, 2014
2,107
1,764
I've said this all along. 11" iPad for consumption/tablet use, 12.9" for work/desk use. That's not saying that the one can't do the other. I just feel that each is better in those specific use cases.

I personally have a company issued Windows Laptop for work, and a 13" MBP for serious, personal use. My iPad is strictly used for browsing, email, social media, movies, music, etc. Fun stuff. It goes everywhere with me including to the toilet. I know....too much information ;). The 12.9" iPad is just not ideal for that. It gets heavy with one handed use and I'm a 6 foot, 200 pound man. It's easier to pull the 11" out at a coffee shop than the 12.9". I don't even use the Smart Keyboard Folio and opt for the regular Smart Folio on my iPad with Apple Pencil. If I was replacing my MBP with an iPad, I would take the 12.9" with Smart Keyboard hands down. For my use cases, I enjoy using my 11" iPad as a true tablet. Any major typing or complicated tasks is done on my MBP. Keeps both relevant :)
(Not to turn this into a 12.9 vs 11 thread, but) yeah I think one of the major factors to determine the most appropriate size for someone is their other devices. I have a 15” MBP that I need for work, an iPad mini that I prefer for casual reading and browsing, an iPhone SE because I hate non-one-handed phones, and a big screen TV. For me the 12.9 fits in perfectly. It’s big enough to get a good amount of work done (including drawing) but light enough to always carry in my shoulder bag. Because of my other devices, it needs to do absolutely nothing else. When I’m out and about I always have my SE and, if I bring my bag, my 12.9 (I should note that I rarely consume outside of the house); when I’m home I use my iPad mini for reading and light productivity, 15” MBP for heavier productivity/work, and TV for movies and shows.
 

Aluminum213

macrumors 68040
Mar 16, 2012
3,413
3,505
The 12.9 is too big to hold in portrait mode, you basically have to dock it in orde to use it comfortably. Obviously the bigger iPad is better for split screen use but if I need a screen that big for multitasking I’ll just use my 15” MBP and can be significantly more productive
 

teerexx52

macrumors 68000
May 1, 2005
1,966
88
Florida West Coast
I’m really liking my 12.9. I use a small Logitech Keys keyboard which is very easy to carry along with me rather than the Apple Folio Keyboard. I do have the iPad in a regular Apple Folio case. The combo works well. I have switched almost exclusively to the iPad from my MacBook Pro. Fits me needs very well.
 

iapplelove

macrumors 601
Nov 22, 2011
4,781
6,140
East Coast USA
I still don’t get the downer for non mouse support?

It’s still a tablet. Can it do some tasking better than a PC, sure! In same cases it cannot.

But it still is a touch device, with an iOS built around touch.

I guess I can understand attaching a keyboard with real keys instead of the virtual keyboard.

But a mouse? Nah
 
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Greenmeenie

macrumors 65816
Jan 14, 2013
1,284
1,721
I've said this all along. 11" iPad for consumption/tablet use, 12.9" for work/desk use. That's not saying that the one can't do the other. I just feel that each is better in those specific use cases.

I personally have a company issued Windows Laptop for work, and a 13" MBP for serious, personal use. My iPad is strictly used for browsing, email, social media, movies, music, etc. Fun stuff. It goes everywhere with me including to the toilet. I know....too much information ;). The 12.9" iPad is just not ideal for that. It gets heavy with one handed use and I'm a 6 foot, 200 pound man. It's easier to pull the 11" out at a coffee shop than the 12.9". I don't even use the Smart Keyboard Folio and opt for the regular Smart Folio on my iPad with Apple Pencil. If I was replacing my MBP with an iPad, I would take the 12.9" with Smart Keyboard hands down. For my use cases, I enjoy using my 11" iPad as a true tablet. Any major typing or complicated tasks is done on my MBP. Keeps both relevant :)
I agree. That’s why I chose the 11”. But I wonder if Apple released an iPad in between the 11” & 12.9” ...say like 12”...if that would be the sweet spot to satisfy both the mobile/casual user and those looking for a more desktop/laptop like experience.
[doublepost=1542313677][/doublepost]
I still don’t get the downer for non mouse support?

It’s still a tablet. Can it do some tasking better than a PC, sure! In same cases it cannot.

But it still is a touch device, with an iOS built around touch.

I guess I can understand attaching a keyboard with real keys instead of the virtual keyboard.

But a mouse? Nah
Yeah, I don’t care about a mouse either. Although I just read an article where they hooked up a new Mac Mini to a new iPad Pro as the monitor with wireless keyboard & mouse. Might be a perfect set up for some.
 

MAJ6288

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2017
14
17
I agree smaller iPads are better for casual reading. I prefer the mini for that. I use my 12.9 almost exclusively for creation/productivity.

Have you found any advantage/disadvantage of the change to usb c?
I haven’t even plugged anything other than the charger into it - until it supports external memory, I probably won’t bother.
 
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ProphetX

macrumors 6502
Feb 8, 2011
354
102
I still don’t get the downer for non mouse support?

It’s still a tablet. Can it do some tasking better than a PC, sure! In same cases it cannot.

But it still is a touch device, with an iOS built around touch.

I guess I can understand attaching a keyboard with real keys instead of the virtual keyboard.

But a mouse? Nah
Its like “im bummed that it didnt make my **** any bigger... Apple products are overrated”.
 

Dexterama

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2017
113
146
New England
I agree. That’s why I chose the 11”. But I wonder if Apple released an iPad in between the 11” & 12.9” ...say like 12”...if that would be the sweet spot to satisfy both the mobile/casual user and those looking for a more desktop/laptop like experience.
I remember when it was just the 9.7 and 12.9, we were clamoring for an 11 as the sweet spot. Now that we have the 11 and 12.9, we’re looking at 12” as the sweet spot. Not that there is something wrong about that, I just thought it was interesting. We’re like the Goldilocks of the 21st century.
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68020
Feb 10, 2014
2,107
1,764
I remember when it was just the 9.7 and 12.9, we were clamoring for an 11 as the sweet spot. Now that we have the 11 and 12.9, we’re looking at 12” as the sweet spot. Not that there is something wrong about that, I just thought it was interesting. We’re like the Goldilocks of the 21st century.
And after we get 12” people will want 12.5”, then 12.75”, and so on... haha.
I agree, nothing necessarily wrong with it. But I wonder if something psychological happens when people see two sizes, no matter what the sizes are they automatically think a third size in the middle is the “ideal”.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
19,397
9,530
UK
Loving mine so far but still waiting for my keyboard case to arrive to make this a complete experience
 

SAdProZ

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2005
561
276
I still don’t get the downer for non mouse support?

It’s still a tablet. Can it do some tasking better than a PC, sure! In same cases it cannot.

But it still is a touch device, with an iOS built around touch.

I guess I can understand attaching a keyboard with real keys instead of the virtual keyboard.

But a mouse? Nah
I think that would be a nicety for when someone needs to sit at their desk, in a hotel room, and edit a 12-minute Youtube video, which may take, say, 1-2 hours to edit (I think MKBHD take even longer to edit their videos).

So imagine the poor editor having to lift their arm up and down for 2 hours—that would be arm fatigue. Adding mouse support would allow the iPad Pro to be versatile for professional applications and workflows. It's not necessarily being proposed for all workflows, anymore than the Pencil is proposed for all workflows. Contrary, the Pencil is proposed for where it makes sense: drawing and note taking. The mouse for long-session desk work.
 

eclipse01

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2011
2,394
225
Eau Claire, WI
I still don’t get the downer for non mouse support?

It’s still a tablet. Can it do some tasking better than a PC, sure! In same cases it cannot.

But it still is a touch device, with an iOS built around touch.

I guess I can understand attaching a keyboard with real keys instead of the virtual keyboard.

But a mouse? Nah
I completely agree, and tbh am sick of seeing the "mouse argument"
 

Madmischief

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2013
78
43
Oxford, UK
I really wanted to love the 12.9 coming from a 10.5 - screen size is awesome but 1 handed it just does not work for me.

It’s great for propped or supported usage, but just does not work well as a handheld device for me.
 

ARH1956

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2007
383
37
NE Alabama
I really wanted to love the 12.9 coming from a 10.5 - screen size is awesome but 1 handed it just does not work for me.

It’s great for propped or supported usage, but just does not work well as a handheld device for me.
Yeah, many people say the same about the iPhone XS Max!
 

jimmy_uk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2015
753
660
UK
I still don’t get the downer for non mouse support?

It’s still a tablet. Can it do some tasking better than a PC, sure! In same cases it cannot.

But it still is a touch device, with an iOS built around touch.

I guess I can understand attaching a keyboard with real keys instead of the virtual keyboard.

But a mouse? Nah
But a large stylus, sorry pencil is OK?

It does no harm to add mouse support and would probably bring more buyers. And when your sat at a table with the keyboard having to constantly lift your arm to interact with the screen is a chore. Why half way house it when a mouse could be great for many users.
 
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ctg7w6

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2014
330
487
But a large stylus, sorry pencil is OK?

It does no harm to add mouse support and would probably bring more buyers. And when your sat at a table with the keyboard having to constantly lift your arm to interact with the screen is a chore. Why half way house it when a mouse could be great for many users.
I find these people's argument weird... Mostly because there is no argument. It's simply "I don't need it, why should you, quit complaining!" When actually, there would be no harm adding in mouse support and would make many people happy without taking anything away from people who don't want to use a mouse.

It's kind of just being a jerk, tbh...
 

tigres

macrumors 601
I grabbed the 12.9 inch during Black Friday at Microcenter (well my son did for me) and using the folio keyboard. Very much likeing it thus far. Did have some non responsive touch episodes that are concerning, but none since yesterday after setup.

Great to use on the couch while working on a PowerPoint for a conference comming up in Jan. OneNote is working great on this full screen; and it’s much easier to use mobile than the 15” MBP that mostly sits on my desk connected to an external monitor. Hooked it up to test Duet, and still a pretty good experience while traveling onsite to clients, so this is the biggest lift for me coming from the 9.7 before.

So far, exceptional - hoping all is well with it hardware wise, if more touch issues, I am going to return/swap.
 

pbird

macrumors member
Dec 18, 2015
51
23
I find these people's argument weird... Mostly because there is no argument. It's simply "I don't need it, why should you, quit complaining!" When actually, there would be no harm adding in mouse support and would make many people happy without taking anything away from people who don't want to use a mouse.

It's kind of just being a jerk, tbh...

Personally speaking, my fear is that when mouse support is added developers will try to optimize their apps for both. Which I think is very difficult to pull off. Or even worse when porting their desktop based apps developers will do a lazy port without really rethinking how to make the ui work best on a touch first device. If I wanted that I would buy a surface.