iPad Pro Need advice about upgrading to 2018 12.9” from 2017 10.5”

xxray

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 27, 2013
962
991
I have a 10.5” iPad Pro that still runs as good as the day I bought it. I originally bought it to supplement my laptop. I was going to use it mainly for taking notes in class, consumption, and art. However, the iPad Pro begun to replace my laptop more and more as more pro apps were developed and as I found new uses cases, and it now replaces 95% of my laptop needs. It’s now my main device. As I’ve been using it more and more, especially for multitasking, I’ve been getting frustrated with the 10.5” screen. It’s often cramped in multitasking, and it’s straining on the eyes when I’m working off a 10.5” screen placed on my desk.

This has made me consider upgrading to the 2018 12.9” iPad Pro (I’m not interested in earlier 12.9” models due to their larger size). However, I’ve done the math, and after selling my 10.5” and Apple Pencil (Gen 1), I’d still be spending around $800 to upgrade to the 12.9” and Apple Pencil (Gen 2). This seems foolish when I’m using a device that’s only a year and a half old and still runs like it’s brand new. I’ve been trying to convince myself to just wait for the next update, because by then, my 10.5” will most likely be around 3 years old, and I can mostly justify upgrading then. But on the contrary, the next iPad Pro update will probably be a modest one since the 2018 update was such a big one, so will it even be worth waiting? Also, if I’m already frustrated with the screen size on my 10.5” now, do I really want to try to endure probably another year and a half of being frustrated before I finally upgrade? I’ll be spending more money then too since the value of my 10.5” will be even less. I’d sell my laptop to make the 12.9” purchase easier, but I still need my laptop at times, and it has capabilities that iPads don’t that really come in handy sometimes.

If anyone has been in a similar position, or even if you haven’t, can you please offer me some advice? I’d really appreciate it.
 

csjcsj

macrumors regular
Feb 15, 2011
121
55
Sarasota FL
Almost similar position - I also have the 2017 10.5. I only use my Mac now for apps that aren’t on - or wouldn’t make sense on - an iPad, such as Adobe Indesign. With the coming release of Photoshop. I decided the new 12.9 would be a good choice because I spend a lot of time doing graphics, and the 10.5 would be too small for a crowded interface. In my case though, I kept both - the 12.9 is too big for the 5’ me to lug around all the time.

12.9 pros - the screen is beautiful. At first I didn’t like the little texture the screen has when using the pencil, but I’ve come to really appreciate the increased accuracy I can get in drawing. The new pencil is lighter, and since it charges on the iPad and sticks to it, it’s less easy to lose. I also bought a cheap case with a built in pencil holder that lets the pencil charge while in it.

12.9 cons - the 12.9’s higher resolution has not been updated in all apps. Even Procreate - the app I spend the most time in - is still using the old resolution, which means a slightly blurry image on it. The image is perfectly sharp on the old 10.5.

So a lot depends on which apps you use and whether or not you want to go around with the increased weight. I love the new one, but only because I kept the old one too.
 
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xxray

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 27, 2013
962
991
Almost similar position - I also have the 2017 10.5. I only use my Mac now for apps that aren’t on - or wouldn’t make sense on - an iPad, such as Adobe Indesign. With the coming release of Photoshop. I decided the new 12.9 would be a good choice because I spend a lot of time doing graphics, and the 10.5 would be too small for a crowded interface. In my case though, I kept both - the 12.9 is too big for the 5’ me to lug around all the time.

12.9 pros - the screen is beautiful. At first I didn’t like the little texture the screen has when using the pencil, but I’ve come to really appreciate the increased accuracy I can get in drawing. The new pencil is lighter, and since it charges on the iPad and sticks to it, it’s less easy to lose. I also bought a cheap case with a built in pencil holder that lets the pencil charge while in it.

12.9 cons - the 12.9’s higher resolution has not been updated in all apps. Even Procreate - the app I spend the most time in - is still using the old resolution, which means a slightly blurry image on it. The image is perfectly sharp on the old 10.5.

So a lot depends on which apps you use and whether or not you want to go around with the increased weight. I love the new one, but only because I kept the old one too.
Thank you for the input. I didn’t know there are still many apps not supporting the 12.9”, so I appreciate you pointing that out. I am a aware of the pros and cons of the 10.5” iPad vs the 12.9” (portability vs better working space). I guess I was asking more for advice on whether the upgrade is worth it when the 10.5” is already running great, only a year a half old, and it’s still be ~$800 to switch even after selling the 10.5” and the Apple Pencil gen 1.
 

ericwn

macrumors 68030
Apr 24, 2016
2,834
1,728
Personally, I’d keep the current iPad you have and replace it when really needed. On the other hand, if it’s indeed a work tool and you’re frustrated with the smaller screen, the 12.9 might be the answer.
Maybe consider just adding a used 12.9 from the 2nd generation purely for your desk?

Or if you can financially swing it, why not order the iPad Pro from a reseller with a good return policy and give it a try - at the end of the day it’s your call to decide which works best for you. And life is short, get the tools that inspire you the most.
 
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xxray

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 27, 2013
962
991
Personally, I’d keep the current iPad you have and replace it when really needed. On the other hand, if it’s indeed a work tool and you’re frustrated with the smaller screen, the 12.9 might be the answer.
Maybe consider just adding a used 12.9 from the 2nd generation purely for your desk?

Or if you can financially swing it, why not order the iPad Pro from a reseller with a good return policy and give it a try - at the end of the day it’s your call to decide which works best for you. And life is short, get the tools that inspire you the most.
Thank you for the advice. I’m thinking about trying one out to see if I think it’s worth it, as I still haven’t been able to make a decision.
 

jonnyb098

macrumors 68030
Nov 16, 2010
2,767
1,977
Michigan
Same situation here. Currently have the 10.5 and will be upgrading. Even after using both in store it’s a very very tough decision. I love the large screen but I feel it’s not as good as a “couchable” device. Which is my main use. But I’m also getting more into the creative apps. Decisions decisions...
 

soperrepos

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2010
11
6
I have a 10.5 I use for sketching out design ideas and illustration. After using it for the last year+ I’ve wanter to move to the larger model, but can’t justify it financially at the moment. If I absolutely felt I had to buy a larger pro right now I would probably go for the last gen 12.9, maybe even a refurb or used tbh. The newest model has the whole bending specter hanging over it, all apps aren’t updated to the new resolution yet, it uses a different pencil and cables, plus it’s a brand new revision/iteration - any serious issues (design flaws) will be ironed out with the next release. I’m leary about jumping into Apple’s brand new design iterations at this point. The 2nd gen or s models seem to resolve the problems new thinner designs bring.
 
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MyopicPaideia

macrumors 68000
Mar 19, 2011
1,852
612
Trollhättan, Sweden
What new resolution are you guys talking about? The 12.9” has had the same resolution for all three generations...or are you all talking about since the original 12.9” came out years ago there are still apps not optimized for it?
 

jonnyb098

macrumors 68030
Nov 16, 2010
2,767
1,977
Michigan
What new resolution are you guys talking about? The 12.9” has had the same resolution for all three generations...or are you all talking about since the original 12.9” came out years ago there are still app not optimized for it?
They mean that developers are so damn lazy that after 3+ years they still havent updated their apps to the 2015 (new) resolution of the iPad Pro 12.9
 
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DragonX

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2013
221
133
Also some of 12.9 models (2018 included) have problems with the touch screen. Look up these forums for unresponsive touch.
 

mr_jomo

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2018
29
23
I went from the 10.5 to 2018 12.9 IPP back when it launched in November.

The step up to the larger screen is a marvel for studying (math. / phys), note-taking, reading trade magazines (Science) in A4 format, reading ebooks annotating PDFs, remote desktop to windows, and using splitscreen in conjuction with Office 365 apps etc.

I sold my macbook and is currently 100% reliant on the 12.9 for mobile computing. So far it’s the perfect setup and I don’t envisage going back.

Full disclosure I have a desktop (mac mini) for when I need to juggle many apps and documents at the same time.
 

millydog

macrumors 6502
Oct 21, 2007
389
326
Australia
Since I got the 12.9” 2018, I’ve hardly used my 10.5. The 12.9” is now more portable than the 1st & 2nd gen 12.9 (which I also owned) and is now my favourite Apple device.
Since you use your iPad as your main device and you feel the need for the larger screen, I’d suggest you get it now. I wouldn’t worry about the bending issue, I don’t think it’s that common and if you do have an obvious bend, Apple will replace it, so that’s not an issue. It sounds to me like you want the new 12.9 and it’s still newly out, it won’t be updated again for some time, so I say get it and have that larger screen from now onwards rather than waiting for 8 or 14 months or how ever long.
BTW, I feel that apps are great on the 12.9, better than on the 10.5 due to the extra screen and layout changes to suit on apps. Worst case is that the apps have the same layout as the 10.5 and they just display larger which might be of visual benefit to some anyway.