iPad mini Returned iPad Pro 11" - back to mini 4 for now

MyopicPaideia

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 19, 2011
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Trollhättan, Sweden
Boils down to one simple thing for me. Magical experience, joy of use, and margin of utility.

Did the 11" iPP with ASKF & AP2 provide an experience that exceeded the iPad mini 4's by such a large margin that it was worth all that money?

From a purely aesthetic point of view, the 11" iPP was a worse experience in many ways. The new ASKF is heavier, bulkier and more awkward than the previous generation 10.5" iPP ASK to the point that it just needed to be removed unless it was in use, which is still only practical when sitting at a desk or table. The margin of utility here felt actually negative.

Despite the absolutely beautiful and larger screen, it wasn't utilised in the software properly. Split screen multitasking did not provide any measurable additional space, even over the iPad mini, because Apple decided to change the proportion/aspect ratio of the ¼ screen to something closer to ⅓, meaning that it was just empty space for the same UI class in most practical applications.

The user experience is not nearly as magical for me either. When I pick up my iPad mini and use it, I still marvel at how they packed such an incredible device into such a svelte package. I don't get even close to that feeling with the 11" iPP. In comparison to the mini, it is oversized and cumbersome.

As an aside:


I'll still never understand why they didn't make the smaller 10.5" iPP a mini version of the 12.9". With the same resolution as the 12.9" and the same ppi as the iPad mini, you would have had an iPad Pro mini with the same relationship as the regular iPad and the iPad mini. You could have sold them at the same (high) price and just had the difference be the screen size.
Back on topic though, I use my iPads for a LOT. I use them for about 80% of my professional work (Project and Finance Advisor at a Science Park Incubation Center) as well as 100% of my personal computing needs in combination with an iMac.

I've found that I have need of and use a keyboard with my iPads almost exclusively at a desk at work. This desk also has an external monitor. After having tested out Jump Desktop with my iPad mini 4, a swift point GT mouse, a bluetooth keyboard, and a lightning to HMDI out to the external monitor, I have a perfect thin client set up for desktop computing, while never having to have it with me. Quite an amazing setup, and one that is in no way inferior to the 11" iPP with the ASKF and Swift GT also connected USB-C to HDMI to the external monitor. Again, margin of utility is virtually nonexistent.

Then the native iPad experience on the mini is better in my humble opinion, for most apps. Higher performance apps do lag, Luma Fusion, for example, which I use a lot for home videos, is noticeably slower, but still very usable. I have no problems with the multitasking that is offered on iPad in general, two apps, a third on slide over and PiP all at the same time works without hiccups.

I know I'll probably get a lot of flack for this, but just wanted to share one perspective.

I will save my money and see what they are going to release for the iPad mini form factor this year. A proper spec bump with AP2 support will be an insta-buy for me.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,372
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Prescott Valley, AZ
All very well said, thank you. What you've written echos most of my thoughts regarding the iPad Pros, non-Pro, and Mini 4. We're in a small minority so I appreciate you taking the time to spell it out. (except the AP2 talk.. AP1 all the way. :p;))

Right now, the bulk of my productivity mobile tablet usage is primarily with the 2018 iPad + Pencil, but the Mini 4 is close behind it.
 

turbineseaplane

macrumors 603
Mar 19, 2008
5,401
7,914
Agreed with above - no flack and thx for sharing a great perspective.

I'm sort of similar in that my 9.7" iPP does precisely what I need so very very well and I just have no desire whatsoever to change it out for anything right now.
 

DisraeliGears

macrumors member
Nov 8, 2015
30
15
Hey, different strokes for different folks!

It’s interesting though, because I had the exact opposite reaction with my iPad 11”, it’s the most magical experience for me since my old iPhone 4. Part of that is it’s the first top of the line device I’ve bought in some time (got the iPhone 8 instead of the X for example) but goodness. FaceID is fantastic, the Pencil works like a dream (and more importantly the palm rejection works even better) and I still can’t get over how doggone fast this thing is. My biggest gripe is the lack of case options (due to the redesign)
 
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KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,448
3,020
I have the 11” and the Mini 4. IMO when Apple decides to release a foldable phone it will likely obviate my need for the Mini. I think Apple will wait until foldables become more affordable. From what I can tell the Huawei Mate is amazing but the cost implies it is still not commercially viable to make en masse.

The 11” is basically a computer for me. Once iOS gains more capabilities it may well replace my Mac.
 

MyopicPaideia

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 19, 2011
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Trollhättan, Sweden
You couldn't determine this before buying?
I wanted to see for myself. There is so much nuance to the user experience you can't get in store, turning about and playing with the devices in that enclosed environment. I use my iPads in so many different ways that I needed to take one home, restore it from a backup and use it daily.

Wondering how that could considered "pathtetic"? :p

I was hoping to be wowed in real world use with the new design, etc. and gave it the full 2 weeks to grow on me and be impressed. Didn't happen. The best part about it was the screen. That was truly nice. But then I couldn't stop imagining the screen, the redesign, and the hardware upgrades applied to an iPad mini form factor, and knew I would never be fully satisfied with this larger 11" iPad. When you have the new 11" iPP and yet are reaching for the mini instead more and more, then you know.

Just my personal perspective.
 

rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Jan 29, 2010
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Wondering how that could considered "pathtetic"?
I think it's pathetic that consumers today cannot make simple buying decisions. Yes, it
requires some thought and imagination, maybe even introspection. If it were a subtle
issue or defect that became apparent under use--ok, whatever. But your major issue
was size, which is a fairly easy issue to analyse. There is so much waste involved in
returning products in "buy to try" scenarios

Just my personal perspective
 
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bpeeps

macrumors 68030
May 6, 2011
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I've found that I have need of and use a keyboard with my iPads almost exclusively at a desk at work.
If you always use your iPad at a desk when you need a keyboard, then you don't need an ASK. Thus the ASK portion of your review is unnecessary. It doesn't really matter if the new ASK is heavier than a previous version, because as you said, you prefer a bluetooth keyboard when you need one.
 

MyopicPaideia

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 19, 2011
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Trollhättan, Sweden
I have the 11” and the Mini 4. IMO when Apple decides to release a foldable phone it will likely obviate my need for the Mini. I think Apple will wait until foldables become more affordable. From what I can tell the Huawei Mate is amazing but the cost implies it is still not commercially viable to make en masse.

The 11” is basically a computer for me. Once iOS gains more capabilities it may well replace my Mac.
I share this view. A truly pocketable iPhone SE sized device (when folded) in an edge to edge screen in a trifold design could have a 1449x726, 4.7" 18:9 screen when folded at the same 326ppi as the iPad mini and iPhone SE, and a 2178x1449, 8" 3:2 screen when unfolded. With all the new screen tech (True Tone, 120Mhz, etc) it would be a nice device. Even better would be if they went @x3 rendering for that screen, then it would be around 530ppi at around 3267x2174 unfolded...

Get the thickness down to 5mm per fold, and it is thinner than two SE's on top of each other fully folded, and thinner than the current iPP's unfolded.
[doublepost=1551378795][/doublepost]
If you always use your iPad at a desk when you need a keyboard, then you don't need an ASK. Thus the ASK portion of your review is unnecessary. It doesn't really matter if the new ASK is heavier than a previous version, because as you said, you prefer a bluetooth keyboard when you need one.
Almost spot on, but the issue here is the fact that you have to constantly remove the ASKF when not in use due to weight and comfort, it is irritating. The Smart Folio is also much worse than the Smart Cover. Heavier and more awkward. The ASK and Smart Cover was a much more elegant solution, and didn't require removal to comfortably use the iPad when it wasn't in use. I never used a 3rd party bluetooth keyboard when I had the 10.5" iPP (I sold that to get the 11" in the first place - have had my iPad mini 4 since it was released). I was able to borrow one for testing out with my mini, and was very pleasantly surprised. Spent a whole day writing an ongoing proposal with it (connected to external monitor). Am now researching keyboards.

I feel the accessories for the device are highly relevant to the entire experience and should definitely weigh in when reviewing them.
[doublepost=1551380198][/doublepost]
I think it's pathetic that consumers today cannot make simple buying decisions. Yes, it
requires some thought and imagination, maybe even introspection. If it were a subtle
issue or defect that became apparent under use--ok, whatever. But your major issue
was size, which is a fairly easy issue to analyse. There is so much waste involved in
returning products in "buy to try" scenarios

Just my personal perspective
I can respect that view, in all honesty. Are you a Vegan? Are you ensuring that the source of your household electricity is 100% green and renewable? Do you drive/use an electric vehicle for transportation? Those are the things you should be doing, in that order, if you are truly concerned about wasted resources or the environment.

Apple resells returned products in markets where selling refurbished units is allowed. They don't get destroyed and sent to some landfill. The marginal use of resources and green house gases produced in the processing of my original order, the return of the products, and prepping them for resale is not even a speck of dust on a fly's back compared with those required to produce just one 12oz sirloin steak and put it on your plate for dinner.

If given the opportunity, I am definitely going to take on ability to experience real world use for products like these when there is a redesign. Form factor changed, accessories changed, I/O changed. If the iPP's hadn't been given a redesign, I wouldn't have made the purchase, because I already was intimately familiar with that design and the accessories available.
 
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turbineseaplane

macrumors 603
Mar 19, 2008
5,401
7,914
A truly pocketable iPhone SE sized device (when folded) in an edge to edge screen in a trifold design could have a 1449x726, 4.7" 18:9 screen when folded at the same 326ppi as the iPad mini and iPhone SE, and a 2178x1449, 8" 3:2 screen when unfolded. With all the new screen tech (True Tone, 120Mhz, etc) it would be a nice device. Even better would be if they went @x3 rendering for that screen, then it would be around 530ppi at around 3267x2174 unfolded...

Get the thickness down to 5mm per fold, and it is thinner than two SE's on top of each other fully folded, and thinner than the current iPP's unfolded.
If that sort of device ever ends up releasing, that could be the one that I'd pay through the nose for and replace my iPad & iPhone with.

The potential in this folding device space is immense...
 
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RevTEG

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2012
976
685
San Jose, Ca
Boils down to one simple thing for me. Magical experience, joy of use, and margin of utility.

Did the 11" iPP with ASKF & AP2 provide an experience that exceeded the iPad mini 4's by such a large margin that it was worth all that money?

From a purely aesthetic point of view, the 11" iPP was a worse experience in many ways. The new ASKF is heavier, bulkier and more awkward than the previous generation 10.5" iPP ASK to the point that it just needed to be removed unless it was in use, which is still only practical when sitting at a desk or table. The margin of utility here felt actually negative.

Despite the absolutely beautiful and larger screen, it wasn't utilised in the software properly. Split screen multitasking did not provide any measurable additional space, even over the iPad mini, because Apple decided to change the proportion/aspect ratio of the ¼ screen to something closer to ⅓, meaning that it was just empty space for the same UI class in most practical applications.

The user experience is not nearly as magical for me either.




If you marvel at how Apple packed such an incredible device into such a svelte package with the mini iPads, iPhones must REALLY blow your mind. Apples been packing great tech into much smaller devices than the mini for years.
 
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Davefevs

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2015
116
75
Bristol, UK
I’m with the OP in terms of resolution. I love my IPP 1st Gen 12.9”. I can see so much more when web browsing, even in split screen.

I bought the new 11” IPP before Xmas and returned it. It was an extravagant purchase mainly because I wanted more storage, but I also fancied the smaller size for using at work. For home use, web page rendering was a big factor, as certain sites I go onto show less info, and that was a no for me). Physical size was great.

I’m really interested to see what storage size the new IPads come with. With pencil support, they are massively attractive to my use cases....and at the significantly lower price than the IPPs, I would bite the bullet on the web page views. You can’t have it all for £320...or whatever price point the news ones will come out at.
 
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lulla01

macrumors 68020
Jul 13, 2007
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U.S
Enjoyed your review. I usually upgrade yearly myself and stuck with my 10.5 after trying out the 11 and 12.9 new models. The reason was that the experience was not that different, apps were not optimized and most of all my accessories didn't work. The case which Apple offers is a joke, especially at 80.00. Additionally, my Logi docking stations throughout my home are not compatible with the new models since the smart connector has been moved. And, the iPhone does not use USB C yet to charge. I will hold off until perhaps an OLED screen to upgrade and stick with my 10.5 and 12.9 last gen iPad Pro's.
 
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rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Jan 29, 2010
2,097
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Are you a Vegan? Are you ensuring that the source of your household electricity is 100% green and renewable? Do you drive/use an electric vehicle for transportation? Those are the things you should be doing, in that order, if you are truly concerned about wasted resources or the environment.
I am concerned about pointless waste, not virtue signaling.
 
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Koh Phi Phi

macrumors regular
Nov 15, 2017
157
324
It all depends what you use your tablet for.

For me, iPads are NOT there yet as productivity-focused devices. The iOS is too limiting, pegging the screen with your finger gets tiresome, etc. So, for me, iPads are primarily content consumption gadgets while I'm resting on the couch or in bed. I never use them as a desktop device.

Therefore, for my usage scenario, nothing trumps a comfortable holding grip, light weight, etc. I tried holding in bed the 12.9" and a 10.5", and they felt too big and cumbersome.

The 8" is just so much more comfortable, light and ergonomic. The perfect bed side table device!
 
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Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,155
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UK
All very well said, thank you. What you've written echos most of my thoughts regarding the iPad Pros, non-Pro, and Mini 4. We're in a small minority so I appreciate you taking the time to spell it out. (except the AP2 talk.. AP1 all the way. :p;))

Right now, the bulk of my productivity mobile tablet usage is primarily with the 2018 iPad + Pencil, but the Mini 4 is close behind it.
I think it depends on the user. The main reasons why I have my 10.5 inch pro is because of the size of the screen and I like the quad speakers. I like the Smart Keyboard but a good Bluetooth keyboard would do the same job. However aside from that I really would have no issues with using an entry level iPad in terms of chip speed and ram. I only use my iPad for consumption so I don’t need the extra horse power of the pro.

In addition to the pro I have an iPad mini 4 and there really isn’t anything I can’t do on my iPad mini 4 that I do on my iPad Pro.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,372
8,749
Prescott Valley, AZ
I think it depends on the user. The main reasons why I have my 10.5 inch pro is because of the size of the screen and I like the quad speakers. I like the Smart Keyboard but a good Bluetooth keyboard would do the same job. However aside from that I really would have no issues with using an entry level iPad in terms of chip speed and ram. I only use my iPad for consumption so I don’t need the extra horse power of the pro.

In addition to the pro I have an iPad mini 4 and there really isn’t anything I can’t do on my iPad mini 4 that I do on my iPad Pro.
Yes, it depends upon the user. But there is a psychological thing going on where people have been convinced that they need the more expensive models of Apple's products. (Some actually do) Yeah, I know, "marketing". :)

It was interesting to watch what has transpired over the past 12 months. When the 2018 iPad was first released, it was pretty much dismissed as Apple just "phoning it in" and how that model was pretty much a waste. But with the lack of any additions to iOS 13 to advance the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement *and* the significantly higher cost of the new Pros, people started to take a second look at the 2018 iPad.

The pricing of the 2018 iPad Pros has caused some to pause and take a look at what their needs actually are. This was, IMO, a stumble by Apple in thinking that dynamics of iPhone purchases would translate to the iPad Pro. Had they had slightly lower prices on those Pros, people wouldn't have given it any thought and just went out and bought them.

This is why I think that there is a growing interest in the Mini. A year ago, many were wanting Apple to "put the Mini out of its misery and discontinue it" or, "the iPhone XS Max is the new iPad Mini". But more people are re-examining their needs in a tablet and concluding that more isn't always better.
 

jacenskylo

macrumors newbie
Feb 8, 2017
27
10
Yes, it depends upon the user. But there is a psychological thing going on where people have been convinced that they need the more expensive models of Apple's products. (Some actually do) Yeah, I know, "marketing". :)

It was interesting to watch what has transpired over the past 12 months. When the 2018 iPad was first released, it was pretty much dismissed as Apple just "phoning it in" and how that model was pretty much a waste. But with the lack of any additions to iOS 13 to advance the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement *and* the significantly higher cost of the new Pros, people started to take a second look at the 2018 iPad.

The pricing of the 2018 iPad Pros has caused some to pause and take a look at what their needs actually are. This was, IMO, a stumble by Apple in thinking that dynamics of iPhone purchases would translate to the iPad Pro. Had they had slightly lower prices on those Pros, people wouldn't have given it any thought and just went out and bought them.

This is why I think that there is a growing interest in the Mini. A year ago, many were wanting Apple to "put the Mini out of its misery and discontinue it" or, "the iPhone XS Max is the new iPad Mini". But more people are re-examining their needs in a tablet and concluding that more isn't always better.
I completely agree with this. My mini 4 largely complimented my 9.7 IPP. the only issue I had was as someone who works in child protective services I needed to dictate my notes ASAP and unfortunately the A8 processor wasn’t up to the job without WiFi. So I’m really hoping to get the new mini with spec bump and if it includes Apple Pencil support that’d be the icing on the cake.