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iPad Pro Switching to the 12.9": My real world usage story

Fenway1912

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2019
2
4
Always had iPads. I liked mini a lot and the air but eventually sold them But I always had a PC or Mac to go with them. I sold my MacBook 12 and am now on the 12.9 only and am loving it. It’s just such a better experience for personal use. I really want the magic keyboard but as a personal device I haven’t felt The need for the typing + mouse so am holding out for a while.

i don’t see myself going back to a Mac or PC for personal use In the near future. For work I don’t have a choice but the company issued laptop for Now.
 
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C. Robert

macrumors 65816
Oct 1, 2013
1,093
529
Baltimore
Bouncing from Mac to ipad to Mac because the iPad didn’t have a good enough keyboard and trackpads experience was terrible. The magic keyboard changed that and now a majority of of people that aren’t spending their days launching rockets, developing games, or making YouTube videos can use as their computer.
 
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Techwatcher

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2013
338
513
NYC
Always had iPads. I liked mini a lot and the air but eventually sold them But I always had a PC or Mac to go with them. I sold my MacBook 12 and am now on the 12.9 only and am loving it. It’s just such a better experience for personal use. I really want the magic keyboard but as a personal device I haven’t felt The need for the typing + mouse so am holding out for a while.

i don’t see myself going back to a Mac or PC for personal use In the near future. For work I don’t have a choice but the company issued laptop for Now.

Absolutely get the Magic Keyboard. I keep my custom built Windows desktop around for emergency situations but everything else can be done with your iPad in 2020. I sold my MacBook Pro 15 years ago and never looked back.
 
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flobach

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2008
51
58
Germany
How does everyone use thei 12.9“ from an ergonomic point of view? Just a stand on a desk would give me neck and back pain, need something to elevate it to eye level (for use with a BT mouse & trackpad). Ideas/pics would be great. Strongly considering getting a 12.9 myself now :)
 
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cmonkey1976

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2017
62
126
UK
It’s been one week on now since I got the iPad 12.9 and thought I’d post an update.

I’d previously had an iPP 10.5, and thought that was the perfect size - I did manage to resist when the iPP‘s got refreshed back in 2018. However, despite the 2020 versions not being much of an upgrade to the 2018‘s the look of the Magic Keyboard case for the iPP did get me thinking, plus the whole design of the iPad made it look much more modern than my 10.5.

My first thought was just about getting the 11 as the 10.5 was such a perfect size that was the natural upgrade...
But could I justify changing my iPad when my 10.5 was as good as the day I got it back in 2017 and never once did I think there was something old or missing from it? The other reason was I’ve always had Cellular iPads, and with 5G coming out I thought getting a new iPad with 4G now wasn’t really the time and it would be sensible to wait for a 5G model, although in reality I’ve only ever had need to use the cellular once or twice and my partner has always commented on me wasting money buying the cellular ipad version when I can tether to my phone.

Although I’ve got a macbook, I use my iPad pretty much 90% of the time, and now with really cool mouse support in iOS got me thinking, could I use my iPad 100%.... that in turn I got thinking the extra screen estate of the 12.9 would be really nice.

I flip-flopped between the 11 and 12.9 by the hour, or by the day.... reading post after post and viewing YouTube review after review.

My main concerns were:
With the 12.9....
It would be far too big and unwieldy
I wouldn’t use my iPad as much as I did with the 10.5 because it would be more cumbersome
It wouldn’t be that portable

With the 11...
I wouldn’t feel the upgrade from the 10.5
I would regret not having the bigger screen
Split screen would be awkward to use (and again, no real benefit over the 10.5)

My partner ordered a 12.9 for himself (After far less flip flopping over 11 vs 12.9)
When it arrived, I was in awe of the display and the screen... and my 10.5 just felt so old in design.
However, I again thought it way too big and 11 would be better.

A few days on, I decided to just go for it, to get the big one, the 12.9 (decided on just getting WiFi too).
The Pencil was a definite and I ordered a non-Apple Folio case, which, in my opinion is far better than Apple’s for a fraction of the price. I did leave the magic keyboard case out of the basket as was just so much money and required a bit more thought.

A week on from receiving and using my iPad 12.9
WOW!!!!! Simply amazing, and it was so right to go with the 12,9
I’m finding I’m using more than when I used my 10.5 (as I’m picking up the iPad instead of my iPhone!) to do stuff.
It‘s comfortable to hold on the sofa, in bed... and although I’m using it in the folio, I’m finding I use it naked (the iPad that is!) a lot more too as it just comes off the case so easily due to it’s magnetic fixing.

I have to say that I view the iPad slightly differently now, with the desktop version of Safari and the big screen it feels like using it as a Macbook, but with the additional benefits of having apps, along with the whole touch screen and tactile feeling.

It look me a good while to purchase the iPad, but I’m glad I didn’t jump into it as I would have ordered the 11 - and now, I’m 100% convinced I would have regretted that.

As for the Magic Keyboard Case, which started things off... that remains at this time unpurchased.
It’s so much money, and honestly I’m using enjoying using the iPad as an iPad and think turning it into a ’Laptop’ would take some of that away, especially given that I rarely use my Macbook anyway - and the thought of a really expensive keyboard case gathering dust for the few times I would use it.... It’s not a definite no yet, but will take more thinking of.

I’ve been looking instead at just some Bluetooth keyboards and mice, and as I’m likely just to really need the keyboard etc at home that may be the best way to go for me (and I actually like the onscreen typing on the 12.9 and is so much better than on my 10.5). I’ve actually dug out my Logitech Keys-to-go keyboard and using it right now and actually might just stick to that, plus maybe purchase a bluetooth mouse.

Sorry for the long post, but thought I‘d give an update a week into using the 12.9.
I have to say it’s been a huge relief from the previous 10.5 vs 11 vs 12.9 going though my head when I’ve been thinking about buying a new iPad.

For anyone on the brink between 11 and 12.9, all I can say, for me, the 12.9 was 100% the right choice. The 10.5 feels sooo small now, and the 12.9 feels normal. Wouldn’t want to go back to smaller now and I don’t find it uncomfortable or unwieldy to use in the slightest. Such a fantastic device.
 
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cupcakes2000

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2010
944
876
@cmonkey1976 great post. I agree - the 12.9 is just an awesome piece of kit.

I love the idea of the MK, but I’m going to wait a few generations. I would prefer to be able to use the inbuilt USB port for other things, in fact I envisage it turning into a hub of sorts, given time.

For now I use a Logitech k3800 (think that’s the model- can switch Bluetooth on the fly) and an Logitech anywhere 2 mouse. Both portable, versatile, quite cheap and generally excellent peripherals.
 
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Darth Tulhu

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2019
884
1,335
How does everyone use thei 12.9“ from an ergonomic point of view? Just a stand on a desk would give me neck and back pain, need something to elevate it to eye level (for use with a BT mouse & trackpad). Ideas/pics would be great. Strongly considering getting a 12.9 myself now :)

It's an iPad. You hold it.

But if you want desk work, you can set it up like a laptop.

If you want it at eye level, output iPad video to a monitor.

 
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GuruZac

macrumors 65816
Sep 9, 2015
1,300
2,647
It’s been one week on now since I got the iPad 12.9 and thought I’d post an update.

I’d previously had an iPP 10.5, and thought that was the perfect size - I did manage to resist when the iPP‘s got refreshed back in 2018. However, despite the 2020 versions not being much of an upgrade to the 2018‘s the look of the Magic Keyboard case for the iPP did get me thinking, plus the whole design of the iPad made it look much more modern than my 10.5.

My first thought was just about getting the 11 as the 10.5 was such a perfect size that was the natural upgrade...
But could I justify changing my iPad when my 10.5 was as good as the day I got it back in 2017 and never once did I think there was something old or missing from it? The other reason was I’ve always had Cellular iPads, and with 5G coming out I thought getting a new iPad with 4G now wasn’t really the time and it would be sensible to wait for a 5G model, although in reality I’ve only ever had need to use the cellular once or twice and my partner has always commented on me wasting money buying the cellular ipad version when I can tether to my phone.

Although I’ve got a macbook, I use my iPad pretty much 90% of the time, and now with really cool mouse support in iOS got me thinking, could I use my iPad 100%.... that in turn I got thinking the extra screen estate of the 12.9 would be really nice.

I flip-flopped between the 11 and 12.9 by the hour, or by the day.... reading post after post and viewing YouTube review after review.

My main concerns were:
With the 12.9....
It would be far too big and unwieldy
I wouldn’t use my iPad as much as I did with the 10.5 because it would be more cumbersome
It wouldn’t be that portable

With the 11...
I wouldn’t feel the upgrade from the 10.5
I would regret not having the bigger screen
Split screen would be awkward to use (and again, no real benefit over the 10.5)

My partner ordered a 12.9 for himself (After far less flip flopping over 11 vs 12.9)
When it arrived, I was in awe of the display and the screen... and my 10.5 just felt so old in design.
However, I again thought it way too big and 11 would be better.

A few days on, I decided to just go for it, to get the big one, the 12.9 (decided on just getting WiFi too).
The Pencil was a definite and I ordered a non-Apple Folio case, which, in my opinion is far better than Apple’s for a fraction of the price. I did leave the magic keyboard case out of the basket as was just so much money and required a bit more thought.

A week on from receiving and using my iPad 12.9
WOW!!!!! Simply amazing, and it was so right to go with the 12,9
I’m finding I’m using more than when I used my 10.5 (as I’m picking up the iPad instead of my iPhone!) to do stuff.
It‘s comfortable to hold on the sofa, in bed... and although I’m using it in the folio, I’m finding I use it naked (the iPad that is!) a lot more too as it just comes off the case so easily due to it’s magnetic fixing.

I have to say that I view the iPad slightly differently now, with the desktop version of Safari and the big screen it feels like using it as a Macbook, but with the additional benefits of having apps, along with the whole touch screen and tactile feeling.

It look me a good while to purchase the iPad, but I’m glad I didn’t jump into it as I would have ordered the 11 - and now, I’m 100% convinced I would have regretted that.

As for the Magic Keyboard Case, which started things off... that remains at this time unpurchased.
It’s so much money, and honestly I’m using enjoying using the iPad as an iPad and think turning it into a ’Laptop’ would take some of that away, especially given that I rarely use my Macbook anyway - and the thought of a really expensive keyboard case gathering dust for the few times I would use it.... It’s not a definite no yet, but will take more thinking of.

I’ve been looking instead at just some Bluetooth keyboards and mice, and as I’m likely just to really need the keyboard etc at home that may be the best way to go for me (and I actually like the onscreen typing on the 12.9 and is so much better than on my 10.5). I’ve actually dug out my Logitech Keys-to-go keyboard and using it right now and actually might just stick to that, plus maybe purchase a bluetooth mouse.

Sorry for the long post, but thought I‘d give an update a week into using the 12.9.
I have to say it’s been a huge relief from the previous 10.5 vs 11 vs 12.9 going though my head when I’ve been thinking about buying a new iPad.

For anyone on the brink between 11 and 12.9, all I can say, for me, the 12.9 was 100% the right choice. The 10.5 feels sooo small now, and the 12.9 feels normal. Wouldn’t want to go back to smaller now and I don’t find it uncomfortable or unwieldy to use in the slightest. Such a fantastic device.
Welcome to the club 😎 I also have a 10.5 iPad Pro and going to the 12.9 iPad Pro, especially with the newer smaller bezel design feels much better for just about everything.
 
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cupcakes2000

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2010
944
876
It's an iPad. You hold it.

But if you want desk work, you can set it up like a laptop.

If you want it at eye level, output iPad video to a monitor.

I do hope they better the monitor support though. Fine for watching movies or something, or if the app is optimised, but not really a Mac like experience otherwise.
Shame but I have high hopes.
I’m also hoping for sidecar improvements. Able to start sidecar from the iPad, able to use sidecar how one would use a VNC client (over the internet) and have improved touch support for mouse functions would all be very welcome.
I really think the MK could be a gateway for this type of thing. I’m really game for improvements to my ‘macOS as an app’ type usage.

Imagine seamlessly being able to open a sidecar app and it be connected to your Mac wherever you are, all built in to the OS.
 
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Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,968
2,825
East of the sun, west of the moon
How does everyone use thei 12.9“ from an ergonomic point of view? Just a stand on a desk would give me neck and back pain, need something to elevate it to eye level (for use with a BT mouse & trackpad). Ideas/pics would be great. Strongly considering getting a 12.9 myself now :)
For longer desk work sessions, I go low tech and put it on a couple of boxes. For lap and bed, I put it on a pillow.

Updated: I just tried the Rain mStand I had for MBPs in the past, and it's just the right height for the iPad in the MK too.
 
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Stew255

macrumors newbie
Jun 6, 2020
1
0
There is a major thing I forgot to mention in my original post:

My wife, who by now is used to the fact that my iPad models change with the wind, did not even remember or notice that I had switched up to the bigger model. I had been using it for like a week, often right in front of her, before she even asked, "Is that iPad bigger than your last one?"

So something I was SUPER aware of in my daily usage was not a difference that the casual observer noticed very easily. I sometimes wonder if people think they'll look silly using such a big iPad. That was definitely a factor for me with the first two generations of 12.9" Pro before the redesign. I think with this one, it's not as much of an issue. It's not "bigger enough" than the 11" to look dramatically different.

Excellent post and thread. A question I have is that I am used to dual 24” monitors for some work like spreadsheets- do you ever connect your 12.9” iPad a to an external monitor?
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
3,762
4,151
Excellent post and thread. A question I have is that I am used to dual 24” monitors for some work like spreadsheets- do you ever connect your 12.9” iPad a to an external monitor?
I have, but usually don’t. Work has me set up with dual monitors for my MacBook Pro, and I have some switch boxes I could use to switch the iPad Pro over to that setup too if I wanted to, but haven‘t tried it yet.
 
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Mimiron

macrumors regular
Dec 12, 2017
167
152
I managed to take care of 20 sick patients today via the touch screen tablet mode and then docked it to actually do my charts while responding to patient medication requests and inquiries, plus carried out a handful of virtual medicine appointments while again charting the visits all via my iPP. Does that constitute as serious work to you? Any thought as to how to walk around with a MBP while scrolling through charts in a medical software charting system that was designed from the ground up for a touch first experience?
This is really cool! Obviously, if the app was designed for touch input, the iPad wil be your go-to device for work, no doubt about that.
Going to have to disagree with just about this whole thing. All depends on use case. And the point of my post was not to have people tell me why the iPad sucks. I was trying to help people with the size decision. There are plenty of other threads where you can tell people they're wrong on how they use the iPad. This one isn't about that.
Sorry for hijacking your thread. i just wanted to share my own experience and thoughts about the keyboard and did not want to create a separate thread. As for the size, obviously, it’s nearly impossible to do serious work on the 11” if you need two windows side by side.
 
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Nikhil72

macrumors 65816
Oct 21, 2005
1,244
829
This is really cool! Obviously, if the app was designed for touch input, the iPad wil be your go-to device for work, no doubt about that.

Sorry for hijacking your thread. i just wanted to share my own experience and thoughts about the keyboard and did not want to create a separate thread. As for the size, obviously, it’s nearly impossible to do serious work on the 11” if you need two windows side by side.


Absolutely; healthcare was made for a touch interface. Am I trying to read high resolution CT imaging? No. I’m doing charts and documentation and patient messages and video calls and reading scientific papers, all of which constitute real work. Reading medical journals on a touch interface with the apple pencil is INFINITELY more natural feeling than on a laptop and definitely constitutes real work. I’ve written numerous publications from my iPad (granted I have had medical students do the actual bibliography work for me on a computer).

Mind you, I’ve heavily used split screen on an 11” (and a 10.5” before it) without much difficulty.
 
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aloshka

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2009
1,411
668
I guess I’ll share my experience. I’ve been a software engineer for 38 years.....

This is literally the same position I'm in, but I'm still holding on to my macbook pro 13" and waiting to jump. I prefer all my work on a pc desktop (multi monitors and ALWAYS on is a big deal), as it just works better. RDP through Jump Desktop is amazing, as it even support windows 10 touch interface.

That said... I just.. can't jump on it.. afraid that I **might** need something on the laptop that I don't have. But hearing your story, I think I might just jump on it.

Is your desktop mac or PC?
 
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Lerten

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2012
52
52
Great post, it doesn’t mirror my experience at all, though. Quite the opposite. I had a 2018 iPad Pro 12.9, switched to 11“ + magic keyboard for this generation And couldn’t be happier. I’ve got 2019 MacBook Pro 13 inches, but since getting the keyboard three weeks ago, the Mac has barely been used. The portability + how light and compact the whole package is both with and without the case is fantastic.
It’s great that there is choice in the lineup, vs 2010/2011 situation of having one size-fits-all.
 
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sparksd

macrumors 68040
Jun 7, 2015
3,917
2,599
Seattle WA
How does everyone use thei 12.9“ from an ergonomic point of view? Just a stand on a desk would give me neck and back pain, need something to elevate it to eye level (for use with a BT mouse & trackpad). Ideas/pics would be great. Strongly considering getting a 12.9 myself now :)

I use a stand that elevates it about 3" and that works fine for me. Maybe you could use something like this -

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SM4A9D4
 
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aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,316
505
I got my mom iPad Pro 12.9 1st gen back in 2016 and it’s way too heavy for her. So had to give her the iPad mini 4 a couple of year later.

i tried the iPad Pro 3rd gen 12.9 for a weekend. Still too big. Better then 1st gen. But too awkward.

the real issue is unless I’m willing to use it without a case. It will always be too big to hold while consuming/watching content on a couch.

I settled on the 11 inch iPad pro. I don’t use it as a laptop replacement. It’s a consumption device 90% of the time.

I got an old Apple wireless keyboard 2013 the on with 2 batteries? And Magic Mouse 2. That setup works for me with the iPad Pro 11 propped up while it’s in its case. I throw the keyboard and mouse in the 13 inch sleeve when I travel. Works for me.

I just can’t go all in with the 12.9 model until iPad os is more refined.
 
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jdb8167

macrumors 6502
Nov 17, 2008
369
243
This is literally the same position I'm in, but I'm still holding on to my macbook pro 13" and waiting to jump. I prefer all my work on a pc desktop (multi monitors and ALWAYS on is a big deal), as it just works better. RDP through Jump Desktop is amazing, as it even support windows 10 touch interface.

That said... I just.. can't jump on it.. afraid that I **might** need something on the laptop that I don't have. But hearing your story, I think I might just jump on it.

Is your desktop mac or PC?
I have a Mac Pro (2013) that I run Screens Connect (like Jump Desktop) for when I need access to macOS. Even before the latest trackpad improvements I was using Screens with a mouse for this and it worked well enough that I didn’t really think about it. With the new trackpad support it is nearly perfect.

I’m thinking about trying out Jump Desktop to do a comparison but even with Screens and a decent net connection using my iPad Pro to access my Mac desktop takes any real risk of missing out on a macOS feature out of the equation.
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
3,762
4,151
Over the last couple of weeks using the 12.9” Pro with Magic Keyboard, I’ve found two things about the multitasking:

1) Put simply, I use both Split Screen and Slide Over a lot more, and I was already a heavy user of both on my 11” Pro.

2) Taking point 1 into consideration, it quickly becomes very annoying when an app doesn’t have multi-window, split screen, or slide over support. I like to have some specific app pairings in my multitasking setup, and I could have so many more if more of my regularly used apps would let me do that. Microsoft finally got on board with it, so that was nice, but I have a handful that need to get with the times.
 
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