iPad Pro The iPad Pro 12.9 review nobody asked for

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Michael Goff, May 10, 2016.

  1. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    #1
    I know, I know, this is what you've all been waiting for. This is the thing that will either sell you on this sort of device or not. You've been waiting for some random d-bag on the Internet to take around three or four months to write up some sort of review on a product that's been out for roughly six months. So, with little more to say, I think it's time that I get to putting some words to site about what I think of Apple's biggest tablet-top.

    Oh, and some disclaimers. The thoughts that I put to words are my own. They take into account how I use my devices, including the laptops and whatever you'd call the Surfaces that I've owned. Your own uses for your devices, laptops, whatever you call a Surface, might (and most likely will) be different. This is not me really trying to sell you the Pro. These are just my thoughts that might, or might not, give you even more perspective on the type of device that Apple put out to replace those sad Windows computers.

    Can't you hear them cry as you read this?

    The first thing we have to look at is what I do with my computer. This is something that hasn't changed much since I first touched a computer, really. I type things up, sometimes long documents and sometimes short. I watch videos, these days on the Internet. Occasionally, I listen to music. Gaming, for the most part, is done via a console. That being said, I still keep a Windows desktop around as a dedicated gaming console. I stopped gaming on my laptop a long time ago. Nowadays, I even make bad drawings with the Apple Pencil sometimes.

    The next thing is to talk about accessories. The iPad Pro, by itself, is just a 12.9" awesome tablet. So I bought the Pencil, which is good for drawing, and promptly used it about three times before remembering I can't draw and have bad hand writing. I also bought the Smart Cover and the Magic Keyboard. I had thought about getting the Smart Keyboard, but I was worried about how it would feel and went for what I knew was a good enough feeling. It takes some getting used to, as I type less than I'd like due to work.

    Now, let's move on to software. I use streaming services for video. I try to use Pages, but often fall back on trusty Word to get typing done. I don't really use a lot of apps, to be honest. I'm of the mentality that the web offers most of what I need and Safari provides a good enough browser to see it. Not the best, but good enough and better than any of the other mobile browsers I've used over the years. Closest we get to it is the browser on newer Samsung phones.

    Alright. We have my use cases, my hardware accessories, and my important programs down. Now we can start talking about the specific things that Apple got right and wrong with this device. Being the optimistic bundle of joy that I am, I think I'll start with the positive and go to the negative. Then I'll end with possible ideas to fix the negatives. After all, I'm obviously smarter than the people in Cupertino and have fresh ideas nobody else could possibly think of. And yes, that last line was sarcasm.

    The good things are many. We have a beautiful screen. It's large enough, has nice colors, and crisp text. Everything is big enough to where I can have the screen a bit away and type it up on my keyboard without worrying about my eyes getting hurt. The speakers are good, better than most of the built in speakers I've heard. I think they're even better than the ones on my TV. It's light and portable, which is always good. The software design is decent enough, with apps being made to have a more simple UI that puts the content front and center. The browser is also decent, better than any mobile browser out there in my opinion.

    Now the negatives. Let's start with the browser. I know I said that it was good and a mobile browser, but it's pathetic that the iPad Pro even has a mobile browser. The hardware can handle a desktop browser. This thing is, theoretically, almost as powerful as a Core M device. I don't see the MacBook getting a mobile browser. Just unite the browsers already. Kill mobile Safari. The UI of the OS is a phone UI. There are, somehow, stutters on a device that is almost, theoretically, as powerful as a Core M device. I don't know how Apple managed that one, but they did. Split Screen has its own issues, with only one side being able to be changed. Then we have PiP, which isn't enforced on a system level. And don't get me started on the browser ... AGAIN.

    Seriously, the problems are easy to fix. Just make an iPad OS with Split Screen that can be changed from either side (and is enforced on a system level), and PiP that is enforced on a system level. The other choice is to do what is being done to Apple Watch apps. Provide a royal decree that states app makers have a certain amount of time to update their apps to take advantage of the new API. And then when Google fails to do it, remove their apps completely. Replace Mobile Safari with normal Safari. Give us Mission Control as the multitasking thing. Give us drag and drop between Split Screen. Remake the file system to have some sort of pile of files split between video, pictures, music, and so forth. Let us download from Safari to our iCloud Drive. Also, make that app more useful.

    The hardware is willing, but the software is lacking in ways. None of this is even touching the fact that your other core apps need work on every single device I have.
     
  2. rowspaxe macrumors 68000

    rowspaxe

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #2
    Seems like your doing very basic tasks and the even for these uses the ipp is letting you down. Maybe its time to reconsider the surface pro? The ipp and surface pro serve overlapping but not identical market niches. I really like both devices and software ecosystems. The meme here that the surface is a hopeless 'tweener overlooks the benefits of a hybrid device. Both devices will evolve, but industry standard x86 apps will likely never be ported to the ipp. Not an issue for OP, but huge for me.
     
  3. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #3
    Well said. A very reasoned review that I can't find any fault with.

    What is your intended target for this device? To replace a tablet, notebook, both, neither?
     
  4. Cyroceon macrumors 6502a

    Cyroceon

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #4
    You review is very interesting, and I think starts out wonderfully. As I read it, I really felt that you were an astute writer and very entertaining to read your narration of a review. Nevertheless, as I progressed through the end, I now feel that everything you wanted to say was in the last two paragraphs (beginning with the negatives), and you merely fluffed it up in the beginning to not be ostracized on here.

    If I am wrong, then, I'd say the exact opposite is true. I'd say that your entire post was good until the last two paragraphs and you just gave up, information dumped the negatives, and moved on. Either way, started out entertaining, ended in a very bland way. Nevertheless, I agree with most of what you said, content-wise.
     
  5. xdhd350 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    #5
    I bought the iPad Pro when it was first available and the Logitech keyboard/Apple Pencil came a bit later due to availability. I am now trying to edit booth interviews from the NAB show and I keep running into frustration with iMovie and Pinnacle Pro for iPad. If I could take the best features of both, I'd have a fairly capable video editor. As the OP stated, this thing has a lot of horsepower under the hood, but nobody, including Apple, have stepped up to make a better video editor that takes advantage of this power, except for proclaiming the ability to edit 4K video. Well, that's nice and all, but I'd settle for basic functionality that makes editing video much easier. Such as...
    • Audio scrubbing
    • iMovie support for stills with transparent background (it puts a white background in and can't just be composited over the video track. Pinnacle does support this function)
    • Doing a cutaway shot in Pinnacle is barbaric. Must split audio track, then blade video track and drop cutaway over bladed video track. iMovie puts cutaways on a track above the main video and I can slide the cutaway back and forth at will.
    • I have b-roll from a vendor that is in my main camera roll. I can edit the clip, even using the ... and selecting iMovie to edit the clip. But the clip never shows up in the iMovie media browser so I can't use it. Pinnacle has no problem seeing this clip and using it.
    • Keyboard support. iMovie has nice support for editing shortcuts although most are non-standard keystrokes. Pinnacle has none.
    These are the only two video editing apps I have found that are halfway serious for the iOS platform. I'd love to know of any others that are more robust, but there seem to be none. Now that iPad Pro comes in two sizes, I'd hope there would be a better option out there that requires iPad Pro's abilities from a hardware standpoint.

    Here's hoping someone will put the "Pro" into iPad Pro fairly soon.
     
  6. DontGetTheCheese macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2015
    #6
    I felt the characters needed to be better flushed out. The protagonist was a bit too one-dimensional and the villain, man, I don't even know what her motives were.
     
  7. Michael Goff thread starter macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    #7
    I have a Surface Pro 3, could go back any time. But the screen isn't as good, nor is the battery life. The fan goes off whenever you look at it wrong. Then we have the fact that it's getting less and less stable with each update I get.

    It replaces both for me. I have this tablet, the phone, and a watch. Beyond that, I have consoles.

    It's more like I rambled along. I couldn't think of a funny way to say "the hardware is amazing, the software is lacking". If you looked at any stories I've written, mostly fanfic, you'd see that all my writing kind of disappoints in the end. It's what I do, how I roll, and other such cliche things. Maybe I'll try to think of a better way to write all of those negatives down.
     
  8. KiwiAdventure macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #8
    There are two things that frustrate me with my 12.9 Pro:- Not having 3d and poor fingerprint recognition. The fingerprint ID is only at start up as my bank app works 100% better with fingerprint recognition.

    I have gone back to my MacBook Air as I find it's a lot easier to work with in normal day to day work at my office or home.

    I really do like the Pro for using on construction sites with Apple's pen for taking down measuring notes, plane travel and as a second screen. I don't game or draw at all and have minimal apps as they don't interest me. I would rather be doing something real than sitting around.
     
  9. ericwn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    #9
    Nice and fair review with some interesting suggestions! Thanks for sharing!
     
  10. jamesrick80, May 11, 2016
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  11. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    #11
    All I got to say is you are right. This is the review nobody was or would be asking for as there are hundreds of these.
     
  12. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #12
    ...and yet you took the time to respond. :rolleyes:

    I find it interesting to see how others in this online community view their purchases of Apple products. We all have different experiences, histories, likes, and dislikes, and I can often glean some new insight from posts like these. They're far more productive than reading "Android vs. iOS flamewar" or "Oh noes Apple is doomed" threads.
     
  13. Michael Goff thread starter macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    #13
    Was this to me? Or was this to somebody else?
     
  14. Michael Goff thread starter macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    #14
    Addendum: I got the Logitech Create a couple days ago, and it's one of the best purchases I've made recently. The keys feel nice, the angle works for me, and backlighting is always nice. Its, as one would expect, taking some time to get used to the difference in key travel. Very sturdy magnet, too. Feels sturdier than my SP3 if I'm being honest, since I can actually touch the screen on this without it pushing back. But I get the feeling the Type Cover has a touchpad for a reason.
     
  15. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #15
    Doesn't that case weigh as much as the iPad itself?
     
  16. Michael Goff thread starter macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    #16
    I had to check. Yes. I'm going to assume a majority of the weight is the plastic case that now makes me feel like I could bludgeon somebody to death with my iPad.
     
  17. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #17
    LOL. Imagine the headlines...

    When I got my 12.9 iPP, my first priority was to find the lightest case I could for it. I even decided against the Smart Keyboard because it felt too heavy. :p
     
  18. Michael Goff thread starter macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    #18
    It's all a matter of trade-offs. I'm going to eventually pass this on to somebody else in my family and want them to have a strong case for it. It's also why I got the Zagg screen cover for it.
     
  19. nighthawk67 macrumors regular

    nighthawk67

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #19
    I just got my iPP 2 days ago and also got the Logitech case, I absolutely love it to type on, but it is a little heavy and I sort of feel it's a nuisance when I'm just trying to use it as a tablet, I would love it if the keyboard magnetized to the back of the case so it's not flopping around and moving when I'm holding it. Debating if I NEED a keyboard case or if I should switch to a lighter one :/ I just think I would miss my keyboard too much... Life is so hard :(

    Also beware! I have been reading reviews online that say this case can scratch your screen so I'm definitely putting a screen protector on mine as well!
     
  20. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #20
    Yup, depends on how you use it. My mom got a Smart Cover for hers but no back case. I got just a back case plus a screen protector. She's very good with her stuff, but I'm accident prone. Neither of us do lots of typing on our iPads, so we both use the Apple Bluetooth keyboard that came with out Mac if we need to type something long. For shorter stuff like forum posts and email, the onscreen keyboard works just fine.
     
  21. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #21
    What in the world is "mobile Safari"? I'm sorry, your review has all the hallmarks of someone who is simply unfamiliar with iOS and all its features.

    Long press on the page reload button to load the "desktop" version of any website. Apple should probably make that the default state on the 12.9, but it's hardly worth being the basis of a negative review of the device itself.
     
  22. Beavix macrumors 6502a

    Beavix

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Location:
    Romania
    #22
    The browser on iOS identifies itself to web servers as being "mobile":

    Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 10_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/602.1.50 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/10.0 Mobile/14A5346a Safari/602.1

    This is plain stupid on iPads, especially on the bigger ones. The trick with requesting the desktop version doesn't always work and sometimes I'm stuck with an abomination like this on my 12.9" iPad:

    IMG_0038.PNG
     
  23. Coolpher macrumors regular

    Coolpher

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle,WA
    #23
    When I'm not using my smart keyboard I detach it and I have a really light rear case $10 on Amazon
     
  24. Michael Goff thread starter macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    #24
    So are you telling me you believe that Safari on Sierra and Safari on the iPad Pro render every page the same after you hit "get desktop site"?
     
  25. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #25
    Except for flash, yes. But as @Beavix points out, there are rare exceptions, which is the fault of the website coders, not Apple.
     

Share This Page