iPad Pro Think Different

Discussion in 'iPad' started by rwp, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. rwp, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015

    rwp macrumors member

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    Oct 13, 2015
    Location:
    LA, CA, US
    #1
    When I look at the iPad Pro as just a 'big iPad', I filter my expectations of its capabilities and miss a lot of what it can do. When I look at the iPad Pro as a 'laptop replacement', my expectations are colored by that lens -- I expect to have big monolithic apps and mouse control. Yet the iPad Pro is neither and both of those things at the same time. So I have an iPad Pro and this is my review...

    General Observations

    The 12.9" screen is absolutely fantastic. Everything is better with a bigger screen -- writing, reading, viewing, browsing, playing -- simply wonderful. For the first time ever, I don't have to pinch-and-zoom to read comics. I now have a personal big screen TV when watching videos. The sound is the best I have experienced from any portable device. The battery life is all-day excellent. The on-screen keyboard is roomy and comfortable. Split-screen multitasking is genuinely useful and usable. Yes, the size also makes it less comfortable to hold suspended for long periods of time, but that is a minor issue relative to the significant benefits. If I am watching something on the couch, I use a TV tray and smart cover. If I am reading in bed, I strategically deploy pillows. Not that big of a deal.

    The iPad Pro is an expensive device. As with any $1K+ purchasing decision, I carefully weighed the pros and cons. I made lists of my expected use cases and objectively noted the things that the iPad Pro would not be able to do. I also decided that if I was going to spend that kind of money, I was going to get the high end configuration and also any extras that would help me get the most out of it (after all, I wouldn't purchase a Playstation 4 and then not get extra controllers, games, PSN subscription, etc...).

    The 128GB of on-board storage means I can load all of music and photos, and still install any apps I want. LTE means I can be online wherever I am. And because I have a smart cover, pencil, keyboard, and case, I am able to get the most out of my investment. Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and just subscribe to Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud. All of these decisions increased the overall cost of my iPad Pro. Like most things in life, you get out of something what you put into it. In this case: money.

    Things iPad Pro Cannot Do

    Of all of the many things that iPad Pro can do, there are still a few key things that it cannot do: rip or burn CD's, apply firmware updates to external devices, print pictures with advanced settings control, backup/restore data to an external hard drive, or provide local access to terabytes of videos. For these reasons, I have not gotten rid of my 27" iMac. What I did instead was download OSX Server and set up a remote VPN connection to it. I then bought Transmit, Reflection, and Screens for the iPad to allow me to access and control the iMac remotely from the iPad. So far this has been a workable solution.

    Pleasant Surprises

    I have started taking my iPad Pro to meetings at work, mostly to take notes and refer to documents or web pages. In one meeting I was asked to present to the group and instead of declining because I didn't have my VGA adaptor, I did a quick search on the app store and found a free Epson app for controlling projectors over the network. Five minutes later I was wirelessly presenting to the group from my iPad.

    The fact that the Pencil exists is not a surprise, but I am still surprised every time I use it. It does what I have hoped every single expensive stylus I have purchased would do -- write and draw responsively and accurately. Uniquely, the Pencil has met that expectation.

    Conclusions

    The iPad Pro is a new, expensive, and amazing piece of hardware. With the right combination of apps and extras, it is capable of handling 95% of my computing needs. With its portability, Pencil, battery life, and touch interface, it is able to do many things that my desktop Mac cannot do. And most of the remaining limitations are likely to be solved with clever software updates.

    It is only going to get better (and cheaper) from here.
     
  2. mrob44 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    #2
    Thanks for taking the time to write this. I agree completely with stopping the "Big iPad or Laptop replacement" arguments. It's its own device with its own set of capabilities. I'm really enjoying mine so far, but like you I am still relying on my iMac for any heavy lifting.
     
  3. alecgold macrumors 65816

    alecgold

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    NLD
    #3
    I Could add that reading old scanned PDF court documents is a really a nice thing to do. Together with my MBP 13" and thunderbolt screen I hardly ever need to print.
     
  4. rwp thread starter macrumors member

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    LA, CA, US
    #4
    With obvious exceptions of CD's and connecting external devices, I am impressed with how much I can use the iMac as a remote server. The new iOS document opening capabilities coupled with apps like Transmit are really helping there.

    Totally agree -- all forms of document viewing, including sheet music, is really quite awesome!
     
  5. jazz1, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015

    jazz1 macrumors 65816

    jazz1

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Mid-West USA
    #5
    Great description. I know it is hard to reaccess workflows. I'm having a hard time giving up my 12" rMB or 27" iMac or even iPad Air 2. But the IPad Pro is kind of a "desert island" kind of device.... if you only had one device scenario...with mobility and laptop substitute in mind. I still hanging on to the big screen of the iMac and my AIFF ripped CD music. But honestly I could, live with the iPP as my only device if I had to. So Apple bring on the 18.9 inch iPad:D
     
  6. alecgold macrumors 65816

    alecgold

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    Oct 11, 2007
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    NLD
    #6
    OP: What is the reflection app? A UNIX app?
    Could you give some more insight into how this works for you and what you do with it?
    I have a Mac mini at home and it sounds like I could use it the same way you do.
     
  7. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #7
    Spot on. The iPad pro will meet people needs/expectations to varying scales. It's awesome that it meets 95% of your needs .

    In my case it probably meets 30% of my computing needs, though I never bought it as a replacement.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    There's the rudimentary element of the iPad, it needs to fit your needs. I see a lot of short comings with the iPP, but those short comings are based on my needs.

    I'm glad the IPP is working out for you, good luck and enjoy your new baby :)
     
  9. rwp thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 13, 2015
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    LA, CA, US
    #9
    Reflection is a terminal app for the iPad -- allows remote access to the UNIX shell in OS X. For file sharing, I use Transmit -- it allows me to remotely browse the file system of the mac and upload/download files. Screens is a screen sharing app so I can remotely control the mac itself.
     
  10. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #10
    I'm happy for you, but I think the problem is - for many of us, having an active stylus isn't new, neither is a tablet/hybrid roughly the iPad pros size.

    And in that light - you should of been able to do all of those things you mentioned perfectly fine, for the past 1-2 years. It shouldn't be new.

    And many of us are also used to being able to connect a CD burner straight to the USB port of the tablet, and burn/play whatever we want.
     
  11. digitalcuriosity macrumors regular

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #11
    I just wonder how many early buyers of the new Apple iPad Pro,will really keep using them after the new feel wears off. Like the Mini iPads many rushed out to get them,then found they were not as easy to use as their larger standard iPads. Time will tell.
     
  12. ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    #12
    I hate to beat a dead horse, but these are the exact same arguments that PC proponents continue to make about Chrome OS and Chromebooks, and they have continued to grow and thrive in the marketplace. Convenience means a lot of different things to lots of different people, and just because one paradigm doesn't work for some doesn't mean it can't work for all.

    There will undoubtedly be those who just can't get their computing needs done on an iPad, and there will be returns (as evidenced by this forum). But there will be plenty of folks who can, and I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss them as simply being blinded by euphoria.
     
  13. digitalcuriosity macrumors regular

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #13
    I was posting in regards to impulse buyers people who see a new device and just quickly buy one.
    I feel the people who want to do real work like typing letters and copying and pasting their work,quickly find a iPad or Tablet just does not cut it.

    This is why no matter what the iPad and tablet pushers keep posting about the death of laptop computers,the laptop computers have still been selling. Myself i have bought many Blue Tooth keyboards and tried using both iPads and tablets to replace my laptop computers,and found they just don't work very well.

    I am sure many will find the new Apple iPad Pro, will do what they want and will be happy they bought one.
     
  14. rwp thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 13, 2015
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    LA, CA, US
    #14
    I assume you are not referring to doing those things on an iPad -- which was my entire point. Of course I can burn CD's and use an active stylus on other devices. I have owned many of them. My analysis was which of my personal computing needs could not be accomplished easily *with an iPad Pro*. Every single device is a compromise in some way or another -- size, battery life, screen, ports, accessories, software, etc... The iPad Pro is no exception to that. The only question with any device is: is it good enough?

    If, on the other hand, you were actually saying that you can do those things from an iPad, please share.
     
  15. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #15
    See I'm one of those people who wants to know and understand multiple ways to getting real work done.
     

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